Tag: history

Historical Inspiration

Hey all, I thought today I would share some of my favorite websites and images that have inspired my recent experiments with historical photography process. First up is My Daguerreotype Boyfriend. This site makes me smile. It is a Tumblr feed of historical pictures of pretty men. The ones of a young Teddy Roosevelt are fascinating. They aren’t all daguerreotypes but the feed is fun enough that a little variety in processes isn’t hurting anything.


This is my favorite daguerreotype boyfriend. I call dibs!

Second, this self-portrait of American photography pioneer Robert Cornelius has inspired many late nights of googling old processes. There is something about his stare and cocksure pose that keeps me coming back. This is definitely the first selfie and one of the first photos taken of a human.


 Oh, Robert, no wonder you are all over Pinterest and a daguerreotype boyfriend, too.

Any picture of a studio, mobile darkroom, or lab set-up interests me. I love looking at old equipment and seeing how the first photographers worked. Roger Fenton was one of the first war-time photographers and traveled through dangerous places to get his shots using his mobile wagon darkroom.


I can imagine a few of the modern wet plate collodion artists being jealous of this set-up.

I also spend a lot of time on the Alternative Photography website. They have all sorts of information for any process you can think of. There are so many of the members writing articles sharing their own work and experiments. It’s a good way to see what is out there.

Check these sites out and read up on modern photography’s predecessors. Old ways are still

Old Albums & Mysteries

After my maternal grandmother passed away last year I was given an old album. No one in my family could identify any of the people in it so if I didn’t take it the whole thing would have been tossed. It is in terrible shape. It’s torn, moldy, and falling apart. Despite all that I’m fascinated by it. It seems to be a special album just for cabinet cards and carte de visite, though there are a few tintypes and other formats scattered throughout.

insideInside, front cover inscribed with my great great grandmother’s name and address

I am still hopeful I can figure out who some of these people are. I started removing the cards and looking  for logos and studio names. When I googled a few only one name showed up. Louis Rice’s name appeared on a website that helps identify old photos for Fayette County, Texas. My family is mostly from Victoria County, Texas and there isn’t a similar website for that (yet?) so I thought I’d put up a blog post and see if anyone had more information.

coupleI’d like to get confirmation on the identity of these two folks.
It would be wonderful to find out that this was
Louis Gaugler & Anna Mueller Gaugler.
All I know is that the original images have
“Corpus Christi” written on the back but these
larger prints were made and colored later.

The rest of the images I’m posting show various cards with a wide range of photographers working in the area. Most are from Victoria but I’ve included any that I found with studio/photographer names, with the exception of an obvious family group stamped with a Connecticut studio. Right now I’m trying to focus on the photographers working in the Victoria, Texas area. Click on the picture groups to see them a bit larger if you’d like.