GEORGE KALLMAN, only child

George Kallman was not an only child, but for a few years in his life, before his sister Gladys came along, he was the single apple of his parent's eye.

I don't have any dates for any of these photos. You'll need to use last weeks Sepia Saturday post to put these in some sort of time frame. All we have are images to create a life for George and his family. That's where we'll be going for the next few weeks.

From these we learn George played the accordion which probably helps to explain his love for the polka.

Click on any image to see it larger.

This is my submission for the latest Sepia Saturday.

MARGARET looks at rockets

Remember Margaret and the Three Buck Big Box of Photos? Nice Margaret who likes to write times/dates/locations on the back of her photos? I decided it was time to go back and see what else Margaret had to offer.

Click on image to see it larger.

I give you Margaret's rocket shots taken in 1962. One US Army rocket and one Atlas rocket. Unfortunately Margaret did not write anything on the back of either image so all we have are the stamped dates. I have no idea where these were taken. Perhaps there was a display down in Southern California at Vandenberg Air Force Base. If she travelled to Florida to Cape Canaveral I don't find any other photos indicating such a trip.

Click on image to see it larger.

In 1962 I wonder how much Margaret paid attention to the race with the Russians into space. Did she stand and look at the rockets and instead think about her hair appointment or focus on watching her grandchildren running around the tarmac?

Click on image to see it larger.

Margaret was probably in her late 60s to early 70s when these shots were taken. I'm betting she rarely, if ever, brought up the rockets in conversation after seeing them. But if she saw a launch on tv she felt a certain patriotism in knowing the US could actually do something so grand.

To read about the Atlas rocket click here.

To see a few past posts about Margaret click here, here, and here.



Add this date to your calendar so you'll remember to celebrate next year. I'll call it "'Oh Shoot, I Forgot to Take the Curlers Out!' Thursday" which of course next year will actually be "'Oh Shoot, I Forgot to Take the Curlers Out!' Friday." I think you can see where this is going. Only we will know it's a holiday. A very moving holiday.

Click image to see it larger.

Seriously, doesn't this woman look like she went out with the curlers still in? I had a friend that did this. I can remember going to a Chinese restaurant with her and she had 4 curlers in, the pink plastic type. I didn't say anything because she often walked around the house with a few pink curlers at all hours of the day. I guess maybe she saw her reflection in the window and suddenly said, "Oh shoot!" and began pulling the curlers out. She placed them on the table next to the film cans she kept quarters in. She owned an apartment building and used to empty out the coin boxes from the washing machines and dryers, all quarters. She kept the quarters in the film cans and when it came time to pay for the meal she'd start stacking quarters on the table. I miss her. She died in 1999.

Obviously this woman died a long long time ago. There is no information about her and I'm not finding anything about the photo studio. There appears to have been many photographers in Joliet, Illinois because when I search I find other studios, just not this one.

So go stick a curler in your hair and carry it proudly through the day. Guys too. Believe me if your friends have to ask they don't know you all that well. And if a stranger looks at you strangely just say, "Happy 'Oh Shoot, I Forgot to Take the Curlers Out! Thursday" and they'll give you wide berth.

Another photo from Bert's collection.

For those of you who love cabinet cards I have added another site to my "Other Sites, Other Worlds" list to the left: The Cabinet Card Gallery. No information if the person running the site is the owner of the cards. In fact, no information at all about the site owner.


C. H. MASTERS in Kansas and Illinois and CLARENCE ROOD

"Oh please!!! How much longer must I hold this pose? Really, my eyes are starting to dry out. I'm gettin' panicky. I'm tellin' ya, I'm gettin' light headed."

"Take quick breaths through your mouth. We're almost done."
And so this is how we end up with this unknown fellow who looks on the verge of passing out while having his portrait taken. Of course, there is the possibility that he always looked like this, a deer caught in the headlights. I have no information as to who he is.

Click on image to see it larger.

