I find this photo fascinating for a few reasons.

The photo is in a frame and unfortunately the front of the image is now glued to the glass. There's no way I know of to remove the image without damaging it. So it will always be stuck going through life with a cheesy dime store metal frame.

Click on image to see it larger.

The second thing that interests me is the fellows uniform. Anyone have any idea what it is? There's something Russian looking about the couple, but I could be wrong. I'd certainly be fascinated to hear what others think.

And then there's the woman with the heavy framed glasses without stems. Imagine keeping those on your nose all the time without your ears doing any of the heavy lifting.

What was their history? Did he go to war? Did he return? Were there children? All that information is lost with time.

If you don't read my other blog, Tattered and Lost Ephemera, the ¡Viva Fiesta! image in the left margin will seem out of place on a photography blog. So to find out a little bit of history about it click here.



Beyond grabbing some leaves to cover themselves, what is the significance of leaves in this photo? Yesterday Forgotten Old Photos featured a photo of a couple of "gentlemen" holding leaves. I know I have others. So what gives with the leaves? Strange mystical cult? Gardners? Adam and Eve thespians? If you have a clue do pass it along.

Click on image to see it larger.

Besides the leaves the obvious question is what was cut off the left side? Was there a grouping of three fellas holding bags of dirt? A cow that had wandered into the shot? Again, you can say it with me...we'll never know.

Another fine vernacular photograph from Bert's collection.


Sittin' In the Weeds SMOKIN' SOME WEED

Now, was it the photographer's choice or the subject's choice to sit in the weeds? Was he being humorous or had he just smoked a little too much of whatever it is he's smokin'? We'll never know.

No information is given on the back so he'll always just be Weed Smokin' Guy.

Actually, I believe I could make this a category. People sitting in chairs in odd places. Photos that somehow just don't look quite right. Such as this one from the past, Odd Family Grouping. Or perhaps the category should be Stubborn Men in Chairs. Yeah, that's the ticket.

Another from Bert's fabulous collection.


DON'T LET YOUR BABY Drink and Drive

I'm thinkin' maybe these adults are not a good influence on this here youngin'. A baby with a can of brew?

Click on image to see it larger.

This shot is from the Three Buck Big Box of Photos. If this photo originally belonged to Margaret she didn't write anything on the back. I guess really, what could she say?

And if you've been following this blog you may recognize the fellow on the right as one of the beer drinking guys in Ray Witt's backyard. This guy is lovin' himself some beer.



GENEALOGY and Vintage Photographs

One thing I've discovered since I began this blog is how many genealogists are naturally drawn to vintage photographs. Obvious path for them to take since it's all about research and ultimately many are interested in not just tracing a linear family tree, but they also want to put faces and personal histories attached to that tree.

I am not a genealogist though I took some interest many years ago and have a brief line on my maternal side going back to the late 1800s in Pennsylvania. I purchased some genealogy software over a decade ago, but found it cumbersome and confusing. Plus, I just wasn't interested in creating linear trees as my goal. I'm interested in the individuals and their stories and the software was just too complicated for what I wanted to do.

Now I've started organizing my old files using Sort Your Story, a new, inexpensive, easy and fun to use, small program that fits my needs created by a friend of mine. It does exactly what I need and if I ever choose to use one of the larger programs again I'll have all of my files organized in a way that makes sense to me.

I wanted to introduce you to the program with this Sepia Saturday post because you might find it useful. I know, this seems like a shameless plug, and in a way it is, but I get no monetary gain by recommending this program. I'm doing this because I believe in the program and think that it would be perfect for families and individuals wanting to get started doing their own genealogy, sorting the images and documents they've collected. It's also an excellent program for grandparents and their grandchildren. If you have a grandchild who shows no interest in genealogy this might just be the program to spark their interest.

Visit the Sort Your Story website and the Sort Your Story Facebook page to see a tutorial video.

As for this weeks sepia image, it's another fine vintage photo from the collection Bert gave me.

Click on image to see it larger.

This family portrait was taken in St. Paul, Minnesota by Youngberg at the Camera Art Studios. When I researched Youngberg in Minnesota several different studios were listed all bearing the Youngberg name. I don't know if these were all relatives competing against each other or just a coincidence.

The Youngberg that took this photo, or at least the name listed as the studio proprietor, was David C. Youngberg. The studio had two locations in St. Paul: Saint Peter Street and 412 Cedar Street. The listing shows that the "dates of operation" was 1918 and the "decades worked in Minnesota" was 1910s. You can click here to see this listing and the two other Youngberg listings. If you click here you'll see a bit more information including the fact that David C. Youngberg had two other partners, C. E. Richter and W. G. Greene. There is also a reference to the fact that the studio was the "Official Photographers for the Saint Paul Winter Carnival."

To see two more photos taken by David C. Youngberg click here and here.

