MOTHER AND DAUGHTER DRAMA IN LEHIGHTON, PENNSYLVANIA

This portrait features a mother and her daughter posing at the Bretney studio in Lehighton, Pennsylvania. There appears to be some sort of emotional situation occurring during the taking of this photograph. The mother in the image seems none too pleased, while her daughter appears to be consoling her. The reverse of the photograph indicates the daughter’s name is Molly. It appears that Molly has to be strong for her mother, as her mother has suffered some sort of a loss. The History of Carbon County, Pennsylvania (1912) reports that Clement H. Bretney was the leading photographer of Lehighton. He was born in Mahoning, Pennsylvania in 1873.  After leaving public school he studied art as a private pupil of H. Parker Rolfe of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Next he studied at Curtis-Taylor Studio in Philadelphia. He then worked with W. D. Rishel, a Lehighton photographer. Bretney bought Rishel’s studio in 1899. It is also reported that Bretney was a “dealer in Kodaks” and carried a large stock of photographic supplies. Langdon’s list of 19th and early 20th century photographers asserts that Bretney operated his studio until 1905.

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