Laura Bridgman Artifacts Found in Photographs

two eye bands

Two of Laura Bridgman's bands showing the front and back view of green fillet bands for covering her eyes.

September 30, 2013

Objects in the 19th-century photograph collection related to Laura Bridgman come to life in current photographs of the same artifact. The first example below shows the same sewing machine Laura Bridgman was photographed with, around 1870. The following example documents the vibrant colors Laura Bridgman used to crochet a doily or tea cozy that is very similar to one she is photographed with around 1870. Colors include pink, red, dark green, lime green, and purple. The final example shows Laura Bridgman's green fillet bands, which she used to cover her eyes seen in several black and white photographs, paintings, and a bust. The recent photograph taken of her fillets, documents them as being a vibrant emerald green, with green ribbons. used to tie them on. 

Sewing machine on the left. Woman with a sewing machine on the right.

Laura Bridgman's Wheeler and Wilson sewing machine with black finish and gold detailing which appears in the photograph at right from circa 1870.

Teacup cozy on the left. Woman holding a teacup cozy on the right.

While not the identical textile, this doily or teacup cozy is very similar to the one Laura Bridgman is holding in the picture of her on the right, circa 1870.

Two eye bands on the left. A woman wearing an eye band on the right.

Two bands showing the front and back view of Laura Bridgman's green fillet bands for covering her eyes, the same or a similar band is worn in the portrait at right from circa 1845.

A comb on the left. A woman with a comb in her hair on the right.

Tortoise shell comb with curved prongs worn in the Victorian era at the top back of the head, visible in the seated portrait at left of Laura Bridgman seated in an arm chair, circa 1885.