I have no information about the subjects of the portrait. The husband does look older than the wife. Perhaps she was a mail order bride from the old country. Who knows. We can create any story we want.

I do find the backdrop a bit unusual. It seems to have a slight Spanish or New Orleans influence with the palm and the wrought iron balcony. Seems a very strange backdrop for St. Paul and their large Scandinavian community. A bit more exotic than I'd have expected.

Perhaps somewhere someone knows these people and their stories. It would be fun to have the pieces of the puzzle solved.



Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Click on image to see it larger.

I bet my bird is bigger than your bird!

To read more about this little lady riding a bird click here to a post I did on January 10, 2009.



This adorable little girl in her fancy bonnet and stylish coat is from Bert's collection. The photo is in an old frame, sans glass, so I need to be very careful when handling her.

She looks like a little doll standing on a shelf. On her way to grandma and grandpa's for Thanksgiving? We can make up any story we want because there is no information given about her.


A photo of a photo. This is a RPPC of a photo. Don't know that I've ever seen an old photo of an old photo before.

This is from Bert's collection. There is no information given on the back other than:

"I guess you will no all but Walters wife and baby"

Ummmmmmm...NO! Lot of help that is! Seriously, they couldn't have written some names on the back other than the ones they didn't think we'd know. I DON'T KNOW ANY OF THEM! Is this a group of the Beverly Hillbillies heading west? No idea where these ladies are from or why they're all crowded into the car.

Let's hope they had a rip snortin' good time driving around in circles, although those look like some mean tough rocks to drive over. Hope the baby didn't get launched from the back seat.

Love their bonnets!


The USS PUGET SOUND in Hong Kong, 1945

Here's something a little different. This is from my father's collection of photos taken when he was in Hong Kong following the end of World War II.

Click on image to see it larger.

This is the USS Puget Sound(CVE 113) at anchor in Hong Kong harbor, December 1945.
USS Puget Sound (CVE-113)

Builder: Todd Pacific Shipyards
Laid down: 12 May 1944
Launched: 20 September 1944
Commissioned: 18 June 1945
18 October 1946
Reclassified: Helicopter Carrier, CVHE-113 on 12 June 1955, Cargo Ship and Aircraft Ferry, AKV-13
Struck: 1 June 1960
Fate: Sold 10 January 1962, and scrapped in Hong Kong 1962

General Characteristics
Class and type: Commencement Bay-class escort carrier
Displacement: 10,900 long tons (11,100 t), 24,100 long tons (24,500 t) full load
Length: 557 ft (170 m)
Beam: 75 ft (23 m)
Draft: 32 ft (9.8 m)
Propulsion: 2-shaft Allis-Chambers geared turbines, 16,000 shp
Speed: 19 knots (22 mph; 35 km/h)
Complement: 1,066
Armament: 2 × 5 in (130 mm) guns (2×1), 36 × 40 mm AA guns
Aircraft carried: 34

Service Record
Part of: US Pacific Fleet (1945-1946), Pacific Reserve Fleet (1946-1960)
Operations: Operation Magic Carpet

USS Puget Sound (CVE–113) was a Commencement Bay-class escort carrier of the United States Navy.

She was laid down on 12 May 1944 at Todd-Pacific Shipyards, Inc., Tacoma, Washington; launched on 20 November 1944; sponsored by Mrs. Bert A. Teats of Sheridan, Oreg.; and commissioned on 18 June 1945 at Tacoma, Captain Charles F. Coe in command.

Service History
After trials and fitting out in the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Puget Sound steamed south on 6 July 1945 for shakedown out of San Diego, Calif., where she embarked Marine Air Group 6. She departed San Diego on 8 September for brief training in the Hawaiian Islands before proceeding to support the occupation of Japan.

Puget Sound entered Tokyo Bay on 14 October 1945. Her aircraft joined in the show of strength and conducted antimine patrols in support of the landings of the 10th Army at Matsuyama and Nagoya. Thence tactical training took her to the Philippines, Hong Kong, and the Marianas. Loading surplus aircraft in Apra Harbor, Guam, she put to sea on 6 January 1946 en route to Pearl Harbor, where she offloaded the surplus aircraft. At San Diego on 23 January, Marine Air Group 6 was detached and Puget Sound prepared to serve as a "Magic Carpet" home for Pacific war veterans.

From February-May 1946, Puget Sound made two "Magic Carpet" runs between San Diego and Pearl Harbor and one between Alameda, California and Okinawa, transporting 1,200 troops and surplus aircraft.

