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Most of the photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) Many were digitized by LOC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They are adjusted by your webmaster for contrast and color in Photoshop before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here.

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Belles of the Ball: 1906

Belles of the Ball: 1906

New York, 1906. "The Gerson sisters in costume for the Crinoline Ball." Our second from this series of photographs by Gertrude Käsebier. View full size.



I wonder if they're relying on the kindness of strangers, at this point.

Not teenagers

I usually associate events like a "Crinoline Ball" with coming-out parties or other festivities for young girls. This image shows, though, that the Gerson sisters were women -- maybe in their 30s? in 1906. Their arms look young, but this view shows their faces better than the earlier posting, and they aren't 16 year-olds, especially the one in the back. So, does anyone know what the Crinoline Ball was and who went?

[Virginia Gerson was 40 and her sister Minerva (Minnie) was about 50 when this picture was taken. The Crinoline Ball, a costume party, was held the evening of April 18, 1906, at Astor House in New York -- the same day as the San Francisco earthquake. - Dave]

THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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