For The Record: Senior silhouettes

For the Record

The class of ’06 may suffer the fleeting self-consciousness of sitting for senior photos (see “PennPix”), but back in 1811, procuring an image for posterity was a far more laborious affair. The 20 paper silhouettes shown below may be the first attempt at “senior pictures” in the U.S. The silhouettes were cut at the Museum of Charles Willson Peale.

In case you need to know, on the top row are, from left to right, Robert B. Belville, Richard Biddle, Joseph Barr, Thomas P. Bennett, Clement Adam Buckley. The second row shows Thomas Carroll King, Alfred Dashiell, Richard deButts, George and Samuel Duffield. On the third row are Joseph Patterson Engles, Charles Pemberton Fox, Benjamin Gratz, Samuel Blanchard How, Lynford Lardner, and on the last row are Rider Henry Ratcliffe, Isaac Clarkson Snowden, James Tilghman, Edward H.C. Wilson and Richard Clement Wood.

For more on this and other notable moments in Penn history, visit the University Archives web site at

Originally published on February 23, 2006