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Macabre Photography Trade Card - late 1890s / 1900s

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Trade Cards23 of 60Photography Themed Tradecard for Mokaska Coffee - Somewhat RacistPhotography Trade Card - 1880
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Posted 2 years ago


(147 items)

Here's another vintage photography tradecard that is certainly out of the ordinary - actually I'm somewhat surprised; what was the artist thinking? Although Pomeroy was a well known portraitist, this classic morphing image tradecard notes, "babies and children a specialty." Let's face it, this is macabre and I cannot imagine it brought in much business. Imagine the 'buzz' around Rochester, NY when this appeared.


  1. Manikin Manikin, 2 years ago
    I agree this is just to morbid for me and gruesome looking to love or like . It is a oddity but just not my taste . You did find a unusual piece though .
  2. rniederman rniederman, 2 years ago
    Hi AR8Jason - I can't blame you. When I first saw this image, I had mixed feelings about the tradecard, but as a vintage camera collector and historian it has a small place in my collection. In reviewing the card closely, I think the photographer was trying to comment about life in some way. What's interesting, is the huge subcollecting theme of post-mortem daguerreotype images (which I don't collect). But as always, thanks for looking!
  3. rniederman rniederman, 2 years ago
    Hi Manikin ... yep, I think this will be the prevailing opinion. Yet it is a rare item which is definitely out of the ordinary. Hmmm ... maybe I should have waited until Halloween. Anyhow, thanks for looking!
  4. kerry10456 kerry10456, 2 years ago
    Just letting you know, I also have viewed this, and as unique as it is, I wouldn't click the loves or likes. It is a truely a important piece of the photographic history and should be treated as such.
  5. Manikin Manikin, 2 years ago
    I so agree with you Kerry it is important part of our history so it is nice it is being cared for . I can not imagine a parent taking their child their for a photo by this ad but maybe they did . Thank you for nice reply rnieder !
  6. rniederman rniederman, 2 years ago
    Hi kerry10456 ... thanks for the comment. You nicely summed up my feelings about this being a piece of history; hence the reason to share whether pretty or not.
  7. rniederman rniederman, 2 years ago
    Hi vetraio50 and thanks for the 'love.'
  8. jericho jericho, 2 years ago
    Obvious subject matter for art, without light no darkness- without life no death. to me, a very positive message for a generation that saw a lot of death and horror. it was telling you to see life (hold one foot away...) and be encouraged. today we just live in denial because everything happens over there somewhere... Art is much darker today
  9. rniederman rniederman, 2 years ago
    Hi scandinavian ... you bring up a couple good points. I'm so close to this stuff I never consider it as art. Moreover, I think you're right in that this type of imagery might have been viewed differently back in the late 1890s / early-1900s. As an example (in addition to post-mortem images), a lot of photographers obsessed with ghost images; but all of these were hoaxes. Yet your point is certainly worth thinking about. Thanks for the comments!
  10. rniederman rniederman, 2 years ago
    Hi Jericho ... your thoughts are greatly appreciated. Again, it's a point of view I wouldn't have considered. Thanks!
  11. rniederman rniederman, 2 years ago
    Thanks, JohnKratz, jojomang, and mrmajestic1.
  12. purpledog purpledog, 2 years ago
    I appreciate this as art, as well. I wouldn't want to stare it on my wall all the time but I think it holds an interesting place as a piece of advertising art.
  13. rniederman rniederman, 2 years ago
    Thanks, purpledog and bratjdd.
  14. jericho jericho, 2 years ago
    thank you for sharing- great art provokes good conversation
  15. Hardbrake Hardbrake, 2 years ago
    This is in deed different and a nice addition to any photography/ camera collection. I would like to ask you several question regarding early 19 century American Photographers. About 20 years ago I obtained photo album from the Elmira, New York area and it is from the Civil War years. If you so choose please e-mail me at, this is not any inquire or an attempt to sell you anything. The photo in this album all bear the photographers water mark on the back or front. There is about 20 or so photo in good shape from at least 15 different Photographers. Thank You Hardbrake
  16. madvan madvan, 2 years ago
    Great conversation everyone. I'm not a fan of the subject matter, but I'm definitely fascinated that it exists. What was the thought process tht led to giving the green light? Definitely a conversation piece (good or bad).
  17. rniederman rniederman, 2 years ago
    Thanks, hardbrake, chevy59, madvan, and vintagemad. I agree this has been a great discussion and it nice to know many collectors recognize this as an interesting item regardless of the subject matter. For me, this thread has also brought about some interesting perspectives I wouldn't have thought about ... thanks!
  18. rniederman rniederman, 1 year ago
    Thanks, AmphoraPottery!
  19. rniederman rniederman, 1 year ago
    Thanks, bratjdd!
  20. rniederman rniederman, 1 year ago
    Thanks Lisa, pwsest1944, and ho2cultcha!
  21. rniederman rniederman, 1 year ago
    Thanks, crabbykins!
  22. rniederman rniederman, 11 months ago
    Thanks, LeahGoodwin!
  23. Deadbolt Deadbolt, 11 months ago
    Evidently, it gave the idea too others. I have a picture that is a Victorian era woman looking in a mirror and from a distance it's a skull, since there's no children in it, I wouldn't consider my picture Weird! I haven't even thought about it in years and it still in the same place hanging in my computer room. I bet your find is worth a lot to the Oddities collectors. They got their own shows now!!! Why??? Thank you for Sharing.
  24. rniederman rniederman, 10 months ago
    Thanks for the comment, Deadbolt.
  25. rniederman rniederman, 10 months ago
    Thanks, pw-collector!
  26. rniederman rniederman, 10 months ago
    Thanks, imander!
  27. Deadbolt Deadbolt, 10 months ago
    Did you happen the see my..Large Oversized "Kodak Camera, Instamadic 104. Store Display"? It's huge and cool too! It came from the old telephonebooth shaped photomat's. It's just a neat item. Check it out. Only found one other in all my years on eBay! It's the blue camera, bad shape thou! Later Deadbolt
  28. nldionne nldionne, 8 months ago
    Wow, had to take a second look at this. Amazing!
  29. rniederman rniederman, 8 months ago
    Thanks, walksoftly!
  30. rniederman rniederman, 6 months ago
    Okay ... Halloween is approaching and I thought to resurrect this ghoulish image! - Rob
  31. rniederman rniederman, 6 months ago
    Thanks, nldionne!
  32. rniederman rniederman, 6 months ago
    Thanks, musikchoo!
  33. rniederman rniederman, 6 months ago
    Thanks, fortheloveofdog!
  34. rniederman rniederman, 6 months ago
    Thanks, pops52!
  35. rniederman rniederman, 6 months ago
    Thanks, AmberRose!
  36. rniederman rniederman, 2 months ago
    Thanks, VanessaT!
  37. rniederman rniederman, 1 month ago
    Thanks, Vintage-van-Gogh and Tammystrunks!
  38. rniederman rniederman, 1 month ago
    Thanks, Vintage-van-Gogh and Tammystrunks!
  39. ho2cultcha ho2cultcha, 1 month ago
    Early advertising often stressed one or the other of two concepts: 1) Carpe diem - seize the day or 'Eat, drink, and be merry', and 2) Memento mori - life is short and then you die - so do what you can to bring on everlasting life. Photography was one way that everlasting life could be had - even if it was just in the form of a photograph.
  40. rniederman rniederman, 1 month ago
    Thanks, ho2cultcha for the 'love' and the great comment / observation.

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