This T-shirt brings out the energy of the happiest years of Lincoln’s life with a fun digital line drawing based on the earliest known photo of Abraham Lincoln. The 1846 photo it is based on is heavily scratched, so I drew straight lines over the scratches, and as I was playing around with the lines I figured it would look the best if I drew the entire image – at 17″x22″ to fill the front of the shirt – using only the straight line tool in Inkscape (an open source program similar to Illustrator) in 3 contrasting vibrant colors. That’s what I did, and the jagged edges of the lines give it an energetic look (and kind of an 8-bit pixel art look as well).
Lincoln did not have a beard at the time the photo this shirt is based on was taken and would not grow one until 1860, during his run for the Presidency, when an 11-year old girl wrote him he would look more handsome with a beard. In 1846, Lincoln was living some of the best years of his life in his hometown of Springfield, Illinois. He had married his wife Mary Todd about 4 years prior, and was running for a U.S. House seat which he would later win that year – the only federal office he would hold until his election to the Presidency in 1860. He had purchased a home at Eighth and Jackson streets near the downtown of the fast-growing city of Springfield, and his first two sons, Robert and Eddie, had been born. The tragedies and troubles of the Civil War and the later deaths of his two sons Eddie and Willie were still far away.
I don’t know of any other beardless Lincoln shirts besides this one and some other shirts I have done. Adding to the uniqueness of this shirt, I often create different limited-edition color schemes of “Young Mr. Lincoln” by changing the colors of the lines in the line drawing and the color of the shirt.
The design is screen printed onto a red, 100% cotton, Los Angeles Apparel unisex T-shirt. It’s supersoft, made in the U.S.A., and sweatshop free.
Washing instructions: machine wash cold, tumble dry low or hang dry