Ordinary Individuals (The 1850s)


Figure 1.-- The two individuals in this Daguerreotype are unidentified, but they look like brothers. The different age appropriate clothing is well illustrated in the portrait. While it is undated, we would gues it was takeb in the early- or mid-1850s. Notice the straw hat.

We have found a number of photographs which we believe date to the 1850s. Unfortunately many are not dated. We can only estimate the dates. These images are mostly Daguerreotypes and Ambrotypes. These images unlike later CDVs and cabinent cards had no place where notations as to names and dates could be easily written. Thus in most instances we can only guess as to the dates. We invite HBC readers to comment id they have comments. We note button-on clothes and small collars in the 1850s, both plain white and ruffle collars. We also note stocks and bows, but many boys did not have neckwear. Buttons were commonly used for decorative purpose. We note that tunics were popular. Many were styled similarly to shirts. Plaid was a popular fabric. Photography was still fairly expensive in the 1850s so the number of images is more limited than the 1860s when negative proceesses were perfected.

Unidentified Children (United States, 1850s)

Here we have a Daguerrotype portrait of an American brother and sister. They are unidentified. All that we know is that they are American. The portrait is dated to 1850. The children look to be about 3-6 years old. The boy is wearing a plaid garment, perhaps a tunic, although we are not sure. He has what looks to be a detachable white collar with pointed tips. His hair comes down to his ears. His little sister wears a printe dress with a pinafore and white long stockings. She has longer hair parted in the middle. Notice how the boy is affectionately draping his arm over his sister's shoulder.

Unidentified Boy (United States, early-1850s?)

This American boy looks to be about 6 years old. It is difficult to make out just what he is wearing. It looks like it might be a vest over a shirt or jacket. He also has a small white collar which may be part of a shirt waist, but it is difficult to tell. The portrait is undated, but looks to be the early 1850s. Dags are very diffivult to date. The portrait is a one-sixth plate cased daguerreotyp.

Mary Ann and James Wilson (United States, early-1850s)

Here we have a beautiful Daguerreotype of a boy and we think his sister. We know their names are Mary Ann and James Wilson thanks to a piece of paper inckluded in the dag union case. We do not know, hoever, where they were from or when the portrait was taken. Dags were taken from the early 1840s to the early 60s. Unfortunately we can not destinguish between 1840s and 50s dags. We suspect that this one was taken in the early 1850s, but that is just a guess at this stage. Perhaps readers will have some insight as to the dating. The boy wears the popular multi-button military jacket with checked pants. Notice that the buttons. Many of these jackes had more buttoned. This might mean that it was made in the 1840s. Also notice the light color. Many of these jackets were made in navy blue. He has a small white collar and poorly tied bow. His sister wears a brightly patterened dress. I'm not sure what the pattern would be called. It is not a plaid or check. Notice the shaw-jacket affair over the shoulders. They look about 10-15 years old.

Unidentified Brothers (United States, 1850s)

This sharply focused, well lit 1/4 plate daguerreotype shows four boys, presumably brothers. The boys are identified in ink script on old paper glued to the bottom of the glass by their first names as "M.B.Jr./ Lucius/ L.Frank/ and Augustus". Unfortunately there is no indication as to their last name or the date the portrait was taken. The dag plate is housed in a full brown leather case with floral design. The younger boy who looks to be about 3-4 years old and has ringlet curls. He has not yet been breeched and wears a shirt-like dress with ruffled collar. We see this kind of dress commonly at mid-century, perhaps because it was easy to sew. The three older boys look to be school age, perhaps 7-11 years old. They are dressed similarly. The most notable aspect of their clothing is the vsaried collars and neckwear. One boy has an open collar which was unusual. The boys wear suit jackets, two that we can see also wear vests. They seem to be wearing long pants, two are wearing white or light colored pants.

Unidentified Girl (United States, about 1850)

This is a sixth plate Daguerreotype of a girl, perhaps 10 years old. She wears long ringlet curls. Her dress has red tinting. She has a wonderful expression on her face. Daguerreotypes are typiclly undated. This wonderful tinted dag was probably taken about 1850. It could well have been taken in the 1840s. Both boys and girls wore ringlet curls, but at the time they were more common for girls. Unfortunately we do not know the girl's name or where she was from. Note the gold ring she is wearing. This seems to have been a more popular feature of mid-19th century dags than portraits taken later. Or perhaps the gold highlighting just makes it more visible. The girl here has an interesting neck adornmebt. Here dress is rather plain. Note the decorartive ekement on the upper dleeves. They look to be vertical pleats on the boddice. We are not sure to what extent the tinting reflects the actual color of the dress.

Unidentified Boy (United States, about 1850)

This one sixth plate daguerreotype portrait is unidentified and undated. The boy looks about 5 years old. We would guess it was taken about 1850. The boy wears a plaid tunic suit with a small white collar. We see a lot of these tunics before the Civil War. He wears the tunic with white long pants. Notice that it is not a tunic suit because the tunic and pants do not mstch. He has a very destinctive wide belt and buckle. It was housed in a full case with a floral design. He has a parted hair cut, somewhat shorter than we see on many boys at the time.

