Ninth Texas old time photographs




Images:


Perryville
Perryville event 2002

 

 

Photo 1(Photo 1)  We were able to reproduce a look-alike glass plate rather quickly but realized that while these would be good for displays at home "in the parlor" - they were much too fragile and would not stand up to the rigors of camp life.

 

Photo 2The carte de visite (CDV) was an actual piece of film attached to a small decorative card about the size of a playing card.  These were usually done in multiples so that the soldier could give them out to family, friends and the "sweetheart" they left behind. (Photo 2)

 

Photo 3the third photo type is the tintype - an actual piece of sheet tin



 a Message from Herb Shemwell about his  Photograph's...
 

"We are all familiar with those great photos of soldiers long past that stare at us from every Civil War book.  We have all dreamed of having that one defining portrait taken of us that would somehow come close to that look.  At most national events there are photographers willing to relieve any soldier boy of $30 to $50 if they are willing to stand in line for three hours and come back later for that photo.  I know that during these events there is always two things I'm short on - free time and money.  There has to be a better and simpler way.
        A year or so ago, Sgt. Cox and I began kicking around an idea that there had to be a way to provide our fellow 9th Texans with a reasonable and affordable way to get a photo taken that approximated those taken during the Civil War.  Since then, through trial and error we have been making some surprising progress.
        The basic photo available to the average soldier of that time were
provided to him on glass plate, on paper (called the "carte de visite" -
CDV), and the tintype.  We started by trying to age our photos and make them look like glass plates.  After several days of trial and error we felt we had the "look" and then we worked towards getting that to a glass plate.
(Photo 1)  We were able to reproduce a look-alike glass plate rather quickly but realized that while these would be good for displays at home "in the parlor" - they were much too fragile and would not stand up to the rigors of camp life.
         The carte de visite (CDV) was an actual piece of film attached to a small decorative card about the size of a playing card.  These were usually done in multiples so that the soldier could give them out to family, friends and the "sweetheart" they left behind. (Photo 2) Our reproductions have been steadily improving and we are now working on a variety of designs and improvements to make them more durable as they would be the most likely to be shown and carried in a re-enactment.
         The third photo type is the tintype - an actual piece of sheet tin
that was treated with photo emulsion and exposed to light.  The tintype look is very distinctive and we are currently trying to perfect our technique of making a reasonable example without chemicals.     (Photo 3) Tintypes ranges from the size of a postage stamp to as large as a sheet of writing paper.  They were enclosed in a decorative paper frame much like the CDV's.
         Other ideas are in the works to expand our efforts. We have been
collecting "props" - decorative columns, chairs, vases, rugs and curtains so that we can set up a "Studio" setting like the ones that were visited on occasion by the troops.  Group or single shots can be taken in camp and processed for that "in the field" look.  Who knows- maybe in the future we could use this as a way to recruit (say at a museum) or as a way to raise funds for the 9th.
         Thanks to Sgt. Cox, I have sifted through a lot of great
re-enactment photos and it has taught us a great deal about the Civil War photo.  While a little imagination, a bit of modern technology and a few minutes of effort go along way - the main ingredients are the impression, the pose and the setting.  We will keep working to improve our efforts and we look forward to giving each member of the 9th an opportunity to get that "defining" photo."
 
Respectfully - Herb Shemwell, Pvt., Co. C #17

To Contact Pvt Herb Shemwell, please email him at: hshemwell@hotmail.com

 

All pictures courtesy of Herb Shemwell and Brian Cox


ITEM 3-1
Rob Matlack
Ninth Texas Infantry



ITEM 3-2
Shawn Bell
Union impression by Color Sergeant Bell taken at Minneapolis, KS on Memorial Day 2004



ITEM 3-3
Tin Type Version
Members of the Ninth Texas



ITEM 3-4
Randy Downey glass plate
Always looking for a fight



ITEM 3-5
Herb Shemwell
At Corinth 2005, Herb and Randy Downey get ready for a march.



ITEM 3-6
Perryville KY 2002
this is a Herb Shemwell photo he worked on from his collection of photos from the last Perryville Reenactment.  He has made it appear like the old photos by artificially aging them to 'look' like glass-plate photos.    




ITEM 3-7
Pvt Ralph Infantry Company
a Carte de visite by the Ninth's official photographer company founded by Sgt Cox and Pvt Shemwell!!!

 
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