|Ambrotype of 21st Maine Private Adoniram Judson Trask of Noblesboro, Maine.|
|A shell-encrusted parlor memorial on display at Hartford's Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art.|
Trask's service in Company I of the 21st Maine, a nine-month regiment, was brief -- he was discharged for disability on Feb. 18, 1863. Adoniram, whose post-war claim to fame was for receiving a patent for a boot/shoe ventilator, returned to his life as a farmer in Nobleboro (pop. 1,438 in 1860). He died in 1897.
Eliza, who is believed to have made the parlor memorial between 1865 and 1870, also made room on it for images of their children and other family members. On one side of the memorial there’s a cracked ambrotype of Frank and Adoniram Trask, no older than six, with their cheeks tinted red by a long-ago photographer. On another side of Eliza’s creation is a photograph of a couple holding two young children. And inches above the ambrotype of Adoniram is the most curious image of all: a tintype of a young woman, the plate scratched to make her almost unrecognizable. Perhaps she fell victim to mischievous children or somehow fell out of favor with the Trask family.
You can mull that by checking out this beautiful folk art at Hartford’s Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art. Purchased in a Maine antiques store, it was donated in 1986 to the museum, where it’s on display in an exhibition of American art.
-- American Civil War Research Database.
-- Find A Grave.
-- Scientific American, Feb. 7, 1885.
|A cracked image of the Trask children, Frank and Adoniram, their cheeks tinted red.|
|The parlor memorial includes images of the Trask family of Maine.|
|A close-up of seashells on the memorial, also known as "memory ware."|
|A scratched tintype of a young woman. Who did this dastardly deed?|