Tag Archives: sad

His Burden to Carry


RPPC. Private Collection.

A third close-up portrait from the 1910s, but unlike the cheery duo of earlier this poor young man is far from happy.

He looks like he struggled with trauma and/or alcoholism. Had he seen things he’d rather forget but cannot?

Although he couldn’t be older than in his mid-twenties, he has pronounced dark circles under his eyes, no doubt from lack of sleep.

His distress transcends time, and this portrait begs to tell us a story. But what was it?

To note: his pinned tie over the butterfly collar drapes wonderfully.

Sad Bouquet Boy


detail of 1/6th plate tintype. Private Collection.

Quick, somebody give this sad Victorian gent a hug! Doesn’t he look like he needed one? Maybe he missed his love. What a romantic with his bouquet in hand! He had very pretty eyes too…and the bowler fits him just right.

This is a very beautiful tintype too, the darks are satin and the lighter areas matte. The scan is not doing it justice.

1880s-1890s tintype.

Creative Commons License
Digital restoration work titled Sad Bouquet Boy by Caroline C. Ryan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Edward ‘Big Ed’ McKenna on a swing

Ed McKenna on a swing. RPPC. Private Collection.

Edward McKenna on a swing. RPPC. Private Collection.

A quaint photo of a lad nicknamed ‘Big Ed’ posing on a swing with his creased hat he forgot to straighten up, and a pair of gloves in his left hand. He’s wearing a dark colored scarf around the neck instead of the typical collar and tie

‘Big Ed’ seemed big by yesterday’s standards probably because he was tall. This RPPC has a note Ed died.

His name + note

RPPC: AZO 1907-1914

The last kiss goodbye

1910's Postcard.  Private Collection.

1910’s Postcard of home wake. Private Collection. Click for larger image.

The third one lifted her at once
And he kissed her mouth, so pale.
“I still love you today, I love you more than ever.
I will love you in eternity!”

This image is very touching, the composition was very carefully balanced between the lover’s intimate goodbye and the rest of the family.

To the left in the foreground, the mother of the deceased young woman is mourning with her head and eyes lowered. She’s holding a white handkerchief in her hands and has a set of house keys hanging off her waist. She stands with the brothers of the kissing man -since he’s referred to as the third. The young man in the middle is offering the mother needed physical comfort with his arm on her back, his hat still in hand. The other looks to be comforting her with words instead.

In the background and behind curtains the third grieving gentleman and sweetheart of the deceased woman left his hat on the steps to give his lost love a last kiss goodbye. She lays on the bed with a wraith matching white flower in her curly hair.

This Edwardian postcard approaches this sad human experience with subtle yet powerful imagery. There’s a touch of comfort too: their love is eternal and unwavering, even after death. Again this all feels timeless, yet today you would see this sort of scene at the hospital instead.

Note in German. Needs translating.

Note on back.

This card was posted at the dawn of the first World War from Frankfurt, Germany on October 26th, 1914. The sender was Nach Langer and the recipient Miss Elisabeth Kunst.

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