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19th Century Photograph - Quaker Meeting by Granger

Quaker Meeting is a photograph by Granger which was uploaded on July 3rd, 2012.

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The artist here probably never saw the inside of a Quaker meetinghouse during a meeting. This illustration is from a travel book by a writer from Austria named Ernst von Hesse-Wartegg, ca. 1878. At this time some Quakers continued to wear the distinctive Quaker plain dress, but at no point were Quakers so uniformly dressed. The men are shown with short pants and stockings, a form of dress of a couple of generations earlier. The woman standing to speak keeps her bonnet on. She should have taken it off. At this time men and women did sit separately, with men on one side and women on the other. Men faced men and women faced women, where this picture has women facing men. The raised seating on where the women are shown was called the "facing benches" and that was were ministers and elders sat, and at this time women were slightly more likely than men to be acknowledged ministers. This gives an extremely inaccurate idea of what a Quaker meeting would have been like in the 1870s. BTW, the separate seating for men and women was on its way out by this time.