Elizabeth and Mary or Elian and Mario?

Being completely exhausted from days of working on yesterday’s post, my longest one so far, I have decided to take it easy today and just show you more of my favourite old booth pics.

These two intrigue me. They were listed under the title Unfortunate Sisters when I bought them online. As you can see they are both wearing the same outfits down to identical lacy shirts. From the writing on the back, one would assume that we have pictures of Elizabeth and Mary Carmen, twin sisters, each one having dedicated their portrait to the other. But why are the dedications both in the same hand writing?  Are they alike enough to even be non-identical twins? What of the large and masculine hand of Elizabeth? Both of their jaws are manly, broad and firmly set, not to mention their strong noses. Look at Elizabeth’s picture more closely (if your click on it you will get a larger version), do you think that her skin texture is a tad coarse?

I am not convinced they are women at all. The hair looks genuine enough. That is what most mystifies me about this unusual pair.  What do you think?

  1. m5son said:

    LOL. I think if they were in fact women, they did not date much. And I see subtle differences in the handwriting. Perhaps it was all done in jest?


    • Yes, maybe. Do you think I interpreted the surname correctly? I had Carmen Miranda in the forefront of my mind for some reason. Oh, yeah, I remember. I thought she was a man when I was little!


  2. helen white said:

    Men! Without a shadow of a doubt. Totally mad!


  3. Lisa said:

    Pretty sure the photos are from the ’40s, judging by their hairstyles and the broad-shouldered jackets. I love that they were christened “Unfortunate Sisters.” Too funny!


  4. They look like men to me!! Perhaps they worked in the entertainment industry of the time? Carnival, circus??


    • Cool ideas, Subie. I had started to think that maybe it was for a professional play, so I googled the ‘character’ names but nothing came up. I hadn’t thought of carnival or circus. Brings to mind the possibility that they may have been in a drag act? When I found them on my favourite internet auction site I felt sure that there would be a stampede for them but I was the only bidder. I am sure that if it had been labeled “Brothers in Drag” rather than “Unfortunate Sisters” the price would’ve sky-rocketed.

      PS Maureen commented in an email that she loved the “Shaky Sue” post best of all. Your star is rising! xx


  5. These are so intriguing. Yes, they look like men. I think they do look like brothers, though not twins. Elizabeth looks distinctly older than Mary.
    But there is no sign of an Adam’s apple on their necks. Elizabeth’s neck is partly hidden, though definitely looks thick enough to be a man’s. Mary’s is very slender and quite visible. Would the photobooth lighting bleach out the Adam’s apple?
    I can see why you wanted this image. I think I’ll be dreaming about these two!


    • Thanks Jean. I am very much looking forward to hearing more about the progress of your book. Kind regards, Katherine


  6. Hi Katharine I think it’s a case of “We’re just 2 ladies!!” Maybe the booth was a place to capture these moments when they could indulge their differences in private and to proudly smile at themselves. These days we have digital cameras, no going to the developer who raised his eyebrows and went home with a myriad of secrets.


  7. Rumer Willis’ cousins. lol. Definitely men. They are wearing the same outfits, so I’m thinking entertainment business. Perhaps a comedy duo!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. elmediat said:

    Considering hoe Target stores in North Carolina are promoting a policy that has drawn attention, perhaps they would be interested in using these ladies/laddies for promotional purposes. 🙂

    There is definitely a lost history behind these photos.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Just back from Googling. I had read about that previously, but wasn’t aware it was Target. It is a brave stance by such a large corporation, especially in the face of the publicity it has generated.


      • elmediat said:

        When businesses see supporting a social trend as having a positive impact on their profits, you know those protesting the change are now firmly on the wrong side of history.

        My wife and I noticed that TV commercials here in Canada are quite comfortable with including not just mixed race couples, but same sex couples for such mundane products as toothpaste and laundry detergent. Thankfully, there have been no protests. I suspect in a few more years, we will see transgender people more openly represented. Unfortunately, Disabled/Special Needs people are taking longer to appear as a regular part of society.

        Mass Media conveys values, beliefs and ideologies in a constructed social reality.

        Liked by 1 person

        • That is a very interesting insight. Once they get onto an issue and support it for profit’s sake, it must then help to move things more and more into the mainstream. So whatever their motives, it should have far reaching positive benefits, no?


          • elmediat said:

            Businesses shape and respond to culture change – the values, beliefs and ideologies of those in control of Mass Media can still distort/slow down change.

            I think that Mass Media technology & industry is so dependent on young creative out of the box thinking that those possessing this attribute are highly valued and gender, race, sexual orientation and ethnicity are becoming of little significance. So any laws that would disrupt both their target audience and their workforce would be seen as a threat. Just look at how the Media giants quickly responded to Georgia’s proposed laws and said they would withdraw from the state.

            Liked by 1 person

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