ca. 1880s-1900s, [cabinet card, portrait of a bespectacled, possibly blind gentleman with no hands, posed with his young partner and a new invention called the ‘Peerless Steam Cooker.’ ]

 According to Kovel’s, “Charles E. Swartzbaugh founded Peerless Cooker Co. in Buffalo, New York, in 1884. He invented both a steam cooker and a ‘fireless cooker.’ By the early 1900s, the company moved to Toledo, Ohio, and was renamed the Toledo Cooker Co.”   This is most likely a salesman’s sample of this pristine model.  The young man holds a small piece of the equipment…[and] a manual for the steamer in his other hand.  On the floor in a black salesman pack is another flyer and a book with a partially title visible which starts with word “Money”; quite possibly a self-help book on sales and success.

via Capitol Gallery, Cabinet Cards

ca. 1880s-1900s, [cabinet card, portrait of a bespectacled, possibly blind gentleman with no hands, posed with his young partner and a new invention called the ‘Peerless Steam Cooker.’ ]

 According to Kovel’s, “Charles E. Swartzbaugh founded Peerless Cooker Co. in Buffalo, New York, in 1884. He invented both a steam cooker and a ‘fireless cooker.’ By the early 1900s, the company moved to Toledo, Ohio, and was renamed the Toledo Cooker Co.”   This is most likely a salesman’s sample of this pristine model.  The young man holds a small piece of the equipment…[and] a manual for the steamer in his other hand.  On the floor in a black salesman pack is another flyer and a book with a partially title visible which starts with word “Money”; quite possibly a self-help book on sales and success.

via Capitol Gallery, Cabinet Cards

ca. 1850’s, [daguerreotype portrait of a gentleman, presumably blind, wearing darkened glasses]
via the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photography Collection

ca. 1850’s, [daguerreotype portrait of a gentleman, presumably blind, wearing darkened glasses]

via the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photography Collection

ca. 1840-60, [daguerreotype portrait of a gentleman wearing top hat and patch over left eye]
via Harvard University’s Houghton Library, Department of Printing and Graphic Arts, Harrison D. Horblit Collection of Early Photography

ca. 1840-60, [daguerreotype portrait of a gentleman wearing top hat and patch over left eye]

via Harvard University’s Houghton Library, Department of Printing and Graphic Arts, Harrison D. Horblit Collection of Early Photography

ca. 1860-90, [hand tinted tintype portrait of a gentleman, possibly blind, with tinted glasses and an open leather satchel] 
via Artfact, Swann Auction Galleries

ca. 1860-90, [hand tinted tintype portrait of a gentleman, possibly blind, with tinted glasses and an open leather satchel]

via Artfact, Swann Auction Galleries

ca. 1860-80, [carte de visite portrait of two blind musicians with their instruments], G. & J. Hall
via Stereographica, Antique Photographica

ca. 1860-80, [carte de visite portrait of two blind musicians with their instruments], G. & J. Hall

via Stereographica, Antique Photographica

ca. 1870, [tintype portrait of Francis Jefferson Coates]





Coates enlisted on August 29, 1861, and served as a Corporal and Sergeant in the 7th Wisconsin Infantry, Company H. He was wounded at South Mountain (September 14, 1862) and lost both eyes at Gettysburg in 1863. He was awarded the rank of Brevet Captain and the Medal of Honor for gallantry in action at Gettysburg on July 1, 1863. He was mustered out on September 1, 1864 at the expiration of his term of service.





via the Wisconsin Historical Society, Small Formats Special Storage Lot

ca. 1870, [tintype portrait of Francis Jefferson Coates]

Coates enlisted on August 29, 1861, and served as a Corporal and Sergeant in the 7th Wisconsin Infantry, Company H. He was wounded at South Mountain (September 14, 1862) and lost both eyes at Gettysburg in 1863. He was awarded the rank of Brevet Captain and the Medal of Honor for gallantry in action at Gettysburg on July 1, 1863. He was mustered out on September 1, 1864 at the expiration of his term of service.