As to the photographer, C. H. Masters, I have very little information. I can tell you he once lived in Atchison County in the Kansas Territory. You can see photos of the town here, here, here, and here taken by Masters. You can find the references to these photos here. Click here to see another photo of Atchison taken by Masters. Interestingly all of these of the town were taken in 1860; the town was founded in 1854. I'm not finding any portraits with that date, which doesn't mean there aren't any. I'm just not finding them.

If you click here you'll see a portrait of famous abolitionist John Brown with "Masters" written on the card stock. It looks like a photo of a drawing or painting, not an actual portrait of Brown. Then again, what do I know?

To see 16 portraits taken by Masters click here to go to a Flickr account run by a woman named Shaniee.

The only real biographical information I've found is in this article from the Decatur Daily dated May 26, 2008:
Pictures chart 1895 journey from Decatur to Muscle Shoals
By Deangelo McDaniel

Of all the pictures in the Morgan County Archives, these may be the most intriguing.

Sometime in 1895, a group, including Decatur residents and former Union soldiers, ferried down the narrow Tennessee River to the Shoals.

With them was famed photographer C.H. Masters, who before the Civil War owned a photography studio in Atchison, Kan.

At different points, and especially at the locks on the river, the travelers stopped and posed for pictures.
And you can click here to see another from this trip.

Not much to go on, I know. We've just hit the dead end of the net. It's at times like this I wish I had the ability to go through archives at libraries. Certainly there must be more information about C. H. Masters.

Another photo from Bert's collection.
UPDATE: I've discovered a second copy of this photo, a much dirtier copy. On the back there is writing which can't be read without taking it into Photoshop. I now know that this is Clarence Rood and he lived in Dover, Illinois. This image was sent to Lillie Viola Overton in Ladd, Illinois. Maybe this will lead to some information about this man and the lady it was sent to.

Click on the black/white image to see it larger.
UPDATE: I have been remiss in not posting the information about C.H. Masters sent to me by AnyJazz:
I found some things on Ancestry.com. There were quite a few Masters during that time frame. I found a family living in Atcheson Kansas Territoty mentioned in the Kansas Census Collection 1955-1925 and in the 1960 US Federal census. They list a Charles H. Masters (b abt 1843), a Casius H. Masters (b abt 1847), a Harlan C. Masters (b abt 1849) and a Harvey C. Masters a (b abt 1845) all in the same family. The father was named A. C. Masters (b abt 1811).
Charles H. is the likely candidate as there is also an entry for his enlistment into the Civil War in 1861. The Kansas census shows beside his name that he was in company B as does the enlistment records. One entry shows he was wounded in Nashville, TN, and left the service in 1965.
The Kansas census reports Chas. H. was born in Illinois which supports this account I found at:


Also this photo credited to C. H. Masters taken in 1860 suggests also that he was a photographer before entering the Civil War in 1861.

Then today I received an anonymous comment containing the following:
Here is some information about a photograph of Abraham Lincoln published by C. H. Masters after the original by W. H. Masters. Hope this helps.


Here are some portraits taken by C. H. Masters, Princeton, Illinois:

And a full bio of C. H. Masters that confirms the information by others:

Source: http://archive.org/stream/historyofbureauc00brad/historyofbureauc00brad_djvu.txt

C. H. MASTERS, Princeton, was born in Bureau County, 111., February 4, 1843. His early life was spent in this county till 1852, when he went to Missouri and Kansas with his father, and resided in different places till 1861, when he enlisted in Company B, Tenth Kansas Volunteer Infantry, and served in the army till September 30, 1865, when he received his discharge. His service was rendered mostly on the frontier. In 1861 he was in Gen. Lane's famous brigade, but most of the time was under the command of Gen. Blunt, but was under Gen. Thomas at the battle of Nashville, December 15, 1864, at which battle he was wounded, and was confined to the hospital for six months, but returned to his regiment as soon as able, and served till its discharge. During his service he did 
provost duty in St. Louis for nine months, while Gen. Rosecrans was commander of the 
department. In 1866 Mr. Masters came again to Princeton, and began learning pho- 
tography with his uncle, W. H. Masters. In 1869 he started a gallery for himself, and 
with the exception of a short intermission has continued in the business ever since, and has met with the success he so evidently deserves. In politics he is identified with the Repub- 
lican party. He is a member of the Ferris Post, No. 309, G. A. R. He was married, in 
Princeton, 111., September 3, 1867, to Miss Mary Mathews, a native of Vermont, and a 
daughter of Henry Mathews, deceased. Our subject's father, A. C. Masters, was one of 
the early settlers of Bureau County. (See sketch of his brother, John Masters.) By 
trade he was a cabinet-maker, but most of his life in this county was spent on the farm. 
He died in Buda, about 1878.
Thanks for providing all of this information. We get a better mental picture of who took this shot of Clarence Rood.



