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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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Looking Ahead: 1850

Looking Ahead: 1850

Circa 1850s sixth-plate daguerreotype, photographer unknown. "Unidentified boy and girl, three-quarter length, seated on upholstered bench." View full size.



In the nanosecond before the hair style, dress and photographic method kicked in, I locked on those stares, noticed peripherally that they were both holding something -- and saw a couple of X-Box gamers.


How did they get the children's eyes to stay open and not blink? Can anyone approximate the amount of time necessary to make this exposure? This is a most amazing photograph, considering that it was made 1n the 1850's. Also what is a sixth-plate daguerreotype?

[Photography was pretty well established by the 1850s. Exposure time for a sixth-plate daguerreotype would have been measured in seconds. - Dave]

Addams Family circa 1850

Pugsley on the left and Wednesday on the right.

It would be very interesting to find out who these children really are but I doubt that will ever happen.

Great mystery you have created with this photo.

I have been visiting the site for quite a while now and this is great seeing old photos from before my time.

Keep up the great work and thank you for sharing.


THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG | 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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