Ten Fascinating “Only Known” Photos

Fascinating “Only Known” Photos

1. The Only Known Photograph of Einstein Deriving his Famous E=mc2 Equation

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At a public lecture in Pittsburgh in 1934, four hundred lucky students were privy to a lecture by Albert Einstein, in which the great man mathematically derived his famous mass-energy equivalence equation: E=mc2. What you see above is a photo from that lecture, and what is thought to be the only surviving photo that shows Einstein working on that derivation.

The photo was pulled from a halftone newspaper clipping by David Topper and Dwight Vincent of the University of Winnipeg, who discovered it in 2007. Sadly, everything is a bit fuzzy so you can’t really make out the famed equation itself. And even though the original article had a crisp picture of Einstein posing next to one of his blackboards, he’s next to the wrong one.

2. The only known photo of Billy the Kid with the Lincoln County Regulators

There is only one known photo of Billy the Kid (William Henry McCarty, Jr.) that was authenticated—until October 2015 when a second photograph of the outlaw was verified as authentic. It was bought for $2 at a Fresno junk shop seven years ago and could be worth $5 million.

The 4-by-5-inch tintype shows the Kid, and several members of the Lincoln County Regulators, playing croquet with friends, family, and significant others in the summer of 1878, according to Kagin's Inc., a numismatic firm that specializes in U.S. gold coins and collectibles.

Jeff Aiello, executive director of the documentary entitled Billy the Kid - New Evidence says, "This is the first photograph ever discovered of Billy the Kid with The Regulators, and that's significant in American history."

3. First photo of Georgetown Slave found in library archives

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A Nicholls archivist discovered the first known photograph of a Georgetown slave in the Ellender Memorial Library.
Clifton Theriot, archivist and interim director of the Ellender Memorial Library, was reading through a genealogy quarterly and came across the name “Frank Campbell.”
He thought, “I’ve seen this name before.”
Theriot recognized the name from a small photograph in a scrapbook in the library archives. He said that the reason the name stuck in his head was because of the photograph’s odd caption. In pencil, the caption read, “Frank Campbell, our old servant. 19, when the stars fell.”
After some research, Theriot found that the falling stars referred to a meteor shower that took place in 1833.
“Thankfully, somebody in 1941 wrote this caption because otherwise we would have never known who this man was,” Theriot said. “Even if his name had been written there and the captions were not, I don’t think it would have stuck with me.”

Frank Campbell was enslaved on a Jesuit plantation in Maryland. In 1838, he was shipped to a sugar plantation in Louisiana along with many others who were sold to raise money for what is now known as Georgetown University.
The sugar plantation was called Roberta Grove and is South of Houma. Robert Ruffin Barrow Jr. owned it. It is presumed that his daughter created the scrapbook in which Campbell’s picture was found.

Campbell’s photograph is the only known photo of the 272 Georgetown slaves.

“It adds a human touch to the story,” Theriot said. “People had the names and dates, but now they have the image of someone who lived throughout slavery.”
The picture shows an old Frank Campbell with a white beard standing with two young girls. Theriot explained that the youngest girl in the photo is Mary Jane, Campbell’s granddaughter. Since she appears to be about one or two years of age in the photo, it is concluded that the photograph was probably taken around 1905.

Theriot hopes that this finding will encourage other people to look into archive facilities or family albums to see if other photographs exist.

Earlene Campbell-Coleman, great-great-great granddaughter of Frank Campbell from North Carolina, recently came to the archives at Nicholls to see the photo with her sister.

“To see the expression on their faces made all of this worth it,” Theriot said. “To me, that was the best part of the whole thing: to see the happiness and joy with the descendants.”

Theriot said Campbell-Coleman even cried when she got to see the pictures.

“It is reuniting the image with their family,” Theriot said. “That is the fun part of working in the archive. It is connecting families with part of their past.”

The Ellender archives preserve much of what life was like along Bayou Lafourche and surrounding areas dating back to the 1700s.

“If it is not preserved, our history is lost. In my opinion, that is a tragedy,” Theriot said.

Theriot also related the importance of history preservation to the yearbook cancellation controversy that has taken place on Nicholls campus in these past few weeks.

“I was sorry to hear about the yearbook because a lot of alumni come here to see the past yearbooks,” Theriot said. “That is the reason a lot of events are documented and photographed. If there is no reason to have these photographs taken or published, I’m concerned that the photographs won’t be taken. The yearbook is an important part of preserving the history of the time that students are here.”

4. The only known photo of the musician known as the "Father of the Delta Blues"

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Only known photograph of Charley Patton, a 1929 Paramount promotional still. When the mood struck him he would hold the guitar on his lap and play it like a zither, as seen here. The spats on his shoes were a highfalutin fashion statement not normally associated with old country blues, but something else about Patton's wardrobe caught the eye of historian David Evans: his collar and lapel are curiously hiked up on his left side, leaving his bow tie askew. This may have been to hide the scar on his neck from a near-fatal razor attack earlier that year.

