August 21, 2008 – Barry Cauchon:

Hi all: My blog has had a flurry of activity recently concerning several articles that I had posted on questionable Lincoln Photos in Death.

I was honored to be contacted by Mr. Harold Holzer, the Senior Vice President, External Affairs from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC. Mr. Holzer is an historian and author, considered to be one of the leading Lincoln scholars in the world and he graciously offered to comment on the photos I have been debating here.


Unauthenticated photo of Lincoln after death, April 16,1865
Unauthenticated photo of Lincoln after death, reported to be taken in the White House on April 16,1865 by  John B. Bachelder.

The full article was posted on July 24, 2008 under the title “Lincoln Photos – Real, Fake or ‘Who Knows’!”https://awesometalks.wordpress.com/2008/07/24/lincoln-photos-real-fake-or-who-knows/

For those of you who are not familiar with this disputed photo, the controversial image was apparently taken by John B. Bachelder at the White House on April 16, 1865, the day after Lincoln died. Bachelder, who would become well known for his photographic and research documentation of Gettysburg in later years, never publicly commented about this photo. And there there is no evidence that this photo was actually taken by Mr. Bachelder. But some believe this to be real and others do not. 
John B. Bachelder and wife 1890

John B. Bachelder and wife 1890

RESOLVE: Mr. Harold Holzer indicated that this image appeared in Charles Hamilton and Lloyd Ostendorf’s book “Lincoln in Photographs: An Album of Every Known Pose”, 1st edition, released in 1963. A reprint came out in the late 1980s. The image turns out to not be a photograph at all but rather an engraving, which was to be used as a model for a later print. As well, the beard in the ‘engraving’ is too full as Lincoln wore a shorter beard during that spring. This is indicated in the last known existing photo of Abraham Lincoln taken prior to his assassination. It was taken by photographer Henry F. Warren on the south balcony of the White House on March 6, 1865. As you can see, Lincoln sports more of a goatee rather than a full beard.

Last known photo of Lincoln taken March 6, 1865 by Henry Warren

Last known photo of Abraham Lincoln taken by Henry Warren on March 6, 1865

CONCLUSION:The Bachelder engraving (even if based on a real photo) does not support the existing photographic evidence and therefore cannot be considered as a genuine Lincoln photograph.

This is the first time we are publishing this photograph here. We were going to wait until September 3, 2008 however the review by Mr. Holzer allows us to post it now.
Metal plate photo in hinged frame

Mr. P's photo in hinged frame

Close up of the picture

Close up of the face

Close up of beard

Close up of beard

Close up of hands

Close up of hands

RESOLVE: Mr. Holzer reviewed these images on Tuesday, August 19 and expressed the following observations:
  • The beard is too full (as previously mentioned above)

  • “Why would Secretary of War Stanton have allowed a photographer to make this intrusive shot when he confiscated the picture of Lincoln all dressed up and lying in state in NY City hall?”

  • The arms and chest are too narrow. When the doctors removed Lincoln’s shirt after he was shot, they notice his chest and arms were very muscular. He was ‘ripped’. The body in these photos is not.

  • Is this a Daguerreotype? “Unlikely, as it would be just way out of fashion by 1865 and too hard to take in a room with no lighting.”

All of these were valid points, but the best was still to come!

  • The photo is not a new image. Mr. Holzer pointed out that he had seen it before in Charles Hamilton and Lloyd Ostendorf’s 1963 book, “Lincoln in Photographs: An Album of Every Known Pose”, 1st edition, on page 294. Mr. Holzer stated, “It seems to me they are one and the same shot with the alleged deathbed photo Lloyd Ostendorf and Charles Hamilton published as a spurious image in their 1963 “Lincoln in Photographs,” p 294.  I don’t disagree with their conclusions—the beard is simply wrong.  Lincoln may have had a sort of full beard for his February 1865 life mask, but as the March inaugural photos and the Henry Warren photos show the next day (not to mention the known photo of Lincoln in his coffin), his beard had been considerably trimmed down by the spring of that year”.  

  • END

After conversing with Mr. Holzer on several points for clarification, I was able to find the same photo (although reversed) in another book call “Twenty Days” by Dorthy Meserve Kunhardt & Philip Kunhardt, Jr., Harper & Rowe Publishers, NY, 1965 (see photo and link below). It looks like the exact same photo!

Identical photo (in reverse) from book "Twenty Days" by Dorthy Meserve Kunhardt and Philip Kunhardt, Jr.

Identical photo (in reverse) from book "Twenty Days" by Dorthy Meserve Kunhardt

CONCLUSION: The image is unlikely that of Mr. Lincoln based on the information presented here. But it does raise several questions about who it really is and the origin of the image itself.

QUESTIONS: Some of the questions raised are as follows:

  • Assuming that Mr. P. has an original Daguerreotype or tintype of this image, how did it end up in several books in the 1960s? Mr. P. found the photograph in a desk that his grandmother left to him when she died. This was about 25 years ago. The printed images have been in the public eye for at least 45 years!
  • Does Mr. P. have the original or is it a copy?
  • Was there more than one image made of the body at the time the photograph was shot?
  • Who is the man? Could it be one of Mr. P’s relatives? Mr. Holzer believes that the photo could be from the 1840s or 50s.
  • Where did Charles Hamilton and Lloyd Ostendorf get the original photo for their book?
  • What is the history of the picture?

