Still blazing after all these years

2014-09-22 00:00

You had to be seriously hot for your looks to survive the primitive photography of the 19th century. Here are some people from back then whose fine features shone through despite all.

Lola Montez (1821-1861)

Even though photography came into its own well after her prime, we can still more than get the point, and more, of the 19th century’s most notorious courtesan.

Prince Albert (1819-1861)

The legendarily handsome husband of Queen Victoria, this is the first photo ever taken of a royal, in 1842.

Almanzo Wilder (1857-1949)

To any of the many of us who lived and breathed Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House on the Prairie books as we grew up, he was probably our first crush.

Lord Alfred Douglas


Oscar Wilde quite literally gave up his life for this feckless young man’s beauty. One can see why.

Lily Langtry (1853-1929)

She was history’s first self-made female millionaire, and her face was quite literally her fortune. She was the prototype superstar.

Ignacy Paderewski (1860-1941)

He ended his life as a Polish politician, but it is for his early career as a concert pianist — when he had women literally swooning over his dreamy looks — that he is remembered.

John Wilkes Booth


Okay, he assassinated U.S. President Abraham Lincoln, but before that unfortunate claim to fame he was a Washington matinée idol, and one can see why.

Alexandra of Denmark


Hands-down Britain’s most beautiful queen ever, as the wife of Edward VII her combination of looks and sweet nature seduced the UK for over half a century.

Franklin Pierce (1804-1869)

He might have been one of the worst U.S. presidents whose ineptitude led to the American Civil War, but at least he had the consolation of being by far the best-looking.

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