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Reverso: 1890

Reverso: 1890

Circa 1890. "Frances Benjamin Johnston (right), full-length self-portrait dressed as a man with false mustache," posed with two similarly cross-dressing friends. The "lady" is a gent identified in a few other FBJ photos as the illustrator Mills Thompson. Albumen print by Frances Benjamin Johnston. View full size.

 

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Crossdressing for fun and for profit

The costumed photos of Johnston and her friends, cross-dressed or not, show the elaborate lengths they went to in having fun. And there was a lot of "mainstream" cross dressing in the 1890s, some for masquerades, but even more in plays and in vaudeville. Here's a photo of chorus girls dressed as rich young toffs in the 1893 revival of the popular musical comedy "The Black Crook," originally produced in 1866, and frequently revived for decades.

Request

You know, I'm starting to wish that Shorpy had a "crossdressing" tag.

[Come back in a year or two. - Dave]

FBJ

I misread that as "FBI" and thought, wait, this is before J. Edgar Hoover's time.

Painting revealed.

Ah, we get to see the painting that was hidden in the previous image. I'm still amazed by that gigantic door, though.

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