The Psychogenealogist Pic of the Week (#55)

Every Friday The Psychogenealogist shares a "Pic of the Week." The intent is to encourage thought and imagination about the spaces where psychology, genealogy, and history converge.

Here is a water stained matted photograph of a professionally dressed, distinguished looking gentleman. My guess is that it is taken around 1900, give or take a decade.

I was first drawn to the man's outfit. Not having any experience in this area, it looked possibly like a religious or clerical suit. It didn't strike me as Roman Catholic, but I thought maybe it was some other denomination. As formal as the portrait is, however, one would have expected other religious accessories in the photo (e.g., a cross, rosary, or bible) if it were indeed a type of vestment. 

A brief consultation with an expert suggested that this was most likely a professional man, with some means (perhaps a doctor, lawyer, or even a professor). 

There were no markings on the back. The only marking on the front, as you can see, is "Nolte" located in Lewistown, PennsylvaniaI found a few mentions of a photographer, John C. Nolte, near Lewistown in the 1910s. 

I know nothing else about this photography that I picked up at a locale antique store. What can you tell me?

Here are some good resources to have handy when trying to identify and learn about men's historical clothing you find in your own genealogy pursuits:

The Evolution of Men's Style: 1933-Now

Mens Fashion Throughout The Years

100 Years of Men’s Fashion

All of the above have some great photo galleries of men's fashion in history. But, none of them showed a man dressed like the one post here.

I found this photo of Albert Power (1870-1948), an Australian Jesuit Roman Catholic priest. The coat seems similar but the collar seems different.

Albert Power (1870-1948)

Albert Power (1870-1948)

I found other photos that matched the collar, but the coat and other details seemed different. Like this one: 

Embed from Getty Images

So, what can you tell me?

Here are some questions to think about: 


  • Who is this man and what is his story?
  • What is his profession?
  • What year was the photo taken?
  • Have you seen any other photos of men wearing similar clothing?
  • What can you tell me about the man's glasses?

Do you have an old photograph or a genealogical story that you would like to share? I am happy to consider guest submissions for possible Pic of the Week or other blog posts in the future. Send an email to for more information.

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