Tag Archives: boater hat

The men of Camp Clansman (yes, it is exactly what you think it is…)

RPPC. Private Collection.

RPPC. Private Collection.

I love everything about this real photo postcard, such a lovely photo; the great composition, the dapper subjects, the details like the hats on the wire, the white polka dot tie…but then there is the sign on the door like an elephant in the room.  Camp Clansman? I’ll go ahead and strongly assume this is a photo of Ku Klux Klan members showing their faces too…

I wondered if I should post it as is, or go ahead and avoid the controversy by digitally erasing the door sign. This picture has been in my collection for many months and I finally decided to post it as is.

Why doctor the past to extract the good and hide the ugly? And as such…

This particular image is a Velox taken between 1907-1914.

Some facts about the second emerging of the KKK:

The KKK of the 1910s-1920s was the second incarnation of the group first emerged in the 1860s. While the Southern chapters still focused on racism against blacks, the Northern and Midwestern ones were fueled by the liberalisation of society, mounting integration and increasing tensions between established whites and Eastern European/Jew immigrants and southerners (black and white) moving into the cities and competing for jobs.

Members of the South were patriarchal staunch anti-Catholic protestants, but all -North or South- were prohibitionists. Violent incidents were frequent between bootleggers and KKK members. The movement reached its peak in the Twenties. Some estimates put the membership total at the time to about 8 million members. In Indiana alone 40% of men were members and the group elected a governor. The manufacturing city of Detroit counted an astonishing 40,000 members within the city limits.

Not surprisingly, the turnover was high when people realized they didn’t agree with the extreme views of the group, and by the end of the second decade the KKK lost most of its members, and consequently -and thankfully- its voting power.

The charm hanging off his pants pocket looks unsettling...a skull?

The charm hanging off this man’s pants pocket looks unsettling…a skull? 

Well dressed group.

(Click for larger image)

While some in my category of “Bad Boys” are jokingly there because they look the part, these men looked respectable, even upper class, and still they were motivated by hate…This is where the true danger is. For the boy’s sake I hope the gentlemen on the photo finally woke up and left the group too.

As a side note, I think these were men of one family. Many seem to share similar physical traits.

RPPC: VELOX diamonds 1907-1914


A man with the posing stand

1/6th plate. Private Collection.

1880’s 1/6th plate. Private Collection.

A good looking, bright-eyed and high-cheekboned gentleman with the hint of a smile. Behind him you can see the foot of the device meant to keep his body still, a ‘posing stand’. Some photos of people with that device are commonly mistaken for post-mortems and unfortunately sold as such for much more than the photographs are worth.

He’s resting his hand on a fringe chair so popular with photographers of the Victorian era. The fringed support area was adjustable and most often used for people to rest their arms on while seated. He looks taller than average for his era too.

(Click for larger image)

(Click for larger image)


Summer lovebirds

1/6th plate tintype. Personal Collection

1/6th plate tintype. Private Collection

I imagine these lovebirds were on vacation by the seaside on a summer day, and took a souvenir picture of them together at the local photographer.

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Photobooth Paul in a straw boater

Success! Private Collection.

Success! Private Collection.

Handsome Paul knew how to pose! Instead of looking right into the camera he’s staring off giving his best angle. This was most likely taken in the 1930s or early 40s, looking at the sharp point of the collar and lapel style. This photo offers a nice close-up view of what a straw boater looks like, and it is super nice with the double band detail.


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