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  #1  
Old 10-09-2014, 05:47 PM
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Default Women's baseball CdV

I originally posted this on the October pick up thread, but it has been suggested I start a new thread.
This CdV appears to picture women players circa 1865-69. The player in the bottom row center is holding a bouquet and the player bottom row left seems to be wearing an earring. I have never seen a CdV picturing women players. This image would predate any women and baseball image by more than a decade. Any thoughts?
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  #2  
Old 10-09-2014, 06:11 PM
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Gary - That is a remarkable pickup.

Any thoughts? Yeah, a few:


I believe the NL should never adopt the DH and women should not be encouraged to seek participation in Baseball.



I also believe that 'Half the fun of having feet is Red-Goose shoes.' tm
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Old 10-09-2014, 07:18 PM
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Default Nothing on the back?

Love the card; just got my first ever photo with an IRS stamp on the back, dating it to the 1960s. However, it was just a woman sitting in a chair. Yours is much cooler.
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Old 10-09-2014, 07:28 PM
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Gary- Are you sure they are all women? In most of the early images I've seen the women are wearing dresses. Knickers are unusual. But that's a pretty amazing image.
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Old 10-09-2014, 07:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barrysloate View Post
Gary- Are you sure they are all women? In most of the early images I've seen the women are wearing dresses. Knickers are unusual. But that's a pretty amazing image.
yeah, some of them look more 60/40
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Old 10-09-2014, 07:50 PM
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So it looks to me as if the cdv was trimmed at the bottom, likely where the photographers info would have been. I take it there is nothing revealing about the back. Am interested in players back left and back right, they look young and boyish. Also that bat looks huge relative to the players. A curious and fascinating piece..
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Old 10-09-2014, 08:55 PM
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I'm ignorant.....how do you know it's 1865-69?

Totally out of my realm, but I'd love to learn more about it. How/where did you find it?
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Old 10-09-2014, 10:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barrysloate View Post
Gary- Are you sure they are all women? In most of the early images I've seen the women are wearing dresses. Knickers are unusual. But that's a pretty amazing image.
Agree with Barry on the women in dresses prior to the 1880's, but a fantastic image nonetheless!

Last edited by rman444; 10-10-2014 at 12:09 AM.
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Old 10-09-2014, 11:29 PM
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Can you please post a high res scan instead of a photo? I would like to get a better look. Thanks.

I also second the questions on how one dates something like this.
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Old 10-10-2014, 06:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ooo-ribay View Post
I'm ignorant.....how do you know it's 1865-69?

Totally out of my realm, but I'd love to learn more about it. How/where did you find it?
My guess is that it has an IRS stamp.

Here is a site that explains. http://histclo.com/photo/guide/chron/pgc19-phoi.html Ignore the login screen; it will still let you read the page.

Tax on Photographs (1864)

Quote:
Congress passed another revenue act specifically on photographic images (June 30, 1864). The tax was applicable on all "photographs, ambrotypes, daguerreotypes or any other sun-pictures". It was paid by buying a revenue stamp which ws then attached to the back of the photograph. The tax was pro-rated based on the cost of the photograph. Which thus gives us an idea as to what photograohers charged at the time. The charges were 2 cents and up. The 2 cent stamp was for photographs costing up to 25 cents. The 3 cent stamp was for photographs costing 26-50 cents (figure 1). The 5 cent stamp was for photographs costing $0.50 to $1.00. Photographs costing over $1.00 required another 5 cent stamp for every extra dollar or fraction of a dollar. Of course not all photographs were CDVs, cabinet card, or other formats on which revenue stamps could wasily be afixed without spoiling the image. Other photigraphs such as those being bound into books could not have stamps afixed to them. This occurred because lithography was not yet suffucently advanced to actually reporoduce photographs by printing. There were also photogaphs such as thse put into lockets which were too small for stamps. The reveune act for these formats enacted a 5 percent tax which the client paid directly to the photographer.
I just found one the other day:

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Last edited by swarmee; 10-10-2014 at 06:12 AM.
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  #11  
Old 10-10-2014, 06:12 AM
barrysloate barrysloate is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ooo-ribay View Post
I'm ignorant.....how do you know it's 1865-69?

Totally out of my realm, but I'd love to learn more about it. How/where did you find it?
The double gold line around the mount that "frames" the image was used exclusively in the mid to late 1860's.

Last edited by barrysloate; 10-10-2014 at 06:13 AM.
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  #12  
Old 10-10-2014, 06:48 AM
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Bryan- Unfortunately, this is the best I can do with a scan. I am deficient in this area!
I don't know if we can be sure if this image depicts women or boys. A player holding a bouquet is indeed strange. The pants are also very baggy, almost like pantaloons. The player's lower legs also appear not as muscular as a man's would be. Since there are no images of women and baseball prior to about 1880, it is not impossible that early women players wore trousers similar to those of their male counterparts. We do know that in the 1860s baseball was deemed too "rough" for women and became dormant until about 1880. Maybe the wearing of more "womenlike" clothing allowed for greater acceptance of the sport after 1880.