Welcome to the first Mona Lisa Smile Tuesday! Possibly, no...likely ONLY Mona Lisa Smile Tuesday.

Finding a photo on a cabinet card with someone smirking doesn't happen too often. Sometimes people just look a bit crazy as they try not to blink. Sometimes they look like wooden statues. It's rare to find one with some personality coming through.

Click on image to see it larger.

This fellow either just naturally had a slight smile all the time or was thinking of something while the shot was being taken. Perhaps a risque joke the photographer had just told.

And speaking of the photographer...well I was, not to you, but to the person standing behind me...Black in Lancaster, PA. Nada, zip, nothing found online.

So we don't know who the fellow is with the Mona Lisa Smile (and doubt he'd be too thrilled to be the feature today at this special event), nor do we know anything about the photographer other than last name and address. I really thought there would be something. Anyone out there know anything about Mr. Black? I'm assuming it's a Mister, though if it is a Miss Black I think we'd easily figure out where the smile came from.

Another great photo from Bert's collection.



Okay, so it's not really a funny hat, but that was the first thought I had when I saw the photo. There needs to be a weekly Funny Hat Monday holiday. I want to see people all across the country heading out of their homes on their way back to boring work wearing funny hats.
"Hi Fred."
"Hi Sam."
"Funny hat."
"Yeah, you too."
"See ya."
"Yeah, see ya."
I don't think it will catch on. And for those of us who work from our homes, well we could just make every day funny hat day and nobody would know.

Click on image to see it larger.

Secondly I did notice that this is a very good photo with nice depth of field. Love the way the brim is in focus, but not the crown of the hat.

I'm guessing that what she's wearing is somehow significant to a particular culture. Since there is no indication as to where this photographer had their studio I can't make any guess about which immigrant group was the most predominant in the area. Perhaps German or Swiss?

In fact, I can't find anything concrete about this photographer, G. H. Huntzinger. I did find a photo for sale on eBay taken in Indiana by someone named Huntzinger and two references for photos in a library in Ohio, but have no way of knowing if it's the same person.

Oh, and I'm writing this wearing a funny hat. I'll let you imagine what it is.



This photo, from the collection given to me by Bert, fascinates me. I'll admit that I'm searching for a character from the HBO tv show Deadwood when I look at it. One of my all time favorite shows. For some it was just a show full of profanity, but for me that language was like brush strokes on canvas, and I'm a sucker for a good Western. I really loved the incredible beauty of that show and I'm still ticked off that Milch and HBO couldn't get their act together to give it a good send off. So be it.

Click on image to see it larger.

Several years ago I went to Deadwood, South Dakota and I'll admit I was disappointed. The town itself looked historically great, but it was nothing but casinos. Up and down the main drag was one casino after another. I dislike casinos, find them incredibly boring. When it came time to find a place to eat I ended up in Lead, the town where George Hearst had his Homestake mine. No casinos in Lead, just a nice little town.
Lead (pronounced “leed”) is a city in Lawrence County, South Dakota, United States. Lead is located in western South Dakota, in the Black Hills near the Wyoming state line.

The city was officially founded on July 10, 1876, after the discovery of gold. It is the site of the Homestake Mine, the largest, deepest (8240 feet) and most productive gold mine in the Western Hemisphere before closing in January 2002. By 1910 Lead had a population of 8,382, making it the second largest town in South Dakota.

