Better late than never!
Everyone's favorite Photo Detective, Maureen Taylor posted a very interesting article recently, Spotlight On Family Health History - The Photo Side, July 21, 2008. In the article Maureen discussed photographs that indicated health problems of the sitter saying:
In collecting photographs of "women wearing glasses" and in working on the book, I have attempted to fill in the blanks concerning my subject. One of those blanks was photographs depicting medical conditions associated with women wearing glasses.
I've received several photographs from readers of individuals with obvious medical conditions or dental problems. I'm busy tracking down the clues in those images—the evidence in those photos may be pertinent to the owners' own health history.
In doing photographic research I have bumped into "before and after medical" photographs, some of which have been identified as having been taken by physicians treating those pictured. Recently, I was very fortunate to find several photographs of a young girl named Alice Toner who had a medical condition associated with her eyes and, according to the photographs, spent the rest of her life wearing glasses. I have several photographs of Alice.
While my research into Alice's life is preliminary, her photographs are pertinent to this discussion. I will show you the photographs and tell you what I know about this young woman thus far.
The "before and after" photographs were taken by Miller's Art Studio in Pittsburg, Kansas. There are several Millers who are photographers in the 1880 census. I have not determined which is the correct Miller.
Alice was born in Illinois. She is found to be living in Kansas in 1880. She most probably traveled to Pittsburg for the medical procedure, as Pittsburg was not listed as her place of residence. Some records have indicated that she was born in 1874. She appears to be between six and 10 years old. Making this photograph possibly between 1880 and 1884. (Much more research is required to substantiate this information.)
The Beautiful Result
The sources for the information on Alice Toner have not been listed as they are preliminary.
Optometrists Network - Strabismus.
Alice Toner (Before & After). Photograph (Card Mounted). Unknown. Privately held by the footnoteMaven, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE,] Preston, Washington. 2007.
Alice Toner. Photograph (Unmounted). Unknown. Privately held by the footnoteMaven, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE,] Preston, Washington. 2007.