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At the general store and post office in the center of the town of Heath, Massachusetts, Frances and Mary Allen of Deerfield, Massachusetts, set up their camera and took this carefully composed picture of a mail rider picking up the day's letters. The postmistress hands a bag of what is presumably mail, her cat at her feet, to a boy working for the post office riding an old horse without a saddle. The street is not paved, although the electricity lines in the background attest to the arrival of modern conveniences. Behind them rises Heath's Congregational Church. Frances and Mary Allen created a huge number of illustrations of New England, village life, and other scenes during their long photographic career (1885-1920).


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Mail Rider

photographer   Frances and Mary Allen
date   pre 1912
location   Heath, Massachusetts
height   8.37"
width   6.5"
process/materials   glass plate negative
item type   Photograph/Photograph - Glass plate negative
accession #   #1996.14.1350

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