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18th Battalion.png

Carte de Visite Sized Tintype
Unknown Photographer
Quebec, Canada
Late 1860s

A curiosity of the tintype process was that the final product always depicted a mirrored or flipped version of the subject. This effect was simply due to the photographic plate was directly exposed in the camera without the use of an intermediate negative. Generally, this reversing of the image is noticeable to the casual viewer unless some lettering or numbers appeared in the scene. These would always appear backward. Under close examination, it is evident that the unnamed photographer who created this late 1860s tintype creatively attempted to compensate for this fundamental flaw in the process.

To avoid having the militiaman's cap badge appear to read "81" he rotated it 180  degrees so that in the final product it would correctly read "18". If one examines the badge's number 8 it is clearly upside down. The photographer also had the soldier switch his cross belt so that it would appear to be going over his left shoulder.

There were some elements he could not compensate for. These include the buttoning of the soldier's tunic appearing to be on the right side or the lock on the Snider-Enfield rifle seeming to be on the wrong side of the stock.

In regards to the soldier himself, he appears to have been a member of the 18th Prescott Battalion of Infantry. The battalion was headquartered at Hawkesbury Mills, Ontario. His headwear consists of a Kilmarnock cap with battalion number, an eight-button tunic similar in cut to the British 1856 pattern but with ornate knotted cuff braid instead of the British style cuff flaps. As mentioned above he is armed with the still relatively new Snider-Enfield rife.

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