henryclaraford-tintype-laterallyinverted

Laterally Inverted

© Albert Kaplan 2016

 

henryclaraford-tintype-lifeimage

Life Image

Please note Clara’s right hand which seems to be grasping something. Perhaps she was holding a ball-clock. They can be found at rural auctions in England.

 


 

Kaplan Collection

Known Images

 


 

Clara Ford’s Hair, Wedding Band, Slim Waist & Bowtie

 

Kaplan Collection

Known Images


From the collections of The Henry Ford


From the collections of The Henry Ford

Note the loose wedding band which suggests that she might be wearing it for the first time.

 


From the collections of The Henry Ford

 


 

Henry Ford’s Hair

 

Kaplan Collection

Known Images

 

 

 

Please compare the eyebrows.

 


 

Henry Ford’s Hands

 

Kaplan Collection

Known Images

 

Viewer, please note the little finger of Henry’s right hand.
Is it harmonious with his other fingers?

 

 


From the collections of The Henry Ford

 

It appears that the rim of the hat seems to be up against a book, holding it in place. If so, the book is likely a Bible, underscoring the likelihood that this tintype was made on their wedding day.

In the above known photographic image of Henry Ford, he is holding a straw hat by the rim. In the tintype, the young man is also holding a hat by its rim, the same round shape as the straw hat of the known image.

 

Note the shirt collar which seems to be identical to the shirt collar in the tintype.

 


 

Henry Ford, born in 1863, and Clara Jane Bryant, born in 1866, were married on Wednesday, April 11, 1888, Clara’s birthday. Perhaps this tintype was made on that very day. He was 24 years of age, Clara 22 years of age.

 

This is a typical low-end 1880’s tintype in which distortion and fuzziness is built-in.

 

Clara had a distinctive nose, and while we cannot make out the contours of her nostrils, the little we do see is agreeable with Clara’s nose.

 


Henry Ford’s voluminous anti-Semitic publications were so profoundly influential in Germany, Baldur von Schirach, at his Nuremberg trial, testified, “The decisive anti-Semitic book which I read at that time, and the book which influenced my comrades, was Henry Ford’s book, “The International Jew.” I read it and became anti-Semitic. This book made in those days a great impression on my friends and myself because we saw in Henry Ford the representative of success, also the representative of a progressive social policy. In the poverty-stricken and wretched Germany of the time, youth looked toward America, and, apart from the great benefactor Herbert Hoover, it was Henry Ford who, to us represented America…If he said the Jews were to blame, naturally we believed him.”

 

Surely Ford could not have imagined that his great granddaughter would marry a Jew, Johnny Uzielli, an acquaintance of mine. Coincidentally, we were together the evening he met his future wife.

 

Of course, Herr Ford could not support a war against Germany. That is crystal clear. He was a 100% supporter of Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany before the war, during the war, and after the war. One of Ford’s admirable virtues was his consistency.

 

In Nuremberg, 1946, Julius Streicher, publisher of “Der Sturmer” was found guilty, as publisher, of crimes against humanity, and hung. Why was Henry Ford spared? Was Ford less guilty than Streicher? A case could be made that he was more guilty than Streicher! Ford’s European publications included not only his four volume, “The International Jew”. Incredible as it may seem, Ford also published and freely distributed, “Protocols of the Wise Men of Zion”.

 

He aspired to the White House. If he had succeeded, Johnny Uzielli, myself, and millions of American Jews might have followed their European families to the killing pits and suffocation chambers.

 

While Henry Ford was not an SS concentration camp commandant, is his guilt any less than those who were? I recall somebody saying that Henry Ford paved the road to Sobibor.

 

It is inconceivable to me that, at minimum, Henry Ford was not thrown into a cell in Sing Sing immediately upon Germany’s declaration of war.

 


 

“I don’t like to read books. They muss up my mind.”

Henry Ford

 


 

Post-Script Thoughts–October 28, 2017

 

Henry and Clara Ford

There are reasons to suppose that this tintype was made on Clara’s 22nd birthday, April 11, 1888, also her wedding day. See her face. Look at that face. Note the loose wedding ring; and is that a book next to Henry’s leg and hat? If it is a book, maybe it is a Bible, perhaps a gift. If so, a precious one, to be sure. Moreover, see how properly Henry is dressed. When Henry Ford was 24 years old his attire was not normally that which you see in this photographic image. The more I think about it the more convinced I am that this tintype was made on that auspicious day

In my opinion, she is a beautiful young woman. We see her clearly. Henry’s face is not in focus, regrettably. Remember, this is not a daguerreotype by one of the masters. It is a tintype, seeminly hastily made.

Henry and Clara resided in around a dozen rented houses before settling in their own home Maybe this tintype — literally — fell through the slots in one of these frequent moves.

 

Post-Script Thoughts–July 10, 2018

 

A few days ago, I received back, in the post, from Grant Romer in Rochester, the tintype of Henry and Clara Ford. Many months ago, one or two days after acquiring the tintype, I sent it up to Rochester for examination. Now, holding it again, I see that this is a high-quality image. I am amazed. My earlier comments were based on the website image. I was under the mistaken impression that the reproduction image accurately portrayed the original. It did not! In matters concerning 19th Century photography, expect the unexpected.

 

When one holds the tintype, (now resting safely in a housing, (fabricated by Grant Romer) maybe, likely, exactly as the original housing), Henry’s and Clara’s faces are perfectly clear. As I am 86 years old, and have had eye surgery, I am surely not a good judge of such matters. I think it likely that others, with better eyes than mine, will see an image of extremely high quality, and this is merely a tintype. Clara is simply beautiful, in my opinion. And, 24-year-old Henry is movie star handsome. The moment I held the tintype, a few days ago, and saw Clara’s face, now quite clear to me, I was more convinced this was their wedding day. Her charming face speaks to me. She is enchanting.

 

For the time being, the tintype will remain in the bank vault here in Nevada.

 

Sometime in the foreseeable future I expect to take the whole Collection to Rochester, and leave it, for likely a year or more, in the care of Grant Romer and Michael Hager. I will ask them to organize comparisons of all of the “computer screen portraits” of the Kaplan Collection with the original plates … to determine which, if any of the other plates, should again be scanned.

 

Do you remember a radio voice who declared, “stay tuned”?