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Carte de Visite of a young couple

Photographed by B. Frank Saylor & Co., Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

This carte de visite shows an unidentified young couple sitting for a formal portrait. The man is wearing typical day attire for the 1860s. The vest and trousers are of matching material, probably a tweed wool. Over this he is wearing a frock coat of another material (most likely black broadcloth). Generally men would have matching trousers and coat, with either a matching or contrasting vest. Although there are fashionable elements in the woman's attire, there are clues that the couple might be Mennonite or possibly from another “plain clothes” religious group. The bodice of her dress is cut more simply than usual, and there is either a belt or an inset waistband. The skirt is pleated and worn over a hoop (noticeable near the women’s knees). The dress also appears to have a deep facing and is bound at the hem. The sleeves are the most fashionable detail, in that they are cut in a stylish mode and trimmed with contrasting bands.

Division of Information, Technology and Society, Photographic History
National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
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