Unidentified New York Boy (United States, about 1850)

We do not know this boy's name. We do know that he was an American boy from New York. We also know who the photographer was. The preserver mat is signed "CARDEN & CO., 293 B.WAY". Robert A. Carden is listed as a Daguerreotype photographer in 1853-54 at 293 Broadway in New York City. He appears to have been active even before the 1853-54 period. The dealer estimated that the portrait here to be from 1847-50. While we do not know the exact date, it is clear that the portrait was taken about 1850. R. A. Carden (probably the same photographer) is also listed in San Francisco, California in 1856 at the corner of Clay and Kearny Streets. The portrait is a stunning Daguerreotype. He seems to be a serious young boy and is sitting in a chair. His face and hands are tinted and his pants may also be tinted. The seem to have a lavender hue. His elbow rests on a tablecloth that is tinted in blue. This Dag is sharp and has exceptional contrast. The boy wears a jacket with metal buttons and a floppy bow rather than a stock which was more common at the time. You can even see the texture in the bow

Unidentified Boy (United States, about 1850)

This quarter plate Daguerrotype shows an unidentified boy with a flutina, an accordion-like instrument. The boy wears a collar buttoning jacket with a white collar. The boy looks tp be 14 or 15 years old. Note the longish hair covering nost of his ears. As with most dags, it is difficult to tell if they were talen in the 1840s or 50s. The portrait is especially interesting because of the flutina. The instrument has two rows of paddle-shaped melody keys, seen vividly within this image. Flutinas were first created in the 1830's by instrument makers such as Charles Buffet in Belgium and Fourneax and Busson in France. They were the most prevalent form of accordion up until the 1870s, when the flutina was superseded by the ''Accordeon Allemande'' (German Accordion), the diatonic button accordion popular today.

Unidentified Brothers (United States, about 1850)

These two brothers from a Daguerreotype portrait are unidentified. They look to be about 5-11 years of age. We would guess the portrait was taken about 1850, but we cannot yet date Dags with any precession. Perhaps readers can help us here. The portrait could have been taken any time in the 1840s-60s. The boys wear a variety of interesting garments. The younger boy wears a straw hat which looks identical to the one woirn by modern Amish boys. He looks to be wearing aunic with an open front. He wears a belt over his tunic which has nothing to do with holding up his trousers. His older brother wears a military style collar buttoning jacket. Beither boys have shirts with collars.

Agnew, William Chalmers (United States, about 1850)

We have some information about the Agnew family in Pennsylvania. We see an older boy with his baby brother during the1880s. A reader related to the children and interested in geneology has provided some information about the family. He has also provided portraits that we see here of their parents when they were children with the grand parents. Thus we have a range of clothing types and hair styles ranging from the mid- to late-19th century. Here we have a portrait of the the children's father and grand father. His father was William Chalmers Agnew and he was photographed with his father about 1850.

Elisha Dickerman (United States, about 1850)

Here we have a wonderful colorized Daguerreotype portrait. All we know about the boy is that his name was Elisha Dickerman because he is identified in a period pencil loose note. Elisha looks to be about 6 years old. We have no idea where he was from in America. He has long shoulder-length ringlet curls. He has a small white collar and a jacket with numerous buttons. His white hat is on the table. It looks to be a Panama hat. The portrait is colorized, but in this case Ekiza is wearing black or dark-colored clothing so the studio has mostly colorized the table cloth. We are not sure when the portrait was taken, but gicen that it is a Daguerreotyoe, we are probably talking about the 1840s or early 50s. We tend to think the early 50s because of the boy's clothing. While we are not yet sure, the jacket here seems to be more a 1850s than a 1840s style. One interesting aspect of the portrait was that Elisha's jacket buttons are closed at top and bottom, but open in between. His hand is atop a slim white cane. 5 Notice his big gold ring. Also interesting is his fancy white hat with robin's egg blue band. We are not sure if that was an accurate depiction, but it may have well been. The frame in the dag case is very basic, not ornate like nany plates. This may be useful in dating the image, but we do not yet know enough about these frames toi be able to date them.

Unidentified Brothers (United States, about 1850)

This wondrful slightly colorized Daguerreotype portrait was taken in the Jesse Whitehurst (1820-75) studio around 1850. This means that the boys were probably from Washington, D.C. or Petersburg, Virginia. The younger boys wears what looks like a colorful tunic done in very large plaids. His older brother wears a suit jacket and plaid vest (westcoat) with what looks like an early necktie. The boys look to be be about 6-10 years old. Both boys seem to be wearing long pants. Their hair is done simily over their ears.

Unidentified New York Boy (United States, about 1850)

This is 1/4 plate dag, signed by Williamson. I believe that the Williamson brothers operated a well-respected studio in Brooklyn, New York. We are not sure just when the studio was opened, but we note their dags dated to the mid-1850s. Thus we are unsure how to date the image here. It was proably taken about 1850, but we can't be more specific at this time. The unidentified boy has ringlet curls. This is one of the earliest portraits we have of boys wearing ringlets. It is fairly rare in the photographic record, suggesting that it was not very common. The boy looks to be about 6 years old. This is an artfully green tinted dag. An unidentified boy wears a green-tunted tunic and white drawers or pants. Note the adjustable table.

