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Not on your tin type: c. 1880s image preserved by Raid, Boehr, Steiner

By Fred Steiner

A true Bluffton classic, perhaps taken in the 1880s ... this tin type photograph offers many questions and few answers. However, here is what we do know:

Howard Raid had this tin type, which measures 2 inches wide by 3 ½ inches tall. It was given to him by an unknown previous owner.

We guess Howard obtained it during the Bluffton centennial in 1961, as he chaired that event and by the nature of the office received many artifacts that residents had but didn’t know what to do with. On a hunch, we believe this is one of those artifacts.

Howard was the kind of person who never threw anything away, and if he knew who the models were, he’d have written their names on the back and added the donor's name. He didn’t know them, and thus, didn’t write names on the back, or the donor's name.

So, these two unknown gentlemen’s names were lost even in 1961. Eventually, Howard handed this this tin type and others in his “unknown” collection to Dick Boehr, the next caretaker generation of Bluffton sacred things in need of identification and protection.

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