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Photograph- Marjorie Twitchell’s Aunt
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Title: Photograph- Marjorie Twitchell’s Aunt
Identifier: A.71.68
Donor: Marjorie Twitchell
Item Date: 1851-1870
Creation Date: 2008
Location: Bradley Museum

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Description: A small leather-covered, cloth-lined, wooden book-style frame with a metal clasp. The frame contains a portrait of an unknown female child. The outside cover of the frame is dark brown leather embossed with ivy leaves and curlicues around a central vase of flowers. The leather covers the front, back and spine, but not the edges of the frame. The clasp is made of a brass-coloured metal in a finely wrought hook and eye design. The inside front of the frame is padded with a velveteen type fabric, light brown with a cut design in a flower and curlicue pattern. The inside of the back holds the photograph of a young girl 3-4 years of age seated on the lap of a woman who is only partially seen. The girl wears a fancy short-sleeved summer dress, lace or eyelet trimmed bloomers, and knee socks. Her hair is dark, with a centre part and arranged in ringlets. The hands of the woman holding the child are at her torso, there appears to be a ring on the third finger of the left hand. The woman wears a printed fabric dress with trim at the wrists. The photograph is behind glass held in place by two decorative metal borders, one bright and one dull brass coloured. There is also a cloth-covered filler frame.

History: The image is believed to be of the donor's aunt. Marjorie Twitchell (1897-1969) was the first curator of Bradley Museum opened in 1967. Marjorie attended Church of the Redeemer School in Toronto as a child. She was the daughter of Charles and Jessie Twitchell and only sister to Irene. Marjorie never married and was a resident of Port Credit when she passed away. Frederick Scott Archer (1813-1857) was the inventor of the 'wet plate' collodion process, the dominant technique from 1851 to 1880 for producing photographs. Archer, an English sculptor and photographer, used collodion, a thick liquid, to adhere light-sensitive salts to glass plates. The process had to be done while it was wet because if it was dry the salts lost their sensitivity and would not capture the image. This process allowed multiple images from a single image and could be produced on glass (ambrotype) or tin (ferrotype) photographs. Wet Plate Collodion process died out in the 1880s with the introduction of gelatine dry plates. From: http://www.collodion-artist.com/History/
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Related Links:
   Museums of Mississauga Home Page
   Canadian Heritage Information Network (CHIN)
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