John C Browne

John C. Browne (American, 1838-1918) A Children’s Play (Bluebeard’s Wives), ca. 1866, printed ca. 1975, modern gelatin silver print from the original collodion negative, George Eastman House

This rather haunting image is a modern day gelatin silver print made from the original collodion glass plate negative, and was created by John Coates Browne around 1866.  Browne was an amateur photographer who maintained a prominent role in the Photographic Society of Philadelphia. 

The morbidity of the image may come as a shock—five of the six young girls are play-acting dead. Hung by their hair, their faces are painted white, matching their ghostly gowns. The play is based off of a French fairytale, about a nobleman who has a penchant for killing successive young wives. An outcast, he is feared for his ugly blue beard. He has been married several times, and each of his young wives mysteriously disappears, frightening the village girls. The story takes place when his most recent wife, still alive, discovers his secret cellar where he keeps the bodies of his murdered former wives, and recounts her attempts to escape.

Browne stages this as a genre scene, not unlike those created by Oscar Gustave Rejlander or Henry Peach Robinson, masters of allegorical or staged photographs. However, unlike Rejlander or Robinson’s images, this one was not made using multiple negatives, rather the entire scene was captured in one shot. 

–Anne-Marie Walsh–


Remington Model 11 riot shotgun

Designed and Patented by John Browning c.1898-1900 and manufactured by Remington Arms c.1905-1947 - serial number 465991. This one is a WW2 production.
12 gauge four-shell tubular magazine, long-recoil semi-automatic, hunting scenes engraving.

This gun is kind of an odd one since it presents the US & “shell and flame” grenade engravings as well as Crossed Cannons ordnance proof but does not fit the usual military finish.
An American variant of the Browning Auto 5 manufactured in Belgium since 1902, the Remington Model 11 only entered production in 1905 as the then owner of the company Marcellus Hartley got too excited knowing Browning was in his waiting room with a gun design, and died of a heart attack. Or at least that’s how I see it. This variant differs from the Belgian Auto 5 by lacking a magazine cut-off.

That’s an Auto 5 Police with an 8-round magazine. You’re welcome.


Pistolet Browning Mle 1900

Designed by John M. Browning c.1896 for the Fabrique Nationale Herstal, manufactured c.1900-1912 - serial number 456355.
7,65x17mmSR seven-round removable box magazine, blowback semi-automatic with a slide. You might think “well duh” but it was a new thing back then.
A very fun design, from the dawn of semi-automatic pistols.

Pistolet Browning Mle 1900

Designed by John M. Browning c.1896 for the Fabrique Nationale Herstal, manufactured c.1900-1910 - an earlier prototype was also produced as the Mle 1899.
7,65x17mmSR seven-round removable box magazine, blowback semi-automatic, the first pistol to use a slide.

I decided to go with the Belgian names since FN Browning M1900 was apparently not used back then :T