This is my great-great-great-great-grandmother, Mary Foster Ethell. The photograph for her CDV was taken in Cumberland, Ohio, during the 1860s. I wish the top part of the photo had not been smudged, since it makes her face hazy. Note the tasseled belt at her waist and the bolo-style tie at her neckline. I believe she is wearing a short corset, because the line clearly doesn’t go above the bustline, which makes for a “lumpy” silhouette. The day dress that I wear to Civil War-era living history events and reenactments is almost an exact copy of Mary’s gown, except that I opted for small pagoda sleeves rather than cloak sleeves.

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