Monday, January 5, 2015

Tintype Photo: Woman in a Striped Dress (1894 - 1897)

This portrait of a woman in a striped dress is a tintype photograph and is one of the oldest photographs in the collection. It was previously believed there were few photographs available from this side of the family. This tintype and several others were located earlier this year in the photo collection of Frances Philomena Selker. 

To view the other tintype photographs visit the blog posts: 
After locating the tintypes I engaged Gary Clark from to assist me. Gary is an expert in dating old photographs - tintypes being one of his specialties. He is estimated that this photograph was likely taken between 1894 and 1897. The wicker chair was not introduced until the 1890's. The dress style with the big sleeves and shoulders is also typical for mid 1890's fashion. Another clue is 'day' hat which was common in the 1890's.
Michelle M. Murosky: The Guth Collection &emdash;
Original Photograph with Digital Restoration
The identity of the individual is least certain in this tintype photograph. There are some other Guth family portraits which have been shared on The woman featured above bears a resemblance to a portrait of Susanna Otilda Guth. 

The photos of Susanna Otilda Guth shared on show the natural frown which the woman in the tintype also has. The natural frown expression is also present in the photograph of the young girl believed to be Frances Philomena Guth. Susanna Otilda was the youngest daughter of Leopold Guth and Theresa Loll. She was born 6 April 1877 in Clarion, Clarion County, Pennsylvania. Susanne Otilda Guth married Francis Gatesman. Frances Philomena Guth and Susanna Otilda Guth were sisters. The sisters' husbands were also business partners. 

Leopold Guth and Theresa Loll had another daughter, Theresia Guth, who was born 6 April 1869. Theresia does not appear in the 1880 United States Federal Census with her family. She would have been approximately 11 years old in 1880. Her death date is currently unknown. She may have been deceased if not recorded with her family in the 1880 census, 

This photograph would not be Frances Philomena Guth. There is a known photograph of Frances Philomena Guth taken between 1892 and 1896 with her husband Joseph William Selker. Of the immediate Guth family, children of Leopold Guth and Theresa Loll, Susanna Otilda is most likely to be pictured. If Susanna Otilda Guth is pictured in the photograph she would have been between 17 and 20. The woman pictured in this photograph appears to be in this age range. 

It is plausible that Frances Philomena Guth had a photograph of her sister. Frances Philmonea Guth also had copies of photographs of her parents. In time the photographs were handed down to her daughter Frances Philomena Selker. This could explain how this tintype photo was included with the others. 

The woman in the photograph is wearing a large broach that was made from multiple stones. Her hat is also very detailed with numerous flowers and a ribbon.

Michelle M. Murosky: The Guth Collection &emdash;
Close up of the Large Broach
Michelle M. Murosky: The Guth Collection &emdash;
Close up of the Hat. Note the Flowers and Ribbon.
Tintype photographs have a unique mirror-like finish. This particular tintype was hand tinted to add color to the faces. The surface of the original contains many scratches. Some of the damage was able to be removed during the digital restoration process. Due the amount of damage some of the scratches were unable to be corrected and can be observed in the whitish looking appearance on the photograph.

This tin type and several others were included in the Frances Philomena Selker Collection. Frances Philomena Guth appears to have ended up with these photographs. She passed the photographs down to her daughter Frances Philomena Selker. Frances' daughter Mary Eugina McDonald ended up with her mother's photo collections which is time were handed down to me. Photographer Unknown. Editing and digital restoration by Michelle M. Murosky.

If the woman in the photograph is Susanna Otilda Guth, she would be my 3rd great aunt. Her sister Frances Philomena Guth, my 2nd great-grandmother, Frances Philomena Guth was the grandmother of Mary Eugenia McDonald my paternal grandmother. 

  1. William E. Loll, The Lolls, Book I (Fullerton, CA, )
  2. Compiled by the History Committee of St. Joseph Parish, Lucinda, Pa., A Poud People A Proud Heritage (State College, PA, Josten Printing & Publishing, 1888), Genealogy Part II, Page 169, 
  3. 1860 Untied States Federal Census. Year: 1860; Census Place: Clarion, Clarion, Pennsylvania; Roll: M653_1095; Page: 68; Image: 72; Family History Library Film: 805095. Record for Leopold Guth. Lines 31 through 36. 
  4. 1870 United States Federal Census. Year: 1870; Census Place: Clarion, Clarion, Pennsylvania; Roll: M593_1326; Page: 400A; Image: 121; Family History Library Film: 552825. Record for Leopold Guth. Lines 23 through 33. 
  5. 1880 Untied States Federal Census. Year: 1880; Census Place: Clarion, Clarion, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1117; Family History Film: 1255117; Page: 94B; Enumeration District: 066; Image: 0194. Record for Leopold Guth Lines 32 through 42.

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