My Interview With Maureen Taylor, The Photo Detective

As you probably know if you read my blog on a regular basis, I love making and wearing historical clothing. It’s rather common for me to pull historical clothing out of my closet and wear it to lovely places.

Below, I’m wearing my 1885 summer ensemble at the Lippitt House in Providence, RI. Look at that wallpaper! It’s fantastic! If you’re ever in Providence and the house is open I highly suggest a visit. The details are absolutely stunning and I found the guides to be engaging, knowledgeable, and truly invested in the information they were sharing.

While at the Lippitt House, I met a woman who was incredibly interested in my clothing, how it feels to wear, how I make it, and where my inspiration comes from. She eagerly asked lots of questions and shared about her own fascination with history as well.

I learned that Maureen Taylor is a genealogist and historian who now focuses on photo identification, photograph preservation, and family history through her work as the Photo Detective. In addition to being an engaging person who loves history, she has extensive experience and has had opportunities to share her knowledge in prominent publications. When she asked if I would like to be a guest on her podcast I very readily agreed.

A number of months later and here we are: my interview with Maureen is available for a listen on her podcast! We discuss the 1885 ensemble I was wearing when we met, the 1863 dress I made last fall, and other historical clothing topics as well. Check it out and enjoy!

You can find Maureen Taylor around the internet in these places:

Web Maureen Taylor
Facebook @MaureenPhotoDetective
Instagram @photodetective
Twitter @PhotoDetective

8 thoughts on “My Interview With Maureen Taylor, The Photo Detective

  1. What a treat to hear your voice. I feel we are becoming better aquatinted. Just a little fun factoid: Saturday I attended a tea event hosted by one of our costumers guild members. (It was fabulous. As the theme was Josephine and Napoleon I wore my Regency dress and bonnet. Both have been reworked to an extent and refined. I felt so totally comfortable in my clothing I simply never even thought about it unless someone commented. I realized later that is was just having fun, no thought of being in costume. I was just living in my clothes. That maybe sounds strange and I’m not describing it well, but I was not aware of my clothing.

    1. Hi Helen! Thanks for taking the time to listen to the interview. I always find it interesting to hear the voices of the people whose blogs I read… they’re not always what I imagine them to be! 🙂

      I believe I do understand what you’re saying about wearing historical clothing as just that–clothing–without it feeling like a costume. I think it’s wonderful to be that comfortable in your clothes, in terms of fit and your mental awareness. It’s an experience I enjoy having, too!

  2. Dear Quinn,
    Enjoyed listening to the interview you gave with the Photo Detective. After all the years reading your blog it was enjoyable to hear your voice. It was good to hear more about your background and how you bring such a personal part of the past — how clothing is built and lived in — alive to other folks. There’s a reason, among many, that costume movies are so popular: folks like to vicariously BE, move, breathe, elsewhere. Your work brings that experience a step closer.
    Very best,
    Natalie in KY

    1. How wonderful that you took the time to listen! It is always interesting to me to hear the voices of the bloggers I follow. 🙂 I love that you ‘get’ what I am passionate about! Obviously, I am one of those people who enjoys experiencing other times in history. I feel blessed to be able to pursue that in this way and share it with others.

  3. Love seeing your outfits. I have done Civil War Living History since 1976. We call our outfits “impressions,” as we are creating an impression of someone from that time period. I’ve worn my Civil War impressions so long that wearing them really feels like “home.” Very natural. Actually wearing historical fashions influence the way you move in the clothes based on hoop skirts, corsets, and tight bodices. I totally understand your fascination. I’ve since migrated into vintage bridal fashions. Where are you going that you get to wear your historical fashions. Certainly not to the grocery store 🙂

    1. HI Kathleen–thanks for your comment! That’s quite a legacy of wearing Civil War clothing… how wonderful that it feels so comfortable!

      Are you able to find places to wear vintage bridal fashions? I wear my historical clothing to balls, picnics, parades, etc. Usually not to the grocery store… though sometimes I have to stop by to pick up something with my hair done up in a period style. 😉

  4. I’m not wearing vintage bridal fashions, but am trying to interest brides-to-be in having a Vintage Bride-inspired wedding gown made for them. Trying to pass on the fascination to other women. So many are looking for something different for their weddings. Plenty of ideas out there. Old photos are great, but seeing someone actually wearing the fashion is inspiring. Keep the blogs coming.

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