Smiling Victorians
December 28, 2010 3:23 PM   Subscribe

Smiling Victorians is a collection of photos of smiling Victorian (and Edwardian!) people. And one photo of the Victorianest smile of all!
posted by ocherdraco (21 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite

 
Steamshopped.
posted by fairmettle at 3:25 PM on December 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


They're smiling because they're all wearing sexy, sexy underwear.
posted by LordSludge at 3:27 PM on December 28, 2010 [3 favorites]


...And they are all DEAD!
posted by cazoo at 3:29 PM on December 28, 2010


Smiles were so rare in photographs and other such processes when it took as much as 3 minutes to expose the plate. It's really really difficult to hold a smile in place for that long. Even small twitches in lip or face muscles will result in smeared features in the final picture. It's fascinating that these even happened at all.

Fascinating post. Thanks much!
posted by hippybear at 3:43 PM on December 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


They're smiling because they're all wearing sexy, sexy underwear. knickers.
posted by special-k at 3:46 PM on December 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Apropos of that: my favorite smiling Victorian.
posted by ocherdraco at 3:51 PM on December 28, 2010 [3 favorites]


I love this girl. Her smile, her hair, and the way her body just dissappears.

I'll save this post for after work, because I could spend hours browsing these photos.
posted by clearlydemon at 4:46 PM on December 28, 2010


I agree with your assessment Clearlydemon. She is my favorite of the bunch.

Although many of these people barely qualify as 'smiing,' (really?) the group is lovely in its portrayal of people looking more relaxed, and engaged in activity. They feel more like snapshots than portraits.
posted by SLC Mom at 4:58 PM on December 28, 2010


These make me smile, thanks!
posted by unknowncommand at 5:27 PM on December 28, 2010


I love these. I always like to imagine how those people would have looked if they'd been born in the modern age.

Also, these photos makes me miss some of my dearly departed elderly relatives.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 6:11 PM on December 28, 2010


It's interesting how it makes them easier to picture as current-day people.
posted by amethysts at 6:12 PM on December 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Love this. Smiling Victorians make me smile.
posted by missrachael at 6:17 PM on December 28, 2010


This is great. So different from most portraits of the time. It so makes history come alive - people were people are people. I love looking at old photographs like this and imagining the lives of those pictured. Also, who wouldn't want this girl as your new BFF? Hijinks would ensue.
posted by mkim at 6:48 PM on December 28, 2010


Somehow, viewing a photograph of Queen Victoria smiling was the perfect ending to a day of skiing in the Colorado Rockies.
posted by kozad at 7:17 PM on December 28, 2010


We are amused.
posted by plastic_animals at 7:17 PM on December 28, 2010


this is by far my favorite in the set. the look on the woman's newlywed face is beyond fabulous -- not to mention revealing.

excellent post.
posted by flyingsquirrel at 7:46 PM on December 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


If anyone knows of a set for tongues out - I found one in my grand-parents' negatives.
posted by a non e mouse at 12:09 AM on December 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


These are amazing. Hippybear - I think by the time these were made, shutter speeds would be a lot faster. Emulsion photography (versus daguerrotypes) was common by 1870 and used shutter speeds of a few seconds, and Muybridge's motion studies are around 1890, the speeds of which which are fast enough to capture a horse's gallop.

I wouldn't be surprised if there was a little smiling renaissance once the technology allowed it.
posted by condour75 at 5:33 AM on December 29, 2010


Thanks very much for these - reminded me of an old Flickr favorite (from the "smiling Edwardians" category): "Banana Standoff".
posted by ryanshepard at 7:27 AM on December 29, 2010


This one is just beautiful. Great stuff, and thanks for posting it.
posted by jquinby at 8:26 AM on December 29, 2010


I remember seeing that picture of Queen Victoria years ago in one of the Books of Lists, accompanying a brief list of people who took Mariani wine. Implication, of course, was that the wine brought on the smile.
posted by dlugoczaj at 11:02 AM on December 29, 2010


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