Scholars are debating whether a rare photograph of Abraham Lincoln on the day of his famed Gettysburg Address has been discovered, according to a story in USA Today. “You may have seen the most important Lincoln photographic discovery in 40 years — what do you think?” says Lincoln historian Harold Holzer in the piece.
The image is actually a pair of stereoscopic photos, discovered by collector John Richter, which can be viewed through special viewers in 3-D. The tall, top-hat wearing man thought to be Lincoln is seen at a distance in a crowd.
But photographs of the 16th President, especially at Gettysburg, are extremely rare. While watching the Democratic debate last night and noting how big Obama’s ears are, how goofy Hillary’s shoulder pads look, and how Edwards’s hair might be shillacked into place, it occurred to me how different it must have been back in the days when voters had to rely on candidates’ ideas and not their images to choose leaders. Chances are Honest Abe would not have been telegenic — but he does look regal in a top hat. — Jack Crager