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Multiple Choice

May 2024
1min read

These antic pictures were sent to us by T. W. Edwards, who wanted us to know about the pioneering work his father, Charles W. Edwards, had done around 1895 in Jersey City. If you haven’t guessed yet, each is a double or triple image of one person. At bottom left we have the photographer’s father enjoying a cigar and a beer with his double. His friend Henry Pelzer (top) shows up falling from a wheelbarrow he steers and playing poker with two of himself. Finally, we have Raymond Getches clobbering his doppel-gänger. T. W.

 
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These antic pictures were sent to us by T. W. Edwards, who wanted us to know about the pioneering work his father, Charles W. Edwards, had done around 1895 in Jersey City. If you haven’t guessed yet, each is a double or triple image of one person. At bottom left we have the photographer’s father enjoying a cigar and a beer with his double. His friend Henry Pelzer (top) shows up falling from a wheelbarrow he steers and playing poker with two of himself. Finally, we have Raymond Getches clobbering his doppel-gänger. T. W. Edwards explains that his father used a 5x7 -plate camera with a special light-tight box mounted on the front that had two or three sliding doors, all with the same focal length. By moving these back and forth, he could take double and triple photos on the same glass negative. That is why, T. W. Edwards adds, the chair Raymond Getches brandishes is tied to the tree; it split the two exposures and had to remain stationary while the subject moved from side to side and the doors on the box were switched.

We continue to ask our readers to send unusual and unpublished old photographs to Carla Davidson at American Heritage, Forbes Building, 60 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10011. Please send a copy of any irreplaceable materials, include return postage, and do not mail glass negatives. We will pay fifty dollars for each one that is run.

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