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Thread: Awesome Images

  1. #1
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    Awesome Images

    ... are the Clark Sisters, photographed by Frances Benjamin Johnston circa 1850 … Half-plate daguerreotype.



    Now had I not known better, I would have figured they were dead ringers for Butch Cassidy's Wild Bunch in drag ... maybe in disguise while on the run from the law!

    Jeeze ladies! Were your corsets too tight or did you all have bad teeth so that you couldn't crack a smile?

    For the record: Note on stationery of the Arts Club of Washington, in handwriting of Frances Benjamin Johnston, identifies sitters (l-r): "Aunt Harriet Allen, Aunt Ladonia Hoy, Grandma Joanette C-B, Aunt Julia Millard, Aunt Laura." (Harriet Elizabeth Clark Allen, 1818-1863; Ladonia Charlotte Clark Hoy, b. 1827; Joanette Clark Benjamin, c. 1814-1880; Juliaette Alcesta Clark, b. 1820; Laura Miles Clark Palmer, b. 1822."


    It Forms part of: Francis Benjamin Johnston collection (Library of Congress).

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    Mad Arse Face Snooz's Avatar
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    Re: These "Cuties" Ladies & Gentlemen ...

    I don't recall exactly why, but the photographers back then encouraged their subjects to NOT smile. I think because it took so long for the film to snag the image or something, so they had to stand as still as possible.

    Here we go:

    Why Don't People in Old Photographs Ever Seem to Smile?



    Sometimes, the more you delve into an Imponderable, the murkier it becomes. We asked about twenty experts in photography and photographic history, and the early responses were fairly consistent: The subjects in old photographs weren't all depressed; the slowness of the exposure time was the culprit. In some cases, the exposure time in early daguerreotypes was up to ten minutes. Typical was the answer of Frank Calandra, secretary/treasurer of the Photographic Historical Society:



    Nineteenth-century photographic materials were nowhere near as light-sensitive as today's films. This meant that instead of the fractional second exposure times we take for granted, the pioneer photographers needed several minutes to properly set an image on a sensitized plate. While this was fine for landscapes, buildings and other still-lifes, portraits called for many tricks to help subjects hold perfectly still while the shutter was open. (The first cameras had no shutter. A cap was placed over the lens and the photographer would remove it to begin the exposure and replace it when time was up.)

    Holding a smile for that length of time can be uncomfortable; that's why you see the same somber look on early portraits. That's what a relaxed face looks like.

    Two Imponderables

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    Supporting Member along-for-the-ride's Avatar
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    Re: These "Cuties" Ladies & Gentlemen ...

    Life is a Highway. Let's share the Commute.

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    Happy New Year’s Card - 1912

    What a year…Titanic, Scott’s Expedition perishes, Lt Belgrave Ninnis dies by falling down a crevasse in Antarctica, thus precipitating Mawson’s epic struggle for survival …

    And there were some really lovely frocks, too.

    And do not forget our little darling Franz Reichelt falling from the Eiffel Tower in 1912 while testing his flying suit.


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    Re: Happy New Year’s Card - 1912

    Let's hope history doesn't repeat itself and we are not embroiled in another world war that no one wanted for no reason that made any kind of rational sense.

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    Senior Member AnneBoleyn's Avatar
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    Re: Happy New Year’s Card - 1912

    Whenever I see pics such as above, & I have a few similar ones of family, I always think first "that person is dead". I must be morose. : (

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    Senior Member Richard Bell's Avatar
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    Re: Happy New Year’s Card - 1912

    They weren't big on recycling 100 years ago, but today, it's second nature, so:
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version

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    Senior Member Richard Bell's Avatar
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    Re: Happy New Year’s Card - 1912

    Quote Originally Posted by AnneBoleyn View Post
    Whenever I see pics such as above, & I have a few similar ones of family, I always think first "that person is dead". I must be morose. : (
    All the more reason to have a happy new year, my friend! Take 'em as you get 'em, for they will run out for all of us at some time!

    ETA: I thought you died in 1536, after a particularly bad haircut?

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    Senior Member AnneBoleyn's Avatar
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    Re: Happy New Year’s Card - 1912

    I thought you died in 1536, after a particularly bad haircut?
    Not I, good sir, but a rose by the same name smells as sweet. All the more reason to have a happy new year indeed, my wise friend.

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    The Original Hilton Sisters.

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    When ever I find a story like this I am so ashamed that I have the cheek to complain about small problems in my life.

    Daisy and Violet Hilton, circa 1920s, who later went on to star in Tod Browning’s 1932 masterpiece Freaks. They were co-joined at the buttocks. Long before they appeared in Freaks, the pretty Siamese twins (originally born in England) toured the United States, performing wonderful musical numbers in auditoriums to adoring audiences and working with another English-born entertainer, Bob Hope, early in his career.




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