ca, 1860-70s, [carte de visite portrait of a man, possibly a Civil War veteran, with missing limbs and a prosthetic leg]
via Cowan’s Auctions

ca, 1860-70s, [carte de visite portrait of a man, possibly a Civil War veteran, with missing limbs and a prosthetic leg]

via Cowan’s Auctions

ca. 1865, [carte de visite portrait of Senator James Rood Doolittle; his autograph in ink at the bottom], Matthew Brady

Doolittle, born in New York, moved to Wisconsin in 1851. He was elected to the Senate in 1857 and served on the Committee on Indian Affairs until 1863. During the Civil War Doolittle was an active supporter of Lincoln.

via KaufmaNelson Vintage Photographs

ca. 1865, [carte de visite portrait of Senator James Rood Doolittle; his autograph in ink at the bottom], Matthew Brady

Doolittle, born in New York, moved to Wisconsin in 1851. He was elected to the Senate in 1857 and served on the Committee on Indian Affairs until 1863. During the Civil War Doolittle was an active supporter of Lincoln.

via KaufmaNelson Vintage Photographs

ca. 1860-80’s, [carte de visite portrait of a wounded Civil War veteran], Anson
via Carl Mautz Vintage Photography & Publishing, Carte de visites

ca. 1860-80’s, [carte de visite portrait of a wounded Civil War veteran], Anson

via Carl Mautz Vintage Photography & Publishing, Carte de visites

ca. 1860s, [hand gilt, Civil War-era ambrotype portrait of a young woman proudly wearing a Union sash across her chest]
via Cowan’s Auctions

ca. 1860s, [hand gilt, Civil War-era ambrotype portrait of a young woman proudly wearing a Union sash across her chest]

via Cowan’s Auctions

ca. 1860s, [hand gilded ambrotype portrait of a couple; the gentleman wearing a patriotic sash featuring a shield eagle and thirteen stars]
via Cowan’s Auctions

ca. 1860s, [hand gilded ambrotype portrait of a couple; the gentleman wearing a patriotic sash featuring a shield eagle and thirteen stars]

via Cowan’s Auctions

ca. 1893, “The Pen is Mightier Than the Sword,” [albumen portrait of Louis Brosemer standing before a United States flag holding an oversized pen as a spear in his right hand, and a sword by the blade in his left], Louis Brosemer
via the Wisconsin Historical Society

ca. 1893, “The Pen is Mightier Than the Sword,” [albumen portrait of Louis Brosemer standing before a United States flag holding an oversized pen as a spear in his right hand, and a sword by the blade in his left], Louis Brosemer

via the Wisconsin Historical Society

ca. 1900, [carte de visite post mortem portrait of Joeseph Denno, Sr. Inscription on recto: ‘Joseph Denno Sr—after he was stabbed’; verso: ‘My father after he died…killed by Indians in Minnesota’], Kenney Brothers Art Studio
via Harvard University, Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute, Part of the Izetta Jewel Papers, 1852-1978 

ca. 1900, [carte de visite post mortem portrait of Joeseph Denno, Sr. Inscription on recto: ‘Joseph Denno Sr—after he was stabbed’; verso: ‘My father after he died…killed by Indians in Minnesota’], Kenney Brothers Art Studio

via Harvard University, Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute, Part of the Izetta Jewel Papers, 1852-1978 

ca. 1865, [composite carte de visite portrait of Jefferson Davis in a dress, holding a bowie knife], P.T. Sherlock
via the International Center of Photography

ca. 1865, [composite carte de visite portrait of Jefferson Davis in a dress, holding a bowie knife], P.T. Sherlock

via the International Center of Photography

ca. 1870, [carte de visite portrait of what appears to be a Ku Klux Klan member in full costume], Harley, Metcalf & Winter

The Klan was organized after the Civil War by Nathan Bedford Forest. Its members wore black costumes with skulls and crossbones and terrorized newly-freed black citizens of the South as well as northern “carpetbaggers”. Their gruesome images appeared in periodicals of the time. Various outrages prompted Congressional investigations in 1871 and condemnation by President Grant and others. The night rider has the initials or word “MED” on the front of his costume and yields an ax. 

via Heritage Auctions

ca. 1870, [carte de visite portrait of what appears to be a Ku Klux Klan member in full costume], Harley, Metcalf & Winter

The Klan was organized after the Civil War by Nathan Bedford Forest. Its members wore black costumes with skulls and crossbones and terrorized newly-freed black citizens of the South as well as northern “carpetbaggers”. Their gruesome images appeared in periodicals of the time. Various outrages prompted Congressional investigations in 1871 and condemnation by President Grant and others. The night rider has the initials or word “MED” on the front of his costume and yields an ax.

via Heritage Auctions

ca. 1861-65, “The Deserters Fate”, [Civil War-era carte de visite portrait of a Union soldier, killed for desertion, with a firing squad looming behind]

Robert I. Alotta’s Civil War Justice-Union Army Executions under Lincoln (1989), cites 276 military executions during the Civil War, 186 by firing squad and 90 by hanging. Multiple desertion was the leading cause with 147 soldiers formally executed in the name of deterrence.  

via  Cowan’s Auctions

ca. 1861-65, “The Deserters Fate”, [Civil War-era carte de visite portrait of a Union soldier, killed for desertion, with a firing squad looming behind]

Robert I. Alotta’s Civil War Justice-Union Army Executions under Lincoln (1989), cites 276 military executions during the Civil War, 186 by firing squad and 90 by hanging. Multiple desertion was the leading cause with 147 soldiers formally executed in the name of deterrence.

via Cowan’s Auctions

ca. 1861-65, [tintype portrait of a Union soldier awaiting a shave from a barber holding a razor]
via the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photographs Collection

ca. 1861-65, [tintype portrait of a Union soldier awaiting a shave from a barber holding a razor]

via the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photographs Collection

ca. 1865, “A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing, or Jeff in Crinoline”, [carte de visite of Jefferson Davis captured by Union soldiers], Philadelphia Photographic Company 
via the International Center for Photography, “President in Petticoats! Civil War Propaganda in Photographs” Exhibit

ca. 1865, “A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing, or Jeff in Crinoline”, [carte de visite of Jefferson Davis captured by Union soldiers], Philadelphia Photographic Company

via the International Center for Photography, “President in Petticoats! Civil War Propaganda in Photographs” Exhibit

ca. 1861-62, [tintype portrait of two soldiers, on the left Private Emzy Taylor  Confederate from Georgetown, Texas]
via Southern Methodist University, Central University Libraries, DeGolyer Library, Lawrence T. Jones III Texas photography collection

ca. 1861-62, [tintype portrait of two soldiers, on the left Private Emzy Taylor  Confederate from Georgetown, Texas]

via Southern Methodist University, Central University Libraries, DeGolyer Library, Lawrence T. Jones III Texas photography collection

ca. 1865, [carte de visite collage portrait of Jefferson Davis “in disguise, as he appeared at the time of his capture”]
via the International Center of Photography, “President in Petticoats! Civil War Propaganda in Photographs” Exhibit

ca. 1865, [carte de visite collage portrait of Jefferson Davis “in disguise, as he appeared at the time of his capture”]

via the International Center of Photography, “President in Petticoats! Civil War Propaganda in Photographs” Exhibit

ca. 1861-65, [tintype portrait of Pennsylvania Zouave soldiers in a field]
via the Metropolitan Museum of Art

ca. 1861-65, [tintype portrait of Pennsylvania Zouave soldiers in a field]

via the Metropolitan Museum of Art

"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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