Features Artifact of the Week

Curved Portrait

Enhanced photograph mounted in a curved, wood and resin frame, 14″ x 31″ x 2.25″, from ca. 1920. It was made by the Chicago Portrait Co. According to the New Hampshire Union Leader, the company existed from 1893 to the early 1940s. Their business model was to have salesmen go to rural Americans, and send the customer’s photographs back to Chicago. The photos would be enlarged and enhanced, often with India ink, watercolors, oil paint, pastels, or crayon. Having the portrait framed by the company cost extra, anywhere from a few dollars to around thirty.

Pictured is past Westford resident Freda Willette (Johnson) Brown (1899-1980). She married William Herbert Brown (1887-1957) in 1926, and lived in Graniteville.