Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Rare Vintage Photographs Show Women's Styles of Maine from the Late 19th Century

19th century fashions are highly romanticized in books and movies. Despite the prim and proper feminine ideal of the day, fashions in this period created an often exaggerated, ostentatious look. Tight corsets, gigantic hoop-skirts, and outrageous bustles make today's fashion trends look sedate by comparison.

These rare and interesting vintage photographs from Camden's Knox Mill treasurer Charles W. Babb (1863-1956) focus on his wife Theresa (1868-1948) and her family and friends from the late 19th century. Many of the descriptions are as Theresa wrote them on the negative envelopes.

Friends and family of Theresa Babb perched on a ladder by the Summit House swing on August 17, 1898. Her sister Grace Parker is at the top of the ladder. The Summit House hotel was built in 1897 by Columbus Buswell. The property was purchased in 1899 by the Mt. Battie Association and renovated the same year.

Camping crowd at Ogier Point.

Working bee at Lake City, circa 1899. Lake City was located at Megunticook Lake in Camden.

Woman walking along Turnpike Drive (now Rt. 52) in October 1899. She is carrying a camera and has a dog and bicycle with her.

Picnic at Sherman's Point, 1900. Theresa is 2nd from the left holding a bottle.

Picnic at Sherman's Point in Camden in 1900. Theresa is seated in front.

Four friends of Theresa Babb sitting on the porch of the Summit House on Mt. Battie in August 1898.

Two unidentified women seated near Beauchamp Point, October 1900.

Group of family and friends of Theresa Babb having a picnic on Ogier Point in July 1900. Theresa's sister Grace is in the middle with the white hatt, and their mother Mrs. Parker is at the far top right.

The schooner "Maggie Alice" docked behind another coaster at the lumberyard or lime kiln in Camden in August 1900. The Jacobs kiln was located on the current site of the Camden Yacht Club.

Group with camera seated on Maiden's Cliff, October 1899.

Camping crowd at Ogier Point, August 1900. Theresa's sister Grace Parker is on the right with the tennis racket, and Father Brown is seated in back with white hair.

Father Brown taking tea with friends at Lake City in 1901.

Ms. Emmie Fountain seated on the ledges at Ogier Point, Camden in 1900.

Boating at Lake City on Megunticook Lake in August 1899.

Camping crowd at Ogier Point, 1900.

Flashlights and chafing dish time, February 1900.

Mrs. Ste(?) and baby, August 17, 1898.

Theresa Babb in snow, March 1899.

Theresa and "Black Beauty" the cat, July 2 1898.

Theresa Babb (left) and Alice Merriam on the Bangor boat, June 1899.

Summer house group, June 24, 1898.

Camden Public Library Follow Grace Parker swimming, August 1900.

Porter and Buchanan crowd, August 1898.

A pleasant day at Oakland Park.

Perry cottage, 1899.

On the beach in Northport after buckboard ride, August 1900.

Nellie and baby Theodore in carriage with elderly lady.

Mrs. Hodgman's picnic, August 1900.

Mothers and daughters, September 1899.

Appears to be elderly Mrs. Parker, daughters Alice and Theresa, and younger woman named Bess, September 1899.

Minnie Babb, Emma Babb and Margaret, July 8, 1898.

Lizzie Curtis, Mrs. Hart and Fred; June 7, 1898.

Jennie Hill with dog, August 1898.

Grace Parker in blue silk dress, September 1900.

Group at Ballard Park on August 14, 1898.

Grace in Theresa's sitting room.

Grace G. and Grace Parker at Lake City, September 1900.

Grace G. and Grace Parker at Lake City, September 1900.

Grace Parker (Theresa Babb's sister) and Lizzie atop Mt. Battie circa 1898.

Flora in her room, March 1899.

Fannie and Lillie in Sunday attire, October 1899.

Emma Hosmer holding a long-haired cat.

Buckboard ride to Northport and Belfast, August 20, 1898.

Buckboard ride to Northport and Belfast, August 20, 1898.

Buckboard ride to Northport and Belfast, August 20, 1898.

Bess and Alice Merriam at Ballard Park, July 1899.

Alice Merriam and Grace Parker at Ballard Park, July 1899.

Grandma, Aunt Rilla, Nellie and baby Theodore, August 1898.

Friends and family of Theresa P. Babb at the shore in midcoast Maine.

(Photos via Camden Public Library)

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