Who Were They?

Lost and forgotten photos from the past

Three Men

Now, listen here, boys…

Today’s post-Civil War era CDV shows us three men, two of them ostensibly listening to the third. The three men are all dressed nicely, slacks, vests, coats, etc., and are well groomed. The gentleman on the right of the image has his hand raised, finger pointed, as though lecturing the other two. They could be discussing anything from the recently ended Civil War, or the price of tea in China.

A few more details caught my attention.

  • The left hand seated fellow is holding something in his hand. I can’t make out what it is, and it looks for all the world like a cell phone, lol.
  • The men’s shoes are nice Oxford style shoes, one of the most popular menswear fashions ever, as they are still available today.
  • The fellow standing also seems to be holding something, in his far hand. It might be a glove or other textile item.
  • The photo itself was shot slightly off kilter, giving the whole thing a left leaning feeling, even though the print is placed relatively centered and squared on the card.

I date the photo to 1864-1866 due to the tax stamps on the reverse.

Three Men Back

3 cents per image, please

Although the stamps have been removed – probably by a collector – they were poorly removed and we can see the fellows paid 3 cents tax on the image. The tax was collected to help pay for damages and reparations from the devastating Civil War. Luxury items were taxed at certain rates, photographs included. The rate of tax was based on how much the individual paid for the item.

4 thoughts on “Three men and a finger

  1. Katrina says:

    Is it possible what the seated man is holding, is a pipe ? To me it looks like he has the bowl in his hand and that it really shows up due to the whiteness of his shirt.


  2. IntenseGuy says:

    I agree with Katrina – it looks like a pipe to me too.


  3. Mrs Marvel says:

    I see it now. The stem looked like a wrinkle or shadow to me at first.


  4. Charis says:

    I have a 2cent stamp from 1864. There is nothing wrong with the stamp except writing on Washington’s face. I can make out July 1 1869. All edges of the stamp are there no rips and the color is amazing. I’d like to see if I could send you a picture of it and maybe you could tell me more about please.

    Thank you


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