UNHAPPY AND DISCONNECTED COUPLE IN HARRISTON, ONTARIO, CANADA

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This scallop edged cabinet card photograph features a young couple who appear to have had happier days. The couple seem so disconnected and discontent. I can’t decide whether the husband or the wife seems the most miserable. The pair are well dressed for their portrait at the studio of Robert L. Hinde in Harriton, Ontario, Canada. Preliminary research only revealed that Hinde may have operated his studio there between 1890 and 1895. The reverse of the cabinet card has an inscription that states that the lovebirds are Mr. and Mrs. John McJannet.

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Published in: on March 28, 2016 at 12:00 pm  Comments (4)  
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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I have a different impression when I view this photograph. Perhaps these two are not so much unhappy with each other as they are apprehensive, and a bit overwhelmed. The wife appears to be very young, so I’m doubtful they could have shared many years together. Also–and this is pure speculation–the wife is very possibly pregnant. Observe the loosely pleated style of her dress, there’s no obvious waistline, and she is seated for further camouflage. Again, speculation on my part–perhaps they both feel unprepared for impending parenthood and thus their expressions.

    • Interesting hypothesis. Speculation is part of what makes viewing these images so fascinating

      • Easily overlooked, for those times, was the rare (even frightening) challenge of being photographed … for most people. Stay absolutely still. Add the photographer’s instructions for posing, composition, etc. (often not what one would choose to do naturally). Some photogs were better than others at putting the models at ease. Quite an event for most people … don’t mess up.

  2. I’m not sure I would agree with your idea here. Would you go out of your way to take a picture that showed discontent? I don’t think so. I think they are both “Sturdy” people, whether it was the subjects or the photographer that brought on this image might never be known. Speculation says it was a mix of thoughts between the subjects and the photographer.


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