SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Motley Crew: 1864

Motley Crew: 1864

A closeup of the gents in the 1864 Civil War photo two doors down. An interesting variety of smoking materials, headgear and footwear. View full size.

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You can bet that these guys had one or more guns close at hand. These are the most dangerous looking bunch of men I have seen in a long time.

1864 Shutter Speeds

At this stage in the development of photography, one had to sit/stand completely frozen for at least five seconds in order to get a clean, unblurred image. Obviously some of these gentlemen found that alot easier to do than others.


Maybe so, but one must realize that those men lived in a time and place when dead bodies didn't attract a second glance from anyone. Some of these men had probably killed someone or other over the course of the war, so yeah, life was pretty cheap to them. After the war they no doubt went back to wherever the hell they came from and tried to forget it ever happened.


I find it interesting that we don't see any guns on these guys.

Band of Beards

Also an interesting variety of shaving styles.

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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