Unidentified Grandmother and Grandson (United States, probably early 1850s)

Here we have a wonderful Daguerreotype portrait of an elderly lady and we presume her grandson. The portrait is undated, but we would guess the early 1850s. Unfortunately the pair is not identified and we have no clue to where they were from in America. The portrait is particularly interesting because it is colorized. Grandmother wears a bonnet with what looks like a black dress with grey color details. The color matches the boy's blouse which has a cut-pattern white collar. We assume that was simplly the easiest approach, rather than the actual colors. The boy's trousers button on to his blouse. He looks to be about 6 years old and had ringlet curls, something e do not see too often in these Dagererreotypes. The fabrics involved are shown in clear detail.

Unidentified Twins (United States, probably early 1850s)

Here we have a womderful Daguerrotype of twin Brothers, they look very similar, although they might be fraternal. Their cheeks, blouses, and buttons are Wonderfully tinted. Unfortunately neither the photographer or sitters are indentified. All that we know is that thet are almost certainly American. The dag is also not dated. All we have isjust the wondeful image. This could be a late 1840s portrait, but we think the early 50s is more likely. The Ambrotype rapidly replaced dags after 1856 so the late 1850s is less likely, but certainly possible. I think the shor jacket sleeves and full blouse sleves also suggests the early 50s. We do not see boys dressed like this by the early 60s.

Edwin Stanton (United states, about 1851)

Edwin Stanton ws a noted layer in the early 1850s and would serve as President Lincoln;s Secretary of War during the Civil War. His sin Edwin was born (1842). Edwin's mother died soon after (1844). Stanton was thus left to raise a young son by himself. We see Edwin here at abou age 9-10 years of age. The Dguerrotype portrait woukd hve been taken bout 1851. Edwon wears auit with matching jacket and pants. This was not yet an established convenbtion. The jacket has a relatively small number of buttons which are cloth covered. We do not know what color the suit was, but blue is likely. He has a small white collar which he wears with a small stock.

Unidentified Boy (United States, 1851)

Here is a 1/6th plate Daguerrreotype portrait of a young teenager from South Carolina. The portrait was taken by George Cook who had a studio in Charleston. The portrait was signed "COOK, ARTIST, 1851". So it is a rare dated dag. Interesting that the Daguerrreotist saw himself as an artist. The dag was protected in a lether case. The frame was a rare shield form. This was more a symbol of the Union. We are not sure how popular this would have been in Charleston during the 1850s. Charleson of course was a hot bed of secession.

Wallis Brothers (United States, 1852)

This quarter plate daguerreotype portrait of three well-dressed brothers was taken in May 1852. Unfortunately we do not know where in the States it was taken. We know nothing about the boys' family. But the fact each boy has a dag suggests to us that the family lived in comfortable circumstances. Dags were much more expensive than the CDVs and cabinent cards which appeared in the 1860s. The date in the portrait is very helpful. Most dags are not dated. The boys wear identical suits. We are not sure about the coor, but would guess blue ir black. Note the collar buttoning jackets with a row of front buttons, perhaps brass. They all have white shirt collars which show, but the collars are all different. Notice that there are no bows or stocks. This is a style we see commonly in these old portraits, although we are not yet positive how to date it. The portrait here tells us that it was worn in the 1850s, we are not yet sure aboyt the 1840s. And we do not yet know about the 1860s. Note the long pants. Most boys in the 1850s wore long pants, even younger boys. The boys are identified inside the case as "Martin William Wallis, Martin Samuel Wallis, Martin Howard Wallis".

Unidentified Massachusetts Boy (United States, 1853)

We note a naive American artist in the mid-1850s. He signed his name Wybrant with some variations . We are not sure what his proper name was or if that was his last name. Wybrant was a rather elusive watercolor portrait artist that painted out of Gloucester in the 1850s. There are only a few known portraits. Here we have a portrait of an unidentified boy, presumably from the Bodton area. The portrait was painted in 1853. Its hard to tell age from these naive portraits, but would guess a boy of about 6 years of age. He wears a black coat over a dress or skirt. Notice that the skirt is pleated. He has a modest lace collar and bow. He holds what looks like a broad-brimmed hat. He also wears pantalettes, long white stockings, and boot-like shoes.

Unidentified Boy (United States, 1853)

The child here is unidentified, but we belierve to be a boy. The child wears a blue dress with wide pleats and elbow-length sleeves. Rhe child also wears pantalettes, and strap shoes that seem to match the dress. While thee child is not identified, the whip and horse pull tou both suggest a boy. We are less sure if the blue dress has gender commotations. The boy's family name may have been Pancoast. We think he was from Massachusetts because this is where the artist, Wybrabts, worked.

Unidentified Brothers (United States, early or mid-1850s)

The two individuals in this Daguerreotype are unidentified, but they look like brothers (figure 1). The different age appropriate clothing is well illustrated in the portrait. While it is undated, we would gues it was taken in the early- or mid-1850s. The younger boy has a small pointed cllar worn with a dark jacket-like shirt that seens to button-on his trouswes. He is holding a straw hat wuth some sort of flowery decoration. This is interesting because hats are rare in Daguerreotype portraits. His older brother has a black suit jacket, which was common, and a white shirt and stock.

Unidentified Family (United States, 1850?)

