I don’t post vintage photos here very often (mostly because there are so many wonderful blogs devoted to them), but this one found over at Siege’s blog was too good to pass. You simply have to click here to see it in large format – there are so many incredible details! This looks like a still from a new movie – two talented actors, dressed expertly by a costume designer, captured by an in-demand photographer. But no; it’s a vintage ambrotype from the Civil War era.
Just look at them. If this image doesn’t inspire you to start spinning tales, I don’t know what will. What did he do for a living? Did he ever fall off a horse? Did he like doing magic card tricks? Was he allergic to bees? How did he meet his lady, so stylish with her ruffled bonnet and black leather gloves? Was their marriage passionate? Did she have a good singing voice? Did she hate going to church?
Tell me a story about them.
Update! This post is officially getting the Coilhouse tag “Misinformation,” because Siege has uncovered some new facts. “A TinEye search result led to Google led to a post on A Database that lists this as ‘Veteran of Waterloo with his Wife’ c1850s:
“Bruce Bernard saw this unusual photograph for sale at Christie’s in the 1970s. It appeared in the Sunday Times Magazine where he was picture editor and in his book Photodiscovery, he later tracked it down for the collection. The medal on the man indicates him as a veteran of Waterloo.”
See also: Reliability of Wikipedia
Although it turns out this couple was from Europe, I still like Paul Komoda’s more American-sounding names from the comments: “Athanasius Scrimshaw and his good lady, Jerboa.”
For more on Coilhouse’s love affair with old photographs, check out The Tarnished Beauties of Blackwell, Oklahoma, probably one of my top 5 favorite Mer posts of all time.