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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • CUBA: HOLIDAY ISLE OF THE TROPICS

Miss Watts: 1902

Miss Watts: 1902

"Watts, Miss -- between February 1901 and December 1903." Portrait of a well-rounded ingenue. 5x7 glass negative from the C.M. Bell studio in Washington, D.C. View full size.

 

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More Miss Watts

Miss Watts arm-in-arm with Mrs. Fred Schrader (the former Marie Bailey).

"It's a pity"

Seeing this young woman and thinking "it's a pity she didn't live in the age of rhinoplasty" is like seeing a different photo here of an Edwardian home and thinking it's a pity it wasn't built in the era of vinyl siding.

She looks lovely, and having a nose more like a 2020 Instagram model wouldn't improve anything.

More directly related to this photo: I reccommend checking out Karolina Żebrowska's YouTube channel to see someone recreating outfits like this and trying out their everyday wearability. She's a Polish historical clothing expert with a great sense of humor. She'll do things like go to a climbing gym to see how well a turn-of-the-century women's hiking outfit works for it.

Sweet Essence

The dangling item is a Victorian perfume bottle.

Reticul-ous

The diminutive dimensions of the damsel's dainty reticule is -- well, silly, compared to the big deal being made of her derriere by that bustle. What would it hold? The tiny pouch, that is. An all-for-show hanky, perhaps, and a drop of smelling salts? Her coy look signals that we shall be kept guessing.

Netting a bag

I believe the type of small handbag, held by Miss Watts, is known as a reticule. The "ret" is from the French word, rete, which refers to the netting the bag was made from.

A bustle in your hedgerow

From Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven”: “If there’s a bustle in your hedgerow, don’t be alarmed now / It’s just a spring clean for the May queen.” (Whatever that means.)

Corset is

Multiple undergarment layers

Time Lapse

"between February 1901 and December 1903"

Wow, that is one slow shutter speed!

Question

What is the function of the item dangling below her right hand. Looks to be a container of some sort.

[It's a purse. - Dave]

Ninety years too soon

She was made for twerking.

Gibson Girl

She had a nice figure. It's a pity she didn't live in the age of rhinoplasty. But she looks like a woman who didn't let that slow her down. She made the most of her looks, anyway.

A hustle here and a bustle there ...

Don't leave home without it -- the bustle, that is.

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