A Daguerreotype portrait show what looks kike a family group, the father, mother, and apparently an only child. We have no idea where they lived in America. The mother has lightly tinted cheeks in checkered dress holding a book. This ws somewhat unusual because it was more common for the boy or man to be pictured with a book. The father has lost an arm. I thought this night be a Civil War veteran, but he looks rather old to have been in the War. The boy holds his father's stubby arm. He hs a very plain suit. The Daguerreotypist has tinted the boy's shirt blue. I am not sure. butthis suggests that the shirt may actually have been blue. We think this is an 1850s dag, but we are not at all sure how to date these dags.

Unidentified Boy (United States, 1850s)

This America Daguerreotype unfortunately has no information assocoated with it. I had to take it out of the case to scan it. We assume it was taken in the 1850s. The boy has an unusual diagonal part. His hair falls down to his ears. I'm not entirely sure hoe to describe his clothes. He has a white collar a little larger than many we have seen at mid-century. He wars neckwear tied with a very small now and the two ends hang down. This is another style I have not commonly seen. He wears a colored garment over his white shirt. I'm not sure what it was called, but the sleeves fall short od the wrist cuffs. I t does not seemn to be a jacket. It is not clear what type of pants he is wearing. The boy is holding his hands in an unusual position. I supose this was to hold them steady.

Unidentified Family (United States, 1850s)

This one-sixth plate daguerreotype is a portrait of three individuals. We are guessing that they are a boy and his older sisters, alhough the older femle could be mother. The boy is holding a small bouquet of tinted flowers while holding his sister's hand. The boy wears a high-waisted button on outfit with a small ruffled collar. His hair seems to have been done in ringlets. He looks to be about 4 years old. His sister holds open a small book. She wears lace fingerless gloves. It is housed in a half case with a geometric oval design. Unfortunsately we do not know where the portrait was taken. We woukld guess a fashionable northeastern city. It is also undated, but was probably taken in the 1850s.

Teuford, Alex Mitchell (United States, 1850s)

This is a 1/9th plate cased Daguerreotype portrait of a young school age boy about 12-13 years old. A slip of paper found inside the case identifies the image as, Alex Mitchell Teuford. There is no indication where he lived. The boy wears a small white collar and black bow or stock. He wears a dark collar buttoning jacket. Often these jackets were done with brass buttons with prominately show in the portraits. The button here seem to be cloth covered and the jacket is left unbuttoned, and least the part that shows in the portrait. This was an afectation we see in quite a number of the portraits. The dealer believed that the portrait was taken in the 1850s. We can not yet, hoever, differehtiate 1840s and 50s Dags so we are not sure about the date. We know these jackets were popular in the 1850s, but we have less information on the 40s.

Unidentified Boy (United States, 1850s)

This early-1850s 1/9 plate size ruby red glass ambrotype is a portrait of an unidentified youth. The tinting is nicely done giving the impression of an actual color photograph. It shows what could be done with a ruby red ambro in capable hands. This portrait came with alot from North Carolina. It was a cased ambro. While not identified, some of the other material was related to the Jackson family.

Unidentified Boy (United States, 1850s)

This 1/9 plate Daguerreotype of an unidentified boy holding what looks to be a rifle. The riffle is presumably a toy. It is too small for a real ruffle and the boy to young to hsandle fire arms, even in America. He looks to be about 5 years old. There is also a small puppy on the table. These tables covered with draperies are a common features in dags, but puppies are quite rare. The toy riffle is also rare. He wears a suit jacket, but it is difficult to make out details. He also has a vest and wears a small bow, but we can't make out much about his shirt or blouse. The dag came in a darl blue case with an indigo blue pad. The dag is undated, but we would guess was taken in the 1850s, although the late 40s is possible.

Unidentified Boy (United States, 1850s)

We know virtually nothing about this portrait, other than the boy is American. The seller wasn't sure if it was a Daguerreotype or tin type. We suspect that given the elaborate coloring tht it was a dag. (I don;t think the studio would have gone to this much trouble for a tin-type.) The boy wears a cut-away jacker and trousrs of a darker color. I'm not at all sure if the coloring actually depicts the suit jacket. The collar seems a bid larger than on many such portraits. Also notice the ruffled wrist trim. We are undure about the date, but would guess the 1850s, perhaps the late 50s. It was protected by a Gutta Percha union case.

Unidentified Boy (United States, 1850s)

The unidentified boy here in a 1/9th plate dag wears a cut-away jacket that has been colorized blue. He has a ruffled collar without any neckwear. The ruffled collar is larger than what we have seen in mid-century portrairs. Many were so small that they were barely noticeable. The sleeves are only half sleeves, showing sleeves that baloon out. This was a style we see both children and women wearing. We don't see a lot of these cut-away jackets in dags, leading us to believe that this a 1850s portrait. These jackets were very popular in the 1860s. His hair is worn over the ears.

Unidentified Boy (United States, about 1855)

This boy is unidentified. He looks to be about 12 years old. The portrait is a sixth plate ambrotype. It is in a 1/2 case and is of a type that is on an unusual thick glass. Looking at the bottom right corner of the piece is "Cutting's Patent July.11.1854." This I think referred to the metal frame. It does not mean that the portrait was taken in 1854, but it does nelp date the image. It does mean that it was taken in 1854 or afterwards, probably only a few years afterwatds at the most. Ambros are fairly easy to date because they were a prominat format for only a few years. Most American Ambros date from about 1855, so this one was probably taken in 1855 or 56. The most nottable aspects of the portrait was the hair down to his wears and the bow he is wearing.

