Going even farther back now, to the 1850s in fact, and the dawn of portrait photography. The 1850s seem so very long ago, don't they. On paper it seems like these people are so distant, and yet when you look into their faces... they aren't. The George Eastman House, a museum of photography, has a remarkable collection of daguerreotypes [the first type of photographic process, where metal plates are specially coated so they will react to the light from the lens]-- this shall rather be an ongoing series! 160 years ago, or so, and we can look at these people and get a sense of who they were. Incredible, isn't it?
Young woman with book. Daguerreotype, 1855. Source.
Unidentified young man. Daguerreotype, c. 1855. Source.
Portrait of man yawning-- or probably posing yawning, that is. Ambrotype, 1854. Source.