Lead was originally founded as a company town by the Homestake Mining Company, which ran the nearby Homestake Mine. (SOURCE: Wikipedia)
This photo was taken by photographer Meddaugh in Lead. I have no information about the subject or the photographer. I did online searches trying to come at it from every angle I could think of and did find some other photos Meddaugh took, but no positive biographical information.

There was a James Ednard Meddaugh living in the county of Lawrence, South Dakota where Lead and Deadwood are located, in 1892. This particular man was married to Serena Edeline Redlon and they had a son, Jamie Arthur Meddaugh, who was born on August 21, 1892. Possibly James Ednard Meddaugh was the person who took this photo.

Click here and you'll see a photo of Devil's Tower taken by Meddaugh. Click here to see a photo of the US Cavalry riding down Main Street, though I'm not sure if it's Deadwood or Lead. The caption doesn't make it clear.

Here's also a link to a site, Ameritribes, with images taken by a photographer named Meddaugh who lived in Rushville, Nebraska. All of the photos are of Native Americans, including one of a Ghost Dance. Same photographer as the one in Lead? I haven't a clue, but hope to someday find more information.

As to the subject of the photo I find this fellow fascinating. Was he a mouse or a monster? He looks so meek in the photo, but was that just a pose? Did he work in a store or perhaps in one of the many mines? Or was he a cold blooded killer in a new suit bought just for this occasion? Okay, it's my imagination running wild, I'll admit it, but that's what I'm going with. He's Billy the Kid in a new suit. Whoever he is, he passed through history and perhaps this is the only trace left.

UPDATE: Leave it to Far Side of Fifty to come through with some info about the photographer. Click here and here to see two shots by this photographer in her collection. And neither of her shots look like possible crazy gunslingers!
Meddaugh was in business from 1862 to 1926, under both the names Robert J or Isaac, it could have been a father and son ?



I'd say that over 90% of the photos in my collection are of unknown people, even many from estate sales. Nothing is written on the back. They'll forever be nameless and without a location. The following photos are different. I know their names.

Meet George and Gladys Kallman, brother and sister. These photos, along with hundreds more that my friend Bert gave me, are from the estate of George Kallman. Upon his passing there were no family members who wanted any of his photos.

George died at the age of 82. He was born in San Francisco to Alfred Kallman and Lorena Beck. I believe Alfred owned a house painting company and Lorena was a nurse. The Kallman's were Swedish.

George worked for 40 years as an elementary schoolteacher. He never married, never had children. He loved dancing, especially the polka and Russian folk dancing. He was still dancing six months before his death.

He loved to ski and at age 78 decided to try snowboarding.

Gladys, like her mother, became a nurse. I don't know if Gladys ever married. I don't think she did.

Over the next several weeks for Sepia Saturday I will show more images from the lives of the Kallman family. I wish I had more information about their lives to post with the images, but I'm happy to have this. And happy to make sure George Kallman is not forgotten.

April 1930

December 1930

May 1932

July 1932

February 1933

January 1936

May 1937


A WOMAN'S WORK is never done

Okay, these days it can be just doggone annoying to have to get up off the couch to get new batteries for the remote. Think of how long it took to go from what you see in these photos to couch potato. Centuries and centuries required real labor to just get through the day. Virtually no one but the elite were immune to physical labor of some sort. Not so much today.

These photos were bought last year at an estate sale. No information available about the identities of the women. I can only surmise they were from Nebraska since other vintage images were from Nebraska.

I don't know why, but I'm convinced the second one is Cinderella.

Click on either image to see it larger.



Raise your hand if you recall the post about the girl with her Rolmonica. I see one hand. Oh, wait...that's mine. No bother, I shall tally forth with this post.

On July 19, 2009 I posted a photo of this girl shown below playing a most peculiar "instrument" that had me baffled. I had to do a little digging around the net-therlands to discover it was called a Rolmonica. You can see the post "Take my picture with my Rolmonica" here. I will say nothing more about the Rolmonica. Once in a lifetime is sufficient for posting about Rolmonicas.

