Family Photos on Instagram

Family Photos on Instagram | The Photo Detective

Discarded and re-sold photos appear all over social media, especially Instagram. If you’re looking for a picture of your great uncle Hubert, it might turn up online. The genealogical community hasn’t embraced Instagram the way they have Facebook.  That’s too bad, because industry influencers are sharing information there too.  It’s no secret that I love looking at…

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Daguerreotype Dangers

In 1842, the French playwright and author Honore de Balzac posed for a daguerreotype. The realistic nature of this reflective image led him to declare that he’d never pose for another. He thought it would steal a bit of his soul each time. Honore de Balzac, by Bisson, 1842 There are many tribes who believe…

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President John Tyler’s Grandsons are Alive!

President John Tyler Snopes is one of the first place we go to verify an online rumor.  Susan Louer sent me a link to a claim that President John Tyler’s grandsons are still alive.  Tyler was president from 1841 to 1845.  That is no typo.  It’s actually true. As genealogists we know that the length…

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Retouched Photos in the Family Album

This week Time Magazine ran an article on the top ten doctored pictures including the famous Matthew Brady image of the Civil War generals. Matthew Brady may have been the most proficient but he certainly wasn’t the only nineteenth century photographer changing the appearance of an image. Take this family group from the late 1890s.…

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Civil War Women

There is a new book on women in the Civil War and this one doesn’t talk about their contributions on the home front. Anita Silvey’s I’ll Pass for Your Comrade: Women Soldiers in the Civil War (Clarion, 2008), explores how some women dressed as men and joined the war effort. It’s meant for children, but it…

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What’s New Is Old and Old is New? Women and the Presidency

Hilary Clinton, Geraldine Ferraro, Sarah Palin, and Victoria Woodhull. Woodhull?? You might not know that way back in 1872, The Equal Rights Party nominated her for President on May 10, 1872. That’s about half a century before women were awarded the right to vote. According to a Wikepedia article on Woodhull, former slave Frederick Douglass…

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Nineteenth Century Waifs

The images are haunting. Children in rags looking bedraggled from living on the streets. Irishman Dr. Thomas Barnardo saw the poverty and neglect in these children’s faces and did something about it. He opened his first home for these children in 1870 and by 1905, it’s estimated he rescued 60,000 kids. His work continues with…

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Nineteenth Century Photography Unmasked!

I can’t believe it! This week the long awaited Encyclopedia of Nineteenth Century Photography is finally in print. Several years ago (I’ve lost count of how many) an editor contacted me about contributing to this two volume set. I complied and then forgot about it. Ever since it arrived on my doorstep the other day…

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