This cabinet card features a boy and a whip. The expression on this boy’s face is a bit worrisome and scary. He seems to be having some fantasies about ways he wants to use the whip. He looks intensely angry, sadistic and vengeful. The boy’s neighbors in Rome, New York likely hid their children, and their dogs and cats when he was around. The school system in Rome probably developed America’s first school based anti-bullying program when this troubled youngster entered elementary school. Perhaps I’m being a bit too judgmental. This little boy in a sailor suit may just be having a bad day. Unfortunately, the subject of this photographic portrait is unidentified so we can’t find out about his journey through life. Did he become a saintly good citizen, or did he become an incarcerated sadistic sociopath? The answer eludes us but it is important to remember that things are seldom so black and white. Keep in mind, there are fifty shades of grey. Hopefully this child’s mood improved over the years. There are some details available about the photographer. One source states that Bacon operated his studio in the 1870’s from above 60 Dominick Street in Rome, New York. His studio was called Bacon’s Photo Rooms. In addition, G. E. Bacon is listed as a photographer in the Rome business directory (1908). His address in the directory was 138 West Dominick.
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