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. 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. 1864-66, [tintype portrait of a young lady in a fur coat posed with a creative and patriotic photographic display]

"Under magnification, the topmost photograph appears to be a carte de visite of President Lincoln, below which is an image of an unidentified woman, two cartes de visite of men, one of which resembles General John T. Wilder, and at bottom an image of what appears to be Trumbull’s ‘Declaration of Independence.’  Plate’s verso affixed with a canceled three cent revenue stamp, dating it to 1864-1866.”

via Cowan’s Auctions

ca. 1864-66, [tintype portrait of a young lady in a fur coat posed with a creative and patriotic photographic display]

"Under magnification, the topmost photograph appears to be a carte de visite of President Lincoln, below which is an image of an unidentified woman, two cartes de visite of men, one of which resembles General John T. Wilder, and at bottom an image of what appears to be Trumbull’s ‘Declaration of Independence.’  Plate’s verso affixed with a canceled three cent revenue stamp, dating it to 1864-1866.”

via Cowan’s Auctions

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. 1860’s, [tintype portrait of a young Union soldier, possibly a woman, in uniform and tassled hat]
via Heritage Auctions

ca. 1860’s, [tintype portrait of a young Union soldier, possibly a woman, in uniform and tassled hat]

via Heritage Auctions

ca. 1861-65, [ambrotype portrait of Confederate William C. Scott wearing fur cap with leather bill and holding Whitney revolver, 6th Texas Cavalry]
via Southern Methodist Central University Libraries, DeGolyer Library, Lawrence T. Jones III Texas photography collection

ca. 1861-65, [ambrotype portrait of Confederate William C. Scott wearing fur cap with leather bill and holding Whitney revolver, 6th Texas Cavalry]

via Southern Methodist Central University Libraries, DeGolyer Library, Lawrence T. Jones III Texas photography 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. 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. 1860’s, [ tintype portrait of a smirking Union infantryman in an open frock coat with a hand-gilt watch and chain at his chest]
via Heritage Auctions

ca. 1860’s, [ tintype portrait of a smirking Union infantryman in an open frock coat with a hand-gilt watch and chain at his chest]

via Heritage Auctions

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. 1860’s, [albumen portrait of a staff grade Union cavalry officer seated on a saddle mounted on a barrel]
via Cowan’s Auction

ca. 1860’s, [albumen portrait of a staff grade Union cavalry officer seated on a saddle mounted on a barrel]

via Cowan’s Auction

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. 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

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