Saturday, November 14, 2015

Nora and Jennie Worden, 1st Cousins, Pose For a Portrait

First cousins Nora and Jennie Worden, likely in Anamosa, Jones County, Iowa.  Note the rosy cheeks that were added in.  They appeared to be on a wood plank floor, and a painted countryside scene in the back.  From my personal collection, courtesy of Olive Kennedy.

My 2nd great grandmother, Elnora "Nora" May Worden (1867-1928), was born in Lisbon, Linn, Iowa, and died in Ewing Township, Holt County, Nebraska.  She posed with her cousin Mariah Jane "Jennie" Worden (1870-1900), who was her first cousin.  I'm assuming that Nora was sitting because she was older than Jennie.

This image was taken from a marathon scanning party back with Slater relations in 2011, and in my excitement to just finally put a face to a name I failed to note the specific details, like the size, and condition of the photograph.  I need another look at the original to determine what type it is (perhaps a tintype).

I also failed to note the details of this photograph. The occasion that prompted this photo is unknown, even the time of year is not obvious to me, although as two daughters of Iowa farmers I am assuming they were dressing up.  Their everyday wear was probably considerably more practical.  Since Jennie was born in 1870, I think that this picture was taken at least a few years after 1880, since she looks older than 10.

They wore ribbons in their hair. Nora had bangs, but the rest of her hair is of undetermined length.  Jennie's hair appears to be pulled back (part of it peeks from behind).  They both wore earrings.

Both have collars that appear to me to be separate from the dresses.  Nora's looks lacy; it is harder to determine the fabrication of Jennie's.  They each wear a brooch at the front of the collar, backed by ribbon.

They both appear to be wearing rings.  Assuming this image is the correct orientation (not mirror image), then Nora has a ring on her right ring finger, while Jennie has a ring on her left ring finger.  I'm going to have to research what the ring fingers meant back then.  Nora married in 1884 (at age 17), Jennie in 1891 (at age 21).  IF this image is indeed reversed, then this picture was likely taken Dec 1884 or after, as Nora would have a ring on her wedding finger.

Each girl showed her unique fashion sense in this picture.  An historical fashion expert of this period could probably pinpoint the approximate date of this photo based on the fashion alone, but alas I am not such an expert.

Jennie's dress appeared to have an all-over print, and had extensive pleating at the cuffs, overskirt, and underskirt.  The boots look practical, not polished.
As a fashion magazine aficionado I wonder which, if any, Nora and her cohort looked at for their clothing styles.  I was surprised that by the 1880's there were already quite a few women's magazines, which included fashion, available.

Not exactly the same, but this Godey's Lady's Book from 1880 has an all-over print and the pleating is similar to Jennie's outfit.
I originally thought of the fabric Nora was wearing was tartan, but on reconsideration I think it was termed plaid, which makes more sense.

Fashion plaid in 1880 (Godey's Lady's Book).
A description of the above outfits:

According to the following article, the following women's magazines might have been available to the Worden girls as sources for fashion:  McCall'sThe Delineator (later Butterick's), Ladies Home Journal (1883 and after), Woman's Home Companion, and Good Housekeeping (1885 and after).

A quick look through historical newspapers of the time and place reveal a number of these magazines were indeed available in the Anamosa/Cedar Rapids area.  I don't know if the girls made their own clothes or had a dressmaker make them, or if they purchased them.

The Wyoming Journal, Wyoming, Iowa, April 28, 1871, page 4.
Available free through Digital Archives of the Jones County Genealogical Society.

The Anamosa Journal, Anamosa, Iowa, December 1, 1887, page 3.
Available free through Digital Archives of the Jones County Genealogical Society.

The Wyoming Journal, Wyoming, Iowa, December 6, 1888, page 1.
Available free through Digital Archives of the Jones County Genealogical Society.

If the girls made their own clothes, they would have access to the paper patterns published by Ellen Louise Curtis Demorest's pattern and fashion magazines (later became Butterick's).  There is a full version of one of these magazines from 1865 available at the Internet Archive:
Some fashion details to note back in 1865.

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