Your likeness without the aid of a camera:
In the days of long ago, before photography was invented, our great-grandfathers and great-grandmothers used to have portraits of themselves taken sideways. They were what were known as silhouette portraits, and they were not taken with a camera, but were cut out of thin black paper, and stuck upon a white card. The word silhouette comes from the name of Monsieur Etinne dSilhouettete, a french Minister of France in 1759 , who was thought to be very grasping, and it was given to this kind of portrait because it consists of the mere outline, and is quite mean, or meager, in detail. Until a few years ago men might often be seen in the streets of Detroit and other big cities, who for a a penny would cut out a silhouette portrait of anyone who cared to stand before them for a few minutes. These portraits were about the size of a carte-de-visite photograph, and were often very good likenesses. Of course these portraits were more or less accurate as side views of the face, according to the skill of the man who cut them out. If he had much artistic ability they were good likenesses, if not they were sometimes very poor. But in still earlier days, when silhouette portraits were fashionable and popular, they used to be done in a more scientific way. The person whose portrait was to be taken sat sideways before a screen, which gave a perfect portrait if the light and sitter were arranged properly.
Then the outline would be traced upon the screen, and from this it was , by mechanical means transferred on a small scale, to a sheet of black special paper, cut out and mounted on card. Many of these old silhoutte portraits have come down to us. There is a famous one of Edward Gibbon, the historian, which not only his face , but his whole figure , and he considered it the best of all the portraits of himself that had ever been drawn. There is also a famous self portrait of Robert Burns, the Scottish poet.
Now any clever boy or girl can, with a little care, make silhouette portraits of his or her friends. It is not necessary to have an elaborate screen such as the old silhouette portrait makers used; all we need to do is fasten a sheet of paper on a flat wall, put the sitter near it, with a good light of some kind on a table, placed in such a way as to throw a shadow of our friend upon the paper. Then, with a pencil, we draw we draw carefully round the outline of the shadow, and afterwords cut it out. We may use paper that is black on one side and white on the other, drawing the outline of the face on the white side, and sticking the portrait down with the black side up. Or we may draw the shadow portrait on white paper, cut it out, and then using it as a pattern, make a copy in black paper. The picture at night shows how a person should sit to have his portrait taken in silhouette, The sitter should of course sit perfectly still while the outline of the shadow is being drawn, and if necessary the head may be supported in some way so that the shadow may remain perfectly still.