Three Women in White

Another photograph from the turn of the 20th Century by Blantyre photographer, David Ritchie. Possibly 120 years old and previously unseen online until now. This time, David was photographing his wife. Sitting in the middle is Mary Ann Ritchie (nee Fleming) and the title of the photo suggests she is accompanied by two friends.

Mary Ann was born in 1864 and lived until 1937. After marrying she moved from Strathaven to Blantyre to School Lane and later to Broompark Avenue then Main Street. I believe the photo is just after 1900 with Mary Ann perhaps close to 40 years of age.

I don’t think this is a family photo. The other two women are unknown, but I think the ladies are part of a club or organisation. I initially thought it may be the Ambulance Association, but with no signs of red crosses on their white uniforms, I’ve changed my mind about that. Perhaps a women’s guild of sorts? The short sleeves perhaps suggesting they were working with their hands? Domestic or cooking classes? Or am I reading too much into this. Are they simply dressed in post Victorian white, that fashion to ditch black, so popular in that era.

What’s your thoughts?

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