FOLLOW UP: Mr. P is not disappointed that his photo was not Mr. Lincoln. He is actually thrilled that he owns a genuine ‘fake’ now. And it has given him a new area of research to investigate. History can be exciting, even if it isn’t on the ‘main stage’. Keep hunting Mr. P!

THANK YOU: Finally, I want to personally thank Mr. Harold Holzer for his time and efforts in helping me assist Mr. P  in this project. As well, I’d like to also thank Kevin O. Johnson, Ph.D in Dallas, Christy and Tins (pardijoe) for offering their comments, direction and assistance in solving the puzzle as well. Many many many thanks to all of you.






If you are interested in Abraham Lincoln, you should read these interviews by two Lincoln experts:


“An Awesometalk With” Harold Holzer, Lincoln Scholar

(posted on November 10, 2008) 


  “An Awesometalk With” Dr. Thomas Schwartz, Illinois State Historian 

(posted on December 08, 2008) 





August 20, 2008: Barry Cauchon: Please note that this is an updated article from a previously published one dated July 24, 2008 under the title of “Lincoln Photos … Real, Fake or ‘Who Knows’!

Lincoln at Gettysburg – Images of President Lincoln may have been found in Alexander Gardner photos taken on November 19, 1863.

Two photos taken by Alexander Gardner on November 19, 1863 at the dedication ceremonies for Soldier’s Cemetery at Gettysburg were discovered to have images of what looks like Abraham Lincoln in the crowd.

Enhanced image from Alexander Gardiner photo of Gettysburg Dedication Ceremonies taken on Nov. 19, 1863. Is this Abraham Lincoln in the stovetop hat?

Enhanced image from Alexander Gardner photo of Gettysburg Dedication Ceremonies taken on Nov. 19, 1863. Is this Abraham Lincoln in the stove pipe hat?

In December, 2006, John Richter, the director for the Center for Civil War Photography was viewing images from a collection of over 5000 Civil War photos made available online to the public by the Library of Congress. Mr. Richter was focusing on a series of 3-D stereoscope images of the crowds at the Gettysburg Soldier’s Cemetery dedication ceremonies taken on the day that Lincoln gave his famous Gettysburg Address.

“I noticed there were three negatives from the dedication that were taken close together,” he said. “That struck me as odd because of the difficulty and cost of taking pictures back then. I also noticed the camera was not pointed at the stand but more toward the right. I zoomed in, and that was when I saw this figure.”

In the distance, a tall bearded man wearing a stove pipe hat was spotted. The man is on horseback and is part of the procession leading to the stage.

One of the enhanced images shows Lincoln passing by a row of soldiers, and a second shows him saluting them while wearing white gloves. The third was not clear. In all three photos, he has his face partially turned away with his back to the camera.

Although there is not 100% proof that this is Lincoln, the series of photos was presented at the Lincoln Forum Conference at Gettysburg held in November, 2007. Harold Holzer, vice chairman of the forum and respected Lincoln author, historian and scholar, indicated that many experts, including himself, spoke highly of the photos and confirmed their belief that these are genuine pictures of Lincoln at Gettysburg taken a short time before his famous address.

Detractors argue that the person identified as Lincoln could actually be Ward Hill Lamon, Lincoln’s friend and self appointed bodyguard. He also wore a beard (and mustache) and favored wearing stove pipe hats. Lamon accompied Lincoln to the Gettysburg ceremonies that day and is photographed wearing his stovetop hat.

Ward Hill Lamon

Ward Hill Lamon (Lincoln's friend and self appointed bodyguard)

Up to this point, the only authenticated photo of Lincoln at Gettysburg was found by Josephine Cobb at the National Archives in Washington DC in 1952.

Ward Lamon Hill (with stovetop and beard) stands to the left of Lincoln in the only authenticated photo of Lincoln at Gettysburg.

Enhanced photo of Lincoln seated on stage in the only authenticated picture of Lincoln at Gettysburg. Ward Hill Lamon (with stovetop hat, beart and mustache) stands to the left of the president and is believed by some to be the man seen in the recent photos discovered in 2006. Although this adds to the possibly that the current photos are not of Lincoln, this author likes to believe that it is him!

So, is the figure that Mr. Richter found really Abraham Lincoln? Many want to believe that it is. What do you think?

If you go to the attached link from USA TODAY, they have done a wonderful job of posting the images. Use their ‘Pan and Zoom’ feature to examine the details of both photos. Kudo’s to the folks who put this together.


Library of Congress Images: The actual photographs, which belong to the public, can be seen at the Library of Congress Web site, lcweb2.loc.gov/pp/pphome.html. Enter “stereograph+civil war” in the search field.

Center for Civil War Photography: You can see the photos at the Center for Civil War Photography’s Web site, www.civilwarphotography.org.






If you are interested in Abraham Lincoln, you should read these interviews by two Lincoln experts:


“An Awesometalk With” Harold Holzer, Lincoln Scholar

(posted on November 10, 2008) 


  “An Awesometalk With” Dr. Thomas Schwartz, Illinois State Historian 

(posted on December 08, 2008) 




1. Did you know …that Abraham Lincoln’s bed was oversized to accommodate his lengthy body. The bed was 9′-0″ long and 9′-0″ high to the top of the headboard.

