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Welcome to the American Photo photo blog. We colorize black & white photos for museums, educators, media . . . and families like yours.

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The year is 1844. Back in the early days of portrait photography, it was fashionable to be photographed with the tools of one’s trade. A blacksmith would pose with hammer and anvil, a peddler with his carrying cases, a pharmacist perhaps with a couple of beakers and a mortar and pestle. So, here we find a man leaning on a chair with a sizable key. One can only imagine what the key unlocks. Could it be the key to the gate of a large estate? Maybe the key to his heart? For all we know, the man could be Bob Cratchit – and this is the key to the front door of Scrooge & Marley’s.

As 1840s daguerreotypes go, this image is about as crisp as you’ll find – making it a worthy candidate for colorizing. Our photo subject really springs to life in color. Little did he know, when he posed for a photographer 170 years ago – that his mug would be visible to the entire planet one day.


1844 - Man With A Key


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