ca. 1860-90s, [carte de visite portrait of a young women wearing a large cross and a gorgeous dress], Henrici & Garns
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.
ca. 1869, [ambrotype portrait of a woman, gentleman, and driver in horse-drawn carriage at Niagara Falls]
ca. 1885, [carte de visite portrait of a coachman standing with top hat, white gloves, and whip]
ca. 1855-56, [portrait of a firefighter in uniform]
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. 1880, [tintype portrait of two white men, sitting, with two black boys, playing]
ca. 1870-90s, [occupational tintype portrait of a policeman wearing his uniform, badge, whistle, and night stick]
ca. 1885, [carte de visite portrait of a coachman standing with top hat, white gloves and whip]
ca. 1860-90’S, [carte de visite portrait of Millie & Christine, “African-American Siamese Twins”], Brown, Barnes & Bell
ca. 1876, "Geo. Stewart W. Officers Boy", [carte de visite portrait of a sailor], Solano Photographic Art Studio
On verso “‘Pensacola’ April 25, 1876”..The Pensacola was launched in 1859, commissioned in September 1861. She joined Farragut’s Gulf blockading squadron and was engaged in the battle for New Orleans. She remained in the lower Mississippi for most of war, returning to New York for refitting in spring 1864. After two years she headed around Cape Horn to join the Pacific Squadron, where she was when this image was taken. She was in service, with periods of upgrading, until 1912, when she was sunk by the Navy in San Francisco Bay.
via Cowan’s Auctions
ca. 1870, [Hand tinted tintype portrait of James Weldon Johnson’s mother and sister: Helen Louise Johnson and Agnes Marion Edwards in fancy dress]
"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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