Tag Archives: windsor knot

Fashionably Victorian in Adrian, Michigan

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W.T. Barnum, Adrian Michigan cabinet card of young man with cross tie tack.

This handsome teen’s hair was a mess of waves in the front. He didn’t fight it with pomade, instead choosing to let it do its thing! He wears a distinguished white tie with a cross tie tack the focal point. A nice piece of jewelry with the chain hanging by the side. The cross itself appears to have horseshoes and bell symbols, and is this a saint in the middle? I’d like to find out what the cross represents, aside from being what I suspect is a luck charm. Could it be a military cross, a type of iron cross? It looks like the American sharpshooter one, except that one has a target in the center.

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This card is of the 1870s-90s when flat and fat ties were extremely popular (and yet -random thought- I never see them in period films!). The fabric looks beautifully regal too. This portrait reminds me of this other cabinet card of the same era, with the similar type of tie and collar combination (and pose).

Update: this young man was a university student, member of the  Alpha Tau Omega fraternity. The local chapter -Alpha Mu- in Adrian, Michigan was founded in 1881, and is still active today. This cabinet card is most likely from the 1880s! It would not be impossible to find out who he was. 

Thank you, Val, for your research!

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Student and Mentor

1/6th plate tintype. Private Collection.

Were they? The more mature gentleman has on his right hand (reversed) a round stone ring on display, and his striped pair of pants! They remind me of circus ringmasters. The photographer added gold tones to the younger gent’s triple chain.

They’re both resting their elbows on the small table between them; a pose at professional distance, and they do not look related to me. Business partners or student and mentor? We will never know for sure, but they looked respectable.


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