ca. 1870, [portrait of a trumpeter]
via the International Center of Photography

ca. 1870, [portrait of a trumpeter]

via the International Center of Photography

ca. 1860, [Portrait of Mr. George Hood and His Clothes Wringer Invention]
via I Photo Central

ca. 1860, [Portrait of Mr. George Hood and His Clothes Wringer Invention]

via I Photo Central

ca. 1885, [cartes de visite portrait of a cat]
via Remains to be Seen

ca. 1885, [cartes de visite portrait of a cat]

via Remains to be Seen

ca. 1870, [portrait of two young girls in costume with an American flag]
via Remains to be Seen

ca. 1870, [portrait of two young girls in costume with an American flag]

via Remains to be Seen

ca. 1860’s, “In Life How Fair, The End How Beautiful”, [memorial carte de visite]
via Exposures: Photography and Death, Audrey Linkman

ca. 1860’s, “In Life How Fair, The End How Beautiful”, [memorial carte de visite]

via Exposures: Photography and Death, Audrey Linkman

ca. 1877, “A College Powwow”

As part of Presentation Week, an event at Yale College, freshmen held “powwows” during the hours of the president’s reception: 
"As it grew later and darker, Freshmen, covered as to their faces with burnt cork, Freshmen with striped pants, Freshmen with hooped skirts, Freshmen with hoofs and tails, Freshmen with big beards and bobtail coats…Freshmen with all sorts of conceivable and practical disguises…march[ed] slowly across the college yard…for the purpose of celebrating their entrance upon Sophomore year." (Harper’s Monthly Magazine, 1864)

via The American Tintype, by Floyd and Marion Rinhart, Robert W. Wagner

ca. 1877, “A College Powwow”

As part of Presentation Week, an event at Yale College, freshmen held “powwows” during the hours of the president’s reception:

"As it grew later and darker, Freshmen, covered as to their faces with burnt cork, Freshmen with striped pants, Freshmen with hooped skirts, Freshmen with hoofs and tails, Freshmen with big beards and bobtail coats…Freshmen with all sorts of conceivable and practical disguises…march[ed] slowly across the college yard…for the purpose of celebrating their entrance upon Sophomore year." (Harper’s Monthly Magazine, 1864)

via The American Tintype, by Floyd and Marion Rinhart, Robert W. Wagner

ca. 1900, [lady atop a studio elephant]
via The American Tintype, by Floyd and Marion Rinhart, Robert W. Wagner

ca. 1900, [lady atop a studio elephant]

via The American Tintype, by Floyd and Marion Rinhart, Robert W. Wagner

ca. 1850’s, [portrait of a blind gentleman]
via I Photo Central

ca. 1850’s, [portrait of a blind gentleman]

via I Photo Central

ca. 1887, [Portrait of the Harvey Andrews family at the grave of the youngest child], Soloman Butcher 
via Secure the Shadow: Death and Photography in America, from the Nebraska State Historical Society, Jay Ruby

ca. 1887, [Portrait of the Harvey Andrews family at the grave of the youngest child], Soloman Butcher 

via Secure the Shadow: Death and Photography in America, from the Nebraska State Historical Society, Jay Ruby

ca. 1875, “Test Spirit Photograph”, Jay J. Hartman
via Jack and Beverly’s Spirit Photography Collection

ca. 1875, “Test Spirit Photograph”, Jay J. Hartman

via Jack and Beverly’s Spirit Photography Collection

ca. 1900, [Post-mortem portrait of a child with her dolls]
via Exposures: Photography and Death, Audrey Linkman

ca. 1900, [Post-mortem portrait of a child with her dolls]

via Exposures: Photography and Death, Audrey Linkman

ca. 1850, [occupational portrait of a young inventor with his thread machine]
via I Photo Central

ca. 1850, [occupational portrait of a young inventor with his thread machine]

via I Photo Central

ca. 1860-80’s, [portrait of a woman in mourning]
via Secure the Shadow: Death and Photography in America, Jay Ruby

ca. 1860-80’s, [portrait of a woman in mourning]

via Secure the Shadow: Death and Photography in America, Jay Ruby

ca. 1890’s, [portrait of a soldier among several women with brooms]
via Not on Your Tintype: Collection of American Tintypes, Vol. 1, Andrew Daneman

ca. 1890’s, [portrait of a soldier among several women with brooms]

via Not on Your Tintype: Collection of American Tintypes, Vol. 1, Andrew Daneman

ca. 1850, [portrait of Professor John Collins Warren]
via Looking at Death, Barbara Norfleet

ca. 1850, [portrait of Professor John Collins Warren]

via Looking at Death, Barbara Norfleet

"Until the handkerchief of history covers us with its Times New Roman black and white post script..."

This blog is a collection of vernacular photography and ephemera focused mainly within the curious and often misunderstood realm of 19th century America. I have a soft spot for all things silly, antiquated, macabre, and grotesque. The content is from a variety of collections; public, academic, and private. In addition, there's an occasional emphasis on Ulysses S Grant and the Civil War, as well.

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Browse by Photograph Type: Tintypes, Daguerreotypes, Ambrotypes, Carte de visites, Albumen prints, Cabinet cards, Silver prints

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Affiliates: Haitian History

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