Lincoln's Bed

 2. Did you know …that, besides President Lincoln, Major Henry Reed Rathbone was not the only person to be attacked by John Wilkes Booth at the time of the assassination? It’s true! After Booth shot the President and lept from the box, he crossed the stage, turned right and ran down a narrow aisle that led to the rear door of the theatre. Unexpectedly, he bumped into William Withers, Jr. the orchestra leader, who was just coming off of a break. Booth slashed at Withers twice with his knife, cutting his coat and knocking him to the floor.  Upon exiting the building, Booth grabbed the reins of his horse from “Peanuts” Burroughs, hitting him with the butt end of his knife and knocking him to the ground. Booth then rode off, fleeing into the darkness.

Slashed coat of orchestra leader

Slashed coat of orchestra leader William Withers, Jr.

3. Did you know … the “dates of capture” for the 10 accused Lincoln assassination conspirators? If not, here they are now in order of their capture.

April 14, 1865 – Day 0 – Lincoln is shot by John Wilkes Booth at Ford’s Theatre and Secretary of State Seward is attacked at his home by Lewis Powell while co-conspirator David E. Herold waits outside. Herold will later meet up with Booth as they try to escape into Virginia.

Lincoln's assassination at Ford's Theatre

Lincoln's assassination at Ford's Theatre

April 17, 1865 – Day 3[1] Lewis Powell and [2] Mary Surratt are arrested at Surratt’s boarding house. [3] Samuel Arnold, [4] Michael O’Laughlen and [5] Edman (Ned or Edward) Spangler are also arrested on this day.

April 20, 1865 – Day 6 – [6] George Atzerodt is arrested. On April 14, Atzerodt rented a room in the same hotel that Vice President Andrew Johnson was staying to make it easier for him to assassinate the VP. Atzerodt chickened out but was found to be in possession of weapons and property of John Wilkes Booth and was taken into custody.

April 24, 1865 – Day 10 – [7] Dr. Samuel A. Mudd, who set Booth’s broken leg and allowed Booth and Herold to spend the night at his farm, is arrested.

April 26, 1865 – Day 12 – At the Garrett farm in Bowling Green, Virginia, [8] David E. Herold gives himself up when the barn he and Booth occupy is surrounded by Federal troops and set on fire. A short time later [9] John Wilkes Booth is shot and killed by Sergeant Boston Corbett.

November 27, 1866 – Day 592 (1 year, 7 months, 13 days)[10] John Surratt, the son of executed conspirator Mary Surratt, initially escaped capture by hiding in Canada and then fleeing to Europe. He is eventually captured in Alexandria, Egypt on November 27, 1866 and returned to the United States to stand trial. Due to a hung jury deadlocked at four “Guilty” and four “Not Guilty” votes, he is acquitted of the charges and released.





To see the entire series, click here “SUMMARY OF THE “DID YOU KNOW” ABRAHAM LINCOLN SERIES (Parts 1-15)”         



If you are interested in Abraham Lincoln, you should read these interviews by three Lincoln experts:


“An Awesometalk With” ROGER NORTON, Webmaster of the ‘Abraham Lincoln Research Site’ (posted on December 30, 2008)


“An Awesometalk With” DR. THOMAS SCHWARTZ, Illinois State Historian (posted on December 08, 2008)


“An Awesometalk With” HAROLD HOLZER, Lincoln Scholar (posted on November 10, 2008)




AUGUST 22, 2008: To see the conclusion of this project see the article posted on August 21, 2008 called “Harold Holzer Comments on “Lincoln in Death” Photo.

August 15, 2008: Barry Cauchon.

Hi all: We’ve had a good response from many of you offering your assistance to help prove or disprove the validity of a photograph found about 1 year ago by a Mr. P.  For those of you just reading this posting and not knowing the context of the project, I’ll refer you to the following posting “NEW LINCOLN PHOTO … A VERY SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT” https://awesometalks.wordpress.com/2008/08/13/new-lincoln-photo-a-very-special-announcement/.

Today, I’m going to describe the photo, point out the current Pros and Cons that Mr. P and I have identified, and list the different areas of research that we’d like to cover. I’ll then ask you to fan out and gather whatever information you can locate and forward it to outreach@awesometalks.com under the title of LINCOLN PHOTO RESEARCH. I will review and edit the responses and post them as soon as possible requesting your further comments.


For simplicity sake, I will refer to the man in the picture as Lincoln until we have concluded that it is definitely not him. Please understand that it is not our intention to assume that this is a photo of our late president. All we are proposing is that it ‘could be’, and that is the basis for this investigation.

According to Mr. P., the photographic technique is either a Daguerreotype or a tinplate. It is mounted into a 2 piece hinged folding frame (Victorian design) with an oval cut out exposing the photograph. What looks to be a silver filigree frames out a rectangular border around the oval image area. The opposite interior leaf has an embroidered flower pattern on a red velvet background.

The condition of the photographic surface is not pristine. There is some deterioration on the surface but generally the image is still in good shape.

No markings are found on the frame’s surfaces. As well, the photograph has never been removed from the frame therefore we do not know if there are any markings or notations on the back which could help solve this puzzle. Plans to remove the plate will be made once a qualified and experienced conservator is confirmed to do the work safely. Any markings found could establish the identification and validity of the photograph.

