Tag Archives: 1880s

Four cards: The memory road back to Walter Henry Camp

Walter Henry Camp circa 1881. Cabinet card. Private Collection.

Walter Henry Camp circa 1881. Cabinet card. Private Collection.

I’ve mentioned before I enjoy the idea of finding photographs of the same person throughout life, and I rarely have the opportunity to come across a lot of the same person that fits my theme. And I’ve also wanted to find another memorial card, only having one other in my collection. I satisfied both wants with Walter.

Walter was born of Ellen Eliza Glazebrook (born October 6, 1842) and Sterling Teague Camp on June the 2nd 1871. When the photograph above was taken, Walter was a sweet looking boy of about 10-12 living in the Midwest of the early 1880s. This cabinet card along with two others of him were found in near pristine condition, safely tucked away in a keepsake box. They had been stacked together for so long one of the cards has the shadow of another’s grooves on the back.

With the three cabinet cards was a funeral card.

Here is Walter in his teens and still looking like something between a boy and a grown man.

Walter Henry Camp in the late 1880s or early 1890s. Cabinet card. Private Collection.

Walter Henry Camp in the late 1880s. Cabinet card. Private Collection.

But unfortunately, Walter never made it much past his 24th birthday. He passed away a summer day of 1894. He had never married and was without children. This silver and black memorial card’s message is sad yet remains hopeful.

Walter Henry Camp's memorial card.

Walter Henry Camp’s memorial card #1.

The message carried by the bird:

“Let us be patient! These
severe afflictions
not from the ground arise,
but often times celestial
assume this dark disguise”

His heartbroken younger brother, Frank Bartley Camp (born July 12 1875), was 21 when he printed a beautiful memorial cabinet card in Walter’s honor a year after his death, on August 6, 1896. On here Walter looks all grown up. The card is in excellent condition, as if printed last year.

Walter Henry Camp. Memorial card. Private Collection.

Walter Henry Camp. Memorial card #2. Private Collection.


Printed by F.B. Camp. August 18, 1896

Printed by F.B. Camp. August 18, 1896


Researching this family, I was reminded just how common untimely deaths were back in the Victorian era. The father, who passed in 1915, had survived all three of his children by at least a decade. A family genealogy page reveals that by 1905 all three siblings- Frank, Walter and their older sister Minnie G.(born April 11, 1870)- had all already passed away. Their mother too had died early, at 39 in 1883 when the siblings were in their early teens and younger. Sterling, the father, remarried a lady named Sarah Jane Johnson and remained with her until his death. Sarah then passed away 3 years later in 1918.

All three siblings are buried at “old Pace home”, at least that’s what the family cemetery was called back in 1905. I could not confirm if it is in Illinois or not. And I don’t know anything more of Walter’s life, or why he passed so young.

In this digital age maybe we’re just never truly forgotten anymore. Walter was gone from hearts and minds for decades, yet here he is now on this blog because all this time someone lovingly kept his cabinet cards tucked away in a box.


Genealogy of the Clark and Pace Families.

Walter Henry Camp @ Ancestry




A Fine Victorian Profile

Profile. Cabinet card. Private collection.

1870-80s profile portrait of young man. Cabinet card. Private collection.

The top left of the card is a bit damaged, but nothing to detract from this anonymous sitter. He’s wearing his hair cropped short which gives him a more contemporary look. Really, he could blend in at a posh wedding today, and to think this portrait is only 130 plus years old, making this fine gentleman about a century and a half years old.

I first came across this one on tumblr, shared it on this tumblr account and by chance acquired it since. So yes, if you come from tumblr you already saw this one from me, but this is a new scan. :)


Photographer: Atherton’s. The back is blank.

Hm…woman or not?

Woman or Victorian Crossdresser? Cabinet card. Private Collection.

Woman or Victorian Crossdresser? Cabinet card. Private Collection.

So once in a while I’ll spot a Victorian woman I find suspiciously looking like a man. Not a very flattering thought if indeed this woman in bustle dress was her own gender. She has some thick brows and a masculine jawline. The idea intrigues me.

I don’t see a crossdresser posing with family in this way either, and these don’t look related enough to be siblings…but maybe I’m wrong. Never say never…but this may not be her family either. The gent with the shaved head above her does look like her some. A possibility could be these are stage actors and the man is dressed as a woman for a role. A bit far fetched but…

To note the mustached gent standing up looks so very Victorian!

You be the judge.

You be the judge.

And look at her tousled hair (or wig). And the crazy looking hat…By the style of dress I’d say this was taken in the 1880’s.

Photographer: Beach. Bryan O.

Alice and friend

1880s teenage girls. Tintype. Private Collection.

1880s young girls. Tintype. Private Collection.

Definitely very off theme! I had to post this tintype I’ve had for some time now. I could not not share it here. I love the striped stockings of the standing girl, they feel right out of a Victorian gothic fairytale. These two’s dresses are amazing and their rosy cheeks complement them. And the way the standing girl placed her hands on the other one’s shoulder. A very lovely duo.

The 1880s top hat trio

Trio in top hats. Tintype. Private Collection.

Trio in top hats. 1/6th plate tintype. Private Collection.

This tintype is reddish tinted, and all three gents are wearing top hats. A fine trio, the dandy in the back posing with his hands on the shoulders of the two in the front, and with a leg tucked in between them.

The backdrop is worth noting. Nature themed it was tastefully done, conveying more the idea of trees than figuratively so.

Larger detail.

Larger detail.

The previous owner of this tintype shared with me that he had it in his collection since 1981. And on it passes through hands.

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