Edith R. Young

This was one of the very first tintypes I ever bought. Got this one from The Rescued Photo (check them out on Instagram, Etsy and on their blog!). I was so intrigued by this Victorian lady’s interesting outfit – the kind of a shawl fabric as an overcoat (or cape?) and the “flowerpot” hat that might have even been open on top with her locks flowing freely (it’s hard to see in the image). She also seemed have worn a bigger ring on her ring finger (but it looks larger than a wedding band would?). Her expression is so fierce and she is not in front of the camera to show off her newest lacey robe. Nope, she means business, she has no time to spare, she won’t even take off her coat.

There is an identification printed on the reverse of the tin image. It says “Edith R. Young”. Was this her name, or the name of the female photographer who took the image, or maybe they were one and the same person? I’d like to think that!

The “flowerpot” hats became fashionable in the late 1880s. I find it hard to guess the age of the sitters in old images. She could have been anything between 20 to 35 in my opinion. Perhaps she was born in the late 1850s up until the late 1860s?

Perhaps she was Edith Bird Adams, born in August 1865 in Belmont, Mass. After her mother Josephine Richardson’s divorce from Edith’s father Alfred A. Adams, Josephine adopted her 2nd husband’s surname for herself and her daughter Edith. Starting from 1872, when her mother married M. Harwood Young, Edith was referred to as Edith Richardson Young in the historical records. What brought the family from Waltham, Mass. to Seattle, Washington. after the Census of 1880, I don’t know. But by 1892 the Youngs had made Seattle Ward 2 their home.

Edith never married, instead she devoted her life to teaching. She studied at the University of Washington in 1894 and graduated from the Seattle Kindergarten training in 1897. In 1901, she applied for a passport, but unfortunately the application did not include a photo. That would have been awesome to compare if she was our Edith in the image! I’d also love to find Edith on passenger lists to see what she needed the passport for. Edith died in October 1925 in Seattle at the age of 60.

The passport applicant’s description would fit our Edith pretty well, too:

Of course, this is a long-shot and most probably my wishful thinking that we’ve found the right Edith. So I’m taking my liberties with this tintype image, just to see what options we have.

If you have any other ideas or clues, or comments about her outfit, please let me know! I’d love to uncover this fierce lady’s true story!

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