THE IMAGE: The image shows a head and torso shot of a bearded man, lying in a bed from right to left. His head rests on a white pillow with splotches on the left side. He is wearing a long sleeve, large collared white shirt with black top button. His arms and fingers are long and slender. His left hand lays above and slightly on top of the right arm. The right hand is clearly visible. No rings are visible on the fingers. Below the right hand is a patterned comforter or quilt.

The face appears round and has a thick black beard with some gray showing below the chin and along the left jaw line. The upper lip is clean-shaven but shows day old growth. Lincoln’s nose is almost ‘pug’ in appearance although the angle of the photo puts the vantage point below the nose thus creating a foreshortened look. The face has a high forehead with his hair falling back away to the left.

B. PROS AND CONS: Here are some of the pros and cons that Mr. P and I have considered since we began this project together on August 7, 2008.


  1. The image shows a bearded man similar to Abraham Lincoln
  2. The arms and fingers are long and slender indicating that this body could belong to a tall man, such as Abraham Lincoln.
  3. A mole is visible on the right cheek in the location where Lincoln’s mole was located.
  4. The left hand does not have a wedding ring. Lincoln did not wear jewelry.
  5. Lincoln was covered with a patterned quilt or comforter while he laid in the bed at the Peterson House. The pattern of the quilt in the photo could possibly match the real quilt that was on the bed that long night.


  1. The face is round.
  2. The nose is ‘pug’ in appearance.
  3. Lincoln is wearing a shirt where it has been documented that the president was stripped so his body could be inspected by surgeons to look for other wounds.
  4. The pillow has some potential blood stains, but the last known picture from Lincoln’s death bed in the Peterson House clearly shows a blood soaked pillow.
  5. The beard is fuller than most later photos of Lincoln have shown.


  1. The face is round.  Where head wounds are concerned, there is often significant swelling. This may account for the  roundness of the face. If you cover the left side of the face, dividing it into two, the right side of the face looks very much like Abraham Lincoln.
  2. The nose is ‘pug’ in appearance. As mentioned earlier, the angle of the photo has foreshortened the look of the nose. As well, swelling might account for the rounded shape.
  3. Lincoln is wearing a shirt… As part of our research we will be looking into the possibility that Lincoln was redressed prior to moving him from the Peterson Home. He certainly was dressed after his autopsy and made ready for his funeral and numerous viewings.
  4. The pillow has little blood on it.  Again, this make sense if it can be determine exactly when the photo was taken.
  5. The beard is fuller. In photos apparently taken of Lincoln prior to his death, he is shown with shorter facial hair. Historians are not 100% in agreement on what was the final photograph taken of Abraham Lincoln. Howver, in February of 1865, 2 months before the assassination, Lincoln had his second life mask cast by Clark Mills. This mask shows Lincoln with a full beard. Still, this issue, more than any other, causes the most concern at verifying the image as being genuine.


Okay, so here is our challenge. Over the next two weeks, we hope to get your help in tracking down as many facts about the time periods that will be listed below. We believe that the authenticity of this photo will be determined by much of your research.


Based on the timeline that this photograph may have been taken, we believe that it occurred sometime between the moment Lincoln died up until he was dressed after his embalming. These are the three different timelines we want to concentrate on:

  • A: Lincoln’s death at 7:22am on April 15, 1865 at the Peterson House up to the time he was returned to the White House prior to his autopsy at around 9:00am that same morning.
  • B: Lincoln’s autopsy until the time he was passed to the embalmers for preparation for his funeral.
  • C: Lincoln’s embalming to the time he was dressed and prepared for public viewing by the undertakers.

Find whatever information you can and send it, along with references, to outreach@awesometalks.com.  Your subject line should say LINCOLN PHOTO RESEARCH. Please include your name and email address so I can get back to you privately.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Regrettably, vacations come at the most inconvenient times (lol) and I have one scheduled to occur from August 22 to 30. I will be away from all computer access during that period so please do not feel I’m ignoring your wonderful help on this. Be patient and I will return all emails upon my return.

With your help, we know we can determine one way or another, whether this photograph is really Mr. Lincoln or not.

Good hunting.






If you are interested in Abraham Lincoln, you should read these interviews by two Lincoln experts:


“An Awesometalk With” Harold Holzer, Lincoln Scholar

(posted on November 10, 2008) 


  “An Awesometalk With” Dr. Thomas Schwartz, Illinois State Historian 

(posted on December 08, 2008) 




AUGUST 22, 2008: To see the conclusion of this project see the article posted on August 21, 2008 called “Harold Holzer Comments on “Lincoln in Death” Photo.

