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Mysterious 1870s Wis. photo sparks jokes
Associated Press ^ | January 5, 2007 | Robert Imrie

Posted on 01/05/2007 6:52:48 AM PST by SpringheelJack

WAUSAU, Wis. - Who is that mysterious, elegant man? And why is he sitting on a dead horse? Such are some of the questions sparked by a black-and-white photograph taken in Sheboygan between 1876 and 1884 that has led to nationwide curiosity, speculation and jokes.

"It is just a funny picture," Prescher said. "He is sitting on there with a top hat like he had somewhere special to go and his horse just croaked in the middle of the road."

No one knows who the gentleman is, exactly what year the picture was taken or the circumstances surrounding it, said Beth Dipple, director of the Sheboygan County Historical Research Center, which has had the picture in its collection for at least 20 years.

Some of the ideas for what the picture depicts include the thoughtful — it was staged for a political campaign perhaps related to sanitation issues — to the bizarre — the horse is being helped to relieve "excess flatulence."

A Web site sponsored a contest for readers to write the best caption for the photo and about 100 were submitted, including: "Lay still old girl, FEMA's on the way."

Dipple said about all that's known about the picture is it was taken at South Eighth Street and Indiana Avenue between 1876 and 1884 — based on the bridge over the Sheboygan River in the background and the lack of railroad tracks that were installed in 1884.

The city had laws on the books that required people to stay with their dead horses until they were picked up and disposed of, Dipple said.

"Who knows why somebody would take a picture of it?" she said. "People had weird senses of humor then just like they do now."

(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...


TOPICS: Miscellaneous; US: Wisconsin
KEYWORDS:
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To: SpringheelJack

Maybe he was a livery driver and his carriage is out of the picture's range.

Might explain the clothing; could be waiting for his backup horse.


51 posted on 01/05/2007 7:41:59 AM PST by Old Professer (The critic writes with rapier pen, dips it twice, and writes again.)
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To: SpringheelJack

Mention my name in Sheboygan!

:>)


52 posted on 01/05/2007 7:53:30 AM PST by fontman
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To: shekkian
Tell me that picture is fake!!!

That picture has been around since 9/12/01. It's a fake.

53 posted on 01/05/2007 8:00:53 AM PST by P8riot (I carry a gun because I can't carry a cop.)
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To: killermosquito

2. I'm going downtown to see a man about a horse.


Many people will know what it means when you say "I have to go see a man about a horse." When I was in Mongolia which is truly a horse culture, my interpreter said, "I have to go see a horse".

We both laughed quite a bit that the same experession was common in both our cultures. I've often wondered why the American version has added "the man"?


54 posted on 01/05/2007 8:07:41 AM PST by PeterPrinciple (Seeking the Truth here Folks.)
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To: Mercat

We had one of our boarders horses die in it's stall one night, and we didn't learn about it until late the next day. I had to disassemble the front of the stall, get a strap around the horse, and drag it out of the stall with my tractor. Took me about four hrs to do the whole thing. It's something I'll never forget. Next time I'll just burn down the barn.


55 posted on 01/05/2007 8:08:02 AM PST by P8riot (I carry a gun because I can't carry a cop.)
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To: Mercat

Nobody wants to be the last owner of a horse, for that reason.

The real disaster is if one dies in its stall, lying against the door. Then you have to take the barn apart to get it out. Heaven help you if you don't have a tractor or Bobcat.

Part of the last rites for a horse is dropping it somewhere accessible :-(


56 posted on 01/05/2007 8:13:28 AM PST by Cloverfarm (Children are a blessing ...)
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To: SpringheelJack

It is kind of like the old picture of the cowboy riding the giant jackrabbit.
It was so good it fooled my uncle from back east. When my uncle visited the west he thought an antelope (seen at a distance) was a giant jackrabbit.


57 posted on 01/05/2007 8:50:40 AM PST by Ruy Dias de Bivar (When someone burns a cross on your lawn the best firehose is an AK-47.)
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To: Ruy Dias de Bivar

I believe that would be a jackalope


58 posted on 01/05/2007 8:53:43 AM PST by Ilky Hucktar
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To: Ilky Hucktar

***I believe that would be a jackalope***

Not quite. The jackalope was a jackrabbit head with Antelope horns and later, deer antlers on it.

The picture I was refering to was the cowboy riding a jackrabbit as big as a horse.


59 posted on 01/05/2007 9:08:19 AM PST by Ruy Dias de Bivar (When someone burns a cross on your lawn the best firehose is an AK-47.)
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To: PeterPrinciple

Cause "seeing a horse" may have meant you were going to
rustle one which in certain parts of the country may have been
a capital offense. So it was better to say you were going
to see some one (certainly not a woman) about a horse. Cause
if you were going to see a woman about a horse, you may have
meant you were going to "horse around" with the woman!
Anyway, it's just my poor etymological guess.


