Fold3 HQ

Lincoln, the Movie

Last week, some of the Fold3 team went to see the movie, Lincoln. (Not the one with vampires, but Mr. Spielberg’s epic based on Doris Kearns Goodwin book, A Team of Rivals.)

In full disclosure mode, I must tell the reader that I hold Mr. Lincoln in the highest of regards. I consider him a man raised up to his day and purpose. I do acknowledge there are those who may not be quite so disposed to consider him so extremely large of stature, and there are even those, I am told, who consider him nothing more than a rather ignoble politician.

Spoiler alert: You will see all three perspectives in the movie. It was wonderful. And, perhaps reading my personal view on the subject into the script, I think the movie portrays him as an incredible, larger-than-life man—fitted to his day and purpose, in spite of being quite human and even exhibiting just a little of that ignoble politician. (The man was in Washington, D. C., after all.)

Regardless of your political views on the man who worked to preserve the Union and bring about the end of slavery in this country, you will likely agree with me that the team who made this movie made one incredible movie.

Upon returning from the megaplex, one of our talented designers went into the Fold3 archives and started looking at the Mathew B. Brady photos of the people portrayed in the movie and noticed an impressive success on the part of casting, makeup, wardrobe, and these twenty-first century actors themselves, to match the nineteenth-century prototypes. I have provided a few comparisons, below, but invite you to compare for yourself other Lincoln movie characters in Fold3’s always-free Mathew B. Brady collection.

(In some cases I have flipped the Brady image to allow for better comparison to the image from Just in case, the Brady image is the one on the left. Click on each image to view it larger: Abraham Lincoln, Mary Todd Lincoln, Robert Lincoln, William Seward (on the left in the movie image), and Thaddeus Stevens.)




  1. Marsha K says:

    Agreed – The likeness between the actual person and the character portraying them are incredible. Spielberg is a director who takes great pride in his work and makes every attempt to keep it as close to reality as possible, I mean it is still Hollywood, right?
    A great job and thanks for sharing the photos. I will be adding the DVD to my collection..

  2. Tim Allen says:


    As a Civil War living historian and hat maker for many years, I am pleased that history buffs and people “in the know” are saying how authentic the wardrobe and casting looked. I made many of the mens hats for the movie. Robert Todd Lincoln, Grant, Lee and various other Confederate and Union cast members. It was a pleasure to try and duplicate authentic hats based on photos and existing museum pieces for such a important movie. Your website has helped me set up a data base for my Living History unit’s clothing records so that we may be more authentic when portraying specific events.
    I am your servant,
    Tim Allen