August 13, 2008: Barry Cauchon
QUESTION: If someone came to you looking for help in proving whether a photo they owned was a genuine picture of Abraham Lincoln taken sometime after his death, would you be interested? Most of you would say “DAH, of course I’d be interested. Are you nuts”!
Well, for the past year, a gentleman, who owns such a picture, has been writing to experts and Lincoln writers, trying to find someone to look at it and comment on it’s authenticity one way or another. So after one year, can you guess what happened? Not one single person responded to him. Not one! How unbelievable is that!
But this very private gentleman, whom I’ll call Mr. P, isn’t one to give up easily. So last week, I received an email from him stating his desire to resolve this puzzle. I responded to him…and I’m glad I did. We have had many good exchanges ever since.
So to start, here is Mr. P’s email…
August 7, 2008
Hello to all. This site was very helpful to me in doing research on a Daguerreotype or tintype I found in a family Desk about a year ago. The desk has been in my family for many many years and really has never been cleaned out. I have had it 23 years. I wanted to move it to another room, so I started to clean it out. And in one of the small drawers, I found a photo, which my research finds is a Daguerreotype or tintype. Well, looking at it I said to myself “This looks like Abe Lincoln…dead!”. So I tried to find out as much info as I could. No one would return my emails etc. Now I know this sounds crazy but to me it looks like Abe Lincoln. I just want to find out if it may be the real thing on not. So any info would be helpful. Thank you.
WOW, just think…someone may have found a photo of Abraham Lincoln taken after his death!
It’s exciting. And that is why we want to share the experience and process with you. Over the next three weeks, we will be looking for people interested in helping us with our research. At the end of that three weeks we will publish the photo along with the research we’ve all gathered. Hopefully the combination of the photo and the research will lead to a great debate about its authenticity. We want to prove or disprove that this photo is Abraham Lincoln after death. Either result will be accepted as long as its been accomplished as objectively as possible.
The photo will be published here on Wednesday, September 03, 2008.
In coming posts, I will describe the photograph and the pros and cons that Mr. P and I believe need to be considered. As well, I will list the areas where we need more accurate information and research.
Let’s have fun with this and maybe, you may be helping us to prove that a long lost photograph has been found that is Abraham Lincoln after death.
Please comment here or send me an email at outreach@awesometalks.com with the subject line that reads “Lincoln Photo Research”.
& Mr. P.



If you are interested in Abraham Lincoln, you should read these interviews by two Lincoln experts:


“An Awesometalk With” Harold Holzer, Lincoln Scholar

(posted on November 10, 2008) 


  “An Awesometalk With” Dr. Thomas Schwartz, Illinois State Historian 

(posted on December 08, 2008) 




Basic facts about the D-LZ 129 Hindenburg Zeppelin

D-LZ 129:  D-LZ = Deutsche Luftschiff Zeppelin which translates into German Airship Zeppelin. The number 129 refers to the design number, not the sequential number of ships built. The Graf Zeppelin was LZ 127. The next number LZ 128 was designed but never built.

Named after:  Paul von Hindenburg, the recently deceased ex-President of Germany. Another name considered was the Hitler, but the Nazis had concerns about the potential negative association should the Zeppelin ever crash. So Hitler’s name was withdrawn in favor of naming the zeppelin the Hindenburg.

Owners & Operators:  Deutsche Zeppelin Reiderei.

Manufacturer:  Luftschiffbau Zeppelin.

Manufactured:  1932-1936.

Launched:  On March 4, 1936 from Friedrichshafen, Germany.

Destroyed:  On May 6, 1937 at Lakehurst, New Jersey at completion of 1st trans-Atlantic flight of the 1937 season.

Fact: The Hindenburg, along with her sister ship the D-LZ 130 Graf Zeppelin II, were the largest man-made objects ever to fly!

Length: 803.8 feet (almost 2-1/2 football fields long).

Diameter: 135.1 feet (13-1/2 stories tall).

Weight: 130,000 lbs 

Gas Capacity: 7,062,100 cubic feet of hydrogen gas.

Piece of seared duralumin girder from the Hindenburg

Piece of seared duralumin girder from the Hindenburg

Girders:  Over 13 miles (21kms) of Duralumin girders were used to build the Hindenburg

Maximum Speed: 84.4 mph (135 km/hr).

Hindenburg's Deimler-Benz deisel engine with 20 foot long wooden props

Hindenburg's Deimler-Benz deisel engine with 10 foot long wooden blades

Propellers: Qty: Four ‘+ shaped’ propellers each with four 10′ long blades

Motors: Qty: Four Dailmer-Benz diesel engines (1200 hp each)
$400 ticket for the Hindenburg dated August 16, 1937 for Fr

$400 one way ticket for the Hindenburg dated August 16, 1937 for Frl. Elsi Hardwood traveling from Frankfurt to Lakehurst, NJ. This ticket is on auction at Ebay for $2,500.00.

Ticket Prices in 1936:  One way: US$400.00 (same price for the cost of a car at that time), Round trip: US$720.00.
See link to ebay:

Fact: The Hindenburg, flew for one full year in 1936 prior to its destruction in May of 1937.

Passenger Capacity in 1936: 62 passengers

Passenger Capacity in 1937: 72 passengers

Number of Passengers and Crew on Final Flight: 36 passengers, 61 crew (the flight was used as a training flight for crew who would work on other Zeppelins later that year hence the larger number of crew on board).

Hindenburg as seen from near the hanger May 6, 1937

Number of Dead: 13 passengers, 22 crew, 1 ground crew = 36 fatalities

There are many more facts that I could add here, but for now, this is a good start.

UPDATE: Feb 10, 2010: For more information on the Hindenburg and other great airships, visit Dan Grossman’s website at   http://www.airships.net/hindenburg.





August 7, 2008 – by Barry Cauchon.

August 6 – 9 marks the 63rd anniversary of the bombing of Japan with two atomic bombs which effectively ended the Pacific War and World War II between the Japanese and the Allies.

