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Most of the photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) Many were digitized by LOC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They are adjusted by your webmaster for contrast and color in Photoshop before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here.

 
 
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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • SYPHILIS ... SIX OUT OF TEN CURED, 1941

Qahatika Child: c. 1907

Qahatika Child: c. 1907

A Qahatika Native-American child. Photograph by Edward S. Curtis, c. 1907. View full size.

 

A diagnosis

Showed this to my husband, a pediatric ophthalmologist. He thinks the child has aniridia, or congenitally absent or vestigial irises. There are different degrees of how much iris is lacking; it is often but not always associated with congenital glaucoma -- hard to tell with this child if that present or not. I asked for the bottom line: how well could this kid see? Answer: some of them actually have fairly normal vision (if no glaucoma), but imagine not being able to shut down your pupils in bright light. Probably no sunglasses available, either.

Eyes

The mydriasis gives this kid a chilling, scary stare. He looks so unreal.
:-|

Is there a Dr. in the house?

No kidding. This looks like major mydriasis (dilated pupils). Most commonly drug-induced, but could also be a disease process. Looks like you might be able to see Edward S. Curtis in there as well.

Or I could be hallucinating...

[Right you are. Here is a close up of his eye. - Ken]

 
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Shorpy.com | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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