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Photos Claimed to be Elizabeth Blackwell

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Surname/tag: blackwell
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Photo widely misidentified
as young Elizabeth Blackwell.
Created in or after 1885,
this photo cannot be her.

Some photos of attractive young women have been identified as depictions of the pioneering female physician Elizabeth Blackwell (1821-1910), but are determined or suspected to be someone else.

One of these photos, a studio portrait of a young woman, is in the collection of the Museum of the City of New York and has been featured in many publications about Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell. A 2021 article in the Smithsonian Magazine pointed out that the New York City photo studio identified on the back of the photograph was established around 1885, when Dr. Blackwell was age 64. The photo cannot be of her. It is suggested that it may depict one of her several nieces. According to the article, "An actual portrait [of Elizabeth Blackwell] taken in her 30s shows her with sunken cheeks and lips compressed in a straight line, her expression and her tailoring equally severe."[1]

The Elizabeth Blackwell category on Wikimedia Commons includes several images that are confirmed to depict her.


  1. Nimura, Janice. "The Way Americans Remember the Blackwell Sisters Shortchanges Their Legacy: Elizabeth and Emily Blackwell deserve to have their incredible stories told in full." Smithsonian Magazine, January 6, 2021.

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