Mushroom cloud from the Nagasaki atom bomb rises some 60,000 feet (11 miles) into the atmosphere

When the United States made the decision to drop the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan on Monday, August 6, 1945, the hope was that this action would end the war. The bomb, nicknamed “Little Boy”, was dropped by the B-29 Superfortress bomber Enola Gay. And although it took a second atomic bomb to force Japan to surrender, the Enola Gay’s name has gone down in history as the plane that was responsible for ending WWII.
But the crew of the Enola Gay only dropped the first bomb. Three days later, on Thursday, August 9, a second atomic bomb, this one nicknamed “Fat Man” was dropped on Nagasaki. The B-29 that delivered this, the final blow to the Japanese, was known as Bockscar.

B-29 Bockscar Superfortress bomber

B-29 Bockscar Superfortress bomber

Bockscar was part of the same squadron as the Enola Gay, the 393d Bombardment Squadron, Heavy, of the 509th Composite Group (USAAF). It was named after its commander Captain Frederick C. Bock who, along with his crew C-13, participated in several bombing runs on Japan prior to the events that occurred in early August, 1945.


Originally, The Great Artiste commanded by Major Charles W. Sweeney was the plane scheduled to drop the second atomic bomb. Sweeney and his crew C-15 had previously flown The Great Artiste with the Enola Gay on her flight to Hiroshima on August 6, carrying instrumentation to record and support the mission. Upon their return Sweeney and his crew began to prepare for their turn. The next mission was planned for August 11 but due to a poor weather forecast, the commanders decided to move the attack up by two days, setting a new date of August 9. Sweeney and his crew had been doing training runs in Captain Bock’s plane Bockscar while The Great Artiste was to have its instruments removed and installed in another plane. However, when the mission date moved forward, it did not give the ground crews enough time to do the transfer, so it was decided that Sweeney and Bock would switch planes. Hence, Bock and his crew flew The Great Artiste in a support role on the mission and Sweeney and his crew, aboard Bockscar, became the primary unit to drop the second atomic bomb on Japan.


The primary target for the August 9 bombing mission was the industrial city of Kokura. However, when the Bockscar arrived over the city with Fat Man ready to be deployed, the crew found that visibility over the city was obscured by clouds and smog. Sweeney’s orders were specific in that the atomic bomb had to be dropped visually on the target. Failing to spot their target after passing over Kokura three times, Sweeney decided to proceed to the secondary target of Nagasaki. At 11:02am, Fat Man, the atomic bomb with 14.1 lbs of plutonium-239, was dropped. The bomb detonated about 43 seconds later at an altitude of about 1,540 feet above the ground. Approximately 40% of Nagasaki was destroyed.

Fat Man (replica) atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki Aug 9, 1945

Fat Man (replica) atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki August 9, 1945

Although Fat Man was considered a more powerful bomb than Little Boy, the hilly terrain helped to deaden the destruction whereas Hiroshima was flat and open and thus suffered much greater devastation. What twist of fate saved the people of Kokura and yet doomed so many citizens of Nagasaki?

It’s also known that many survivors of the Hiroshima bombing made their way to Nagasaki only to experience the second terrifying explosion all over again. Many of them did not survive the second time.


The overall death toll from these attacks was astounding. Not only did people die from the initial bomb blasts, but later died from burns, injuries or radiation poisoning. In Hiroshima, a city estimated with a population of about 350,000 people, over 70,000 died in the blast itself with estimates ranging from 70,000 to 130,000 potentially dying within the next 5 years. In Nagasaki, a city of 270,000 citizens, approximately 70,000 people died by the end of 1945.

Aftermath of the destruction of Nagasaki August 9, 1945

Destroyed temple in Nagasaki by atomic bomb August 9, 1945

It is hard for us, in this day of global cooperation and unity, to imagine how such destructive acts could have been implemented. But 63 years ago, a bitter war was raging and no mercy could be shown to the enemy, especially when the memories of Pearl Harbor were still so fresh in people’s minds. The Bockscar and her crew were part of this history, whether morally right or wrong. She did the job she was sent out to do and accomplished her mission. But history has almost forgotten her involvement and the Enola Gay still takes the spotlight.

Forgotten (by the masses), but not gone, the Bockscar lives on to this day.

In 1961, Bockscar was restored and put on permanent display at the National Museum of the United States Air Force Museum at Wrights-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio. Signage near the plane states “The aircraft that ended WWII”. Never has a statement been more true. But alas, the notoriety for  dropping the atomic bomb that ended the war still goes to her sister ship, the famous Enola Gay.

Bockscar and crew C-15

Crew C-15 standing in front of the first modified B-29 used for training purposes.

This link will take you to the National Museum of the United States Air Force Museum. Hit it and type in Bockscar in the search bar.


Here is the list of the 13 airmen who flew on the Bockscar on that historic mission 63 years ago and truly, ended World War II.

The crew of the Bockscar. Front row: Buckley, Kuharek, Gallagher, Dehart, Spitzer. Back row: Beahan, Van Pelt, Jr., Albury, Olivi, Sweeney.

