Who Were They?

Lost and forgotten photos from the past


Today’s entry for the Mearns Family Album is a collodion print of a gentleman with a fancy mustache and the slightest fringe of beard under his mouth. It’s strange. He has classic facial features and a regular appearance, but that odd beard makes me think there was something wrong under his mouth that he is trying to hide. Perhaps a scar?

The photographer here was Ernsberger of Auburn, NY. He was known to have photographed a relative of Rutherford B. Hayes and also Harriet Tubman in 1908. However, being as this is a collodion print, that dates it after 1894. After the turn of the century cabinet cards evolved to resemble the more modern photographs mounted with a wide margin of matte surrounding the print, or with an embossed oval around the print. So I will date this after 1894 but before 1900 just to be tidy.

One thought on “Interesting “beard”

  1. IntenseGuy says:

    He looks a lot like the boy in your “16 Jul 2011” post whose photo was also taken in Auburn, NY. Perhaps father-son (or the same guy even, but the photo dating doesn’t support that). I’m leaning toward thinking this is a Clugston relative – although some Fultons lived in that area too. I’m thinking that one of Emma Fulton Mearns’ brothers or sisters may have moved upstate NY. There appears to be a Fulton family with many of the same names as Emma’s family about a generation later, living in Rochester, NY. Could be coincidence – but its odd.


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