60 posted on 01/05/2007 9:16:43 AM PST by Getready (Truth and wisdom are more elusive, and valuable, than gold and diamonds)
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To: PeterPrinciple
I've often wondered why the American version has added "the man"?

I would imagine it's because when you say "I have to go see a man about a horse" it sounds like you have some really important business to take care of. That's the part that makes it funny. Maybe you're going to go buy or sell a horse. Saying "I have to go see a horse" doesn't sound all that impressive.

61 posted on 01/05/2007 9:41:33 AM PST by faq
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To: SpringheelJack

The Rudy McRomney Campaign - March 2008

62 posted on 01/05/2007 9:41:57 AM PST by EternalVigilance (Circumstances are the fire by which the mettle of men is tried.)
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To: andy58-in-nh

Beautifully done


63 posted on 01/05/2007 10:02:04 AM PST by Colorado Doug
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To: SpringheelJack

Hey! I recognize that guy! That's Ken L. Ration.


64 posted on 01/05/2007 10:07:08 AM PST by Hatteras
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To: Colorado Doug

Thanks!


65 posted on 01/05/2007 10:22:58 AM PST by andy58-in-nh
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To: Dog Gone
And people were just walking off and it became a town nuisance? Dead horses everywhere with no one to bill for picking the carcass up?

I never claimed to have all the answers 8-)

66 posted on 01/05/2007 11:00:13 AM PST by Aquinasfan (When you find "Sola Scriptura" in the Bible, let me know)
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To: kanawa

Is this you in High School?

67 posted on 01/05/2007 11:03:57 AM PST by Tijeras_Slim
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To: Aquinasfan

I'm glad to know someone else doesn't have them, either!


68 posted on 01/05/2007 11:07:19 AM PST by Dog Gone
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To: Ragtop; shekkian; InvisibleChurch; RayStacy
Lowbridge's Tourist Guy Gallery
69 posted on 01/05/2007 11:13:04 AM PST by uglybiker (A bunch of radical Unitarians left a flaming question mark on my lawn!)
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To: SpringheelJack

Mom!


70 posted on 01/05/2007 11:22:21 AM PST by dakine
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Comment #71 Removed by Moderator

To: andy58-in-nh

ROFLMAO!


72 posted on 01/05/2007 11:31:59 AM PST by the OlLine Rebel (Common sense is an uncommon virtue.)
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To: Salamander

Only a french hillbilly would eat roadkill horse.

The rest of us will only take a deer....

...although a racoon or possum will work if they aren't too flat.


73 posted on 01/05/2007 11:32:38 AM PST by MediaMole (9/11 - We have already forgotten.)
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To: Getready

Perhaps simply because 1 could actually meet with a man to buy a horse. "Seeing a horse" doesn't really mean anything but literally seeing a horse (looking at a horse), which isn't as much action as meeting a man somewhere.


74 posted on 01/05/2007 11:37:14 AM PST by the OlLine Rebel (Common sense is an uncommon virtue.)
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To: SpringheelJack

e's just pinin'


75 posted on 01/05/2007 11:38:20 AM PST by seton89
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To: uglybiker

Hilarious! Thaks for the pics. Tourist Guy really gets around. Anyone ever find out who he really is?


76 posted on 01/05/2007 12:08:10 PM PST by Ragtop (We are the people our parents warned us about)
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To: SpringheelJack

That photo reminds me of the song, "I'm So Lonely In My Saddle Since My Horse Died".


77 posted on 01/05/2007 12:14:01 PM PST by Chena
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To: Nea Wood

Self ping.


78 posted on 01/05/2007 12:32:23 PM PST by Nea Wood (Is cheap, illegal labor worth one life?)
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To: SpringheelJack

Am I the only one here who's read "Wisconsin Death Trip"?


79 posted on 01/05/2007 12:34:50 PM PST by zook (America going insane - "Do you read Sutter Caine?)
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To: Ragtop
Yeah. He popped up eventually.

http://www.wired.com/news/culture/0,1284,48397,00.html

80 posted on 01/05/2007 12:45:50 PM PST by uglybiker (A bunch of radical Unitarians left a flaming question mark on my lawn!)
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To: iceskater

It's an old photograph, but do you think it has much artistic merit? OTOH, I'm starting to think that some of the alterations made by freepers improved the composition ;-)


81 posted on 01/05/2007 12:48:42 PM PST by Sam Cree (absolute reality)
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To: SpringheelJack

The horse was the prototype of the Yugo.


