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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2019 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Her Own Biggest Fan: 1927

Her Own Biggest Fan: 1927

Washington, D.C., or vicinity, 1927. "Woman at campsite with fan display." The card enlarged here. Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative. View full size.

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Prominent family

If Baltfan is correct in deciphering that text, this might be a member of a prominent family. Mrs. John Douglass Wade, Baltimore, Maryland, granddaughter of Louisa Airey Gilmor (Mrs Samuel Owings Hoffman), married May 9, 1826, hence the 100 years old comment.

Definitely not an 1820's fan

lindab is quite right... the fashions of the ladies on the fan are from around 1840-1850, not the 1820's. You can see this especially on the woman sitting on the bank to the right.
A few clues... The 1820's sleeve was frequently fitted through the arm, sometimes with a small puff at the top, where these sleeves are fitted in the upper arm and bell out at the wrists, a style that developed into the "Pagoda" sleeve of 1860's. The 1820's skirts were high waisted and a-line with more fullness captured at the center back, where these skirts are natural waisted and clearly full, almost dome-shaped, heading towards the large crinoline hoop skirts.
Of course, since this is 1927, the note taker could have been off just fifteen years, and this fan might be from 1842. Possible...

The Fan

Appears to be conveying a vaguely religious theme, perhaps a deceased soul being borne to the other side of the river where it's received by its former loved ones? The prone figure has a death's head while the one in the center is the only one looking heavenward and with a halo around her head, the soul of the deceased.

More fannotation

Fan belonging
Mrs. John Douglas (Wade?)
100 yrs old
belonging to her grand?

The precision of the name vs the rest of the script makes this look to be a marked up calling card.

Okay, I'm stumped

Why would you take your antique fan collection on a camping trip?

[Old flies! - Dave]

Fan not as old as they say

The ladies illustrated on the beautiful fan are wearing hoop skirts and hairstyles from the 1850s at the very earliest, so in 1927 it would have been at most 70+ years old. The girl, however, is charming, and I love it that she's wearing dress shoes and stockings on a camping trip.

[This looks like the 1820s to me. - Dave]

This pin

There were many designs for her to choose from, with and without rhinestones, and this looks like the one she chose.

Sky Queen

The fan is fine, but the airplane on her neck is awesome!


I that a "Spirit of St.Louis" pin she's wearing?

A Lindbergh Fan?

Just noticed the airplane pin at her collar.

A daredevil aviatrix?

A possible clue to the lady. She might have liked flying or fliers, judging by the airplane pin at her throat.


"100 yrs. old"

SHORPY OLD PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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