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The Muse brothers had an incredible career. The story of the two black albino brothers from Roanoke, Virginia is unique even in the bizarre world of freaks and sideshow. They were initially exploited and then later hailed for their unintentional role in civil rights.

Born in the 1890’s the pair were scouted by sideshow agents and kidnapped in 1899 by bounty hunters working in the employ of an unknown sideshow promoter. Black albinos, being extremely rare, would have been an extremely lucrative attraction. They were falsely told that their mother was dead, and that they would never be returning home.

The brothers began to tour. To accentuate their already unusual appearance, their handler had the brothers grow out their hair into long white dreadlocks. In 1922 showman Al G. Barnes began showcasing the brothers in his circus as White Ecuadorian cannibals Eko and Iko. When that gimmick failed to attract crowds the brothers were rechristened the ‘Sheep-Headed Men’ and later, in 1923, the ‘Ambassadors from Mars’.

As the ‘Men from Mars’ the two traveled extensively with the Barnes circus. Unfortunately, while they were being fed, housed and trained in playing the mandolin, they were not being paid.

In the mid 1920’s the Muse brothers toured with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. In 1927, while visiting their hometown, their mother finally tracked them down. She fought to free her sons, some 20 years after their disappearance. She threatened to sue and the Muse brothers were freed.

The brothers filed a lawsuit for the wages they earned but were never paid. They initially demanded a lump-sum payment of 100,000. However, as time passed the Muse brothers missed the crowds, the attention and the opportunities sideshow provided. Their lawyer got them a smaller lump-sum payment and a substantial contract with a flat monthly wage. The pair returned to show business in 1928.

During their first season back they played Madison Square Garden and drew over 10,000 spectators during each of their performances. They made spectacular money as their new contract allowed them to sell their own merchandise and keep all the profits for themselves. In the 1930’s they toured Europe, Asia and Australia. They performed for royals and dignitaries including the Queen of England. In 1937 they returned to Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus for several years and finally ended their career in 1961 with the Clyde Beatty Circus.

The brothers returned to their hometown and lived together in a house they originally purchased for their mother. Neither brother married, though they were well known for their many extravagant courtships.

George Muse died in 1971 and many expected Willie to quickly follow his brother. Those people were wrong as Willie continued to play his mandolin and enjoy the company friends and family until his death on Good Friday of 2001.

He was 108 years old.

6. Rare photo shows Marilyn Monroe with JFK, RFK

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Marilyn Monroe's sultry rendition of "Happy Birthday" sung for President John F. Kennedy's 45th birthday celebration marked the actress' last major public appearance before her mysterious death in August 1962.

Tuesday, which would have been Monroe's 84th birthday, marked the public debut of a rare image of Monroe with Kennedy and his brother Robert F. Kennedy together after the May 19, 1962, party.

The black-and-white photo, taken by White House photographer Cecil Stoughton, showed Monroe still wearing the infamously tight-fighting, sheer rhinestone-studded dress she wore when singing earlier at Madison Square Garden.
President Kennedy appears to be turning away from the camera, something he rarely did, while his brother, the U.S. attorney general, looks toward them.

"There is no other known photo of Bobby [Kennedy] with Marilyn or JFK with Marilyn, and it's not because they were never photographed together," said filmmaker Keya Morgan, who now owns the only original prints of it. "In fact, they were photographed together many times, but the Secret Service and the FBI confiscated every single photograph."

Stoughton, who sold the prints to Morgan a year before his death in 2008, told him agents missed one negative in their search, he said.

"The Secret Service came in when he was developing the negatives and basically confiscated all the ones of Jack, Bobby with Marilyn," Morgan said. "The only one that survived is the one that was in the dryer."

Historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr., who was an aide to President Kennedy, appears in the photo holding a drink and cigar and wearing a broad smile. Schlesinger's personal journal, published in 2007, included his impression of Monroe at the private gathering.

"The image of this exquisite, beguiling and desperate girl will always stay with me," Schlesinger wrote. "I do not think I have seen anyone so beautiful; I was enchanted by her manner and her wit, at once so masked, so ingenuous and so penetrating."

He wrote that Robert Kennedy was paying great attention to Monroe at the gathering, which was at the Manhattan home of Arthur and Matilda Krim.

"Bobby and I engaged in mock competition for her; she was most agreeable to him and pleasant to me, but one never felt her to be wholly engaged," Schlesinger wrote in a passage included in his book "Journals: 1952-2000."
While the relationship between the Kennedy brothers and Monroe has become a documented part of history, photographer Stoughton was reluctant to allow the image to become public until after former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy's death in 1994.

Morgan said he bought access to the negative while working on an upcoming documentary about the actress's death, "Marilyn Monroe: Murder on Fifth Helena Drive."

