Young man in West Superior, Wisconsin

By: usermattw

Mar 02 2019

Tags: , ,

Category: Men


Click here to view it larger.

What it is:

Cabinet card measuring 4.25 x 6.5 inches.


What I know about it:

Photographer is Boyer Bros. of West Superior, Wisconsin.



This is another photo given to me by my friend Allen.  It’s a fairly simple, ordinary portrait, but for me it stands out because of the sitter’s piercing gaze.  His eyes must have been mesmerizing in person.  It’s also a good example of the way photographers of the day were somehow able to make a sitter’s complexion look magically flawless, while still showing sharp detail in everything else (such as this man’s hair, his jewelry, and the stripes in his tie).  By the way, the Boyer Brothers were three Norwegian-American brothers who had a number of photography studios over the years (1880s to 1910s) in West Superior, and the adjacent Duluth, Minnesota.  The most specific date range I could find for this location is 1887-1908, which I think seems to correspond with his clothing.

4 comments on “Young man in West Superior, Wisconsin”

  1. Those eyes are super piercing! I can’t decide if they were re-touched by the photographer or not.

  2. I would put the date toward the earlier part of that range, judging by his tie and suit lapels.

    re: flawless: Did cabinet photographers touch up photos by hand? I learned a system for that in a photography class years ago–it involved actual brushes and special shades-of-grey photo ink.

    • Thanks, I was guessing the earlier part of the date range, too. And I think that, yes, they did touch up photos, though I don’t know enough about it to say with any certainty. Clearly I need to do some research into that.

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