Young Woman In Hanover, Pennsylvania

Photograph by John G. Feeser, Hanover, PA. Circa 1880s.

Size of photo:  About 4 x 6″       Size including cardboard frame:  About 5 x 7″

These are digital images, front and back, graciously donated by one of our readers. The family name that might belong to this beautiful young lady may be from among the following:


Here’s to hoping someone will recognize this woman. But in any case, this is a lovely portrait showing wonderful details:  We wonder if this was taken for a special event, evidenced by the corsage of roses she wears on the left lapel of her coat, with its two large buttons perched on the other lapel. In peering at an enlargement, the writing on the top button, one feels, is almost readable. Beneath the coat, which is heavily gathered at the shoulders, is a bodice in velvet, gathered at the neck and likely waist, creating soft folds. The bodice is set off by a wide flowery ribbon at the neck, which is tied into a bow in back. Her wavy brown hair is parted down the middle, and is probably long but gathered up from behind. She gazes slightly up to her right, from clear blue or green eyes, underneath straight brows.

Girl With Bow

Girl with Bow pc1Girl with Bow pc2

Beautiful young girl wearing very large hair bow. Her gorgeous dress is decorated with what looks like brocaded or velvet (or both) ribbons, with an insert of satin at the top of the scoop neck, and lace from the satin up to the neckline. You can see that the lace is topped with it’s own decorative border, which at first glance appears to be a necklace. Upon closer scrutiny we see that she wears just one necklace:  a double strand, choker-style pearl or faux pearl, that is centered with a small bow design. The finishing touch to this (can we say slightly Bohemian?) look, is a slim, crescent-shaped pearl type pin. (Not that the neckline was unconventional but it has a little bit of a gypsy look to it, with the double strand, the lace and the pin.) All in all a stunning fashion choice and an excellent photo. This postcard is unusual in that it is presented with a separate card-type backing; both portions being held together loosely at the top, by a flowered, and by this time frayed, ribbon.

The back of this Real Photo Postcard shows the AZO stamp box with four triangles up (approximate date 1904 -1918), and something that we do not usually see, but are most happy to have included:  the photographer’s stamp. The stamp shows “Feeser’s Studio, 24 E. Middle Street, Hanover, PA.” We then find an entry in the 1898 York City and County directory (Hanover section) for a John G. Feeser, photographer, business address at 24 Middle St., residence at 26 Middle St. (Eureka!) So, it’s likely that this photo is the work of John G. Feeser. (Of course, it could have been taken by an assistant.) Additionally, a Google search for the address brings up an approximate street location showing a photo of a present-day business:  Poist Studio and Frame Shoppe, located at 20 E. Middle Street. Their website indicates they’ve been in business since 1883.

More research under a separate post will be put up under the Photographer heading of this website, but just to narrow down the date of this RPPC the 1900 Federal Census shows John Feeser and family, his occupation photographer, but the 1910 shows he is working as a “retail merchant.” So, this info, along with the AZO stamp box, plus the fact that it’s a divided back, dates the postcard at about 1907 – 1909.

See John G. Feeser, Photographer post.

Divided back, Real Photo Postcard, unused, circa 1907 – 1909. Feeser’s Studio, 24 E. Middle Street, Hanover, PA.

Price:  $20.00

Sources:  York, PA City and County Directory, including Hanover for 1898. U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2011.

Year: 1900; Census Place: Hanover Ward 1, York, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1501; Page: 22B; Enumeration District: 0150; FHL microfilm: 1241501. (

Year: 1910; Census Place: Hanover Ward 1, York, Pennsylvania; Roll: T624_1433; Page: 4B; Enumeration District: 0058; FHL microfilm: 1375446. (