Last edited by GaryPassamonte; 10-10-2014 at 06:49 AM.
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  #13  
Old 10-11-2014, 04:01 PM
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Here is the reverse. Wilkes Barre Pa location. It is difficult to read from my scan, but the reverse says W Ogilvie successor to SS Hull.
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Last edited by GaryPassamonte; 10-11-2014 at 04:04 PM.
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  #14  
Old 10-11-2014, 09:24 PM
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Gary; they probably didn't do color printing at this time, and the red and blue coloring was added outside of the printing process (many things from the Victorian era are labeled "hand-colored"; my guess is these dark colors were added later, and may be obscuring useful parts of the photograph. It looks like a bouquet because the "flowers" were painted in, but it may not be....?

Still love the piece, but it is a confusing one.
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  #15  
Old 10-12-2014, 12:07 AM
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Gary,

You might want to contact Joann Kline...she used to post here in the old days and if I recall, she had extensive collection and knowledge of early women players, teams, photos, etc. I don't have her email anymore but you can find her on facebook or she still might have her email linked here if you search for her. Just an idea...

Joshua
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Old 10-12-2014, 06:59 AM
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John- The coloring may have been done in the 1860s or later. I still think the bouquet is the key. Why would someone add a bouquet to a photograph if the players weren't women? It just doesn't add up. As I said prior, we will probably never know with certainty the gender of these players. However, all factors considered, I believe there is a better chance these players are women than boys.
Joshua- Thanks. I will try to contact her.

After researching the history of women's clothing in the 1850s and 1860s, we can't rule out that the trousers may in fact be bloomers. There was a feminist movement at this time and the wearing of trousers or bloomers was done. Any woman "bold" enough to play baseball in the 1860s may have "bold" enough to wear trousers.

Last edited by GaryPassamonte; 10-12-2014 at 07:03 AM.
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  #17  
Old 10-12-2014, 07:43 PM
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photographs of women base ball players in uniform after seeing a boudoir sized mounted photo of Ginter's Women Base Ball players at a show (still hold to the belief they were Ginter's factory workers just as with the presidential head's series) - possibly at a table by the Profiles in History guy. 1100.00 was out of my league but it started me off on one of my many tangents. Years later I eventually ended up with a set(!) but that's another story. I didn't have a great deal of luck after the first 6/7 acquisitions over the course of a couple/three years - even after attempting to add the "N" cards. I ended up with a couple of postcards, 8/9 unique true cabinets (most with equipment and none with flowers ), 4 or 5 of "The Polka Dot Nine" "Black stocking Nine" cabinets, perhaps as many as 30 of the sepia and litho'd "N" inserts, and zero CDV's as would be expected. Not enough to keep me interested so I moved on.
CDV's had their day in the 1860's although there use continued into the 1880's - most often at a circus or fair - nothing but "Teflon" and my money at a blackjack table disappears within a day. Your CDV is clearly mid-1860's at the earliest with the addition of the double gold trim. The act of congress info and perhaps a copyright date would likely be on the mount on an earlier cdv as well as being simpler. I assume the relationship between mount and photo is original but unknown from a scan. I have seen similarly poorly cut and mounted pictures before - most often on pirated pix - this time perhaps the result of inexperience or a harried photographer with too much else to do as the photographer has at least suggested ownership by the backstamp.
Old engravings, daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, CDV's, cabinets and even the most recent of the group - tin types - can be encountered hand-colored although infrequently in all of these categories. Most often accomplished contemporaneously with development of the picture and sale by the artist or his studio - in the case of engravings people are still hand tinting them today. Of course sometimes a kid gets a marker a brush and..... No idea as I don't have it in hand but the blotching reminds me of when the registration is off on a print - although obviously not the case here. It just seems so sloppy and not the result of "running". From my somewhat limited experience the hand coloring can be most primitive looking on CDV's. Certainly the cap, flowers, and uniform embellishments look to be period and neatly done. As for the red blotched area - who knows as it appears to match the red in the caps making it contextually consistant? As a crazy thought and keeping with the sloppy application of the lower color - perhaps it was an attempt to cover-up something showing of such a scandalous nature for the era?
Very interesting photo - I think the question boils down to men or women? I mean they LOOK like women (although some a bit er um manly). I have seen a couple of photographs of women playing base ball prior to 1880 although they didn't appear as part of a team nor were they in uniform. They were wearing dresses. Of course there were the Bloomer Girls but I believe that was later.
I suppose it's the flowers that are helping drive the idea they are women - why were the women presented flowers? I would doubt that to be a custom at the time except perhaps on a stage and doubt that as well - especially without places to shop like edible arrangements and FTD. Would they have taken that bouquet to the studio from the field or was it a studio prop? I don't think that it matters in any event as men were not likely to be the recipient of flowers either except at a gay wedding or the ballet. So we are left with six women choosing to be pictured in a studio with a bat on an 1860's attributed CDV with a hard to explain bunch of flowers OR 6 guys who like to get funky when they go clubbing. I'll side with Gary and give him props for the earliest known picture of a group of women in uniform with a bat. That's fairly close to a closed case but not quite. IF GARY DOESN'T KNOW about cdv's -WHO DOES?
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Old 10-12-2014, 10:47 PM
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Default cdv

