Unknown Couple abt. 1894
Photo type: Cabinet Card
Card size: 4 1/4″ x 6 1/2″
Card color: cream
Card edges: plain cut, rounded corners
Border: single thin line
Front imprint: artistic gold print
Back imprint: none
Photographer: O. H. Talbott of South Side Square, Girard, Kansas
Scan: auto adjusted
After publishing last week’s post, several of my readers left comments which led to the necessity to re-think my post and write an update.
The Identity of the Man in the Photograph
My cousin Joe was the first person to comment on my post last week.
As my Mother would say “I swanee” that looks like Quincy Royalty as a young adult. Referring to the portrait taken in Kansas as well. His hair being parted on the other side might be an image reversal, but it sure looks like him.
Joe had me comparing the photo of young John Quincy Royalty (1866-1918) and checking his timeline. The photo on the left is a flipped closeup of John as Joe thought one of the two images may have been a reversed image.
Side by side, do they resemble each other? The identity meter on PicTriev, will compare two faces and show one of four results: from the same person, nearly from the same person, quite look-alike, and from different persons. The comparison of the above two pictures brought back from different person.
Using the similarity meter on PicTriev, I compared the above two pictures and got 78% similarity. This is more or less the same results I obtained using PicMonkey’s fade tool to compare the two overlapping photos. This was not as easy as it appears as the angle to the camera was not the same in the two photos. The positions of the mouth, nose, eyes and hairline are close matches.
The light looking eyes of the couple in the photo made me wonder if the soft tones were showing the true appearance of the couple. Quincy’s eyes appear much darker. If there was an image reversal, it would more likely be the couple photo as Quincy has his part on the same side when photographed in Kansas and in New Mexico.
The Identity of the Woman in the Photograph
Last week I wondered if the woman may have been the same person as the young girl on the left in this photo. The similarity meter showed 42% resemblance. Vera Marie Badertscher of Ancestors in Aprons explained this better than I could.
I don’t see the resemblance to Irene. Although we can only see one ear in the younger lady, it sticks out slightly, and the woman in the top photo has small, flat-to-the-head ears. The mouth of the younger girl doesn’t look wide enough, either.
Vera brought up some good points about the younger girl and the woman not resembling each other. She also wrote:
I was really struck by what a sweet-looking young man that is. Worth tracking down. Is there a history of that county of Kansas in the late 1800’s-early 1900’s? The young man looks younger than the woman to me. She could almost be his mother.
As mentioned above, Joe thought the man may be John Quincy Royalty. He was a schoolteacher in Kansas before 1900 and there is no known marriage for him. His mother died about 1874 and his stepmother died in 1892 at the age of 62 so Vera’s theory of a mother and her son wouldn’t work.
If not mother–older sister?
Quincy had three sisters who were living around this time. Tillie, Florence, and Olive. The three were married by 1892. Could one of them have traveled to Kansas and had her photo taken with him? Could the photograph have been taken earlier? I used the similarity meter on PicTriev to compare the young woman with Quincy’s sisters.
The similarity meter on PicTriev came up with a 93% match on the young woman and Tillie and same person for the identity. The photo of Tillie (bottom) was taken about 1895. Are they the same woman?
Just for fun, I compared the unknown man and the unknown woman. They have an 86% resemblance according to this tool. This is even higher than the resemblance between the unknown man and Quincy. The resemblance of the woman with Florence was 66% and with Olive was 69%.
One last thought, is the brooch worn by Tillie above the same as the one worn by the unknown woman on the left? I got out both of my magnifying glasses and had a closer look. They are not the same. The unknown woman’s brooch looks almost like letters and Tillie’s is a bit larger.
A Little More Help
Luanne Castle of The Family Kalamazoo made some interesting comments about the man’s collar or lack of collar.
So interesting that he wears no collar in that first pic! Would it be because he couldn’t afford a new collar and his old one was ruined or lost or something?
I thought it was more of a trend to not wear the collar.
Hmm, maybe .. . . But I know it was hard for men to get collars sometimes. They always had to budget for them.
Comments like these make me want to learn more about vintage photography and fashion of the times. Luanne has a wonderful collection of old photographs and postcards on her blog. I need to take another (closer) look at hers and mine. You see things differently when you become more interested in learning about them.
More about this collection, how it came to be in my possession,
and links to previous posts in the series can be found here.
© 2017, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.