I often wonder how history would be changed, if photography would have been invented earlier. It would make understanding things so much easier~ there would definitely be no question of how a 17th c forehead cloth was worn, if we had a picture of someone actually wearing one. Just think how many things you use each and every day, that you use until it breaks and then throw it away.....not thinking twice someone someday may really want to know what it was or how it was used. This is why I love studying early photographs~ daguerreotypes from the early 1840s & 1850s hold a wealth of information in them~ most of the time, whats large and in focus is not what I am interested in...its the small details~ perhaps what is in a pocket, poking out from under a skirt hem, or sitting on a table that I am absolutely freaking out over!
Take this image from Getty Archives as an example~ tho quite large and wonderfully in focus, she is holding a gorgeous basket purse~ obviously. If you look closer however, you will notice something not so ordinary about her plain, unpainted purse~ it has tassels. I have studied this photo for years, literally. I have wondered all sorts of things~ like what made her think to put tassels on it in the first place? What were they made of???? Why haven't I seen more like it?