My Daguerreotype Boyfriend – Vintage Portraits of Good-Looking Men

My Daguerreotype Boyfriend is a Tumblr blog all about handsome men who lived a century ago. It’s ‘where early photography meets extreme hotness’ in the form of antique photos, ca. 1839 – 1910. Most of the photos are submitted by readers who find the good-looking men, often while browsing through (digital) libraries, museums, and old photo albums. The men are often famous–a young author, athlete or president–but there are also anonymous men with brief descriptions, made even more mysterious by their charming, no-teeth-showing 19th-century smiles.

Boxer Jimmy Clabby

Boxer Jimmy Clabby (c. 1910) is prepared to defend your honor.

Alexander Horsburgh Turnbull

Alexander Horsburgh Turnbull, age 23, 1891. This New Zealand book collector amassed a library of 55,000 over his lifetime and somehow still found the time to groom an excellent mustache.

shawl-neck cardigan

This is how you rock a shawl-neck cardigan. Take note.
ca. 1921-22

Kermit Roosevelt

Kermit Roosevelt, age 24. In 1913, Theodore Roosevelt’s second-oldest son explored Brazil’s River of Doubt with his father. The river was later named the Rio Roosevelt and a branch of the river was named the Rio Kermit.

Puffin-Hunter, Faroe Islands

Puffin-Hunter, Faroe Islands, c. 1900.
Hey girl, you got a puffin problem? No worries, I got it.

Football team 1895-1910

Football team, c. 1895-1910

Boxer Ching Hook

Boxer Ching Hook in fighting attitude, 1888. UK National Archives. High-waisted pants make a lady swoon.

irish political prisoner

From the Mountjoy Prison Portraits of Irish Independence, 1857. Proving once again that Irish political prisoners are the hottest.

Yonejirō Noguchi

Yonejirō Noguchi, (1875-1947) Japanese poet and essayist. Father of artist Isamu Noguchi, from whom he was estranged.

daguerreotype portrait of a blind gentleman holding a cat

Hottest blind-gentleman-holding-a cat daguerreotype you will see all day.
ca. 1850

Henry Ossain Flipper

Henry Ossain Flipper may be in contention for Daguerreotype boyfriend of the year.
Born into slavery in Thomasville, Georgia, on March 21, 1856, he was appointed to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York, in 1873. Over the next four years he overcame harassment, isolation, and insults to become West Point’s first African American graduate and the first African American commissioned officer in the regular U.S. Army.

Young Teddy Roosevelt

Young Teddy Roosevelt was a stone cold fox. Here he is straight from sculling practice at Harvard.

Anthony Fokker, age 22, 1912.

Anthony Fokker, age 22, 1912.
My favorite WWI ace “Knight of the Air” and a freaking genius besides! He was dutch, the inventor of the Eindecker monoplane, the Fokker triplane and D.VII, developed the interrupter gear (HELLO major innovation used even today), and general hottie. Obviously, he is an ideal boyfriend.

The Bowdoin College Tug of War Team, 1891. From top left,  John Horne, James Merriman, George Mahoney, Jonathan Cilley.

The Bowdoin College Tug of War Team, 1891. From top left, John Horne, James Merriman, George Mahoney, Jonathan Cilley.
Note the sweet one-armed leather gear. All the better for tugging?

Albert Ball

Albert Ball, decorated British flying ace during World War I. Died at the age of 20 while pursuing the brother of the infamous (and also dashing) Red Baron through a cloud bank.

Digby Mackworth Dolben

Digby Mackworth Dolben, age 19, c. 1867
This English poet frequently wore a monk’s habit while at Eton and wrote obsessive verse about a classmate with whom he was in love. He died at 19 while swimming with his tutor in a river, though some suggest he might have committed suicide, distraught over his unrequited love.

Walter Bentley Woodbury

Walter Bentley Woodbury, age 23. Self-portrait with a camera, 1857. This British-born photographer sailed to Australia when he was twenty and ran a successful photography studio first in Melbourne, and then in Java, Indonesia.
He enclosed this photograph with a letter to his mother: “The portrait I send has the date marked on it and in the future I shall always date them so that you can see if I improve in appearance or otherwise.”

Any Daguerreotype BF worth his salt loves his dog.  ca. 1860-80’s, E.A. Scholfield

Any Daguerreotype BF worth his salt loves his dog.
ca. 1860-80’s, E.A. Scholfield

John Hay in his twenties

John Hay in his twenties, while serving Abraham Lincoln as his personal secretary. He later became Secretary of State under Teddy Roosevelt.
Described by a colleague as “quite young, and looks younger than he is; of a fresh and almost boyish complexion; quite a favorite among the ladies, and with a gift for epigram and repartee.”

Captain Woodford M. Taylor, Company B, 26th Kentucky Volunteer Infantry

Captain Woodford M. Taylor, Company B, 26th Kentucky Volunteer Infantry, U.S.A, 1860

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elaine liner

Shawl-neck cardigan guy is Babe Ruth.

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