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. 1870, [carte de visite portrait of three circus performers, billed as the “Murray Midgets”, and a woman], Charles Eisenmann
via Ebay

ca. 1870, [carte de visite portrait of three circus performers, billed as the “Murray Midgets”, and a woman], Charles Eisenmann

via Ebay

ca. 1860-80’s, [carte de visite portrait of a woman dressed in gentleman’s attire], Charles Eisenmann
via Carl Mautz Vintage Photography, Boudoir & Odd Sizes

ca. 1860-80’s, [carte de visite portrait of a woman dressed in gentleman’s attire], Charles Eisenmann

via Carl Mautz Vintage Photography, Boudoir & Odd Sizes

ca. 1880’s, [cabinet card, portrait of a reclining tattooed lady], Charles Eisenmann
via  Syracuse University Library, Special Collections Research Center, Ronald G. Becker Collection of Charles Eisenmann Photographs

ca. 1880’s, [cabinet card, portrait of a reclining tattooed lady], Charles Eisenmann

via Syracuse University Library, Special Collections Research Center, Ronald G. Becker Collection of Charles Eisenmann Photographs

ca. 1870, [carte de visite of the “Circassian Beauty”, identified on verso as Selina Sunubia, in costume], Charles Eisenmann
via Ebay

ca. 1870, [carte de visite of the “Circassian Beauty”, identified on verso as Selina Sunubia, in costume], Charles Eisenmann

via Ebay

ca. 1870-80’s, [carte de visite portrait of a bare chested, bearded, and tattooed man], Charles Eisenmann
via  Syracuse University Library, Special Collections Research Center, Ronald G. Becker Collection of Charles Eisenmann Photographs

ca. 1870-80’s, [carte de visite portrait of a bare chested, bearded, and tattooed man], Charles Eisenmann

via Syracuse University Library, Special Collections Research Center, Ronald G. Becker Collection of Charles Eisenmann Photographs

ca. 1880’s, [cabinet card, portrait of a tattoed lady, Nora Hildebrandt, wearing an elaborate dress], Charles Eisenmann
via  Syracuse University Library, Special Collections Research Center, Ronald G. Becker Collection of Charles Eisenmann Photographs

ca. 1880’s, [cabinet card, portrait of a tattoed lady, Nora Hildebrandt, wearing an elaborate dress], Charles Eisenmann

via Syracuse University Library, Special Collections Research Center, Ronald G. Becker Collection of Charles Eisenmann Photographs

ca. 1870-90’s, [carte de visite portrait, likely of an actress], Charles Eisenmann
via Carl Mautz Vintage Photography & Publishing

ca. 1870-90’s, [carte de visite portrait, likely of an actress], Charles Eisenmann

via Carl Mautz Vintage Photography & Publishing

ca. 1882, [carte de visite portrait of “Illavaro the Egyptian”, at age 19], Charles Eisenmann
via the International Center of Photography

ca. 1882, [carte de visite portrait of “Illavaro the Egyptian”, at age 19], Charles Eisenmann

via the International Center of Photography

ca. 1880’s, [cabinet card portrait of Sig Arcaris and sister Kate, performing their knife throwing act], Charles Eisenmann
via the Syracuse University Library, Ronald G. Becker Collection of Charles Eisenmann Photographs

ca. 1880’s, [cabinet card portrait of Sig Arcaris and sister Kate, performing their knife throwing act], Charles Eisenmann

via the Syracuse University Library, Ronald G. Becker Collection of Charles Eisenmann Photographs

ca. 1880, [cabinet card portrait of Adah Briggs, “The Giant Lady”, in a fake snow scene and fur coat], Charles Eisenmann
via Syracuse University Library, Ronald G. Becker Collection of Charles Eisenmann Photographs

ca. 1880, [cabinet card portrait of Adah Briggs, “The Giant Lady”, in a fake snow scene and fur coat], Charles Eisenmann

via Syracuse University Library, Ronald G. Becker Collection of Charles Eisenmann Photographs

ca. 1890, [carte de visite portrait of Sig Arcaris and Sister Kate and their knife throwing act], Charles Eisenmann
via Syracuse University Library, Ronald G. Becker Collection of Charles Eisenmann Photographs

ca. 1890, [carte de visite portrait of Sig Arcaris and Sister Kate and their knife throwing act], Charles Eisenmann

via Syracuse University Library, Ronald G. Becker Collection of Charles Eisenmann Photographs

ca. 1880-90’s, [cabinet card portrait of circus giant C. Urek with his wife], Charles Eisenmann
via The Syracuse University Library, Ronald G. Becker Collection of Charles Eisenmann Photographs

ca. 1880-90’s, [cabinet card portrait of circus giant C. Urek with his wife], Charles Eisenmann

via The Syracuse University Library, Ronald G. Becker Collection of Charles Eisenmann Photographs

ca. 1882-86, [carte de visite portrait of sideshow performer Ella Harper, “The Camel Girl”], Charles Eisenmann
Handwritten on verso: 

"Ella Harper Age 13. Born in Hendersonville, Tenn. I am called the Camel Girl because as you see that my knees turn backwards. I can walk the best on my hands & feet as you see me in this picture. I have traveled considerably in the Show business for the last 4 years. And now as this is 1886, I now intend to quit the Show business and go to school and fit my self for some other occupation."

via Syracuse University Library, Ronald G. Becker Collection of Charles Eisenmann Photographs

ca. 1882-86, [carte de visite portrait of sideshow performer Ella Harper, “The Camel Girl”], Charles Eisenmann

Handwritten on verso:

"Ella Harper Age 13. Born in Hendersonville, Tenn. I am called the Camel Girl because as you see that my knees turn backwards. I can walk the best on my hands & feet as you see me in this picture. I have traveled considerably in the Show business for the last 4 years. And now as this is 1886, I now intend to quit the Show business and go to school and fit my self for some other occupation."

via Syracuse University Library, Ronald G. Becker Collection of Charles Eisenmann Photographs

ca. 1880-90’s, [cabinet card portrait of snake charmer Lulu Lataska], Charles Eisenmann
via the Syracuse University Library, Ronald G. Becker Collection of Charles Eisenmann Photographs

ca. 1880-90’s, [cabinet card portrait of snake charmer Lulu Lataska], Charles Eisenmann

via the Syracuse University Library, Ronald G. Becker Collection of Charles Eisenmann Photographs

"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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Affiliates: Haitian History

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