Tag Archives: Missouri History Museum

We Need Your Help to Solve a Mystery 170 Years in the Making

Who is this man?

Who is this man?

Who is this man?

In truth, we don’t know. Neither does the Missouri History Museum, which has this image labeled as “Unidentified Man.” It was apparently taken by Thomas M. Easterly, a Vermont native who took up daguerreotyping. Easterly was an itinerant photographer until he settled in St. Louis in 1848, opening a studio that operated until the late 1870s. At some point, probably about 1850, this gentleman walked into the studio, sat down in front of Easterly’s camera, and had his portrait taken. Unfortunately, his name was not attached to the picture, a not-uncommon occurrence in the Easterly collection at the Missouri Historical Society, which includes 284 other photos of unidentified persons. With Easterly and the unidentified man both long dead, it seems unlikely he will ever regain his identity.

Then again, maybe he will. Does he maybe…look like someone familiar? Maybe like…Robert Campbell? Let’s make it so the images are facing the same direction, put them side-by-side, and see what that looks like.

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Is this Robert Campbell circa 1850?

 

RC2

Robert Campbell, circa 1865

Is this the photo of a 40-year old Robert Campbell? Our staff and volunteers are pretty divided on the issue. For some, the eyes and eyebrows are the clincher, as they seem pretty Robert-like. Or maybe the distinctive spacing and shape of the philtrum. Others of us are less sure. Does the nose seem right? Is the unidentified man’s face too lean? If only Easterly had provided a name!

roberts

The two images overlaid. (courtesy of Joe Kolk)

In this overlaid image all that was done was to flip the mystery image as noted above and then some simple proportional sizing on the Robert image once it was placed over the mystery image to better line them up. Other than those two things there was no manipulation.

This is why we need your help. Who do you think this man is? Is it possible to identify an unknown man’s photo 170 years after it was taken? One thing we want to avoid is wishful thinking. We want your honest opinion. Please use the poll below, the comments section, or take to Facebook and let us know your thoughts.


Leave a comment here

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Picture Yourself in St. Louis History—#PictureYourselfSTL

LouisThe Campbells didn’t have smart phones, and of course never took selfies. But we bet Robert and Virginia would pull out a selfie stick now, especially since they could win some great prizes by doing so in their own house! This Labor Day Weekend kicks off a special collaboration between the Campbell House Museum and eighteen other cultural institutions, and all you have to do to take part is visit us and photograph yourself.

The new Missouri History Museum exhibit, “A Walk in 1875 St. Louis,” links area historic sites that share a mission of preserving and telling the story of St. Louis.

Each participating location has two picture frames for hand-held use by visitors. Five locations will receive a larger “hub” picture frame and two hand-held versions – the Missouri History Museum, the Forest Park Visitor Center, The Old Courthouse, the Susan Blow Kindergarten and the Missouri Botanical Garden.

Hanley

Hanley House

Visitors will be invited to take their pictures in and around the frames showing a distinctive background inside the attractions, and distribute their images via social media. An Instagram hashtag, and a web page on the Missouri History Museum site will be available where visitors can post their “historic” pictures with #PictureYourselfSTL or @missourihistorymuseum. Visitors can also email their shots to
PictureYourself@mohistory.org.

That’s it! There are monthly prize drawings, with rewards including hotel stays, attraction tickets, and more. One grand prize winner at the close of the contest wins a tintype portrait session!

The contest is open until February 14, 2016. You can visit each of the nineteen sites and take selfies at each to increase your chances, or to just enjoy a journey through 1875 St. Louis with “Louis” as your guide.

Here are the participating locations:

WhiteHaven

Ulysses Grant’s White Haven

So open up your phone’s selfie mode, and take part in all the fun and experience St. Louis in 1875!

Read more about the program in the Saint Louis Post-Dispatch.

The “Picture Yourself in St. Louis History” project has been developed and is financially supported by the Museum Innovators Group organized by the Missouri History Museum (MHM).

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MEET THE NEW WEEKEND MANAGER » LINDSEY

You’ll find a brand new face walking the halls of Campbell House this weekend. We’re very pleased to introduce our new Weekend Manager Lindsey Marolt, a St. Louis-born-and-bred museum professional and educator. In this position Lindsey will run the Museum on weekends, keep the garden looking great and reside in the second floor Carriage House apartment at CHM. We’re glad to have Lindsey on board and had a few questions to introduce her to Campbell House Museum’s friends and followers… here are her answers!

Weekend Manager Lindsey!

Weekend Manager Lindsey!

What did you study and where?  I studied history with a minor in English at Truman State in Kirksville, MO. Then I spent the best two years of my life to date getting my MA in history museum studies from the Cooperstown Graduate Program in Cooperstown, NY.

Why Campbell House?  I had admired Campbell House from afar for a while, so I jumped at the chance to be a part of it.

When you aren’t slaving away at campbell House, what else are you up to?  Well, I also work at the Missouri History Museum as a K-12 educator, Barnes and Noble as a bookseller and I pick up some tutoring work here and there. Otherwise, I like to spend my time cooking, indulging my internet addiction and watching Very Dramatic Spanish period dramas on Netflix. (Note the capitalizations. Those are some dramatic dramas.)

What’s your favorite thing about CHM so far?  I’ve really enjoyed meeting everyone who works and volunteers here and hearing their favorite stories to tell about the house and family.

iPhone or Android?  iPhone all the way.

Little known fact about you?  I often prefer stormy days to sunny ones.

Favorite color?  My wardrobe would suggest black and navy, but I think my favorite color is actually red.

Favorite book?  This question is too hard, so I’m going to go with the cliche but still 100% my favorite: Pride and Prejudice.

Favorite period of history?  That time in the 19th century when tiny New England towns experienced multiple vampire panics. It’s great, look it up. Also colonial through early federal American history is really fun because you can see some of the seeds of modern American culture but in a time that seems incredibly foreign.

And, most importantly, if you could be any flavor of lollipop, which would you be and why?  Lemon cake pop. (enough said.)

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