Fifty Photographs: selections from SCUA collections

Paisley v. plaid

Ambrotype by unidentified photographer, ca.1855

A battle royale between paisley smock and plaid dress left no clear winner and no one emerged unscathed. The photographic process that captured the sibling sartorial spat was an ambrotype, in which a collodion glass plate negative is made positive by backing it with a black. The dark hues of many ambrotypes led some to comment that the people depicted look like enraged mud turtles. In paisley.