I’m not a fan of the Victorian age per se, but watching Murdoch Mysteries has piqued my interest somewhat. Here are some intriguing photographs from the later 1800s to early 1900s.
From a set of unscripted photos taken in the streets of 1890s Norway by Carl Størmer, a young woman with books:
All of the subjects in this set are remarkably relaxed. Love the contrast to the stiff studio portraits of the era!
(I’ve had trouble finding a more detailed source, unfortunately. Possibly Størmer’s photos are gleaned from the 2008 book 80 millioner bilder: Norsk kulturhistorisk fotografi 1855-2005 [’80 Million Pictures: Norwegian Culture-Historical Photography 1855-2005′], edited by Jonas Ekeberg and Harald Østgaard Lund.)
Finnish ladies and gentlemen on a ski trip in the 1890s:
Judging by their attire, they are indeed ladies and gentlemen. What struck me is that, apparently, it wasn’t at all odd for the upper class to go skiing in their regular daywear.
Speaking of sports and Victorians, from 1891, here is high school dressage equestrian Selika Lazevski by Félix Nadar:
What an arresting portait!
A Victorian couple from Leeds trying not to laugh while getting their portraits done in the 1890s:
It’s like a photo version of a blooper reel! 🙂
Two Victorian ladies making a life-sized snow lady, also from Leeds in the 1890s:
With the correct corseted posture, dress ruffles, and hairdo. Wow, ladies, what a great job!
Nellie Franklin photographed holding a parasol in Tallahassee, Florida, between 1885 and 1910:
This photo clearly references painted portraits as ancestors of photographic ones.
A young man in a wheelchair:
Victorians certainly loved their wheels! I wonder exactly how one would’ve operated this chair—there’s clearly a handle bar connected to the front wheel, but if grabbing it with both hands, where does the propelling force come from?
A Sami woman from Finland photographed at Ellis Island in the U.S., so presumably immigrating, around 1905-1914:
I wish the portrait hadn’t cut off at the waist; I would’ve liked to see the rest of the details of her dress (the belt looks especially interesting). I know that nowadays Sami outfits (gákti) are unique. Each is made for its wearer to reflect the personal / family history and area (and possibly the people as a whole?). I don’t know, however, how far back in time that practice goes.
Anyway. These old photos give fascinating glimpses of western life only about 100 years ago. So similar and yet so, so different.
Out There is an occasional feature highlighting intriguing art, spaces, places, phenomena, flora, and fauna.