Young man in Mansfield, Ohio

By: usermattw

Mar 12 2017

Tags: , , ,

Category: Men


Click here to see it larger.


What it is:

Carte de Visite (CDV) measuring slightly more than 2.5 x 4 inches.


What I know about it:

Photographer is Campbell & Camp of Mansfield, Ohio.  Otherwise no information.



I recently learned how to tie a bow tie, so I looked carefully at the job this young man did (assuming he did it himself).  It looks pretty much like the technique we would use today, except that it hasn’t been cinched into what we now consider a classic bow tie shape.  (I wonder if it’s harder to make it lie flat and square like that.  Probably.)  This left me pondering the idea that I made it into middle age without this skill, while this young man, and others in my collection, apparently knew it as a matter of course.  I’m also intrigued by what appears to be a rather silky pocket handkerchief sticking out of the comparatively heavy jacket, not to mention the jacket’s ribbed borders.  Taking it in as a whole is sufficiently satisfying, but examining these details makes me wish I could see it in color.  By the way, a quick internet search suggests that the photography studio operated in the mid-1880s.  That seems to be a reasonable guess for this photo, though I’m always happy to hear other opinions on such things.

4 comments on “Young man in Mansfield, Ohio”

  1. I love the way you described this photo, Matt. I wouldn’t have noticed the bow tie at all without it.

    • Thanks, Katherine! Our eyes are drawn immediately to his face, which is only natural, and is presumably the main point of the photo. But once we’ve seen it, we can notice that the entire bottom half of the image is full of other details, which we can then explore, before returning to the face. 🙂

  2. I recently saw an early Humphrey Bogart movie on YouTube, in which he ties himself a bow tie in a trice. It’s impressive. I know actors today who can’t even tie a regular tie, let alone a bow tie!

    • It’s only slightly harder than tying your shoes, and it gets easier with practice. But bow ties are worn so seldom these days, it’s understandable that people generally have less experience with them.

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