These look like Meinzen sisters, daughters of Henry Carl and Elizabeth Armitage Meinzen. I think the photo was taken about 1904, a date based on the pouf-fronted waists with narrow sleeves widening to gathered cuffs, and on the two wide bertha collars on the dresses of the lady on the left and the young woman in the front. This photograph was probably taken in the Steubenville area of Jefferson County, Ohio.
Possible Meinzen sisters and their ages in 1904 are Hannah, 29; Belle, 24; Mina, 19; Lula, 17; and Bertha, 16. I think Mina is sitting at the back and Lula is standing. Do they look 19 and 17? I've never seen a photo of Bertha, but the girl in front looks like she could be about 16. The lady on the left: 29 or 24? Hannah or Belle? What do you think? Maybe the fifth sister is the photographer.
I would like to hear the story behind this photo because it seems to me that they've set a scene to remember an event of the day. But what are they doing? The lady who is standing has her foot on a handkerchief on the lap of the lady sitting on the left. Is the sitting lady fixing a hem? Is she buttoning a boot? Why are they in a field, sitting on the grass/weeds, dressed in clothes that are definitely not work or play clothes? Is it a Sunday afternoon outing? Is it a Fourth of July picnic?
Three of them are gazing directly at the camera's lens. Three of them have broad smiles, one a narrower smile. Who told the joke and what was the joke? Who was the photographer? Amateur, probably, considering how off-center the quartet is. And yet, there's an interaction between the women and the photographer, as if all five are part of the story. It looks like they have composed themselves just enough to be still for the photograph or like they will burst into laughter as soon as the camera clicks. I wish someone could share the story with me!
This is another one of those poor photocopies of a photograph from my aunt's papers. I wish I had the original photograph. Not having it, I'm pleased to at least have a photocopy.
This is a Sepia Saturday post. Visit and see what photos others are sharing this week.