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  • Writer's pictureKevin Rogan

Monday Memories: Scottish Highland Style in Upstate NY

To date, I have managed to clean, scan, describe, and rehouse 197 glass plate negatives from the Folklife Center's newly acquired Richard M. Bloomer Collection. Mr. Bloomer operated a photography studio on Main Street in Hudson Falls from 1905-1931, and he also served as the village's fire chief. His photos feature people from all walks of life, and so far have included World War I soldiers, a nurse, a pastor, a few impressively mustachioed gentlemen, and a lot of babies and small children. However, nothing catches the eye quite like someone decked out in full Highland dress, so today I thought I'd share the two impressive photos below.

"Unidentified Man in Highland Dress"

"Miss Davis"

Highland dress is commonly associated with bagpipers, so it wouldn't be surprising if one or both of these individuals played the pipes in a local organization. These outfits are also an integral part of the cultural/familial identity of those with Scottish ancestry, so the portrait "sitters" could just as easily be expressing pride in their heritage. Regardless of the reasons, the unidentified man and Miss Davis offer an undeniably bold, striking departure from most of Mr. Bloomer's more conservatively dressed clients!

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