ca. 1880, [carte de viste portrait of Zumigo, side show performer, in fancy dress], Chas. Eisenmann
via Yale University’s Collection of American Literature, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Randolph Linsly Simpson African-American collection

ca. 1880, [carte de viste portrait of Zumigo, side show performer, in fancy dress], Chas. Eisenmann

via Yale University’s Collection of American Literature, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Randolph Linsly Simpson African-American collection

ca. 1860-70s, [hand tinted ambrotype  portrait of a women with her nine-string bango]
via Yale University’s Collection of American Literature, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Randolph Linsly Simpson African-American collection
ca. 1860-90s, [carte de visite portrait of a young women wearing a large cross and a gorgeous dress], Henrici & Garns
via the New York Public Library, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Photographs and Prints Division

ca. 1860-90s, [carte de visite portrait of a young women wearing a large cross and a gorgeous dress], Henrici & Garns

via the New York Public Library, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Photographs and Prints Division

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. 1869, [ambrotype portrait of a woman, gentleman, and driver in horse-drawn carriage at Niagara Falls]
via Harvard University’s Houghton Library, Department of Printing and Graphic Art, Harrison D. Horblit Collection of Early Photography

ca. 1869, [ambrotype portrait of a woman, gentleman, and driver in horse-drawn carriage at Niagara Falls]

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

ca. 1885, [carte de visite portrait of a coachman standing with top hat, white gloves, and whip]
via Yale Collection of American Literature, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Randolph Linsly Simpson African-American Collection

ca. 1885, [carte de visite portrait of a coachman standing with top hat, white gloves, and whip]

via Yale Collection of American Literature, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Randolph Linsly Simpson African-American Collection

ca. 1855-56, [portrait of a firefighter in uniform]
via the J. Paul Getty Museum

ca. 1855-56, [portrait of a firefighter in uniform]

via the J. Paul Getty Museum

ca. 1894, “Saku-bona!-mushla Xmas, mushla New Year”, [cabinet card originating from Durban (sic), Natal, South Africa; studio portrait of a woman sitting on the moon]via Luminous Lint, from the private collection of Jack M. Ord, LL/38930 

ca. 1894, “Saku-bona!-mushla Xmas, mushla New Year”, [cabinet card originating from Durban (sic), Natal, South Africa; studio portrait of a woman sitting on the moon]

via Luminous Lint, from the private collection of Jack M. Ord, LL/38930 

ca. 1860’s-90’s, [cabinet card of boxer Peter Jackson in boxing outfit]

Peter Jackson, also called the Black Prince, was born on Saint Croix, Virgin Islands, and emigrated as a young deck hand to Australia, working on the Sydney Docks. While serving on a ship he quelled a mutiny with his fists, which brought him to the attention of promoter Larry Foley and started his career in boxing. He became a bare knuckle boxer and won the Australian Heavyweight championship in 1886.

via Cowan’s Auctions

ca. 1860’s-90’s, [cabinet card of boxer Peter Jackson in boxing outfit]

Peter Jackson, also called the Black Prince, was born on Saint Croix, Virgin Islands, and emigrated as a young deck hand to Australia, working on the Sydney Docks. While serving on a ship he quelled a mutiny with his fists, which brought him to the attention of promoter Larry Foley and started his career in boxing. He became a bare knuckle boxer and won the Australian Heavyweight championship in 1886.

via Cowan’s Auctions

ca. 1880, [tintype portrait of two white men, sitting, with two black boys, playing]

via the International Center of Photography

ca. 1880, [tintype portrait of two white men, sitting, with two black boys, playing]

via the International Center of Photography

ca. 1870-90s, [occupational tintype portrait of a policeman wearing his uniform, badge, whistle, and night stick]
via Artfact, Jackson’s International from The Ken Oden Collection of Photography and Ephemera

ca. 1870-90s, [occupational tintype portrait of a policeman wearing his uniform, badge, whistle, and night stick]

via Artfact, Jackson’s International from The Ken Oden Collection of Photography and Ephemera

ca. 1885, [carte de visite portrait of a coachman standing with top hat, white gloves and whip]
via Yale Collection of American Literature, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Randolph Linsly Simpson African-American Collection

ca. 1885, [carte de visite portrait of a coachman standing with top hat, white gloves and whip]

via Yale Collection of American Literature, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Randolph Linsly Simpson African-American Collection

ca. 1860-90’S, [carte de visite portrait of Millie & Christine, “African-American Siamese Twins”], Brown, Barnes & Bell
via Jeffrey Kraus, Antique Photographics

ca. 1860-90’S, [carte de visite portrait of Millie & Christine, “African-American Siamese Twins”], Brown, Barnes & Bell

via Jeffrey Kraus, Antique Photographics

ca. 1850-60’s, “Old Peter-A slave escaped to home of Slater Brown, supposed to be nearly 100 years old,” [daguerreotype portrait of a gentleman]
via the Daguerreian Society, Greg French Collection

ca. 1850-60’s, “Old Peter-A slave escaped to home of Slater Brown, supposed to be nearly 100 years old,” [daguerreotype portrait of a gentleman]

via the Daguerreian Society, Greg French 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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Browse by Photograph Type: Tintypes, Daguerreotypes, Ambrotypes, Carte de visites, Albumen prints, Cabinet cards, Silver prints

Popular Tags: Black history, Medicine, Emotive, Post Mortem, Occupational, Civil War, The Original Hipsters, Spirit photography, Circus, Sideshow

Additional Tags: Children, Pets, Dogs, Painted backdrop, Photo-manipulation, Cross-dressing, Hidden mother, Couples, Women, Advertising, Hand-tinted, Erotic, Studio, Firemen, Science, Facial hair, Eyes, Religion, Beard, Fashion, Music, Trick photography, Photographic History, Guns, Weapons, Beer, Wine, Instruments, Lookout Mountain, Ulysses S. Grant

Affiliates: Haitian History

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