I reunite identified family photos that I find in antique shops and second hand stores with genealogists and family historians. If you see one of your ancestors here and would like to obtain the original, feel free to contact me at familyphotoreunion [ at ] yahoo [ dot ] com. I hope you enjoy your visit!
~The Archivist

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

What a Shame Wednesday: Young Man from Hollidaysburg, PA, circa 1868-1875

The subject of this carte de visite is not identified, which is truly a shame.  The young man appears a bit unsure of the camera, but is, nonetheless, quite charming in his Scottish plaid skirt and jacket. The image is not dated, but based upon the style of his outfit  and the type of cardstock the photo is mounted on, I'd date this to somewhere around  1868-1875. 

Robert Atkinson Bonine, of the Pennsylvania-based Bonine family  of photographers, created this image. His family included brother, Elias A.  Bonine, was a well-known stereoscope photographer and Robert's son, Robert Kates Bonine, 1862-1923, an early Victorian travel film-maker.  Bonine was working in Hollidaysburg as early as 1864, where I found him listed as a photographer in the IRS Tax List for that year.

Morning Tribune (Altoona, PA) Thursday, February 14, 1878  
A New Building on Fourteenth Street. Mr. Robert A. Bonine, a photographer of Hollidaysburg, has concluded to remove to the city, and has made arrangements for the erection of a new gallery on Fourteenth street, above Eleventh avenue. The building will be of wood, 25 feet front by 45 feet deep, and will be 22 feet high. The work is being done by Messrs. Thomas Davis and R. C. Smith, and it is to be completed, if possible, by the 1st of April. 

The photograph of the young boy would have been taken prior to 1878, which is helpful to confirm that we are on the right track with the earlier guess of 1868-1875.


  1. Such a charming photo!! I see why it caught your eye!

  2. Some other visual cues I look at are the backdrop, carpet, and props. I have read that plain backdrop and busy carpet are late 1860s. The chair prop came about mid 60s. I think you are right on your time frame.