Coffee And Saltines: Civil War-Style

shorpy.com
shorpy.com

It never ceases to amaze me how low-res and dark a Kodak picture from 1985 can be, and yet this image from a wet plate glass negative by James F. Gibson is clear as a bell. Isn’t it amazing to see this group of fellows at Camp Winfield Scott, near Yorktown, Virginia in May of 1862? It’s from the collection of the Peninsular Campaign, May-August 1862.

This is the full image, but I really enjoy zooming in on the details to get a better understanding of life over 150 years ago.

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The sober faces, the wayward hairs, the buttons on their shirts, the metal cup that seems like it would conduct the heat and be hard to handle–so interesting!

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8 comments

  1. You should come work with me! This is what I do most days. No, not take coffee breaks! I scan and document glass plate negatives. I first make a negative of the plate, then convert it to positive, saving both as separate files. Then I will enlarge the digital image and remove the specks and blemishes, like those in your first pic showing on the tent and uniform. I then save that as a separate file. A lot of work but I love the detail of these. Sometimes though, the person being photographed moves and it creates a ghost image.

    Liked by 2 people

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