Click on image to see it larger.

I now give you another dimension to her personality. She loved a dog. Was it her dog? No way of knowing. Nothing written on the back. Who she is will remain unknown, but she will be known for her two passions: playing her Rolmonica and loving a dog. All 'n' all probably not a bad way to be remembered through time.


THE LADIES WHO LUNCH with the pigeons

Why is it feeding pigeons is fun when on vacation? We wouldn't want them sitting on our head when we're at home, but go to Venice and you can't avoid having your photo taken feeding them. I've done it. Pigeon on my head, smile on my face.

I don't know the story behind this real photo postcard. I have two of them. Ladies on vacation on a rainy day. Perhaps a bus tour. They look British so I'm imaging this trip to the continent was one they saved for and wouldn't let the rain dampen their happiness. They were smart enough to even pack galoshes in their bags. They've been through a war. No rain or pigeon poop is going to ruin their day. I just love how happy they are. The old gals are still giggling.



In the early 1960s a song came out called "Little Boxes" by Malvina Reynolds. Pete Seeger scored a hit with the song, but living in the San Francisco Bay Area the one I remember hearing on the radio, the one I remember singing along with, was the version sung by Malvina Reynolds who was a native San Franciscan. For those who have never heard the song it's basically about suburbia and the transformation of landscapes into nothing but little boxes that people live in and the eventual mindset of the people who live in the boxes. Remember, this is before the counter culture of the 60s had come along. This song was a precursor to the attitudes against the establishment that fueled the youth in the 60s. It still makes me smile when I hear it.

Click on image to see it larger.

This photo, of little boxes, is from the George Kallman estate I received this week. Though the song is about Daly City, south of San Francisco, it could actually be about a lot of post World War II neighborhoods. I don't know exactly where this was taken other than the San Francisco area. It could very well be Daly City. Go ahead and mentally complete the picture by imaging the houses in their many colors.
There's a pink one, and a green one, and a blue one, and a yellow one, and they're all made out of ticky tacky and they all look just the same. —Malvina Reynolds



Well, here's something you don't see everyday. At least not in my neighborhood.


The Little Girl at AUSTIN STUDIOS

I have no information about this adorable little girl. No name is written on the folder. The only information is the name of the photo studio, Austin Studios, which, from what I've been able to glean, was in Los Angeles. This was in one of the boxes Bert gave me the other day. You can't imagine what I've been looking through for the past few days. I'm a very happy collector.

Click on image to see it larger.

As soon as I saw this photo I was reminded of Baby Snooks, a character created and played by the late Fanny Brice. I think it's because of the dress.
The Baby Snooks Show was an American radio program starring comedienne and Ziegfeld Follies alumna Fanny Brice as a mischievous young girl who was 40 years younger than the actress who played her when she first went on the air. The series began on CBS September 17, 1944, airing on Sunday evenings at 6:30pm as Post Toasties Time (for sponsor General Foods). The title soon changed to The Baby Snooks Show, and the series was sometimes called Baby Snooks and Daddy. (SOURCE: Wikiepdia)
There was even a Baby Snooks paperdoll. If you find one expect to pay $100 or more. I can only wish I had one in my collection


VERA and the Sadness of War

This is one of the saddest messages I've ever read on the back of a photo. This came from a huge collection of photos Bert gave me yesterday. I don't know anything about Vera other than the story told below. Heartbreaking.

Click on either image to see it larger.



I purchased this photo many years ago from an eBay seller in New York state. I've always found it fascinating.

Click on image to see it larger.

The wealthy woman knitting while her three precocious children sit still long enough to be photographed. And who are the two women in the back? Relatives or employees? I have no information as to any of their identities other than the pencil scrawls on the front.

As to the photographer, well, this gets a little interesting. Unlike most photographers who went in for stylish typefaces for their identity this photographer's name, C. S. Piersaull, is barely readable. In no way is he drawing attention to himself or his work. Fortunately President Roosevelt recognized his value.

