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About the Photos

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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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • STAY ONE JUMP AHEAD OF TROUBLE, 1945

Just Us Girls: 1910

Just Us Girls: 1910

Washington, D.C., circa 1910. "Mrs. John Henderson with children." Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative. View full size.

 

Beautiful Ladies

All three are gorgeous and wearing magnificent clothes. This is elegance. Though little one on the left looks as though she's rather be doing anything else.

Mrs. Henderson's Lorgnette

The pendant hanging from the long beaded chain is a lorgnette, a pair of folding reading glasses held in a decorative case, frequently made of chased silver or gold, and sometimes of mother-of-pearl. When a catch is depressed, the spring-loaded lenses open out from the case. out ready for use. Mrs. Henderson's is probably gold or silver. Here is a similar lorgnette in chased gold.

Dolls and Dolls.

You can tell by this pic that Grandma was a knockout in her youth, and the children have inherited her good looks. The little girl on the left is a carbon copy. Great picture.

You folks are.......

....Amazing.

Not only are the photos Dave selects for posting absolutely mesmerizing, but the background data you folks come up with are fascinating and delightful. I've got to offer a big "thank you" to all the contributors to Shorpy!

The Pendant

Any ideas?

I have a mother-of-pearl snuff bottle that resembles Mrs. Henderson's.

Or is it a perfume container, monocle or timepiece?

They are all quite stunning in their finery.

Poise

The young girl on the left looks mature beyond her years. There seems to be a great deal of confidence in those eyes.

The Formidable Mrs. Henderson

Mary Foote Henderson, wife of Senator John B. Henderson Jr. of Missouri (in office 1862-1869), was a powerful Washington real estate speculator and developer in her own right. Returning to Washington from St. Louis in 1889, the Hendersons built a large granite mansion on Sixteenth Street known as Boundary Castle. Mrs. Henderson developed the Meridian Hill area, and commissioned the speculative construction of dozens of mansions, many of which she sold as embassies. She was also an ardent and successful champion of many of Washington's beautification projects, but experienced a rare defeat in 1900 when she lobbied Congress to replace the White House with a new mansion, on Meridian Hill of course. Widowed in 1913 (probably a closer date than 1910 for the photo here), she continued as an influential hostess and business person in Washington until her own death in 1931.

 
THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG
Shorpy.com | 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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