82 posted on 01/05/2007 12:54:10 PM PST by xarmydog
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To: MediaMole

Hello, cousin....;]


83 posted on 01/06/2007 1:58:36 AM PST by Salamander (And don't forget my Dog; fixed and consequent.......)
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To: SpringheelJack

Looks like a demoncrat taking a rest from beating a dead horse.


84 posted on 01/06/2007 2:48:37 AM PST by Thumper1960 (Unleash the Dogs of War as a Minority, or perish as a party.)
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To: fontman
Mention my name in Sheboygan!

LOL! Bob & Ray rule!
85 posted on 01/06/2007 2:54:45 AM PST by GodBlessRonaldReagan (Big dog, big dog, bow-wow-wow! We'll crush crime, now, now, now!)
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To: FrPR; iceskater; SpringheelJack; Sam Cree; Republicanprofessor; Joe 6-pack
Family tradition and oral lore is offered to help you folks clear up the "mystery" about this photo. That dapper gentleman is my Great-Great Uncle Twice Removed, Ole, He was always known as a snappy dresser.

The horse died after accidentally ingesting some left-over lutefisk at a St. Olaf's Day Celebration out there in Minnesota. Unfortunately, there was no antidote readily available, the akvavit having been consumed some hours earlier.

Uncle Ole was snapped while waiting for a taxi, and making sure no one stole the horse shoes. There were rumors of a Swedish plot, but there's no use flogging that particular ....

86 posted on 01/07/2007 9:35:26 AM PST by Kenny Bunk ( Republicans could use an attack dog right about now.)
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To: Kenny Bunk

Someone gave me a lutefisk lure for Christmas.


87 posted on 01/07/2007 10:14:31 AM PST by Sam Cree (absolute reality)
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To: Sam Cree
Using lutefisk as bait is violation of every known Fish and Game Law in this country.

It is irresistible to every known species of fish, but causes lasting environmental damage. And please, don't leave it around where some horse might get a hold of it.

88 posted on 01/08/2007 8:43:00 AM PST by Kenny Bunk ( Republicans could use an attack dog right about now.)
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To: FrPR
The picture you mention was used as a frame filler behind an original Winslow Homer now hanging in the home of that other old Eli, John F. Kerry.

simply have a fellow bonesman ask Teresa for it and stop mucking about.

89 posted on 01/08/2007 8:47:57 AM PST by Kenny Bunk ( Republicans could use an attack dog right about now.)
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To: InvisibleChurch
But the original exposure times were sooooooooooooo long that they often used wire braces (behind their heads and shoulders) to keep from moving.

It's really hard to keep smiling for that long, and when you could only afford 1 photograph - Why waste it on a "corny" picture?

Also - the long exposure times were why Civil War pic's were a almost always of the dead. No problem getting the killed to pose, and the dead were behind the lines after the battle, so shooting a dead soldier (again) would not expose the photographer to bullets
.
90 posted on 01/08/2007 8:57:45 AM PST by Robert A. Cook, PE (I can only donate monthly, but Hillary's ABBCNNBCBS continue to lie every day!)
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To: uglybiker; lowbridge

A couple of questions, lowbridge:

1) Where is he in the Dallas cheerleader picture?

2) I have dialup, so I wasn't able to browse -- is there a photo of TG walking with Stalin and other folks, and they keep disappearing?

lowbridge, from a fan of your work... WT.
BTW, you owe me a keyboard for posting those Nigerian emails. We'll talk.


91 posted on 01/11/2007 2:34:12 AM PST by Watery Tart (And some here think it ONLY stands for RoadKillBeeberAssociation!)
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To: Watery Tart
1) Where is he in the Dallas cheerleader picture?

Third row from the top, second from the right.

2) I have dialup, so I wasn't able to browse -- is there a photo of TG walking with Stalin and other folks, and they keep disappearing?

Not on my site.

92 posted on 01/11/2007 7:00:08 AM PST by lowbridge ("I wonder if he's in touch with the critics out there, like Matt Damon, the actor" -Chris Matthews)
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To: P8riot

My neighbor's mare died while birthing a foal (and thefoal died too). My husband had to help him dismantle the side of the stall and then remove the exterior door of the adjoining stall and then haul the mare out into the open in much the same way you describe. (The vet had already taken the foal to his establishment in an attempt to save him.) It was an all day job. I don't remember it smelling, however. It was still cool (Wisconsin) and the horses had not been dead long.

I just remember that my neighbor (a man) was sobbing at the loss of his brood mare and her beautiful foal.


93 posted on 01/11/2007 6:22:58 PM PST by afraidfortherepublic
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To: SpringheelJack

Excuse me, but do you happen to have any gray poop on?


94 posted on 01/11/2007 6:26:15 PM PST by XEHRpa
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