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.

© 2018 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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American Girl: 1850

American Girl: 1850

Circa 1844-1860, another portrait sitter from the studio of Mathew Brady, this one with a striking amoeba-shaped chapeau. "Unidentified woman, head and shoulders portrait, facing front. Sixth-plate daguerreotype. Hallmark: Rinhart 31. Scratched on back of plate: 304. Same sitter as in Dag No. 116." View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Quick cleanup.

Here is my attempt to restore the photo to its original beauty. I like to image the joy this must have brought to the family when it was first delivered. I believe the first photo of a person ever taken achieved just 11 yrs prior to this one.

Time Wounds All Heels

You do such a good job presenting these pictures that it is easy to forget the originals are dried chemicals on crumbling paper or oxidizing silver on fragile glass. It is jarring to see the ravages of years as they try to erase these echoes of the past.

Hovering Amoeba

It's the world's first thought balloon. Unfortunately, the lady had nothing on her mind when the photo was taken.

Ectoplasm? Protoplasm?

Hey. I'll be different, Dave--"Look! There's a spirit hovering over her head! Ectoplasm! I bet she was a medium!"

Amoeba Chapeau???

That's not an amoeba-shaped hat but some water mark or chemical that has contaminated this very old tin-type photo. Also check out her snow white chin whiskers which are not real either but the result of aging or water damage.

[Ding! This marks the 10th person in 24 hours to comment that the paramecium floating over this lady's head is, in reality, "not an amoeba- shaped hat." Or maybe it's the same person, desperate to get the word out. - Dave]

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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