Amazing 19th Century Photo of the White House

How cool is this old photo? Check out the White House as it looked in the late 19th century. It appears to be a view of a much more tree-laden southern view of the mansion.

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The White House
The White House

Source: Library of Congress

Can anyone accurately date this image? The caption says between 1863 and 1893.

Also, look at the image above … kind of looks like an iphone on it’s side right?

About Tom

Tom founded Ghosts of DC on January 4th, 2012 as a blog to uncover the lost and untold history of Washington, D.C. He has lived in the city for over a decade and loves exploring every corner of the District.

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  • Sandi Layne

    Just using the hats as a guess? I’d say late 1870’s, early 1880’s. This is operating under an assumption (shame on me) that the people in the photograph were more or less staying in the current mode of fashion.

    • greg

      I don’t know about the year, but I am struck by what appear to be one or possibly two women who are White House guards. I didn’t realize women were in that role in the 19th century

  • ET

    Definitely closer to the 1893 side of the range than the 1868. My totally unscientific guess would be the mid 1880’s.

  • alohaloaha

    I’m guessing closer to 1893 as well

  • sherri

    it looks like a ‘view master’ type of photo– they had those 3-D viewers back then didn’t they?

    • MrsK

      Yes, it’s a stereoscope image