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The “Stick Man” On The Cover Of Led Zeppelin’s Fourth Studio Album Has Prompted Many Questions Over The Years, But Now, A Researcher Has Helped Solve The Case Of This Man’s Identity 52 Years After The Album Was Released

Steve Mann - stock.adobe.com - illustrative purposes only

In 1971, the English rock band Led Zeppelin released their fourth studio album titled Led Zeppelin IV. 

The iconic album is famous for its chart-topping hits such as “Stairway to Heaven,” but it’s also known for its cover, which features a photograph of an unnamed older man carrying a large bundle of twigs on his back while leaning on a cane fashioned from a stick.

He is often referred to as the “stick man.”

The identity of the man and the origin of the photo has long been a mystery, but recently, a researcher in England named Brian Edwards from the University of the West of England, has helped solve the case.

He came across the original copy of the image in a Victorian photo album while looking at auction house news releases on the internet.

After discovering the image, he contacted the Wiltshire Museum. The museum purchased the photo album for about $515. The photo album was titled “Reminiscences of a visit to Shaftesbury. Whitsuntide 1892.

A present to Auntie from Ernest.” According to the museum, the album contained more than 100 photos of architectural and street scenes, as well as a handful of portraits depicting rural workers.

The newly discovered photograph is black and white and is thought to be the original because of a thumbprint found in one corner. The handwriting in the album also matches the signature of an influential Victorian photographer, Ernest Howard Farmer.

The image on the Led Zeppelin album cover is colorized, leading Edwards to believe that Farmer may have used the image to teach his photography students how to colorize photos.

Steve Mann – stock.adobe.com – illustrative purposes only

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