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Unidentified Girl

(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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The Howes Brothers of Turners Falls, Massachusetts, are best known for their photographs taken at rural homes or work sites in New England, photographs they took while on the road. But they also operated a photographic studio in the burgeoning town of Turners Falls, where they photographed mostly middle- or upper-class clients. Although this little girl looks to our eyes as if she were dressed for mourning - the black-and-white photograph gives the scene a somber cast - she probably was just wearing her very best dress. People of the Victorian era loved the deep shades and saturated colors available in the fabrics of the time, and her dress was probably a deep purple or rich blue. She holds a book, which has an illustration of a pug dog, one of the age's more popular breeds, and in her hand a lace handkerchief, something a polite woman and girls would have always carried. This was a particularly elegant example and was probably given to her only for this photograph.


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