Who Were They?

Lost and forgotten photos from the past

This fantastic tintype image shows us two young men, dressed in nice, tidy clothing, one wears a newsboy cap and the other wears a small billed cap. I wonder if this is their “best clothing” or if they are dressing casually per a certain style. There are a few items to note in their clothing. The fellow on the left wears buttoned shoes rather than tied shoes. A popular men’s magazine in the 1870s advised men should have a variety of shoes, to include buttoned boots, laced shoes, and riding boots. This fellow also has a long watch chain fastened to the top buttonhole of his vest and the watch is presumably in the vest pocket. He wears no necktie and the shirt looks to our modern eyes like a tee shirt with a crew neck. It was likely buttoned in the center front. He also sports a mustache.

Our fellow on the right appears to have three layers of clothing on, as I can see a darker item showing underneath the cuffs of his shirt – look at his wrists. His coat is buttoned at the top button, which was a specific style that can be dated to an era (unfortunately I can’t remember where I read that so I hesitate to say specifically when or where this information came from). He wears a small necktie and his shirt has a collar.

This is an interesting photograph, I would love to know more about these two people. Were they friends? brothers? buddies working on the railroad? telegraph operators? So many questions and no way to answer them.

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