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Temperance Sister
1880-1890
Maker not marked
USA
Albumen print on paper
overall: 10 x 8 x 1/8 in.; 25.4 x 20.32 x .3175 cm
Gift of Jacques Noel Jacobsen, Jr.
95.061.5

Sepia-tone photograph of unidentified temperance sister; oval albumen print mounted on card; studio portrait of seated woman holding a book and wearing a regalia collar decorated with embroidered stars, three on each lapel, plus rosette with star in center; on reverse in pen reads "Happy New Year / E. W. V. G. (?)."


This woman wears a collar showing she was a member of the Independent Order of Good Templars (I.O.G.T.), a temperance organization that believed in total abstinence from alcohol. Founders formed the I.O.G.T. in 1850, when it branched off from the Knights of Jericho, an all-male temperance group based in Utica, New York. The Good Templars admitted women because they believed female members would “increase the power of this order for good.” The sitter’s membership in the group was important enough to her that she chose to be formally photographed in her fraternal collar. For further information, see blog post, December 30, 2010 http://nationalheritagemuseum.typepad.com/library_and_archives/2010/12/happy-new-year.html