Crew C-15 of the Bockscar

  • Major Charles Sweeney, Commander
  • Captain Charles Donald Albury, Co-Pilot
  • 2nd Lieutenant Fred Olivi, Third Pilot
  • Captain James Van Pelt, Jr., Navigator
  • Captain Raymond “Kermit” Beahan, Bombardier
  • Master Sergeant John Kuharek, Flight Engineer
  • Sergeant Raymond Gallagher, Assistant Flight Engineer
  • Staff Sergeant Ed Buckley, Radar Operator
  • Sergeant Abe Spitzer, Radio Operator
  • Staff Sergeant Albert Dehart, Tail Gunner

Additional Mission Crew on board August 9, 1945

  • Cmdr. Frederick L. Ashworth (USN), Weaponeer
  • Lt. Philip Barnes (USN), Assistant Weaponeer
  • 2nd Lt. Jacob Beser, Radar Countermeasures



Be sure to read “An Awesometalk With” ROBERT KRAUSS, 509TH COMPOSITE GROUP HISTORIAN.  This was an interview I did with Mr. Krauss and it will give you a really great insight into the 509th and the men that participated in the group and their missions.

Also, take a look at Mr. Krauss’ book “The 509th Remembered” which you can find on his website at www.enolagay509th.com .  If you do order one, please tell him that you saw it here so he can track where people are hearing about his book.







UPDATED: July 29, 2013: Hi all: Thanks to some great comments and observations from my readers, I’ve made a couple of changes to the article.

TO MY READERS: If you know the location of any artifacts related to the assassination, conspirators and trial, execution, etc. that are not on this list, then please let me know and I will be happy to include your submittal, once confirmed.

Best. Barry

NOTE: The new listings are preceded by the designations (NEW-KSHS) Original Posting: August 3, 2008 – Barry Cauchon

Here is a list of locations where Lincoln Assassination / Aftermath Artifacts can be found in public institutions. Many more remain in private collections which are not listed here. If you know of any items that I’ve missed, please let me know and I’ll gladly add them to the list.

1. Studebaker National Museum in South Bend, Indiana  http://studebakermuseum.org/

  • Carriage that the Lincoln’s took to Ford’s Theatre on the night of the assassination

2. National Museum of Health and Medicine in Washington, DC  http://www.nmhm.washingtondc.museum/

The bullet, the probe and skull fragments from Lincoln's autopsy

The bullet, the probe and skull fragments from Lincoln’s autopsy

  • The ball (bullet) that killed President Lincoln recovered during the autopsy.
  • Skull fragments from Lincoln recovered during the autopsy.
  • The probe used by Dr. Barnes to remove the ball and skull fragments from Lincoln’s injury during the autopsy.
Path of bullet through John Wilkes Booth upper vertibrae

Path of bullet through John Wilkes Booth upper vertibrae

  • John Wilkes Booth’s 3rd, 4th and 5th Cervical (Neck) Vertebrae (showing the path of the bullet that killed him)
  • (NEW RN) – Blood stained cuffs from the lab coat worn by Dr. Edward Curtis (assistant surgeon who, along with Dr. Woodward, performed the autopsy on President Lincoln).

3. Smithsonian Institute – National Museum of American History  http://americanhistory.si.edu/news/factsheet.cfm?key=30&newskey=946

Although not assassination artifacts, here are a pair of cast hands and two plaster Life Masks made from 1st generation molds taken from Lincoln during his life. The original molds were made by two different artists, Leonard Volk and Clark Mills.

Cast hands by Leonard Volk

  • A pair of cast hands and the first Life Mask made in 1860 by Leonard Volk just prior to Lincoln’s nomination for president at the Republican convention.

  • The second was made by Clark Mills on February 11, 1865 just two months prior to Lincoln’s assassination.
Lincoln's Top Hat worn to Ford's Theatre on April 14, 1865

Lincoln’s Top Hat worn to Ford’s Theatre on April 14, 1865

  • Lincoln’s Top Hat that he wore to Ford’s Theatre on April 14, 1865.
Drum and drumsticks used at Lincoln's funeral

Drum and drumsticks used at Lincoln’s funeral

  • Drum and drumsticks used during the funeral parades for President Lincoln in late April, 1865

Canvas hood worn by male conspirators during captivity for the Lincoln assassination

  • Canvas hood used to cover the head of one of the seven male conspirators during captivity. On April 25, 1865, Secretary of War Edwin Stanton ordered that the heads of all the conspirator prisoners be convered with a canvas hood. Only an opening in the area of the mouth and nose allowed breathing and eating. The hoods were worn 24 hours a day until June 6, 1865 when Major General John Hartranft, Special Provost Marshal in charge of the prisoners and execution had them removed. He felt that the prisoners were suffering too much because of the hoods. Mary Surratt was not required to wear the hood for fear that public indignation would be strong.

4. Library of Congress, Washington, DC http://www.loc.gov/index.html

Contents of Lincoln's pockets at time of his assassination

Contents of Lincoln’s pockets at time of his assassination (with the exception of the newspaper which was published after the assassination).

  • The contents of Lincoln’s pockets from the night of the assassination. Some of these items include: nine newspaper clippings, a pair of spectacles and a pair of reading glasses and their cases, a lens polisher, a watch fob, a pocket knife, a brown leather wallet containing a Confederate $5.00 note and a linen hankerchief.

