Tokens of Remembrance
After a little over a year of service, Amanda Akin returned to
her home in Quaker Hill. Before departing she purchased a
cartes-de-visite photo album similar to the one shown here.
These albums were intended for display within the home, and
for sharing among friends and family.
Collecting carte-de-visite photographs (small studio portraits) became very popular in the 1860s. The relatively new medium of photography proved especially meaningful to people separated from their loved ones by the war. While at the hospital, Akin exchanged cartes-de-visite with coworkers as well as with those under her care. The images served as a remembrance of the many people who briefly shared in the community of the hospital during the years of conflict.
“Presented to Miss Anna Lowell …”
Inscription page from the inside cover of Anna Lowell’s album. The “attendants” were convalescent soldiers who worked with Lowell in her ward.
Anna Lowell’s Album
Anna Lowell was a Ward K nurse who worked with Amanda Akin at Armory Square Hospital. Her ward “attendants” presented her with this photograph album in November 1864. It is filled with war views, shown here, from Mathew Brady’s and Alexander Gardner’s galleries, as well as cartes-de-visite. (Lent by National Library of Medicine)