The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Your Ugly Ancestors

Posted on | August 21, 2011 | 21 Comments

Now we know where you get it, huh? This photo is from a collection called “Victorian Husbands and Wives” and, in linking the collection at AOSHQ, Maetenloch offered the defense that “makeup and smiles apparently hadn’t been invented yet.”

AOSHQ commenters unanimously agreed: I wouldn’t hit that for $100 in 1872 money, which would be like eleventy kajillion bucks today.


21 Responses to “Your Ugly Ancestors”

  1. JeffS
    August 22nd, 2011 @ 2:23 am

    Maybe they’re both Democrats?

  2. GTS
    August 22nd, 2011 @ 2:34 am

    Did they vote for progressives and have 10K each in credit card debt?

    nope, they are not modern at all.

  3. Doug
    August 22nd, 2011 @ 2:34 am

    they had a stupid idea that marriage was about procreation not trying out the latest dildo or vibrator or …

  4. Mike
    August 22nd, 2011 @ 2:37 am

     Are they related…they kinda favor each other. 😉

  5. Anonymous
    August 22nd, 2011 @ 2:40 am

    I bet they had beautiful children.

  6. Bacadog
    August 22nd, 2011 @ 2:43 am

    Which one’s the wife? 

  7. Mike
    August 22nd, 2011 @ 2:45 am

    Those are daguerreotypes,  I think. If that’s the case, you can’t blame them for not smiling. You had to sit perfectly still for a long time while the picture was being taken.

  8. M Simon
    August 22nd, 2011 @ 3:09 am

    If I had to choose I’d pick him over her. And I’m not even in any way shape or form excited by guys.  I’d put her in the prune juice topped with straight lemon juice category.

    Better yet I’ll stick with the first mate who is better looking and is a handful. Fortunately I have big hands.

  9. ThePaganTemple
    August 22nd, 2011 @ 3:36 am

    People back in those days tended to not smile for pictures. Photography was still relatively new in 1872, and people were excited by its possibilities. Mainly, they saw this as a way they had of preserving their image for future generations of descendants. Because of this, mainly, they wanted to present an image of a serious person. Somebody who smiled, back in those days, was seen as undignified, and maybe even foolish.

  10. Adjoran
    August 22nd, 2011 @ 3:53 am

    It is true that photographers told their subjects not to smile for that very reason, but smiling for portraits at all is a fairly recent idea.  For centuries portraits were expensive undertakings and thought to require a seriousness of mind. 

  11. Clavius
    August 22nd, 2011 @ 3:54 am

    @ThePaganTemple:disqus  — Spot on.

    Styles change.

    And when there are a couple of orders of magnitude fewer people in the world there a many fewer who will look perfect.

  12. Steve Burri
    August 22nd, 2011 @ 4:02 am

    We have done a little more research into that archive.

  13. ThePaganTemple
    August 22nd, 2011 @ 4:17 am

    A couple of hundred years from now, can you imagine what our descendants will be saying about our pics, clothing style, etc? You don’t really have to go back as far as the 1800’s. People back in the 1960’s thought they were the coolest people to ever grace the planet. Now we see a picture of them, their clothing and hairstyles, etc., and laugh at them.

  14. Jamie Jeffords
    August 22nd, 2011 @ 5:43 am

    If someone told me those were sisters, I would not argue. 

  15. rosalie
    August 22nd, 2011 @ 12:01 pm

      I  have some photos hanging in my living room of some family members from the early 1920’s,  and all the subjects look so forlorn.  Now I know why.  

  16. Bob Belvedere
    August 22nd, 2011 @ 12:06 pm

    Also, I believe, photographers discovered it was harder for their subjects to hold a smile for the length of the exposure time.

  17. Bob Belvedere
    August 22nd, 2011 @ 12:06 pm

    I don’t.

  18. Bob Belvedere
    August 22nd, 2011 @ 12:07 pm

    A Boston Marriage, perhaps?

  19. Bob Belvedere
    August 22nd, 2011 @ 12:07 pm
  20. Obi's Sister
    August 22nd, 2011 @ 1:37 pm

    Also, most didn’t smile because of their lack of teeth. 

  21. Estase
    August 24th, 2011 @ 10:42 pm

    If you had to carry every drop of water twenty feet to get it in the house, live without AC, and do eight hours of farm work a day, you’d age rapidly too.