Photography Another Look (Girls)
Who are these girls?
We just don't know. Merry
Foresta found this picture in a Smithsonian file. It had no date or any other
It is an early Kodak
snapshot. The date, then, is later than 1888, when the Kodak went on the
Smithsonian costume curator
Shelly Foote thinks the clothing dates it between 1890 and 1894.
The girls are outside, but
not by much. It's likely that they stepped out of the house to take the
picture. The early Kodaks did not come with a flash. Indoor photography was
What does the picture tell
For Merry, it offers a
glimpse into an informal Victorian situation. There were a hundred pictures
on a roll of Kodak film. Photography, she says, became cheap enough that you
could do something silly. In a very short time, people developed their own
They learned to pose themselves,
in other words, just as these young women are doing in a recent snapshot.
If nothing else, the
picture is proof that people in the nineteenth century, when left to their own
devices, did smile once in a while!