Marks on Faces of Vintage Photos

As you go through family photo albums of any time period there could be something that really catches your eye. There could be a face of an individual, so marked out using a pen that you can not recognize who it is. Even worst is if the person’s photo head is actually cut out of the entire photo.

These were very common practices done to vintage photos since photos began in the mid-1800s. It was even done in school and college yearbooks, marking out the face of someone the person owning the book did not want to see again.

By marking out the face or cutting out the image it was a method to erase that person forever in one’s life. Unfortunately, people who see these images decades later, have no idea who the marked person was and why this was done. People or family members are left guessing why.

This permanent display can be found in almost any time frame of photos from tintypes to 20th century images, so don’t be surprised if images from your great grandmother’s family have a few people (friends or family) marked out of existence. This was defacing to scratched out the face and sometimes the whole person.

Yet here is another reason. Very popular for many years was to place a small headshot of a loved one in a locket or pin. The only good one available might have been from a group shot so the headshot had to be cut out for the locket. But if the image is marked out, someone was not pleased with that person.

Photos: Lady’s face scratched out in group photos; Family member (maybe stepmother); causal photo with a face missing; full-length of person removed and more recent family photo with male face missing.

Related Blogs:

Photos Over the Years

Vintage Photos of Places and People

Headless Photos of the 19th Century

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