Unidentified Boys and Father (England, mid-1850s)

Almost all of the Daguerreotypes we have found are American. This is a wonderful colorized dag from England. It shows a father with his twoo teenage sons. They are posed more informally than is common in many dags, trstifying to the skill of the Daguerreotypist. One of the boys is a cricket enthusiat. Thos is a very early image of a boy with a cricket bat and ball. We know this portrait was tken in the 1850s, but we are not sure just when. The portait was probably taken in the mid-1850s. We say this because of the quality of the dag, the mention of the Crystal Palace, and the fact that we do not see any hint of 1860s styling. The dag was taken by an establish London Daguerreotypist. This probably means the family resided in London, but we cannot be sure about that. The boys wear Eton suits with early bow ties which appear to be tied from stocks. They have contrasting vests, but their collars do not stand up as prominately as the Eton collars we note in the late-19th and early-20th centuries. The boys almost certainly attended a public schoo, but we are not sure it was Eton. This portrait was done as a pair for stereoscopic viewing. This was not very common because of the cost.

Unidentified Danbury Family (United States, 1855)

The Daguerreotype here is a wonderful portrait of the children in a family. We do not know the name of this American family, but we know that they were from Danbury, Connecticut on November 16, 1855. We have not been able to find many dags which have dates or location. Here the portratist has written "Ritton, Danbury, Ct. Nov. 16th, 1855." We know from John Craig's Craig's Daguerreian Registry that E.D. Ritton was a Daguerreian working in Danbury during 1850-1860. The posing is wonderful and understated. The daguerreotypist knew how to put the emphasis on the children and to capture them as a threesome. The body language and interaction is as good as it gets. On the actual dag there is a masterful application of color. Notice the boy's hair cut over his ears. Also notice the bold pattern of his long pants. Even quite young boys like this commonly wore long pants in the 1850s. He is wearing stripped stockings, but we are not sure abougt the length. The child on his right is surely his sister. Both the other two children wear dresses and pantalettes. We are not sure, howeber, about the gender of the middle child.

Unidentified Brother and Sister (United States, 1850s)

This is an extraordinary quarter plate daguerreotype of a brother and sister posed with their wonderful toys. The lovely young girl wears a beautiful long, stylish dress; her frilly pantalettes are visible at the bottom. Her little brother wears a plaid dress as well, accented with a large belt fastened with a lightly gilded oval buckle. A wonderful, large doll with ringlets in her hair is posed to the left of the girl. To the right of the boy is a spectacular, rare toy steamboat on wheels, something a toy collector would be ecstatic to have in such perfect condition today. The extravagant background is one of the most elaborate we have seen in a daguerreotype and is a perfect setting for these children and their treasures. The image is enclosed in a black-lacquered, mother-of-pearl, hand-painted case. I am unsure how to date it. I would guess the 1850s, in part because of the background, but am not at all sure. The flaming plate is very plain.

Unidentified New England Boy (United States, 1850s)

We believe this boy was from New England, but this one-sixth plate Dguerreotype is unidentified. We would guess it was taken in the 1850s, but it is undated. The boy's cheeks are tinted as was common in dags. The boy looks to about 3-4 years old. He holds a large rounded crown hat with a medium brim. His hair is longish with what look like natural curls. The dag is housed in a split case. We are not at all sure about what he is wearing. At first it lokks like a long rather tubular dress. But on closer examination it may be an early kilt suit. We can make oit what looks to be an early cut away jacket with a kit skirt in the same material. He seems to be wearing the outfit with long trusers. Pantalettes or drawers might seem nore appropriate, but drawers were not commonly black.

Unidentified Afro-American Boy (United States, 1850s?)

This is a 1/9th plate Daguerreotype of an Afro-American boy. The portrait is not dated. We would guess it was taken in the 1950s, but the early-60s is possible. We don ot know where he was from, but the Union and Constitution case srongly suggest he was a free black from a northern state. The case may also help date the portrait, bit I do not yet have details on this. He is dressed very plainly, with a collar buttoning jacket. But the dag portrait suggests he was not froim a poor family.

Military School Cadets (United States, 1850s)

This ambrotype is a portrait of two boys dressed in a military uniform, almost certainly cadets at a military academy. We do not know what school they attemded, but the destinctive uniform should help identify it. The portrait has been tinted. The boys' cheeks have a little blush color. And the trim on their uniforms also looks to be a gold/yellow color. The portrait is unidebntified and undated. Ambrotypes began to appear im America about 1855. So this portrait was brobably taken in the late-1850s. The boiys look to be about 13-14 years old so they very likely begame involved in the Civil War (1861-65). They could be brothers, but do not look a lot alike and are thus just good friends.

