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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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A Bird on the Head: 1890s

A Bird on the Head: 1890s

        Egrets, I've had a few.

Washington, D.C., circa 1894-1901. "Miss H.M. Craig." 5x7 glass negative from the C.M. Bell portrait studio. View full size.

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Lovely photo

20 years after this photo was taken, hats adorned with bird feathers would fall out of fashion. The legal taking of birds for their showy feathers ended with the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918.

Both lady and bird are beautiful

A main reason for enacting the Migratory Bird Treaty Act was to protect birds from harvest for their feathers. The feathers on Miss Craig's chapeau appear to be those of the snowy egret, a species that was hunted almost to extinction before passage of the MBTA in 1918.

But too few to mention

Love the "egrets" comment!

The hat is perhaps 'enhanced' (or made worse?) by some damage to the glass negative. The black 'wings' are not part of the hat, and there seem to be a few extraneous black dots, too.

It also looks like the very pretty face has been retouched, too. Is that correct?

Miss Malaprop

Perhaps she's exemplifying the old adage "A bird on the head is worth two on the tush."

A Bird on the Head

Is worth two on the rack at Macy's.


Wow! What a beauty! And those glasses are really hip!


"Egrets, I've had a few." Best one yet. Still laughing!

Timeless lady

Ms. Craig might be seen on the mall today. The clothes and hat would only be seen as her statement in fashion. The face is lovely, and I'd bet the gents seldom called her 'four eyes' lest they irk her and miss their chance. She's lovely.

Ready for liftoff

The hat will be heading south for the winter any moment now.

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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