Throwback Thursday: Portraits

In this week’s throwback journey, let’s explore the many faces of people of the past (1854 to 1946), featuring the serious expressions to awkward gazes to genuine smiles, and more offered in the photographic archives from The Commons.

Title: Portrait of a Man. Artist: Unknown artist. Creation Date: 1854. Process: daguerreotype.

Claude Debussy portrait
Bergen Public LibraryClaude Debussy portrait

French composer Claude Debussy (1862–1918).

Lovett, Alberta. From the Godby Family fonds. Taken sometime in 1916.

Photograph of airmail pilot John F. Milatzo
Smithsonian InstitutionPhotograph of airmail pilot John F. Milatzo

John Milatzo holds the dubious distinction of being the last pilot to die while working in the Post Office Department’s Airmail Service. Milatzo began his career with the Department on February 24, 1923, and was killed in an airmail crash on April 22, 1927. While flying from Chicago, Illinois to New York, New York, Milatzo encountered a rough snow storm. Ice collected on his airplane, forcing him to try and land at night. His plane crashed in a field not far from Goshen, Indiana. National Postal Museum, Curatorial Photographic Collection. Photographer: Unknown. Date: c. 1924.

Karl Oskar Lööw, Fredhäll, Uppland, Sweden
Swedish National Heritage BoardKarl Oskar Lööw, Fredhäll, Uppland, Sweden

The crofter Karl Oskar Lööw in Fredhäll. Born in 1873. Photograph by: Einar Erici. Date: 1933.

PhC9_2_2_5 c.1930's-40's on NC Coast
State Archives of North CarolinaPhC9_2_2_5 c.1930's-40's on NC Coast

From the Charles A. Farrell Photo Collection, PhC.9, North Carolina State Archives. Date: c.1930s-1940s.

[Portrait of Al Sears, Aquarium, New York, N.Y., ca. Nov. 1946] (LOC)
The Library of Congress[Portrait of Al Sears, Aquarium, New York, N.Y., ca. Nov. 1946] (LOC)

Portrait of Al Sears, Aquarium, New York, N.Y., ca. Nov. 1946.

To join this series, tweet @flickr with your favorite photos, and include the hashtag #ThrowbackThursday. And if you’d rather not tweet, simply include the same hashtag in your Flickr photo title, or tag it with ThrowbackThursday. We can’t wait to see what time period and subjects show up next in pictures. From old scans to new photos of throwback memories, we like them all. In the meantime you can also find inspiration in The Commons on Flickr.

Last Thursday: Throwback Thursday: What a view