Another doppelgänger



They say everyone has a twin out there somewhere, and this man’s modern twin is without a doubt Gene Hackman.


If there was going to be a movie about the people in the Leather CdV Album, Gene would definitely be cast as this character, whoever he was. As noted by T. L. Darnell the photographer, clergy photos were half price, so perhaps this is the right honorable Reverend Mr. So-and-so of Cumberland, MD.


Striped tie

This fresh faced young man occupies the 18th opening of the Leather CdV Album. The photo is from the 1860s and you can see the simple formality of his clothing – coat, vest, shirt and tie. This was the most common suit of clothing men wore, even while working. It was considered suggestive to wear less unless under the most informal circumstances.

The photographer is again the family favorite, T. L. Darnell of Cumberland, MD.


Don’t you think this fellow looks like Prince Charles? Just for the sake of comparison…

It’s a doppleganger 100 years separated!

The image by T. Ludwick Darnell is from the early 1870s and the one of Prince Charles is from the early 1970s.

I have submitted this as a Sepia Saturday post so our friends across the pond can have a giggle. Click on over to Sepia Saturday to see what other kinds of merriment can be had. Come on now, tempis fugit!

Oh the times, they are a-changing

Lady Trump

This particular hairstyle mystifies me. I can only call it a “Lady Trump” because it looks so much like a giant comb over! Somehow, it also reminds me of the bohemian looking hairstyles of the early actresses of the 1910s, with lots of character in their tresses. She has at least three sausage curls hanging off the top, possibly some braids wrapping around…it’s just so startling that I find it difficult to take note of much else! However, do note that she has very large earrings and several necklaces, lots of pleated trim and bows. This lady is quite “done up” for her sitting with T. L. Darnell. Be sure to click the image to enlarge for all the alarming details.

To see all the photos so far from the Leather CdV Album, click on the category over there to the right.


Side profile


A handsome young man poses for his portrait in profile in the studio of T. L. Darnell in Cumberland, MD. This photo is definitely in the 1870s. The style of mount is rather common for that decade. This man’s hair is wavy but brushed back from his face. He has a bow tie and you can just see his vest under his coat.




I like to think of this photo as “composed” not just in the sense that the subject appears calm and collected (i.e. composed) but also that the photographer took the time to compose the image. Recently I was reading about the process of setting up a photograph and was reminded that the view inside the camera (under the black cloth) was upside down. Just imagine that you were planning a photo to look just right, and then imagine that every time you checked to ensure it looked good, it was upside down! The early photographers really did need to have some artistic ability to not only create a compelling image, but also to just see everything upside down. The mind can process an image upside down, but it takes some getting used to. The photographer in this case was Darnell (T. L. Darnell / Thomas Darnell) of Cumberland, MD.

This is also the only photograph in the album with a full name: Milton Hendrickson. I found quite a lot of information on him. Milton C. Hendrickson was born April 25, 1849, and had at least two brothers – Finley C. and Somerfield. In the 1870s he married Laura Smouse (August 31, 1850 to June 6, 1887). Together they had seven children – Harry in 1873, Earnest in 1875, Jessie in 1878, Myrtle in 1879, Clark in 1881, Lulu in 1883 and another child I can’t find a name or date on. Milton was a farmer and school teacher who lived in and around Cumberland and Gross his entire life. After Laura passed away in 1887, Milton apparently continued with his life of farming and teaching school. Sometime in the 1910s, he married Ella (born 1893). One account indicates that they had two young children together which is impressive as Milton would have been in his 60s at that point. He died August 26, 1923 at the age of 74. Perhaps a family member will be searching on Milton or his family and find this blog!

Open taxi doors


I know that sometimes my first impressions on these photos aren’t the most flattering, and such is the case today. This poor fellow’s ears stick out, and that reminded me of the old saying of the “taxi doors are open” to describe someone with this affliction. Isn’t it interesting to ponder what life would have been like for those who simply lacked the ability to surgically alter parts of their appearance they didn’t like? This man could not have his ears pinned back. People did not change the shapes of their noses, lips, chins, or breasts. They lived with their appearance. Certainly, they weren’t obliged to like it, but there wasn’t much they could do about it, after all, so they just dealt with it.

This particular photo gives us more of the name of the photographer…T. Ludwick Darnell. Previous cards named him as T. L. or even simply Darnell. Perhaps he didn’t much like his name and was playing around with it to find an arrangement that suited him best, since of course, he couldn’t change his nose or ears.

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