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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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Locksmith: 1850s

Locksmith: 1850s

Circa 1850s occupational portrait of a latchmaker, photographer unknown. Sixth-plate daguerreotype. One of 25 occupational portraits in the Library of Congress daguerreotype collection. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Like a Locksmith

Have you seen Madonna's arms lately? Talk about veins!

Arms and the Man

I would guess that being a "latchmaker" requires a great deal of arm strength -- hence the strong arms.

I'm curious though as to how he came to get his picture taken. Wouldn't it be unusual for someone like him to have his photo taken in the 1850's? Too expensive?


What does "sixth-plate" daguerreotype mean?

[One-sixth of an 8½ x 6½ silver-coated copper plate. More info here. - Dave]


Something about him is oddly attractive. And his veins! Oh wow, almost impressive. Sorry, Dave, I'm sure you're sick of me only commenting on how good looking the men are.

Those veins...

...are so prominent. I don't think I've ever seen veins like this on anybody!

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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