Jacquith Brothers (United Staes, 1850s)

We believe the boys here working in a Daguerreotype studio may be brothers, the son of Nathaniel C. Jacquith. He worked from a studio on Broadway in New York City. The boys look to be about 13-15 years old. The could be aprentice boys, but they do look like brothers and working for their father is a destinct possibility. They wear identical stuits which also suggests that they are brothers. I don't think aprectice boys would have been required to wear the same suits. While working at the studio they wear a work coat to protect their suits. While their suits are identical, they wear different neckwear.

Oakley, George Walter (about 1856)

George Walter Oakley was born about 1851-53. This Daguerreotype portrait according to the Wisconsin Historica Society (WHS) was probaly taken about 1856-58. We might have dated in a little earlirrHe looks to be aboyt 5 years old. He lived in Madison Wisconsin. That at the time was the Western frointier just before the Civil War. Georfge wears a plaid tunic with a ruffled collar. A reader tells us it was called a pie-crust collar, The tunic has a set-in fabric belt with draws in the waistline. Tunics without the belt apprently were called 'sacques'. There are pearl buttons and buttons with rosettes. The short sleeves are edged with ribbin runbching. It is a more highly decorated tunic than we usually see. Notice the short, open tunic sleeves and the full blouse sleeves. We see this in both women's and girls' dress sleves and boys' tunuics and other garment during the 1840s-50s, here we need to confirm the chronology. The white, shirt like farment was probably a cambric shirt probably buttined to the trousers waistband. The sleeves ppear to be gathered to a band at both the elbow and wrist. We can see Geoirge's fark trouses wich almost certainly were long trousers. Notice that George's hais longish down to his ears and has two parts.

Unidentified Boy (United States, mid- or late-1850s)

Here we have a wonderful ambrotype of an American boy. Unfortunately we do not know his name. This is often the case of anbrotypes and daguerrotypes. They came in cases, but there was no convient place to write a notation. The portrait is also not dates, but we would guess was taken in the mid-1850s. The ambrotype by this time was beginning to replace the more expensive daguerrotype. While we do not know this boy's name or where he was from, there is not doubt in our mind that the child was a boy, primarily because of his clothes. One especially important aspeect of this portrait is the military-style cap he is holding. Often headwear is missing in these old photographs. I have never seen this style of cap before, but our archive of 1850s images is fairly limited. The boy has ringlet curls, but they are a little on the sgragly side--not the emacuately done curls we see in the 1880s. I am not sure why his hair was done like this, we note girls at the time with full ringlet curls. The boy wears a plaid tunic suit. This one is done in a sort of plid, presumably to mimic a Scottish kilt, a stule that was becoming popular for boys in Britain. Notice the shortened sleeves and ballon sleves on the blouse. The boy wears short-length pants. It is a little difficult to tell, but they seem rather a transition between more childish pantalettes and more boyish trousers. Note the outfit is being worn with white hosiery. We are not sure about the length of the the hosiery.

Unidentified Boy (United States, mid- or late-1850s)

These dual ambrotype portraits are of a boy and woman, presumably his older sister or mother. It is in a beautiful embossed union case. The individuals are unidentified, but we know they are from Maine. The portraits have gold gilt scalloped frame. The young woman is sitting, hands resting in her lap, ring, earring, and brooch all visible. She appears to be an older teen ager or young woman, but the jewelry and dress indicate that she is married and most likely the mother. The boy is sitting as young boys do today, with handkerchief hanging from pocket, collar stays askew, hands resting in lap. We wears the popular dark militarry-style jacket with brass buttons and white collar. Beautiful embossed orante flower and decorative patterning to Union Case, with (3) small brass nails hidden amongst design. Patented in 1854, this was a 'positive' wet plate colloidon photographic image on a sheet of glass. Their drawback was that, like their predecessor the daguerreotype, they could not be duplicated. The exactness of imaging, although monochromatic, was their advantage over portrait painters of the time, and they were cheaper and lacked the shiny silvery surface of the daguerreotypes, making them quickly popular in the late-1850s until CDVs appeared in the early 60s.

Unidentified Boy (United States, mid- or late-1850s)

This ambrotype is a portrait of an unidentified American boy. He looks to be about 10 years old. The portrait is undated, but we would guess was taken in the late-1850s. The very early 60s is also possible. We have no idea where he was from. He wears a military-style jacket with a dense row of buttons up the front. We count 8 buttons, but there probanly were nine. The buttons, however, stop short of his waist. He has a white collar, somewhat larger than we normally see, which is worn by a kind of black bow made from a stock-like neck wrapping. He has long pants that seem to match the jacket. The jacket almost certainly was a dark blue, but not navy. He has a very large handkerchief in his pocket. The pose is a standard one with a cloth-covered tabel. He also has a gold ring on his left little finger.

Unidentified Children (United States, late-1850s)

The first visit to the photographer’s studio is a pretty scary thing, even for adults back in the 1850s. These three sweet siblings are well behaved and held their hands just the way the photographer told them and tried to stay very still. Sometimes the children were tied to the chair with belts, but I can’t tell if that’s going on here. The two girls are wearing necklaces and their dresses are tinted blue and their cheeks pink. The little boy on the right also has rosy cheeks. Often the younger children are difficult to identify, but the younger child here is definitely a boy because of the side part in his hair and also the different material in his “dress.” Plaid dresses often indicate a boy, This is a 1/6 plate ambrotype. The ambro probably dates the image to the late 50s.

