Who Were They?

Lost and forgotten photos from the past

This happy couple is from the C Murray Album. Their images are not repeated in the album and I’m not sure if I’ll be able to identify them. The photographer is DP Thomson (aka David P Thomson) on the corner of Walnut and 10th, in Kansas City, MO. The studio was established in 1874, probably at a different location as the notes I have found place him on Main street. However, later in Kansas City’s history, DP Thompson was quite successful, sharing a two story corner building with the FG Smith Piano Co. It is known that DP Thomson took over 175,000 photographs during his tenure in KC MO.

There were some interesting notes on the back of the cabinet card:

They were very adamant that the gentleman’s picture be made into a bust portrait, weren’t they!

3 thoughts on “Do they look happy to you?

  1. They look pretty bored, I wonder why negatives were only preserved 18 years..why not 20? This photo does raise a few questions..I wonder if the bust of him was ever made..maybe he died after this photo and that is why they wanted it made. :)


  2. pdxsnapshot says:

    Perhaps the film was still slow enough that smiling was awkward because of the length of the exposure. Anybody know? I’m guessing this is c.1900? I know that the exposure times were so long in Brady’s era, that Lincoln was never caught smiling, even though he frequently smiled.

    I’m also wondering about dental care. I don’t know if people were self conscious of bad teeth.

    I don’t really collect cabinet cards (I do vernacular snaps) but the one’s I’ve seen almost never have a smile. Perhaps it was considered a serious affair to have your picture made.



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