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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.


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]

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