Posing Stands – a recap

I thought I’d do a recap of the images in my collection that show the posing stand to some degree or other.

C.T. Parsloe, Jr, Actor- by Brady. "Important if true"
C.T. Parsloe, Jr, Actor- by Brady. “Important if true”
Gullie & Lottie Tarkinton Gullie & Lottie Tarkinton[/caption]
Tom Thumb and Minnie Warren, in their advancing years
Tom Thumb and Minnie Warren, in their advancing years
Commodore Nutt and unknown little woman, Anonymous CDV (probably Brady)
Commodore Nutt and unknown little woman, Anonymous CDV (probably Brady)
Group, by Alexander Gardner
Group, by Alexander Gardner
Two actors in costume by Chas. H. Spieler, Philadelphia
Two actors in costume by Chas. H. Spieler, Philadelphia
Horatio B. Buck, MD – 1st Lt. 11th Volunteers.
Tintype, Father & Son?
Tintype, Father & Son?
M.E. Bennet, by Schroeder & Rakeman, Washington DC

There’s more but I don’t have time to hunt through my media library to find them all.

The point of the exercise is to show examples where the head clamp stand is visible. It’s a highly distinctive mark of early period photography, from the Daguerrian era through the middle of the wet collodion era. I don’t know if it was just that photographers got better at hiding them, or if the emulsions got faster, but it seems like in the later days of collodion photography, you don’t see the head clamp stands. I don’t have a definitive date or date range for the end of the head clamp, but my guess would be by the 1880s. Wet collodion persisted into the 1920s as a medium, but by the 1880s you had the beginnings of silver gelatin dry plates that were at least as fast as wet plate, if not faster, so as dry plate takes over, naturally they would phase out.

3 thoughts on “Posing Stands – a recap”

    1. Thanks for the link! Neat stuff on your site. Have you seen the CD Fredericks photos I have? I don’t know that any of them were taken in his Havana studio, but he did run studios in Havana, New York and Paris.

  1. A while ago I saw a TV murder mystery set in Victorian times, and each of the murder victims had these puzzling bruises on the backs of their necks. The detective finally realized the victims were murdered while strapped into posing stands, which is how the detective determined that the killer was the photographer. 🙂

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