John D. Rockfeller Senior

© Albert Kaplan 2010

John D. Rockfeller Senior Daquerreotype

Life Image

We draw the viewer’s attention to what appears to be a missing button on the cuff of his suit-coat. And, if the reader will focus on his lap you will see what appears to be that very missing button with its thread attached! Thus, unbeknown to young Rockefeller, the button with the attached threat came off at the very moment he sat down to have the daguerreotype taken.

Knowing his fastidious nature, it is reasonable to assume that, when realizing the “button problem”, Rockefeller rejected his intended disposition of the daguerreotype, which may have been as a gift to his Mother, or future wife, Laura Celestia Spelman, whom he had met, in 1855, when they were students at Folsum’s Commercial College.

Kaplan Collection Known Images
Daguerreotype likely 1855/1856 Ambrotype likely not before 1860
Daguerreotype likely 1855/1856 1880
Daguerreotype likely 1855/1856 1895
Daguerreotype likely 1855/1856 No date
Daguerreotype likely 1855/1856 1905
Daguerreotype likely 1855/1856 1905
Daguerreotype likely 1855/1856 1910
Daguerreotype likely 1855/1856 1911
Daguerreotype likely 1855/1856 No date
John D. Rockefeller’s Hands

Speaking of his wife, Laura Celestia Spelman, he said,

“Her judgment was always better than mine. Without her keen advice, I would be a poor man.”


– John D. Rockefeller, Sr.


The following videos were made by Bob Schmitt, the co-founder of Biometrica, Inc, which provides biometric facial identification security to casinos. All individuals who enter a Biometrica-covered casino are unobtrusively photographed, and compared to a large database of persons who for different reasons are not welcome patrons. He is one of the pioneers and leaders of the biometric facial identification industry.


Video 1

Video 2

October 28, 2017


What a lovely young man he was.  His high character is evident. It cannot be mistaken.