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The plump and happy cat in the lap of Janet Russell was probably named after an eminent British poet (1716-1771) whose most famous work, "Elegy in a Country Churchyard," was popular in the mid-19th century. Janet was the only child of Kate (Shumway) and William Delano Russell. The family spent the summers at Turners Falls, Massachusetts, about ten miles from Sunderland, where William was born. They spent their winters in New York City, New York, where Janet's father was an executive for the International Paper Company (as its auditor). By the mid-1890s, when this picture was taken, it was easy for prosperous people to have summer homes far from their place of work. The railroads were well developed, and the Russells could have made it from New York to Greenfield with just a half day's travel. Janet would spend most of her life in and near Turners Falls. She died in 1981 in nearby Greenfield, Massachusetts.


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Janet Russell (1886-1981) with her cat, Sir Thomas Gray

photographer   Unidentified
date   1894-1898
location   Turners Falls, Massachusetts
height   3.5"
width   4.5"
height   5.5"
width   6.5"
process/materials   cyanotype
item type   Photograph/Photograph
accession #   #1996.12.2270

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See Also...

Janet Russell (1886-1981) and William Russell

Kate Russell (Mrs. William Russell)

William Russell House

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