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. 1893-94, [cabinet card, portrait of ‘Unzie the Albino’], Frank Wendt
via the International Center of Photography

ca. 1893-94, [cabinet card, portrait of ‘Unzie the Albino’], Frank Wendt

via the International Center of Photography

ca. 1855-95, [carte de visite portrait of a circus performer], I. W. Taber & Company
via the Yale Collection of Western Americana, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Carl Mautz Collection

ca. 1855-95, [carte de visite portrait of a circus performer], I. W. Taber & Company

via the Yale Collection of Western Americana, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Carl Mautz Collection

ca. 1870’s, [carte de visite portrait of a bearded lady and a gentleman], D.J. Wilkes
via Cowan’s Auctions

ca. 1870’s, [carte de visite portrait of a bearded lady and a gentleman], D.J. Wilkes

via Cowan’s Auctions

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. 1870-1900’s, [cabinet card, portrait of Gertie Granville, trick shooter, posing with her rifle and one foot on a stuffed deer. She wears a leopard skin top with a matching hunting bag], Houseworth’s Celebrities
via Cowan’s Auctions

ca. 1870-1900’s, [cabinet card, portrait of Gertie Granville, trick shooter, posing with her rifle and one foot on a stuffed deer. She wears a leopard skin top with a matching hunting bag], Houseworth’s Celebrities

via Cowan’s Auctions

ca. 1890’s, [cabinet card, portrait of two circus contortionist performing an act], Rogan from Whitehall
via Ebay

ca. 1890’s, [cabinet card, portrait of two circus contortionist performing an act], Rogan from Whitehall

via Ebay

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. 1860-90’s, [carte de visite portrait of a four legged chicken], Stanley
via Carl Mautz Vintage Photography, Carte de visite Collection

ca. 1860-90’s, [carte de visite portrait of a four legged chicken], Stanley

via Carl Mautz Vintage Photography, Carte de visite Collection

ca. 1880’s, [carte de visite portrait of a bearded gent, perhaps a retired sailor, with tiny monkey perched on his shoulder], Cayol Freres Marseille
via Christopher Wahren Fine Photographs, Skylight Gallery #34

ca. 1880’s, [carte de visite portrait of a bearded gent, perhaps a retired sailor, with tiny monkey perched on his shoulder], Cayol Freres Marseille

via Christopher Wahren Fine Photographs, Skylight Gallery #34

ca. 1855-1895, [carte de visite portrait of circus performers; a giant woman and a man], I. W. Taber & Company
via Yale Collection of Western Americana, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Carl Mautz Collection

ca. 1855-1895, [carte de visite portrait of circus performers; a giant woman and a man], I. W. Taber & Company

via Yale Collection of Western Americana, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Carl Mautz Collection

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. 1885, [cabinet card, portrait of a costumed and tattooed lady], Sword’s Bros.
via  Syracuse University Library, Special Collections Research Center, Ronald G. Becker Collection of Charles Eisenmann Photographs

ca. 1885, [cabinet card, portrait of a costumed and tattooed lady], Sword’s Bros.

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. 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

"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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