Elysium of Bliss

I found this cabinet card in an antique shop in Blissfield, Michigan.  I was so attracted to the image of this bewitching couple that the name Rutherford B. Hayes did not register until I was home and began my research. There are plenty of biographies about the accomplishments of the 19th United States President and... Continue Reading →

Greetings from Alaska

I found this old photo in an antique mall in Auburn, Indiana.  My Grandmother was a Mary Louise so this had to come home with me.  I suspected it was a vacation photo and didn't have high hopes of identifying the sitter. Fortunately, I was wrong.  The first Mary Louise Heller I located on ancestry... Continue Reading →

She Bore The Burdens

I purchased this tintype on eBay.  The label on the reverse names the young women (counterclockwise) as "Sadie Sildrael, Julie Catlin, and Mattie Catlin," and it notes that Mattie had a "crippled hand."  The names are also written directly on the tintype but that writing was impossible to capture in photos and scans.  In this... Continue Reading →

Unsolved Mysteries

I picked up this carte de visite (cdv) in Wisconsin.  The photographer, Austin Kracaw, was an immigrant from Germany and operated a studio in Washington, Iowa from 1865 to 1875.  The name James McClenon is written on the reverse of this cdv.  I wasn't able to identify this sitter; however, I'd like to talk about... Continue Reading →

The Compositor

Jennie Murray was born about 1859 in Brooklyn, New York.  She came with her parents, John and Jermana (nee Griffith) Murray, to Milwaukee sometime before the 1870 census records were collected.  Her father was an immigrant from Scotland who worked as a sailor and a watchman. At the age of 22, Jennie married William Hawkins... Continue Reading →

Not Changed, But Glorified

I purchased a mystery lot of photos from The Frozen Picture Show on Etsy.  It's a great shop that specializes in vernacular photos and antique ephemera.  If that's your kind of thing, you should definitely check them out. Written on the reverse of this image is "Winthrop Anderson in Hawley, Pauline Simpson Anderson, Hattie Simpson... Continue Reading →

He Imbibed Freely

I purchased this daguerreotype from one of my favorite Etsy shops, Glassing.  If you love old photos and want great deals, you should definitely check out Cathy's shop! The daguerreotype is the earliest commercial photography format, invented by Louis Daguerre in the 1830s.  A daguerreotype is an image on a polished silver or silver-covered copper... Continue Reading →

Palace of Flying Animals

I picked up this cabinet card photograph on Etsy.  The fashion and composition drew me in and the identification on the reverse sealed the deal.  It reads "Grace Pearce, Grace Darling Pearce, Huntingdon, Huntingdon Co, Pennsa."  And yes, she's sporting a spider brooch! Grace, born in 1869 in Pennsylvania, was the youngest of six children. ... Continue Reading →

Teenage Angst

These carte de visites,  of a girl and her stepmother, are in rough condition which makes me wonder where they've been and whose hands they've gone through over the last one hundred and fifty years. The girl, Mary E. Hurd, was born July 1, 1848, and grew up in Yates County, New York where her father,... Continue Reading →

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