When was this picture taken? #germany #photographs

Susan Lubow

This picture was taken in Germany, but can anyone identify at least the decade?



Susan Lubow


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Sally Bruckheimer <sallybruc@...>

1890s. Leg o' Mutton sleeves

Eleanor Lind

Looks like 1890s

Alan Ehrlich


1890s or very early 1900s

Kind regards,
Alan Ehrlich
JGen N° 6925
Geneva Switzerland

Bob Silverstein

I am not sure about the 1890's because of all the lamps.  They appear to be electric so I might be inclined to think 1900's.  Regardless, they look happy on this holiday or simcha.  Thanks for posting.

Jx. Gx.

I would also go with the late 1890s.  But I would also check out pictures in books and those posted online of people in Europe, especially in Germany, and compare the clothing they are wearing with the styles worn in this picture. A great place to start is with the women's dress sleeves and the men's ties and high collars. By the clothing being worn in this picture and the room furnishings, the people seem to be middle to upper-class. 

Jeffrey Geiger

Martyn Woolf

I am sure this picture was taken in the 1890s.  London certainly had electricity in the home, Brixton , (a London suburb) had Electric Avenue, which was to the best of my knowledge, the first street to be lit by electricity in 1880.
Interestingly, even in the 1950s, many of the street lamps in the City of London were still lit by gas. I remember the man coming every afternoon with his long pole with which he switched on  the gas and lit it.

Bob Silverstein

I did some history, very briefly, and found this and now think the 1890's sounds good.

Ten years after the first International Exposition of Electricity in Paris at the Palais de l'Industrie, Germany was on the leading edge of this new technology. The world's first electric tramway, conceived by Werner von Siemens, was put into service near Berlin in 1881. In 1883, Emil Rathenau founded a company specialized in electrical equipment (light bulbs, flatirons, tea kettles, radiators, refrigerators, etc.), which soon became one of the country's most successful companies. The first electricity company was created in Berlin in 1884 and the first experiment in transporting electricity over a long distance was performed in 1891.   https://www.planete-energies.com/en/medias/saga-energies/history-energy-germany

By the way, Emil Rathenau was Jewish and founded AEG.  Though the company is long gone, the logo still appears on buildings in Berlin.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emil_Rathenau

Mashiach L. Bjorklund

Those are gas lamps, not electric. They are all upward facing and vented at the top. I count 6 lamps, including the open flame over the left gentleman's shoulder. It was rare that houses with electricity had more than one or two lights in a room before the turn of the century. There were no public electric utility companies in Germany before the turn of the century, so installing electricity and fixtures was extremely expensive. Now lets talk fashion. The men; 1840 to 1910. No help there. The woman; the three woman seated are wearing Victorian style. The woman standing and the one seated on the right are wearing Edwardian fashion. They also appear to be younger than the three seated. That fashion transition took place in the late 1890's. Now to the lighting; The very harsh lighting was produced by a flash pan. More specifically, a flash pan using a mixture of magnesium powder and potassium chlorinate which was first introduced by its German inventors Adolf Miethe and Johannes Gaedicke in 1887, but was not widely used until the late 1890's. Wallpaper and furniture styles are not specific enough. The furniture could range over 50 or more year period. The wall paper, because of staining from smoking and gas lamps, was typically replaced about every 10 years or so in homes of the economic stature this home appears to represent. To me it screams 1890's. So my best guess is this photo is no earlier than 1898 and no later than 1905. Were there any studio markings on the back of the photo? If so, most studios were named after their photographer. Their name can be researched via genealogical methods as well. Maybe some clues can be found there as well.

Eva Lawrence

Have you considered that this might be a scene staged later for a play
or film? I ask simply because the atmosphere seems very phony to me.

Eva Lawrence
St Albans, UK
Eva Lawrence
St Albans, UK.


Lighting!  Not before 1890.  1890-1900.