Who Were They?

Lost and forgotten photos from the past


W. R. Austin

The back of this photograph was inscribed W. R. Austin in pencil, presumably identifying our subject as said person. The mustache featured here today is in the style of George Armstrong Custer, famous Civil War general and infamous Indian fighter.

The photographers were Taylor & Preston, known to be in business between 1879-1883 at least. They were fairly prolific as a search on their names yields several results quickly.

UPDATE: Iggy found William R. Austin of Salem, MA was born in 1843. His wife was Sarah (1845) and children Arthur L (1869) and Nellie (1870). Excellent research!!

4 thoughts on “The Custer

  1. IntenseGuy says:

    https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/MH6F-B1G shows our man.

    A currier is a specialist in the leather processing industry. After the tanning process, the currier applies techniques of dressing, finishing and coloring to the tanned hide to make it strong, flexible and waterproof. …


  2. anyjazz says:

    I can find lots of records from Massachusetts on a R. W. Austin but nothing for W. R.

    R. W. Austin (b 1854 – ) was a barber in Salem, Massachusetts!


  3. I have another theory that beard and mustache styles indicated position, class, and military experience. This gentleman may have been a cavalry officer. It’s a kind of imperial style with walrus extensions.


    1. Mrs Marvel says:

      Ah the Imperial! I knew it had a proper name but I just couldn’t remember. Must reference Century of the Beard for these posts. :-)


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