This image puzzled me for days when I first saw it on Pinterest. Why would a Victorian photographer take a picture of this group facing the wrong way? Was it an accident? A modern photoshopped joke? A symbol of mourning? Some sort of feminist statement? Documentation of a photography studio?
In classic academic fashion, I was over thinking it. I’ve done some research on the image and the answer turned out to be deceptively simple. It is not a modern fake, but a genuine tintype from ca 1880, from the Andrew Daneman collection of American Tintypes (photographer unidentified). Can you guess why they are facing backward before you read the answer? (Answer after the jump!)
Answer: They are facing backward because the photograph was taken to document ladies hairstyles! It seems so glaringly obvious to me now… Did you figure it out right away?
Elsewhere on the Museum of Ridiculously Interesting Things:
- Three ridiculously interesting photographs
- Abandoned suitcases of insane asylum patients
- Ridiculously photogenic 19th century criminal
- More hidden mothers in Victorian photography
- Mrs Marvel on Things I’m Glad Are Out of Style
- A collection of vintage ads for medical leeches