What can you tell me about this tintype of this soldier?

Aaron

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I can tell you he is male, and that he has a Lefaucheux model 1854 pinfire revolver in his belt.

What else could be gleaned from this image?

i-B5hJ5HZ-X5.jpg
 
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lelliott19

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Are you sure its a daguerreotype? It looks more like a tintype to me. The primitive painted backdrop is unique and could be compared to other images with similar backdrops to possibly determine the location where the image was taken and/or the photographer who took the picture. I'm sorry I can't help with identifying it, but I know there are a lot of people who study period images who know an awful lot about the various backdrops used and can match them to the studio or photographer who took them. We have some uniform experts who may be able to help narrow down the State he served from based on the buttons, style and construction of the uniform, etc. @Package4 can you please weigh in on this one?
 

Aaron

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I do have the case it came in with a photographer's name and pencil writing of the soldier's name. But I would rather see first what comes up before sharing that as I do not want it to influence the results I get since you can never tell for sure if that is original to the image.
 

Mrs. V

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Well, I notice that he is wearing a fatigue blouse, with a cotton shirt under it and a cravat. So rather well dressed. Backdrop looks like a blown up picture of a camp with tents, some kind of picket line/logs and soldiers. Someone should be able to tell you what that belt brass is.
 

ucvrelics

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Nice image. He is wearing standard Union uniform with eagle breast plate and eagle buttons not state buttons and being from Ohio he would have any buttons as Ohio did not have a state seal button for enlisted men.
 

steamboater

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That is not a photographer's name inside the case. Holmes, Booth & Hayden were suppliers and manufacturers of photographic goods. They molded the case the image package is in. It is one of earliest uses of plastic in the world, and is known as a union case, as it was made of the union (composition) of wood fiber or other filler material, gum shellac and a color dye. Cases were never sold of gutta percha, a natural rubber, which was more expensive and did not perform as well as union material.
 

Si Klegg

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Very nice image. On top of what other folks have noted, it looks to me like he's wearing a grey flannel issue shirt. Going by the straight line and square edge of his breast pocket and what looks like square edges of the bottom of his sack coat, I'd suggest it's an unlined Fatigue Jacket. It seems also, from the ID'd image and Index Card, that as he went into and mustered out of the service as a Private, I'd suggest he is wearing an Ohio belt buckle rather than the standard US oval buckle. I thought initially it was an NCO buckle, but if he was a Private that's probably out.

I was also a bit shocked to see it looks like he's got the weapon at full-cock and there's a percussion cap on the cone! This, plus the fact you can see he's wearing his bayonet on his waistbelt (bottom right) suggests he wasn't in town to get his image made, rather that the Photographer has visited the camp. Unusual also for his breastplate to be worn so low down ... he must have pushed his cartridge box halfway up his back for the image 🤔
 

Aaron

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Thanks everyone for sharing your thoughts! @Si Klegg , nice callout on the primed gun! I am not sure I am positive though. here is a close up:
i-gbkPL4j.jpg


if you think this was taken at a camp, would you still imagine that the background is a backdrop and not the actual camp? I would think it would be much harder to get that many people to stay still even if they were all posing for a backdrop for everyone's pictures.

Here is a cleaned up version of the whole picture. I think it is easier to see things in this version without the scratches and with the noise reduced:
i-xgLgcdL-X5.jpg
 
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lupaglupa

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Thanks everyone for sharing your thoughts! @Si Klegg , nice callout on the primed gun!

here is a close up:
View attachment 390766

if you think this was taken at a camp, would you still imagine that the background is a backdrop and not the actual camp? I would think it would be much harder to get that many people to stay still even if they were all posing for a backdrop for everyone's pictures.

Here is a cleaned up version of the whole picture. I think it is easier to see things in this version with the scratched and noise reduced:
View attachment 390767
I think it's definitely a backdrop. But that doesn't mean it wasn't taken at a "pop up" studio at a camp site.
 
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Not completely sure, but the musket looks like an P1853 Enfield to me....hmmmm, then again the rear band might be a Springfield...can anyone say one way for sure?
 

Si Klegg

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Thanks for the close up @Aaron, yes, much clearer and no percussion cap, I stand corrected.

I agree with @lupaglupa that it's probably a 'pop-up' backdrop. Because he's sitting for the image, we can't see the floor, but this image for instance shows a soldier standing in front of a painted backdrop in a canvas booth with a dirt floor.

(Some great images from this blog: The Passion of Former Days)

Unidentified soldier in Union uniform with bayoneted musket, canteen, cartridge and cap boxes ...jpg
 

James N.

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Your fellow appears to have either corporal's or sergeant's chevrons and is wearing the rectangular belt buckle for NCO's so evidently wasn't a private when the photo was taken. I'll add another observation, common to the time and type of photo (so-called hard image: daguerreotype, tintype, and ambrotype) - he has reversed his cartridge box from the left to the right shoulder and is holding the rifle in the "wrong" position with the lockplate facing IN toward his body rather than OUT. These changes were made by the sitter or the photographer to create the impression that the image WASN'T reversed. Hard images produce a "reversed" or mirror image; the fellow directly above is actually holding his rifle in his left hand to make it appear it's on his RIGHT side and has also swapped the position of his cartridge box and cap pouch for the same purpose.
 

lelliott19

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if you think this was taken at a camp, would you still imagine that the background is a backdrop and not the actual camp? I would think it would be much harder to get that many people to stay still even if they were all posing for a backdrop for everyone's pictures.
I'm sure it's a painted backdrop. Photographers had them painted onto a large canvas to be mounted as a background -- either in the studio, or as @Si Klegg 's image shows, for use when taking pictures outdoors.
 

James N.

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I'm sure it's a painted backdrop. Photographers had them painted onto a large canvas to be mounted as a background -- either in the studio, or as @Si Klegg 's image shows, for use when taking pictures outdoors.
And some collectors far more astute than I am can sometimes identify the work of a particular photographer based solely on the backdrop.
 
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