Possible portrait of Amanda HESS, at age 47/50 years, taken at Lebanon Twp., Pa., around 1876/9

Analysis and dating by Penny Ladnier of the Costume Gallery:

As for the younger lady she appears to be in her 40s. She is wearing a hogpoge of time frames. When this occurs, I look for the newest items that she is wearing; which is her bodice. The earliest this bodice dates is 1876-1879. Reasons:
1. The collars (open and flat) and another with a peek of white fitted close to the neck.
2. The straight line on the bodice's hemline; also the depth of the skirt of the bodice (what is beneath the normal waistline).
3. The close-fit sleeves.

Please keep in mind, that her skirt's fullness dates a lot earlier.

Now, I do believe that this lady had one of two things occur because the bodice's fit is too tight under her breast. This is a big no-no in any social status.
1. She kept this bodice past its prime, because it was a favorite and wanted to be photographed in it. This happens frequently to women after they gain the menopause weight. Women even do this today. We all like to remember how we looked when our bodies' were at our best and younger.
2. Photographers had wardrobes that they would loan their sitters. This is where we get the phrase "picture hat." The loan might explain the hogpoge of time periods in her outfit.

Last Update: August 22, 2013