|Original, Unretouched Tintype|
of Billy the Kid
Democrats and other anarchists have recently made the Koch brothers a target of their two minute hate rallies, and now denounce all things Koch as the equivalent of Darth Vader on steroids. No doubt they will try to insinuate that William Koch bought the 130 year old tintype because he admires the values and character of Billy the Kid, a 19th century outlaw who shot a lot of people in New Mexico before Sheriff Pat Garrett ended his career at the end of a smoking six gun.
The photo of Billy the Kid is a tintype, an early form of photograph that was printed on a piece of tin rather than on paper, as modern photos are. I had a friend once in Santa Cruz who owned a 19th century camera, and took tintypes of Civil War reenactors and others. There is no negative of the photo -- the finished product is a reverse or mirror image of the subject. I have been photographed in a tintype, and you must stand very still for about a minute while the camera is taking your picture. The photographer doesn't press a button to snap the photo -- he simply removes a lens cap, and replaces it after a minute of exposure.
Tintypes were often varnished after creation to prevent deterioration. I own a couple of authentic tintypes, one of a little girl and another of a Union solder in uniform.
Tintypes often do not weather the decades well, and develop cracks, scratches and discoloration. The tintype of Billy the Kid has deteriorated badly, as you can see in the photo of the tintype at the left.
Read all about Koch's purchase of this artifact here.