The last acquisition from yesterday’s outing to Gettysburg – another possible occupational cdv of six men by Turner of Toronto. I’m guessing it’s an occupational although it doesn’t show tools of the trade, because all six men are wearing nearly identical outfits – three are definitely wearing the exact same shirts, and perhaps a fourth. Even with different shirts, the others’ attire is similar enough that they appear to be uniforms. The other possibility is that this is a family portrait of brothers and/or cousins – there is definite facial similarity amongst several pairs of the men.
Note the rusticated furniture they’re sitting on – I can’t tell if it is a single bench seat or a grouping of chairs. Also, for the curious, since it’s hard to read in a vertical orientation, the photographer’s imprint on the verso reads: “Turner, Photographer, Southwest Corner, King & Yonge Sts, Toronto”. This is my first Canadian (that I’m aware of) CDV.
I’ve done some mild enhancement and cleanup in Photoshop on this one, as the original is definitely more faded than this. I generally don’t do much if any photomanipulative digital restoration to the images I post because I want them to be representative of the actual image in my possession, but sometimes, as in this case, I do a bit of tweaking in order to make the image more readable. I promise no albumen was harmed in the making of this digitization.
Another genre of tintypes to collect is the “trickster”. These could be anything from examples like these where the photographer switched heads on bodies in the shot (don’t ask me how, my guess is it involved re-photographing a dissected original) or people dressed in drag, to modern-day ones like someone wearing victorian period costumes but sporting a digital watch or an iPod.
Little loose tintypes like these (approximately 2×3 inches each) are generally a very affordable entree into collecting. These are both probably from the 1890s/early 1900s.
Here are two tintypes that would probably get listed on eBay as “gay interest”. The one appears to me to be pretty obviously a father and son posing in formal wear. The other is much more ambiguous – is it a trio of gay couples? Just six friends stopping by the tintype parlor on a lark? One of the men in the front row appears to be clenching a cigar in his fingers, and two of the men in the front row seem to have some kind of numbers chalked on the soles of their shoes (who knows what it is, if anything). Also very odd is the staging- the men in front look like they’re sitting on the floor, but the men behind them appear to be standing upright, not sitting or kneeling. Are the two men in the front row (left and center) brothers? Inquiring minds want to know!
Last but not least, aren’t you glad swimwear has evolved since the 1880s? How’d you like to go for a dip in the ocean and have to wear that stuff? It’s bad enough when your swim trunks dry out and get salty – imagine that feeling all over! And how long would it take for what looks like wool to dry after a thorough immersion in salt water? You’d be as likely to catch pneumonia from the swimsuit!