The little tin types tells us a lot about what men were wearing circa 1860-1890. However you won't see many of these fashions, including the hats, in sources that document the fashion of the time. One of the reasons is that many of these men lived in small towns and rural areas, where their immigrant culture and traditions may have played a larger role in their clothing choice than the prevailing fashion. Although I don't know where all of these photos were taken, the few that are labeled are from upstate New York and Pennsylvania. It's likely that most of these are also from that area.
I am not an expert on men's hats, so if any of you have ideas about these please let me know. The one on the right in the back row looks Tirolean to me. How about the one on the very left? Eastern European? In any case, it's a great variety of hat styles. These guys were probably at a county fair and had their picture taken by a traveling photographer with a very plain background and grass underfoot.
The clothing in the next three photos looks Bavarian or Swiss to me, especially the cut of the jackets.
While these guys look very western, I'm guessing they were actually Pennsylvania farmers.
Here are a few more fellows for our fashion line up.
A heartfelt thanks and farewell to my readers. My last post (the thousand and first!) will be on November 7, 2012. The blog will remain online, but there won't be any new posts as I need to make time for other things. There is a chance I'll be back, but if so it won't be for awhile. I hope you'll take the time to peruse the archives.
How To Find Things
There's treasure in the archives, so here's how to browse and find what you want:
1. Enter a search word or phrase in the box below - anything from Princess Grace to Prohibition or Graf Zeppelin.
2. Or, go down to the bottom of the page and browse the "Cloud of Tags". The number next to the tag indicates how many posts have that tag. Clicking on it will bring up all of them. (I realize now that it doesn't always bring up all of them. If there are a lot, then it will only bring up the most recent ones, but if you click on older posts at the bottom then it will bring up more.)
3. You can also go through the archives by date. Just click on the triangle next to the year or month to open the list.
I love antique postcards because they preserve evidence of everyday life as well as celebrations and sad events. Looking at an old postcard is like holding a single piece of a puzzle; we have to imagine the rest.
I will try to put up a postcard every day. If you have a special request for a particular city or place, let me know!