A pretty young wasp waisted woman, holding a muff and wearing gloves, poses for what is likely a winter portrait at the Jarvis studio in Ottawa, Canada. According to an inscription on the reverse of the photograph, the corseted woman is named Mary Devlin and the photograph was taken in 1890. The photographer, Samuel J. Jarvis was a famed Ottawa photographer who opened a studio with partner Alfred Pittaway in 1882 while both were still teenagers. In 1890 they split up and became competitors. They joined forces again in 1907 and worked together until Pittaway’s retirement in 1928. Their studio did photo portraits, photojournalism, and operated a photographic supply shop and developing studio. The pair hired an artist who created elaborate sets and backdrops. The Ottawa Citizen (1948) published a feature story about Jarvis and his pioneering days in photography. Samuel J. Jarvis should not be confused with his photographer uncle, Samuel Jarvis.
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