She Heard Her Broken Heart Would Heal in Time

Actual Size

Another favorite from my collection. Look at the broad nose, flat chest and vague signs of a five o’clock shadow. Is it just me or is this also a man in drag or is it simply that there were not as many woman using depilation techniques and make-up in the 30s and 40s? The lack of an adam’s apple could be evidence I am wrong. Maybe it is just me. And my Dad. He also thought it was a man.

I do have a penchant for the androgenous sitter in any photo.  I am always on the look out for them. Somewhere, I have hidden away, a brilliant cabinet card photo of a very posh looking “lady” who is the spitting image of actor/author/polymath (and one time comedy partner of House star, Hugh Laurie), Mr Stephen Fry. If you know what he looks like, you will understand that that makes her a very unusual looking woman.

I bought this from one of my favourite online sellers, Albert Tanquero. Check out his store if you have an eye for the curious. The title of this post, She Heard Her Broken Heart Would Heal in Time was used by Albert in the listing of this item. I do love a bit of romantic creativity in an Ebay seller!

  1. m5son said:

    I really get such a kick out of your blog, and your clever wit in general. As to the gender of Broken Heart, It could go either way (no pun intended.) Not the ugliest woman I have ever seen, but odd for sure, with that elongated face and those thin lips. Nice eyes, me thinks. Keep ’em coming Katherine and let me know when to scan my own.


  2. Kathy, I think this one does have an Adam’s apple! Most definitely a man.
    But what’s so interesting about these androgynous pictures is how slight the differences are. Is it the broad nose that makes me think he’s a man? Or the geometry of the features?
    Is he a man? The fact is, we’re not certain


    • Yes! The differences are slight and there is still a question mark over any of our opinions as we just don’t know for sure.


  3. Sue said:

    I’m thinking a man on this one too!!! Maybe cross dressing was more popular back then than we realise!! xx


    • I’m sure it was, just never spoken of. What better way to do it than in your own little studio, in complete control, no one to ask questions. And then there are the risque ones like my Euston Station treasure. Do you remember the blue elephant jock strap sequence? I’d love to post it here but think it might be reported as “mature” which is bad.


      • Ha ha…I remember that!!!! Very funny – but maybe not for this page 😦


  4. Lisa said:

    She’s amazing, she looks almost like a cartoon. And I’m glad you included the title because it is fantastic!


  5. Albert always has brilliant titles! Saying she looks like a cartoon makes me think of a song from the Mikado –

    “The flowers that bloom in the Spring tra-la
    Have nothing to do with the case.
    I’ve got to take under my wing tra-la
    A most unattractive old thing tra-la
    With a caricature of a face,
    With a caricature of a face.”

    When I was little, (6 or seven), the only records my Mum and Dad had that had singing on it in English, were by Gilbert and Sullivan. I listened to their operettas over and over until I was able to save up and buy my own records. I thought the last line of the above verse, extremely funny. I have plenty more photobooth photos that would fit that description. Maybe I should start a new category with that line as the title!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. poukitousse4 said:

    …your work is interesting, parfois troublant, i like it!


    • Thanks Caroline. I love your blog too. Your photos are great. Thanks also for a chance to practise my French language skills (or lack of them!)


  7. Hmm…undecided on this one. Sometimes the adam’s apple doesn’t show up on pictures, it all depends on the lighting and if it hits straight forward sometimes it’s not visible. Either a very ‘special’ lady or some man in drag. I think this photobooth was hand colored too!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, definitely hand coloured! I love the aesthetic of hand colouring. This turned out to almost certainly be a lady as numerous other photobooths pics of her were sold later. In them she looked more feminine. Of course there is still a possibility that it is a man who was a very determined and long term cross dresser.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. elmediat said:

    Reminds me of Stan Laurel dressed as a maid in “Another Fine Mess” 1930. Perhaps it is the fashion of the time or the shared physicality. Maybe the combination emphasizes the similarities . 🙂

    Unlike the comic Mr. Laurel, the individual in the photo has a sad longing in the eyes. A man with a soul fit for a more delicate body, or a woman gifted with a body that does not suit the ideals of society & fashion of her time ? Which situation is more heat breaking ?

    Liked by 1 person

Please leave a comment. I'd love to hear from you.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: