The Shorpy Archive
 
6000+ fine-art prints suitable for framing. Desk-size to sofa-size and larger, on archival paper or canvas.
 
Join and Share

 
Social Shorpy

To love him is to like him. Our goal: 100k "likes":

 
Syndicate content
Syndicate content
Syndicate content
Daily e-mail updates:

 
 
 
 
Member Photos


Photos submitted by Shorpy members.

 
Colorized Photos


Colorized photos submitted by members.

 
About the Photos

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.

 
 
JUMP TO PAGE   100  >  200  >  300  >  400  >  500  >  600
VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • VOLUNTEER FOR VICTORY

Head and Shoulders: 1850

Head and Shoulders: 1850

Circa 1844-1860 daguerreotype from the studio of Mathew Brady. "Unidentified man, head-and-shoulders portrait, facing slightly right." View full size.

 

A window into the past

This is an amazing portrait. It made me want to clean it up and see what I could do with it. Here is my photoshopped version.

Dag Guy

Looks like any emo teenager at any mall in the world today.

A prank of sorts?

Knowing that he had to hold still for the long exposure time, can't you see him betting a friend that he could hold a straight face for the duration while wearing a silly hairpiece?

Although I am pretty sure that is his real hair. What is that tuft on the other side? Why such a feminine bob?

[Wigs and powdered hairpieces for men go back hundreds of years and were not uncommon in the days before daily baths and shampoo. Men's hairstyles were what we might regard as feminine -- think George Washington. - Dave]

Barista

No - this guy works at my local Starbucks. Nice dude.

A Romantic!

I don't think I've ever seen a portrait of a man with collar undone! It's also a soft, loose collar, unlike the stiffly-starched high collars still in vogue. This young man is making a strong statement. As part of what we now call the Romantic Movement of the 1840s, he's almost certainly a writer (poetry or prose), an artist, or a self-style philosopher.

The hair is, by contrast, not at all unusual for the 1840s. Most young men had wild-looking styles.

On closer study, I think he's wearing an overcoat over his suit coat or a waistcoat. It must be an overcoat because it's so loose and wrinkly. The shoulders also seem a little strange; possibly it's a caped overcoat with the capes thrown back. But ordinary suit coats were trimly fitted and extremely structured. No suit coat with padding and interior structure could hang like that. Only the edge of the suit coat or waistcoat is seen, on the left by the fold of the overcoat lapel.

He must have been quite the lady-killer! Those large, expressive eyes and clean, strong features would make him quite the ideal fellow.

John Doe

This is driving me crazy. He reminds very strongly of someone modern. At first I thought it was mechanic extraordinaire Jesse James, but I am not sure.

I am sure it is a wig, too; they had costumes and proprs like now. Maybe this is "young poet" complete with hand in coat.

These portraits are fascinating. I could look at them all day.

MySpace 1850

I love the facial expression. And he looks so modern, like he plays in a rock band.

Toupee or Not Toupee?

Seriously , that does like a hairpiece. Or Mumsy's wig. Doesn't match his fair facial hair. I like this picture, he has a lively, friendly expression rare in daguerreotypes.

Percy's Locks

Wonder if he belonged to the Wig Party.

 
THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG
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.

Syndicate content RSS | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | Photo Use | © 2014 Shorpy Inc.