Is that Alexander Conlin in the Soapy Smith photo?

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Postby Jeff Smith » 05/08/08 11:20 AM

Hi, gang.

What is the current information regarding Alexander Conlin being in photographs with famed confidence man, Soapy Smith in 1898? Has there been any confirmation or consensus?

As you may recall the idea was originally brought forth by the late John Pomeroy, but as of yet his data has not been located so before my Soapy biography is published I would like to know. Has anyone really studied the photographs in question and come up with an opinion?

Sorry for the poor quality of the photographs below. These were the xerox copies sent to me by John Pomeroy over a decade ago. Better copies of the same photographs are further down. Thank you for your help.

Image

Image

Here are the same photos (cropped) from my collection.

Here are better photographs from my collection. This will hopefully help your decision.

Two cropped photographs taken inside Jeff Smith's Parlor of the man John Pomeroy believed was Alexander Conlin...what do you think?

Image Image

Photograph taken outside of Jeff Smith's Parlor. The man in the middle is the one John Pomeroy believed was Conlin. Your opinion?

Image

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Last edited by Jeff Smith on 05/08/08 01:31 PM, edited 0 times in total.
Reason: added year, 1898
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Postby Dave V » 05/08/08 12:20 PM

I'm curious... What "computer" did he use? It was a long time ago, right? Even now I still don't have a PC smart enough to take virtually no visual information and turn it into some kind of incontrovertable proof. At best, all it can do is present it in different brightness/contrast levels and reprint it so a person can form an opinion. That opinion could be right or wrong. You could do a better job in a real photo shop than on a computer, especially at that time. So now all this computer "proof" boils down to him just thinking someone looks like somebody.
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Postby Kevin Connolly » 05/08/08 12:24 PM

I would say no. The guy's chin is wider than Alexander's. He looks too old too, if the picture was taken prior to 1898. IMHO.
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Postby Joe Pecore » 05/08/08 04:35 PM

The ears look different too.
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Postby Dave V » 05/08/08 10:45 PM

Thanks for posting the improved pictures. I couldn't imagine anybody being able to ID anyone from the first ones.

I still don't see the resemblance.
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Postby Kevin Connolly » 05/08/08 11:09 PM

Some people might have better eyes. :whistle:
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Postby Jeff Smith » 05/09/08 12:47 PM

Dave V: The reason I posted John Pomeroy's xeroxed photos was to show exactly which men he thought was Conlin.

Does anyone have contact with David Charvet? I would like to know if he thinks the photograph is of Conlin.

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Postby Kevin Connolly » 05/09/08 01:59 PM

He does frequent the Magic cafe.
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Postby Jeff Smith » 05/10/08 02:06 PM

As some of you already know, I have this post listed on several magic and history forums. So far not one person has stepped up and said they think it is Conlin. Is there anyone who believes it is? I am looking for the opinions of those particular people.
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