Stoughton, in interviews for the film, told Morgan the story behind the first lady's refusal to attend her husband's birthday gala.

"He's the one who told Jackie that Marilyn was going to be at the celebration, and her exact words were 'Screw Jack,' and she left the room and she did not go to the famous celebration," Morgan said.

Morgan's prints show details not clear in low-resolution, cropped copies that made their way onto the internet after the photo was licensed for a book about Monroe in 2004.

Singer Harry Belafonte is seen in the background with his wife, talking to a man that Stoughton told Morgan was comedian Jack Benny.

Beverly Hills art appraiser David W. Streets, who reviewed the prints and their history for CNN, called them "the real McCoy."

"This is a very significant piece of American and celebrity history, of fine art photography," Streets said.
Since Stoughton was a U.S. Army captain and was using a government-owned camera and film, the images themselves are in the public domain. But access to the negative, which Stoughton secretly kept, was valuable, Streets said.
Stoughton made and signed 10 prints for Morgan, 30 inches by 30 inches. Nine of them go on sale Tuesday at the Art & Artifact Gallery in West Hollywood, California.

The 10th print was given to singer Michael Jackson two years ago, Morgan said. Morgan was a friend of the pop star's, who was a big Monroe fan.


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Rodolfo Guzmán Huerta is arguably one of the most famous men in the history of Mexico and yet, rather paradoxically, there are few people who know his name and even fewer who know his face. This is because for almost five decades Huerta was known to the public only as a silver faced luchadore called El Santo. And in that time, he only once removed his mask while in public.

The story of El Santo, which for the non Spanish speakers literally translates to “The Saint”, begins in the Mexican city of Tulancingo where Huerta was born in 1917. The fifth of seven children, Huerta had a modest, structured upbringing during which little of note happened, or at least not enough for it to be mentioned in any of the books about his life we consulted.

It’s noted that Huerta first became interested in Lucha Libre when the sport was just making its first steps to become legitimised in the early 1930s after moving to Mexico city. Upon seeing the high flying theatrics and athleticism of the various wrestlers who worked throughout the city, Huerta vowed to become a wrestler himself and immediately set about training in a local gym.

Though Huerta led a storied, well-chronicled career, exactly when he first made his professional début is a matter of some contention. However, it’s largely agreed that he probably made his career début shortly before his 17th birthday in 1934 under his own name.

Over the next few years Huerta fought under several aliases and masks, variously referring to himself as The Red Man (El Hombre Rojo), The Black Demon (El Demonio Negro) and perhaps most infamously The Bat 2 (El Murcielago II). You see, wrestlers in Mexico tend to take their identities very seriously and the name El Murcielago already belonged to another wrestler who objected to Huerta referring to himself as El Murcielago II; not wanting to offend another Luchadore, Huerta respectfully dropped the persona.

Interestingly, although Huerta would later become an almost mythical figure in Mexican history for being a quintessential hero character, he initially wrestled as a “rudo” a term that is roughly synonymous with the western wrestling term “heel”- this basically means he played a bad guy who fought dirty and played up to the crowd’s jeers and boos.

However, this all changed in 1942 when Huerta took up the mantle of El Santo and began wearing his now iconic silver mask, the design of which was partially inspired by the eponymous Man in the Iron Mask from the Alexandre Dumas novel of the same name. (See: Who was the Real Man in the Iron Mask?) El Santo made his wrestling debut on July 26, 1942, winning an eight man battle royale using a series of high-flying, acrobatic flips and throws that would become a cornerstone of his fighting style.

Throughout the 1940s, El Santo fame’s steadily grew and he quickly adapted a persona as an honest, working-man’s hero who fought against corruption and evil, which inevitably endeared him to the Mexican populace. El Santo’s fame was only bolstered by the increasing availability of televisions throughout the late 1940s and early 1950s. During this period, El Santo claimed a number of famous victories over older, established wrestlers including El Murcielago, the same wrestler he’d once tried to emulate in his initial foray into the sport.

El Santo’s fame reached stratospheric levels when Mexican artist Jose G. Cruz began using his likeness in a comic bearing his name which discussed his various heroic exploits like punching vampires and felling werewolves with explosive hurricanranas. Despite the relatively low quality of the early comics, they proved to be quite popular, running for 35 years straight.

After greedily eying the sales numbers for the comics, movie producers soon began approaching El Santo with offers for him to appear in films. The first of many offers came just months after the first El Santo comic was published in 1952, when the wrestler was offered the the leading role in a movie called, El Enmascarado de Plata (The Silver Masked Man), an endearing nickname the public had taken to calling El Santo.  El Santo reputedly didn’t believe the film could be a success and declined the part, mainly to focus on his wrestling career.

