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Miss Ohio: 1850

Miss Ohio: 1850

Cincinnati circa 1850s. "Unidentified woman, half length portrait, seated with arm on table." Sixth-plate daguerreotype by James Presley Ball. View full size.


On Shorpy:
Today’s Top 5

The Unknown Sitter

I consider this the best of Ball's work with women. For the time, and even today, she's beautiful. And the fact she is unknown makes it strangely haunting, especially when you consider this was taken 160 years ago.

Don't you just love Daguerreotypes?

When you get one with a clean image, the level of detail is astounding. You can almost sense the texture of the cloth covering the small table she's leaning on.


Portrait of the young Linda Ronstadt.

There's a theory that there are only so many facial types, that we see likenesses in people who can't possibly be related. I tend to think it's true, the longer I live.


Wow. She could be a relative of mine. She looks like me in all but the shape of her eyes. Even the arch of one eyebrow is consistent with mine.


I usually object to the stock response "she looks so modern" or "she looks very contemporary", etc. I usually disagree with those sentiments when they are expressed. But something about this young lady's attentive and engaging expression does look "modern" to me. I can see this girl as an avid time-traveler! And I want the chance to get to know her!

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