Unidentified Boston boy (United States, late 1850s)

Here is a 1/9th plate Ambrotype of a little boy in a thermoplastic case. The table cloth in the photo is tinted in red. The boy is leaning against the table with one thumb tucked into his trousers--all decvices for holding still. The case is a geometric case Berg#3-262 in Paul Berg's Nineteenth Century Photographic cases and wall frames 2nd edition located on page 263, bottom left corner. The case is from Samuel Peck and has a blue S. Peck Label inside. The Ambrotype has a business card in the back for Chapman's Photograph and Ambrotype Gallery 257 Washington St. Boston. Patent information for the case is daed 1854 and 55 and since we know Ambrotypes appeared in 1856, this suggests that this portrait was taken about 1856 or 57. The boy wears a simple colored shirt with a white collar and relatuvely large bow, The long pants are a different color.

Unidentified Boy (United States, late 1850s)

We are not at all sure about dating this Daguerreotype. The boy here wears a longish cut-away jacket with contrasting dark, long kneepants. The jacket has fancy embroidery and split sleeves. Hr wears it with a scalloped white collar and tassels. Note the decoration on the hem of the pnts.This is a style that we might have associated more with the 1860s, but ambrotypes were rapidly replacing Daguerreotypes in the 1850s and Dags were a lot less common in the 1860s and quite rare by the mid-1860s. So we think that this might be a late 1850s portrait, but we are not at all sure.

Unidentified Boy (England, late 1850s)

This portrait came from an English source. We know nothing about the boy except what can be observed from the image. The fact that it is a cased ambrotype portrait suggests that it was taken in the late 1850s, although the early 60s is possible. The image shows a young boy sitting in a chair. He looks to be about 10 years old. He wears a jacket-like shirt with a good-sized Eton collar and stock. Both the collar and stock are larger than we note in America at the time. His hair is quite long, almost covering his ears. The hair seems slightly longer than was common in America.

Unidentified Community Girls (United States, late-1850s)

The United States in the early 19th century was the home to a number of utopian communities. They were many varied experiments, but essentially involved various forms of communzl living. The Oneida Community was one of the mot notable. Some of these comminities were religious in nature, such as the Shakers. They were most popular before the Civil War. Here are two girls, perhaps sisters. There clothing suggests to us that they were from one of these communities. Perhaps there is another explanation for the clothing, bit this seems the most likely. Unfortunately, they are not identified. The fact that it is an ambrotype suggests to us that kt was taken about 1856-62.

Unidentified Boy (United States, late-1850s)

There is no information associated with this American tintype. The toy train and the boy's clothes suggest the late-1850s to us, possibly the early 60s. The tintype process appeared in the mid-50s so this portrait could not have been taken before the mid-50s. The poseing rather suggests that used in the 1850s or early 60s for dags. Thus it seems a reasonable date range for this portrait. The boy has short hair. Notice it is parted on the right and at an angle. He wears a blouse with a ruffled collar and a small blue bow. The colors used for tinting are not very reliable. The use of blue, however, probably suggests that this color was in use. Whether it was what this boy actually wore, we are not sure. His checked cut-away jacket has sleeves cut just below the elbow. Note how the blouse sleeves blouse out. The buttons on his button-on pants are covered by a waist band. Note the jacket and pants do not match. It is likely that the train is a studio prop, but it is a wondeful image of a period toy--and a toy any boy at the time would have given his eye tooth to have.

Unidentified Siblings (United States, late-1850s)

This is a 6th plate ambrotype photo of a little boy and girl, most likely siblings. They look to be about 2-5 years old. The younger child has ringlet curls and looks to be girl, although boys this age also commonly wore dresses. The child is wearing a short sleeve, off-the-shoulder gingham dress and the boy is wearing a plaid, short sleeve off-the-shoulder blouse and short pants. These open necked garments were more common for dresses, but we also see boys wearing blouses like this. The boy wears knee pants and white long stockings. This is one of the earliest images of knee pants archived on HBC. The girl also seems to be wearing white long stockings. The ambro allows is to approiximately date this image. Dags are more difficult to date. The fact that it is ambrotype allows us to date the portrait at about 1857-61, after this time, the new CDV format rapidly replaced both Dags and Ambros. It was in a protective case. Overall size: 3 ¼” x 3 ¾”. There was black paint on the back of the glass ambrotype. No photographer or location identified.

Unidentified Boy (United States, late-1850s)

This ambrotype 6th plate cased portrait shows an unidentified boy who we believe is an American. The portrait is undated by as it is an anbrotype it was probably taken in the mid- to late-1850s. The milatry styled button-up jcket was very popular in the 1850s, less so in the 60s. The collar and bow also look larger than we see in most portraits during the 60s. They wee also larger than was common during the 50s, but collars ad bows were especilly small in the 1860s. The bow seems to have a pattern, but it is difficult to make out. His hair has a right part. It is down to, but not over his ears.

