Mosby, John Singleton (1833 to 1916)

John Singleton Mosby (1833 to 1916)

John Singleton Mosby (1833 to 1916) enlisted in a Virginia cavalry unit at the outbreak of the Civil War. He and one other in his unit were ready to re-enlist at the end of their year of service. He was head of his regiment for only two months, but long enough to get the attention of J.E.B. Stuart. Stuart invited him to serve as a scout, and throughout [...] Click here to continue reading.

General and Mrs. Tom Thumb (Charles S. Stratton)

General & Mrs Tom Thumb

The legendary Phineas T. Barnum was introduced to the diminutive Charles Stratton (1838 to 1883) in Bridgeport, Connecticut at the Franklin House, which his half-brother managed. From that point on Stratton was destined to become the toast of 19th century American as well as continental Europe. Stratton was granted audiences with Queen Victoria, more than one U.S. President and countless dignitaries. By mid-19th century he was truly the most [...] Click here to continue reading.

Skeolan, P

P. Skeolan

An itinerant silhouettist working in the north of England, P. Skeolan is listed in British Silhouette Artists and their Work 1760-1860 Examples of his work inscribed Manchester or Liverpool are known.

In addition to cutting silhouettes, Skeolan was a talented watercolor portraitist who advertised later in his career as “Skeolan Miniature Painter Harrogate”. In this latter role Skeolan is known to have colored photographs.

At some point, likely circa 1860 or before, [...] Click here to continue reading.

Irwin, William E. – photographer

William E. Irwin (1871 to 1935)

William E. Irwin, born in 1871, picked up his trade in the early 1890s, likely in Indian Territory or Texas. Throughout his career, he had studios in Chickasha, Indian Territory, Silver City, Arizona, and Bisbee, Arizona. In 1922, he left Bisbee for Douglas, Arizona, where he remained until his death in 1935. During his career, he worked with his brothers, John and Marvin, and with a photographer named [...] Click here to continue reading.

Parker, Quanah

Quanah Parker (1845? to 1911)

Quanah Parker (circa 1845 to 1911) was the son of Peta Nocona, a Comanche chief, and Cynthia Ann Parker, the daughter of a settler who was captured in 1836 when she was nine years old. She grew up happily in the Comanche culture until she was abducted back into white civilization where she lived unhappily and finally died. Quanah fought against the westward pressures caused by the settlers but [...] Click here to continue reading.

Meiji Period, Japan

The Japanese Meiji Period (1868-1911)

In 1867/68 the Tokugawa shogunate era came to an end with the restoration of imperial power to the emperor Meiji (died, 1912) and the transfer of the government from Kyoto to Tokyo. The actual political power was transferred from the Tokugawa Bakufu into the hands of a small group of nobles and former samurai.

Like other subjugated Asian nations, the Japanese were forced to sign unequal treaties with Western [...] Click here to continue reading.

Abraham Bogardus (1822 to 1908)

Abraham Bogardus (1822 to 1908)

Abraham Bogardus (1822 to 1908) was trained in the Daguerreotype process by George W. Prosch in New York City. By 1846, Bogardus opened a studio and gallery in New York City on 363 Broadway, and he became very successful in his work. In 1868, he helped found the National Photographic Association, serving as President of the association from 1868-1874. From 1847-1852, Bogardus was listed as a Daguerreotypist at 217 [...] Click here to continue reading.

Thomas Boston Corbett

Thomas “Boston” Corbett (1832 to 1894?)

Thomas “Boston” Corbett (1832 to 1894?) was born in London, England. After immigrating to the U.S. with his family, he found work as a hatter in New York City. Because of his later erratic behavior, some have speculated that the mercury fumes caused his later problems – “mad as a hatter” has some basis in fact.

Corbett enlisted as soon as the call went out in April 1861, [...] Click here to continue reading.

Charles J. Belden (1888 to 1963)

Charles J. Belden (1888 to 1963)

Charles J. Belden (1888 to 1963) was born in San Francisco into a wealthy California family. He developed a life-long passion for photography when he purchased his first camera to record his travels throughout Germany and Russia after graduating from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1909. Upon his return to the U.S., Belden worked as a cowboy on the L.G. Phelps Ranch in Wyoming. He then went [...] Click here to continue reading.

Catafalque – definition


Catafalque comes from the Italian word catafalco, which means scaffolding. It is the term used for a bier or platform that supports a coffin, and catafalques are often, although not always, moveable. In the United States, the most iconic example of a catafalque is the Lincoln Catafalque, which was created for Lincoln’s funeral in 1865. This pine platform covered with black cloth remains in the Exhibition Hall at the U.S. Capitol’s visitor center, [...] Click here to continue reading.

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