Funny CDV of infant with shrouded adult

What it is:

Carte de visite (CDV) measuring 2.5 x 4 inches.


What I know about it:

Photographer is A. S. Corey of Clinton, Missouri.  On the back is handwritten Artie Sullivan / Nov 19 – 1870 / Died Aug. 7. – 1888



I know that back in those days the exposure time when taking a photo was much longer than the instant click that it is today.  That meant people had to sit still longer.  It makes sense that Baby Artie would be held in place to keep him from squirming, but it cracks me up that not only did they feel the need to conceal the adult holding him, but they did such a bad job of it, just chucking a flannel cloth over her head.  This photo is obviously very badly damaged, but it’s such a great image that I thought it was worth sharing.  I don’t know if November 19, 1870, was Artie’s birthday or the date of the photo, though I’m assuming it was the birthday.  In either case, based on the age of the baby, that would date the photo to 1870-1871.

2 comments on “Funny CDV of infant with shrouded adult”

  1. This picture looks a little spooky to me with the ghostly (so, a plaid ghost?) figure holding the baby.

    • I agree. With the baby’s face and the hidden adult, it looks a little creepy in addition to looking funny. It just depends on my frame of mind when I look at it. I even considered the possibility that this was a post-mortem photo (I do have a couple of those), but the back indicates Artie died at age 17, not as an infant.

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