It's rolling around again, Lincoln's birthday. And we here at the Museum of the Grand Prairie love to celebrate Abe in any way we can. Images of Lincoln abound. Our favorite story about Lincoln (and his image) centers around the time he went to have his picture taken on Main Street in Urbana.
(Left: Photograph taken of Lincoln in Beardstown Illinois, May 7, 1858)
He appeared in his duster...and his duster was dusty...
(Dusters are long thin coats merely meant to keep the dust from the road off one's normal clothing. )
They called it the Mud Circuit, after all.
So the photographer, Samuel Alschuler suggested that Lincoln put on the nice, tidy, velvet trimmed black jacket he was wearing. Well Mr. Alschuler was short and stout and the jacket fit...but the arms were 9 inches too short!
Yep. He looked pretty silly. It was noted by both Henry Clay Whitney and J.O. Cunningham (both present at the time) that everyone had a good laugh. Below is that Urbana portrait, probably taken on May 25, 1858. Notice his arms are not shown!
|THE URBANA LINCOLN portrait photograph|
|Coats for trying on at the MGP!|
If you get a chance, when the museum opens again on March 1, you can come try on a replica of Lincoln's duster and Alschuler's coat and see which one fits you better! We have both and a period camera to boot.
AND NOW IT'S FAVE ABE TIME.
|Can't you just imagine his head popping right off?|