John Denton (England, 1858)

This portrait shows an English boy named John Denton. He looks to be about 6-7 years of age. John wears a front buttoning tunic with piping in an contrasting color. The tunic looks to be done in a light color. He wears long white pants with the tunic. We are not sure if this would be a fasshionable sea side resprt utfit or a school outfit. The white pants would seem to suggest summdr resort rather than school wear. John holds a whip, probably a studio prop. One might guess this was to emphasize the fact that he was a boy, but girls did not wear tunics. The photograph was taken from an album. Written on the back in ink is, "John Denton 1858 Southport". The longish hair covering his ears conforms the date. Southport is a seaside resort north of Liverpool. The dealer thinks this may be a Calotype photo. He says, "The image is a matte image on paper and has a very different look and feel to others I have. Someone has suggested it may be a platinum print but I am not really sure." The size is approximately 11 cm by 16 cm, about the size of a cabinet card.

Unidentified Boy (United States, 1858-59)

This ambrotype 6th plate cased portrait shows an unidentified America boy. It was in a union case wih a portrait of his mother. He wears a the military looking collar-buttoning jacket with braass buttons. He has a small white collar and black stock. We see many boys wearing these jackets in many dags and were uncertain how to date them. Ambros are easier to date, but dags could have been taken in the 1840s as well as the 50s. Not only in this image an ambro, but it has a slip of paper referring to patents 1856 and 57 patents. We suspect that the portrait was as a result taken some time in 1858-59. The very early 60s is theroeically possible, but we think less likely. This is because we think old patents are less likely to be mentioned, but also because we do not see many of these jackets in CDV portraits.

Unidentified Boy (United States, 1859)

This is a particularly interesting quarter-plate ambrotype portrait of an American boy. It is unusual becuse it was taken outdoors. Outdoor photography was possible in the 1850s, but most of the images we have are indoor portraits. While we do not know who the boy is, but we know just when the portrait was taken. There is an inscription inside the case. The first two lines are illegible, at least we can't make them out. The second two limes read, "Last day of winter, February 28, 1859". We are unsure why this boy was photographed with a sheep. Perhaps his father was afarmer and he was raising it. Byr the boy seems rather stylishy dressed for a farm lad.

John S. Van Horn (United States, 1859)

This one-sixth plate Ambrotype is of John S. Van Horn. He was born in 1856 and looks about 4-5 years old, meaning this portrait was taken about 1859-60, just before the Civil War. Note the pose and setting. These drapped tables were very common in the 1840s and 50s Dag portraitts, although because of the long exposures needed, the subject was usually seated. The standing pose and blank background weee common in 1860s CDVs. John was from Syracuse, New York. The Van in his name suggests that he was of Dutch ancestry. His hair almost covers his ears. Long hair this length was common for both boys and men at the time. He has a white collar which he wears with a neckwear item that does not bow out. It looks rather like it was attached to a stock, biy the way the collar is situated, that was not the case. His suit has an open cut-away jacket with black trim and matching knee pants that alomst reach his ankles. Infortunately we do not know what color it was. John also wears white stockings and high-top button shoes.

Unidentified Philadelphia Siblings (United States, late 1850s)

This is a rther curious ruby Ambrotype. We know it was taken in the R.N. Kelly studio in Philadelphia. It looks to have been taken in the late 1850s, but the early 60s is possible. The boy looks to be a teenagr. He wears a cap, vest and rolled up sleeves. Note the cigar. He is sitting next to a slightly older teenage girl with a stylish striped dress, gold broach and a ring on her left hand. I am guessing she is his sister as they both seem too young to be husband and wife. Their eyes show no emotion. What is rather strange is that photographed together like this, you would assume that their parents paid for the portrait. We rather doubt, however, mother would have wanted him to be smoking a cigar.

Unidentified Boy (United States, late-1850s)

This Ambrotype portrait shows an unidentified American boy. We would guess a younger teenager, probanly 13-14 years old. It is a torso portrait showing a boy with hair swept back at his forehead and over his ears at the side. He has a bow (probaly done from a stock, striped shirt, pstterned vest, and suit jacket). His hands are held togethr in front, a photographers device to kept them still. It is a casedanrotype with a gutta-percha cover.

Halstead, William S. (United States, 1859)

William Halsted is commonly seen as the father of American surgery. He was born in New York City (1852). His father was a successful businessman with Halsted, Haines and Company. Bill had a privlidged childhood. As was common for children from wealthy families, Bill was educated at home by tutors. He was an indifferent student. He was sent to a boarding school in Monson, Massachusetts when he was 10 yeas old (1862). He did not take to the strict dscipline. It must have been a shock for a pampered boy. He ran away from the school. His father then chose a different school, Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, the brst known prep schoolin Amerca. He finished there (1869). His academic performancewas medicore. Halsted entered Yale College (1870). He was extreek\ly outgoing and athletic. He was captain of the football team, played baseball and rowed crew. His academic perforancewas undestinguised. He then entered Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons (1874), graduating with a Doctor of Medicine degree (1877). It was there that he began to seriously apply himself. American surgery was still quite primitive. He went tob Germany for further studies. hen he reyurned hime, despite becoming adicted to cocaine while working on anaestehesi, he begn to revoutioniza American surgery. Because of the cocaine the outgoing, sociable Halsted became reticent, and very private. The cocaine addiction destroyed his successfl New York practce. He continued his work at the John Hopkins Instiute in Baltimore.







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Created: 4:25 AM 7/31/2006
Last updated: 6:36 AM 6/27/2015