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Allegory: 1890

Allegory: 1890

San Luis Potosi, Mexico, 1890s. "Tunnel 3, Tamasopo Canyon." Dry plate glass negative by William Henry Jackson, Detroit Publishing Co. View full size.


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I love this stuff.

I need to find some more pictures of steam trains from this era and this site is a great resource.

Keep up the good work Shorpy!


Looking at these old photos I can see where that old stereotype of the Mexican wearing sandals, white raw cotton cloth pants and shirt and a sarape over the shoulders came from. Really, in this pre-industrial (for Mexican standards) photographs the most economical (and popular) fabric used in the making of clothing was a coarse type of cotton cloth called "manta". It is still available in the market, though it is now mostly used to make cushions, pillows, and things like that.

These pictures predate by several decades the arrival of the ever popular and resilient denim cloth, also made of cotton. By the late '20s and early '30s, when Mexico was entering its most nationalistic era, photos of this type would feature workers wearing denim overalls, white shirts (made of "manta") and perhaps a soft hat. Things had changed; a slightly more industrialized country had available more modern and resistent fabrics for making working clothes, and the old (and stereotypical) image of the white-clad Mexican indian faded into oblivion... and into most of the movies made in Holywood up until recently.

From a historical point of view, these photos are very interesting to me, more so because they depict my country. Thanks for sharing them!


Birth, life, death. Very good.

Reminds me...

I have to schedule that colonoscopy,

Even Plato

... wouldn't go there.



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