Is the bouquet there in the first place or are they just painted (colored) on the photo, say by a young girl back in the day?
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Originally Posted by GaryPassamonte View Post
John- The coloring may have been done in the 1860s or later. I still think the bouquet is the key. Why would someone add a bouquet to a photograph if the players weren't women? It just doesn't add up. As I said prior, we will probably never know with certainty the gender of these players. However, all factors considered, I believe there is a better chance these players are women than boys.
Joshua- Thanks. I will try to contact her.

After researching the history of women's clothing in the 1850s and 1860s, we can't rule out that the trousers may in fact be bloomers. There was a feminist movement at this time and the wearing of trousers or bloomers was done. Any woman "bold" enough to play baseball in the 1860s may have "bold" enough to wear trousers.
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Old 10-13-2014, 05:12 AM
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One of the clearest parts of the CDV is the shoes. Is there anything that we can see from them that could point to these being women and not men? I am by no means an expert in civil war era footwear but perhaps that could something worth exploring.

Tom C
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Old 10-13-2014, 08:44 AM
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I looked at the shoes and can't definitely distinguish whether they are more likely men's or women's.

Henry- the depth and breadth of your articulation is unsurpassed on this board, with apologizes to the learned Barry Sloate, of course.
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Old 10-13-2014, 09:11 AM
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Personally they look like a group of surly women to me. You would expect at least one of them to have facial hair if they were a group of guys from the period. Even with the lack of detail, I can still make out some fairly feminine features in the faces and each of them appears to have their hair tied back, at least to me.
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Old 10-13-2014, 09:25 AM
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I've been told I could be more succinct. I started out with a simple response and just got carried away. Sorry about that. I think I'm honored to share space with the likes of Barry - although you might just have insulted him?
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Old 10-13-2014, 09:35 AM
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Henry.....? Articulation....? Can you use both of those in a sentence? Joking of course. Does look like a really large, long bat.....hard to tell from the sitting position the subjects are in. Great CDV though.....conceivable it could be something other than BB? That coloring is interesting but does obscure things that could definitively tell you more about the photo.....
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Old 10-13-2014, 10:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1880nonsports View Post
I've been told I could be more succinct. I started out with a simple response and just got carried away. Sorry about that. I think I'm honored to share space with the likes of Barry - although you might just have insulted him?
Agreed....interesting and informative posts always, but not succinct.
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Old 10-13-2014, 11:53 AM
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They have the appearance of women to me.

There is an old cabinet on ebay currently, of a baseball player, and he also looks like a woman, in terms of body shape and soft features. See if you can find an 1860's cdv of 4-6 baseball players, and compare features to yours - could they also be mistaken for women?
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Old 10-13-2014, 12:20 PM
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sometimes it can be a little difficult to tell - even when you know who it is......
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Old 10-13-2014, 01:49 PM
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We New Yorkers have to stick together even if I am from the west side, the far west side.
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Old 10-13-2014, 02:46 PM
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Tom - the bat does look massive. I wonder how easily one of those men/women could have swung it. Looks almost half the size of the person.

Not nearly as old as the CDV shown, but the oldest image of a women's team that I have:

 photo photo_zpsb963a739.jpg
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Old 10-13-2014, 03:42 PM
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This is a team photo from 1876 of the Vassar College Resolutes for comparison

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Old 10-13-2014, 04:01 PM
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Default superior image!

and there's no comparison - them gals are hot! Thanks for showing it - the clarity is amazing and the presentation is well balanced if not a little lackluster. Just terrific...... Do you own it? The oldest cab or similar I own now or have owned with a woman or team of women base ball players in uniform with a verifiable date is 1886. Although I know there are earlier examples - none I am aware of as early as 1876.

BTW - GREAT tintype as well! Like Prego - it's all in there. Although I owned a few tintypes of their male counterparts - never seen a TT featuring women.
I love threads like this as they get me to re-explore some things and ideas long ago left to be addressed at a future date. They also get me back into my books. I haven't looked through Mark's book since he gave it to me so I may start there....

Last edited by 1880nonsports; 10-13-2014 at 04:10 PM.
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