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Glass Princess: 1916

Glass Princess: 1916

My mother's older sister Mary in a glass plate negative taken about 1916 in the family home in San Francisco. She's also been seen on Shorpy here in the same room and with her Model T Roadster here. Mary's was a short life; she died from tuberculosis in 1922. View full size.

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Mary Remembered

Love these family photos. My favorite of Mary is in the parlor with her family. The far-away, whimsical look in her eyes is how I would choose to remember her. I also lost a maternal aunt (she was 26 when she was trapped in a hotel fire), which caused a profound sadness that still lingers. Glad you have these permanent memories of her life to share with us and hold close to your hearts. Thanks for sharing.


Native Sons of the Golden West is, I believe, the "GW" on the pillow.

[You're getting warm -- it's a Native Daughters of the Golden West pillow. - Dave]

(Not bad for first try I guess. But will partial credit get me into the qualifying round ? - Not )

Forever young ...

Sad that Mary's life was so short.

Conjecture on the year

Based on the pillow beside her, I believe that this picture was taken in 1917-1918, probably the latter. The pillow has an American flag and a single star, perhaps alluding to the possibility that someone was in the U.S. Armed Forces during a time of war, maybe her husband or brother.

[An interesting theory but the pillow, which features both the U.S. and California state flags, commemorates Native Daughters of the Golden West, an organization for women born in California. - Dave]

Layers and ladders

Mary's face, with its pensive expression, reminds me of the only known photograph of my favorite poet: Emily Dickinson, the Belle of Amherst. The filmy white (I think) dress is fitting too. But Mary's laddered hosiery and frayed shoes make me sad. I like the lighthearted picture of her standing beside her car much better. I'm sorry she died young.

That's so sad.

The duke was in the parlour playing piano for the children's holiday.

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