As El Santo predicted, the film wasn’t that popular. However, it did help establish the rather surreal Luchadore genre- a genre almost entirely endemic to Mexico that melded together elements of horror, sci-fi, action and comedy, and also happened to star rippling Mexican men wearing luchadore masks. El Santo was eventually persuaded to star in one of the these movies in 1958 after witnessing the success of his comic; over the course of the next 20 years, he became the most iconic and prolific star of the entire genre, appearing in over 50 films in which he used his wrestling skills to defeat everything from aliens to the Nazis. These movies catapulted El Santo to an even more unprecedented level of fame for a luchadore and their popularity saw him become household name in his native Mexico, even amongst those who had no interest or knowledge of wrestling.

While his many multimedia appearances undoubtedly played a part in his fame, almost since his debut, El Santo had always maintained a certain mystique around himself by never removing his mask in public. His dedication to maintaining the mystery around his identity was such that he even had a chinless mask made so that he could eat without taking the mask off on set during meals; he also had his own voice dubbed over in any movies where he spoke so that even his voice was disguised.

In the film El Hacha Diabolica, which called for El Santo to remove his mask and show his face to the film’s love interest, he agreed on the condition that his character do so while facing away from the camera. Even then, he still got a stand-in to actually perform the scene because he didn’t want the actress to see what he looked like.

In all of his other films, Santo similarly demanded that his character never appear unmasked, regardless of how much sense it made or what his character’s role was. Perhaps the most humorous example of this was in the 1958 film, Santo contra Hombres Infernales, in which Santo played an ordinary police sergeant who inexplicably wore a luchadore mask in every single scene.

Santo’s dedication to maintaining his identity extended beyond his films and into his private life. For example, when El Santo took Jose Cruz to court for trying to replace him in his own comic, knowing that he couldn’t appear in court wearing his mask, he instead opted to cover his face in bandages and don a large pair of sunglasses before explaining to the judge that he’d been in a “wrestling accident“. (El Santo won the case, if you’re wondering.) Stories like these led to rumors that even El Santo’s passport contained a photo of him wearing his mask. While not true, in reality Santo did have a standing agreement with US customs to only remove his mask in a private room so that only the customs agent would see his face.

The only known time El Santo ever broke his vow of secrecy happened about a year after his retirement from the world of wrestling. In January of 1984, during a scheduled appearance on a popular Mexican talk show called, Contrapunto. 10 minutes into the show, El Santo partially removed his mask without any prior warning or announcement, exposing his face publicly for the first time in his entire five decade career. 10 days later, he died of a heart attack.

El Santo’s funeral was one of the biggest in Mexico’s history, with hundreds of friends, (many of whom turned up in masks as a sign of respect) and many thousands of fans coming to pay their final respects. As a final mark of respect and in compliance with his Will, El Santo was buried wearing his trademark mask.

8. The only known image of Jocelyn Gordon Whitehead—the man who killed Houdini

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This is the only known photo of Jocelyn Gordon Whitehead, the McGill University student who dealt the fatal blow to magician Harry Houdini in his dressing room at the Princess Theater in Montreal on October 22, 1926.

Whitehead's blows to Houdini's abdomen either started, contributed, or covered-up the appendicitis that would take Houdini's life nine days later on Halloween.

Whitehead, who is holding a book, had a strange history with them—he gained access to Houdini's dressing room with the claim of returning a borrowed book and was also charged with shoplifting books twice in 1928. He died a recluse and hoarder in 1954.

9. The only known photo of the real military officer who was the inspiration for the lead character in The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

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While author Washington Irving did not readily admit that the lead character in The Legend of Sleepy Hollow was named after Colonel Ichabod Crane (above), the two men had met before. They both served at Fort Pike, Lake Ontario in Sackets Harbor, New York. Irving was an aide-de-camp to New York Gov. Daniel D. Tompkins at the time.

10. Museums Acquire Rare Harriet Tubman Portrait

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The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture and the Library of Congress have acquired a photo album consisting of 44 photos, including photos of civil rights trailblazer Harriet Tubman. It also includes the only known photo of John Willis Menard, the first Black man to be elected to Congress.

The images are from the 1860's and are part of a photo album by Emily Howland, a Quaker school teacher who taught at Camp Todd, the Freedman’s School in Arlington, Virginia.

Lonnie Bunch, Founding Director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture says the photos offer a deeper glimpse into history.

"It is a distinct honor to have these photographs that tell an important part of America’s history,” Bunch said. “We are pleased and humbled to work with the Library of Congress to ensure that this rare and significant collection will be preserved and made accessible to the American public.”

In 1868 Menard, won a special election for a House seat in Louisiana representing New Orleans, but was challenged by his opponent Caleb Hunt. Going before the House of Representatives to appeal his win, he became the first Black person to address the House of Representatives. Menard was considered unqualified and never took his seat, the position remained vacant until the next election.

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