via the Wisconsin Historical Society, Small Formats Special Storage Lot

ca. 1840-60, [hand colored daguerreotype portrait of a handsome gentleman with a leftward tilt]
via Harvard University’s Houghton Library, Department of Printing and Graphic Art, Harrison D. Horblit Collection of Early Photography

ca. 1840-60, [hand colored daguerreotype portrait of a handsome gentleman with a leftward tilt]

via Harvard University’s Houghton Library, Department of Printing and Graphic Art, Harrison D. Horblit Collection of Early Photography

ca. 1849-58, [daguerreotype portrait of a stunning gentleman who appears to have a glass right eye], Josiah W. Thompson
via Harvard University’s Houghton Library, Department of Printing and Graphic Arts, Harrison D. Horblit Collection of Early Photography

ca. 1849-58, [daguerreotype portrait of a stunning gentleman who appears to have a glass right eye], Josiah W. Thompson

via Harvard University’s Houghton Library, Department of Printing and Graphic Arts, Harrison D. Horblit Collection of Early Photography

ca. 1855-95, [carte de visite portrait of a young boy with a Chico shirt], H. H. Frye
via the Yale Collection of Western Americana, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Carl Mautz Collection

ca. 1855-95, [carte de visite portrait of a young boy with a Chico shirt], H. H. Frye

via the Yale Collection of Western Americana, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Carl Mautz Collection

ca. 1860’s, [carte de visite portrait of Capt. Irving F. Wilcox, 1st Michigan and Veteran Reserve Corps, post injury], Matthew Brady 

Flowing ink inscription on verso reads, “Yours Truly/I F Wilcox/14th Regt. VRC.” Wilcox enlisted in the 1st Michigan as Company A. First Sergeant in July 1861 and was present at Gaines Mill where he was wounded. Promoted to 1st Lieutenant Wilcox fought at 2nd Bull Run where he lost his left eye. The young officer convalesced and became Adjutant of the 1st Michigan before joining the Veteran Reserve Corps in September 1863 rising to the rank of Captain when this photograph was taken. Notice the scars from the August 1862 wound as well as the replacement glass eye.

via Cowan’s Auctions

ca. 1860’s, [carte de visite portrait of Capt. Irving F. Wilcox, 1st Michigan and Veteran Reserve Corps, post injury], Matthew Brady

Flowing ink inscription on verso reads, “Yours Truly/I F Wilcox/14th Regt. VRC.” Wilcox enlisted in the 1st Michigan as Company A. First Sergeant in July 1861 and was present at Gaines Mill where he was wounded. Promoted to 1st Lieutenant Wilcox fought at 2nd Bull Run where he lost his left eye. The young officer convalesced and became Adjutant of the 1st Michigan before joining the Veteran Reserve Corps in September 1863 rising to the rank of Captain when this photograph was taken. Notice the scars from the August 1862 wound as well as the replacement glass eye.

via Cowan’s Auctions

ca. 1860’s, [tintype portrait of two boys with tinted cheeks, one, with a possible eye condition, peers from behind the other]
via Cowan’s Auctions

ca. 1860’s, [tintype portrait of two boys with tinted cheeks, one, with a possible eye condition, peers from behind the other]

via Cowan’s Auctions

ca. 1860-1900, [tintype portrait of a gentleman missing one eye]
via Ebay Auctions

ca. 1860-1900, [tintype portrait of a gentleman missing one eye]

via Ebay Auctions

ca. 1870, [carte de visite portrait of a woman, presumably blind, with dark glasses], J. P. Blessing & Bro.
via the Southern Methodist University Library, Lawrence T. Jones III Texas Photography Collection

ca. 1870, [carte de visite portrait of a woman, presumably blind, with dark glasses], J. P. Blessing & Bro.

via the Southern Methodist University Library, Lawrence T. Jones III Texas Photography Collection

ca. 1870-80, [tintype portrait of Harry Stafford]
via the Library of Congress, Miscellaneous Items in High Demand

ca. 1870-80, [tintype portrait of Harry Stafford]

via the Library of Congress, Miscellaneous Items in High Demand

ca. 1863, [carte de visite portrait of a light-eyed gentleman]
via Image Tree, Carte de Visite Collection

ca. 1863, [carte de visite portrait of a light-eyed gentleman]

via Image Tree, Carte de Visite Collection

"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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