Who are these men?

This post is a work in progress.  At the time that I published it, I hadn't managed to identify any of the men in the photo.  A resourceful reader in the UK, Michael, quickly identified two of them.  The man seated in the middle of the second row is Frederic Thesiger, Viscount Chelmsford, who was... Continue Reading →

Charles and Susan Crippen

The portrait above is an ambrotype, or photograph on glass, by an unknown photographer.  Ambrotypes were introduced in the United States in the early 1850s and remained popular for about a decade.  They were simpler and less costly to produce than daguerreotypes.  Eventually they were replaced by tintypes and albumen paper prints (such as the... Continue Reading →

“Pretty little Ruth”

Along the bottom of this carte-de-visite is a handwritten inscription: Oh!  A very shy young Quakeress am I And they call me Pretty little Ruth When I first published this post, I speculated that these lines might have come from a play, and that the young woman in the photograph might have been wearing a... Continue Reading →

Man with blanket in Cleveland by Thomas T. Sweeny

The man in this carte-de-visite portrait isn't identified.  Why does he have a blanket wrapped around him?  He seems to be pointing at it:   The photographer, Thomas T. Sweeny (1831-1891), worked in Cleveland, Ohio, throughout his life.  Although he was active for about three decades, information about him is scarce online.  Census records indicate... Continue Reading →

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