Last week, I discussed Winston Cochrane’s family photo taken in Dumfries, Scotland.
Late in the week he emailed me to say he had new information.
The image of Mary Jane Rae was taken at a photo studio in the Jubilee Buildings at the Queen’s Photo Co. According to Richard Torrance’s Scottish Studio Photographers to 1914 (Scottish Record Societies, 2011), Thomas A. Moryson operated the Queen’s Photo Co. in the Jubilee Buildings from 1893 to 1900. The building opened in 1887.
Now Winston thinks the photo was taken to commemorate an engagement. Mary married on Aug. 7, 1894.
The clothing clues are the epitome of the late 1880s. Clothing from the early 1890s usually features fuller upper sleeves, so I have questions regarding this image being taken in the early 1890s.
Not everyone kept up with the current fashion. When I look in my own closet, I see clothing I wore several seasons ago. Perhaps Mary didn’t have the means to buy a new dress or this one was her favorite.
I’m not sure of the source used to establish the work dates for Thomas Moryson. He bought his photo business from a James Rae, who might be a relative of Mary Jane’s. It’s possible that Rae also called his business the Queen’s Photo Co. and that Moryson bought the name and the equipment.
This photo remains a little bit of a mystery.
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