Over 300 of Mr. Piersaull's photos reside in the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library. The following from their site:
Who Was Charles Slyvester Piersaull?

Little is known about Charles Sylvester Piersaull. He was born in 1853 and was married to Josephine Susan Aldrich. The local registry lists his occupation as "Fishmonger" and the sign on his house says "FISH MARKET," but he did more than just sell fish. Piersaull served as the local pharmacist, bicycle repairman, and photographer. As a photographer, Charles Piersaull made his mark by leaving a rich visual record of Hyde Park's past. He took hundreds of photographs of the people, buildings, and culture of Hyde Park at the turn of the 20th century. At the time of his death in 1921, Piersaull's pictures were not taken seriously, but when they resurfaced over 20 years later, President Roosevelt immediately saw their value in understanding Hyde Park's history. The photographs were acquired by the FDR Library in 1943. (SOURCE: FDR Library)
I also found a book called Hyde Park on the Hudson by Margaret Logan Marquez that contains the page shown below. Click on the title link above to go to the book where you'll see several photos taken by Mr. Piersaull.

Click on image to see it larger.

Too often I find either nothing or very little about a photographer from so long ago. This is a rare find to see both the photographer and his wife.

Either the weeks are getting shorter or Sepia Saturday is starting earlier.



This image comes from the collection my friend Bert gave me. There is no information given other than what is on the back by the photo studio.

Either this was a very precocious child or it's an actor. I say "it" because I'm just not sure if it is a boy or girl. I'm leaning towards girl, but then again the clothing seems a bit theatrical, as does the hair which is wild looking for the time.

I'm dating this photo at around the late 1870s because of the information I've found about the photographer, B. F. Howland.

Benjamin Franklin Howland was born on March 1, 1828 in New Bedford, Massachusetts. He died in Oakland, California on August 6, 1900. During this span of years he appears to have led an interesting life, crisscrossing the country numerous times. Married twice, his first wife died shortly after their marriage in Massachusetts in 1854. He married his second wife on December 10, 1865 in California. They had eight children of which four were still alive upon Howland's death.

As a child he went on adventurous sailing voyages with his father, a captain of whalers and merchant ships. He worked as an engraver, did a bit of mining, running mule trains, and of course photography studios on both sides of the country.

Read the bio information below which is from the book Pioneer Photographers of the Far West: A Biographical Dictionary, 1840-1865.

Here is an ad for his studio in Syracuse, New York which he ran from around 1857 to 1864.

(SOURCE: Fulton History)

By 1865 he was back in California. He had previously gone to California in 1851. Because of all his moving you will find portraits he took in various collections all over the country with different addresses for various studios.

Fascinating to think of this adventurous man taking the portrait of this child who looks to be a bit of a wild one.

Here are two other photos taken by Howland: here and here.

We'll never know the story about this child. And so it goes for another Sepia Saturday post.


The STRANGEST...Part 11: JUANITA Being Taken For a Ride

Two Ponies of Bill's
Mother, Bill, Juanita, & Charles Taken Feb. 5, 1950
Mother's Home
Louisville Road

This caption appears in the middle of a page of photos of Juanita on a horse and a pony.

Click on any image to see it larger.

And the next year Charles is in love with Hattie L. Smith. No photos of Hattie are available.



From the album that just keeps on giving and giving and....

"Juanita + Friend 1943" is certainly a different Juanita from the shot taken with her husband in 1939. This photo is to the right of the photo of the one below showing Juanita with her first husband. This was taken the year before her baby was born.

I don't know about you, but I'm thinking Juanita was a child bride, maybe in her mid-teens. The difference in the eyes between her first marriage, this shot in 1943 with a friend, and the shot below taken in 1949, show she's been through a lot. In the 1943 shot she appears to be a woman seemingly caught in her own world. She looks very alone. By 1949 she was looking out for Juanita.

No doubt about it, Juanita is the star of this album.