The proper Victorians of the mid to late 1800s had their own ideas of what was proper social behavior. This is shown in viewing the typical photographs taken. You see the strict, stern facial expressions in just about all of them.
Part of the main reason was the photo technology of those times. People had to hold still as a photo was taken. If they moved, the photo was be blurry because the exposure for each photo was quite lengthy. That is also why they didn’t smile. It is hard to keep a good smile for a couple minutes. So there are primarily stiff early images of our ancestors from the 1800s.
By around 1900, with newer photo technology where the exposure time was lessen, people began to be freer in their poses. Another big change was people were able to have photographic equipment for their own use and not just the professional photographer.
The collection of lantern slides from Northumberland County, England are just one example of the non-typical Victorian photographs from the late 1890s to 1905. These are actually to the extreme opposite of the posed and proper Victorian style.
So look over these posted along with the ones on the linked site. Check next your own family collection of photos from 1895 to 1910 — find anything a little different, strange or weird?
Photos: 1905 the Groff family of Maryland being playful in the yard, three examples of photos from a collection of English lantern slides the Woodland Museum in Ashington, England.
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