The English Girl – circa 1910

Grimsby is an English town in Lincolnshire, on the North Sea.

Built on the estuary of the Humber River, the site was once occupied by Roman workmen and, in the 9th century, by Danes.

King John, of Magna Carta fame, granted the town a royal charter in 1201 and the town became a center of fishing and trade.

The silting of the rivers and marshes led to centuries of decline until the early 19th century when River dredging and marsh reclamation led to the growth of an enormous fishing industry.

In the early 20th century, Grimsby was growing in size and wealth.

Sometime around 1910, a young woman sat for her photographic portrait at the studio of J.J. Payne.

Unfortunately, we have no way of identifying her, and can only guess at the meaning of the photograph.

Had she just arrived in town to begin a career as a typist or clerk?

Was she engaged to be married?

Did she hope to send her photograph to far-away family or friends?

One hopes that she found happiness and success in the new, 20th century.


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