While prints and engravings of
uniforms are important, they don't always tell the truth in terms of what
exactly was worn by soldiers. Original photographs on the other hand are
excellent documents for the scholar of uniforms, and
Mrs. Brown collected a significant number of original photographs dating from circa
1850 to 1945.
There are daguerreotypes of American soldiers and sailors from the pre-Civil War period, and a small group of images of the war. Carte-de-Visites of officers and men from the Civil War as well as from European countries are by far the largest form of original photographs in the collection.
A number of photograph albums exist including one depicting students and faculty at Addiscombe College, the East India Company college, in the late 1850's, an album of snapshots taken by a German soldier in Europe during World War Two, and several containing hand-colored photographs of various late nineteenth century uniform groups. Other albums show uniforms of European armies of the same period, one dedicated to Archduke Rainer of Austria in 1897 containing portraits of officers, while another has 80 mounted photographs of the French Régiment des Guides taken between 1854 and 1866.
Several interesting items combine lithographed prints with photographs. Two 19th century German service certificates include photographic portraits of the named soldiers, cut-out and mounted on the print. The centenary of the siege of Yorktown is represented by two large portfolios prepared for Count Rochambeau and presented in 1882. These contain numerous hand-colored photographs depicting members of state militias such as the image above showing uniforms worn by the Rhode Island troops in 1881.
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