Distinguished Moorish Women I, Algiers, Algeria


This photochrome print of two young women in the interior of a home in Algiers is part of “Views of People and Sites in Algeria” from the catalog of the Detroit Publishing Company (1905). The women in the photograph are identified as Moors, a term that refers to people of mixed Arab and Berber descent who inhabit the coastal regions of northwestern Africa, including Algeria. The Casbah of Algiers was described in the 1911 edition of Baedeker’s The Mediterranean, seaports and sea routes: Handbook for Travellers as presenting “a highly attractive picture of Oriental life.” Its narrow streets and passages were largely deserted in the daytime. “Most of the streets,” said Baedeker, “are shrouded in silence, while their bare, almost windowless walls and their closed doors, marked with the sign of the warning hand, enhance their impenetrable mystery.” The appeal of such a print to Western audiences is evident in its sense of foreign exoticism, of an unknowable but interesting other way of life, and in the fine textiles and unfamiliar decor.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

Detroit Photographic Company, Detroit, Michigan

Title in Original Language

Distinguished Moorish Women, Algiers, Algeria

Type of Item

Physical Description

1 photomechanical print : photochrom, color


  • The Detroit Photographic Company was launched as a photographic publishing firm in the late 1890s by Detroit businessman and publisher William A. Livingstone, Jr., and photographer and photo-publisher Edwin H. Husher. They obtained exclusive rights to use the Swiss "Photochrom" process for converting black-and-white photographs into color images and printing them by photolithography. This innovative process was applied to the mass production of color postcards, prints, and albums for sale to the American market. The firm became the Detroit Publishing Company in 1905.
  • Print no. "6289".

Last updated: August 13, 2014