More of Mayme E. Myers or Unknown

Three photos. Photographer(s):  Unknown. Sizes as noted include the cardboard matting.

Prices:  $15.00 each or $40.00 for three or $50.00 for all four (includes prior post photo).

About the possible name:  This is the same girl from our prior post. That photo has writing on the back that shows, “Mayme E. Myers.”  However, there are two women in that one but only the one name, so we can’t say for certain that this is Mayme. All four were found in an antique shop in Monterey, California. 

Size:  About 4 and 3/8 x 6 and 1/4″    Circa 1890s.

The subject of our photo above, at around thirteen years old. This one has a sticker on the reverse from the antique shop where it was found, (not naming names) which shows “1852.” Really, this was not from that time-period. For one, (no need to look for additional proof) there’s no doubt that she’s the same person in both the prior posting and the three on this page – this after comparing facial features and ear shape. (Just mentioning this sticker with “date” for a potential buyer and as a caution to anyone buying old photos that have a date affixed by the seller.) I’d estimate the date as circa 1890s – fashion-wise, with all the ruffles, the large sleeves, the grand bow in back, and that excellent hat with its high ostrich plumes. (Enlarging the photo, you’ll notice the two-heart pin at the neckline – rather adorable.)

Size:  About 4 and 1/4 x 6 and 3/8″      Circa 1900s.

Above, the second in this set. I think she’s a bit younger here than in the next one, and it’s another stunning shot. (She’s a beautiful girl and very photogenic.) If you enlarge the image, note that the curl that’s been allowed to drape on the shoulder seems to have fabric covering its upper portion. Unless this was altered in the photo process? Definitely possible, as it turns out there were modifications to this photo, read on to the end.

Size:  About 4 and 3/8 x 6 and 5/8″       Circa 1900s – 1910s.

Above, the third, our “Updo Girl.” I’m calling her this now in my head, after recently discovering a great movie on You Tube, called Detroit Unleaded. Check it out if you have the time. It has absolutely nothing to do with these photos and is just a phrase from the film – but fitting for her hairstyle. Enlarge to see the details on the beautiful lace blouse she’s wearing. As for the difference in skin-tone in this one compared to the others (especially the earliest) something was different in the photographic process – note the above’s slightly reddish hue. If these were modern-era photos we’d be talking about “white balance.”

Photo modification……

And having scrutinized the second photo, I’m compelled to show how it appears to have been retouched. The “dots” don’t appear to be dirt marks on the photo. The bodice of pleats with its soft polka dots looks very natural. But above that, more dots. Those look “off” or, at least, some do. Really, the full neckline trim is inconsistent – soft and flowery on our left and tighter, sort of knotted on our right. And then, we can see more telltale signs of retouching – the “scratch marks” as noted by the arrows. The changes were likely done while the image was still a negative, though “later on” they could be applied directly to the photo. We’ll get into some details on this extensive subject in an upcoming post, as time permits. But, see the last two sources below for more info.

Sources:  Hull, Rob. November 30, 2017. “White Balance:  100 Years of History.” Accessed July 1, 2024.

Sears, Jocelyn. July 28, 2016. “How Photo Retouching Worked Before Photoshop.” Accessed July 4, 2024.

Complete Self-Instructing Library of Practical Photography. Vol X. American School of Art and Photography. Scranton, Pennsylvania. (1909).  ( book search).