  • The playbill from the April 14, 1865 performance of Our American Cousin at Ford’s Theatre

5. Chicago History Museum  http://www.chicagohistory.org/

Lincoln's Deathbed from the Peterson Home

  • Lincoln’s deathbed originally from the Peterson House located across the street from Ford’s Theatre. Lincoln was so tall, he had to be laid diagnally across this bed to fit
  • Other furniture from the Peterson house includes a rocking chair, bureau, candlestick, engraving, and gas jet
  • Mary Todd Lincoln’s blood-stained cape that she wore on April 14, 1865
  • Padded hood used by one of the male conpirators while in captivity after the assassination

6. Ford’s Theatre, Washington, DC http://www.fordstheatre.org/ or http://www.nps.gov/foth/

Ford's Theatre circa 1860s

Ford’s Theatre circa 1860s

Derringer used to assassinate President Lincoln

  • John Wilkes Booth’s derringer used to shoot President Lincoln
Booth's knife and sheath

Booth’s knife and sheath

  • Booth’s knife and sheath used to stab Major Rathbone on the night of the assassination
John Wilkes Booth's boot

John Wilkes Booth’s boot

  • Booth’s boot and spur
  • Inner door where Booth had carved a small peep hole to see the President prior to assassinating him.
  • Wooden stick used by Booth to wedge the outer door shut to the Presidential Box.
  • The dress coat that Lincoln wore to the theatre that night.
Chair from Presidential Box at Ford's Theatre April 14, 1865

Chair from Presidential Box at Ford’s Theatre April 14, 1865

Dr. Samuel Mudd's medical kit

Dr. Samuel Mudd’s medical kit

  • Dr. Mudd’s medical kit
Booth's compass found on him after his death

Booth’s compass found on him after his death

Booth's Diary written during his 12 days on the run after the assassination

Booth’s Diary written during his 12 days on the run after the assassination

  • John Wilkes Booth Compass and Diary

Wanted Poster

  • Wanted Poster
  •  US Treaury Guards Flag from Presidential Box which Booth’s spur caught on when he jumped to the stage.
U.S Treasury Flag which Booth caught his spur on when jumping from the Presidential box

U.S Treasury Flag on which Booth caught his spur when he jumped from the Presidential box

  • Original Framed portrait of George Washington from the Presidential Box

7. Peterson Home, Washington, DC.  (Note: This is a National Parks Service site across the street from Ford’s Theatre. The Peterson Home does not have it’s own website but here is the NPS site) http://www.nps.gov/foth/

Peterson House across the street from Ford\'s Theatre, Washington DC

  • The house itself is a protected landmark by the National Park Service. It is the place where Lincoln was taken after being shot at Ford’s Theatre (just across the street). Lincoln died at 7:22am on April 15 in the first floor bedroom

10. Kansas State Historical Society http://www.kshs.org/cool3/lincolnplaybill.htm & http://www.kshs.org/cool/gallowssection.htm

 The following two artifacts are currently on display at the Kansas Museum of History in Topeka, KS in an exhibit called Lincoln in Kansas. The show is currently on and runs until July 26, 2009. These two artifacts are normally not on display and have been brought out for this specific exhibition.

Blood-stained playbill from night of the assassination

Blood-stained playbill from night of the assassination. Courtesy of Kansas State Historical Society.

  • Blood splattered playbill fragment picked up by patron at Ford’s Theatre on the night of the assassination.
Gallows section from Lincoln Conspirators

Gallows crossbeam from the Lincoln Conspirators executions. Courtesy of Kansas State Historical Society

  • Section of the gallows crossbeam used to hang the four condemned Lincoln conspirators (Mary Surratt, Lewis Powell, David Herold and George Atzerodt).
 11. Henry Ford Museum, Dearborn, Michigan  http://www.thehenryford.org/museum/index.aspx
Rocking Chair (prior to restoration) used by Lincoln on night of the assassination

Rocking Chair (prior to restoration) used by Lincoln on night of the assassination

 12. Historical Society of Quincy and Adams Counties, Illinois  http://www.adamscohistory.org/

Note: These items are not on public display (see video news story link below)

  • Padded hood worn by one of the male Lincoln conspirators during their 2 months in captivity

  • Manicles worn by Lincoln conspirators

  • Keys to the conspirators’ jail cells


13. Mutter Museum of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia http://www.collphyphil.org/mutter.asp

  • (NEW-RN) Tissue from John Wilkes Booth cervical vertebrae (originally labeled as part of his thorax)

See   http://rogerjnorton.com/Lincoln83.html

14. Lincoln Room Museum in the Wills House, Gettysburg, PA. http://willshousegettysburg.com/

  • (NEW-RN) Hair sample from Abraham Lincoln’s autopsy.

15. Indiana State Museum, Indianapolis, Indiana http://www.in.gov/ism/

  • (NEW-RN) Hair sample from Abraham Lincoln’s autopsy (Note: This item was part of the Lincoln collection obtained from the Lincoln Museum, Ft. Wayne, IN which closed in June/08).

16. Weldon Petz Abraham Lincoln Collection, Plymouth Historical Society & Museum, Plymouth, Michigan  http://www.plymouthhistory.org/lincoln.html

  • (NEW-RN & Dan Parker Plymouth Historical Museum) – Hair sample donated by Surgeon General Barnes family. Hair was culled from Abraham Lincoln’s during the initial exploration of the president’s wound after being shot.

  • Additional assassination artifacts (tbd) 

17. Huntington Library, San Marino, California

  • (NEW-BH) – Lewis Powell’s knife used in the attack on Secretary of State William Seward on April 14, 1865.