She steamed north on 24 May 1946 to prepare for inactivation, entering Puget Sound Naval Shipyard on 1 June. Decommissioning there on 18 October, she entered the Pacific Reserve Fleet at Tacoma. Her hull classification and number were changed to CVHE–113, effective 12 June 1955, and then to AKV–13, cargo ship and aircraft ferry. Struck from the Naval Vessel Register on 1 June 1960, she was sold for scrap on 10 January 1962 to Nicholai Joffee Corp. (SOURCE: Wikipedia)
Click on image to see it larger.
Formation photo of change of command on 11 February 1946 for the CVE 113 USS Puget Sound. Photo provided by John Kruppstadt in memory of his father, Robert L. Kruppstadt, Signalman 3rd Class on this ship.

As to the boat in the foreground, that is a Chinese Junk:
A junk is an ancient Chinese sailing vessel design still in use today. Junks were developed during the Han Dynasty (206 BC–220 AD) and were used as sea-going vessels as early as the 2nd century AD. They evolved in the later dynasties, and were used throughout Asia for extensive ocean voyages. They were found, and in lesser numbers are still found, throughout South-East Asia and India, but primarily in China, perhaps most famously in Hong Kong. Found more broadly today is a growing number of modern recreational junk-rigged sailboats. (SOURCE: Wikipedia)
To read more about the history of the Chinese Junk click here.


First the House Was Here Then POOF, IT WAS GONE!

I honestly have no idea what is going on in this photo. I guess, and I'm sure I'm wrong, that this is a family visiting a spot out on the prairie where their house used to be. In my mind I have a whole scenario of a happy family that looses everything to a tornado and then takes a leisurely Sunday drive to picnic on their old stomping grounds.

Click on image to see it larger.

It seems an odd place to pose and even odder the way they're grouped. But hey, it must have made sense to them at the time. We'll never know.

This is a RPPC from Bert's collection.


The Lovely Young Girl at BAKER'S ART GALLERY

For this weeks Sepia Saturday I give you two cabinet cards of a lovely unknown girl. Both were taken at Baker's Art Gallery in Columbus, Ohio, date unknown.

Since I can't do any research about the young girl, I find I can do some on Baker's Art Gallery which may lead us to make some conclusions about the girl.
Baker's Art Gallery was founded by Lorenzo Marvin Baker. I have found the following biographies:
Lorenzo Marvin Baker (1834-1924). Photographer, born in Copenhagen, New York, April 20, 1834, and active in Columbus (Franklin) format the early 1860s until about 1897. Baker's Art Gallery eventually employed two of his sons, Lorenzo N. and Duane Henry Baker, as well as Jon Samuel Schneider, and was the best-known portrait studio in the state capital until well into the twentieth-century. Between 1874 and 1886, nearly thirty first and second Ohio State Fair prizes went to L. M. Baker for photographs of every description, both plain and finished in watercolor or ink. In later years, the firm made a speciality of commercial work and genre scenes (some of which were shown at the 1893 Chicago World's Fair and the 1900 Paris Universal Exposition), and continued successfully until the mid-1950s, when it finally closed. It's founder died in Columbus on February 26, 1924. (SOURCE: Artists in Ohio, 1787-1900)

L. M. BAKER of Baker's Art Gallery, came to Columbus, in 1854 and became a clerk in a store, and later at the Neil House; was an officer at the penitentiary under Governor Chase; served a short time in the army during- the late unpleasantness; went into the photograph business in 1862, and the net year established the present gallery, of which he has been the head ever since. Baker's Art Gallery has the finest are rooms in Ohio, and it is a demonstrated fact that the work of the artists are the best produced in the United States. They were awarded the gold medal for the best specimens of photographs exhibited at the Semi-Centennial at Boston and at the World's Fair at Chicago. (SOURCE: Ohio American Local History Nework)
His son Duane H. Baker:
DUANE HENRY BAKER (1859-1934). Photographer, active in Columbus (Franklin) from 1878 until at least 1909. A son of Lrenzo Marvin Baker, he was born in Columbus in October 1859, and he worked in his father's studio for more than twenty years before gradually taking over the firms' business affairs early in the twentieth century. He later passed the Baker Art Gallery on to his son Lorenzo P. Paker. Duane Henry Baker died in Columbus on April 19, 1934. (SOURCE: Artists in Ohio, 1787-1900)

DUANE H. BAKER, of Baker's Art Gallery, Columbus. Son of L. M. Baker. Finished his education at the Ohio State University, and has since been connected with Baker's Art Gallery, he being business manager and owning a third interest. Was a veteran member of the Columbus Cadets, six years a member of Governor's Guards. Socially a K. of P. and an Elk. (SOURCE: Ohio American Local History Nework)
And the third partner in the business, John Samuel Schneider:
JOHN SAMUEL SCHNEIDER (1860-1926). Photographer, active in Columbus (Franklin) from 1880 to 1912 or later. Born in Galion (Crawford), January 31, 1860, Schneider attended German Wallace College, Berea (Cuyahoga), and trained two years with William H. Moore, then worked under George William Edmondson in NOrwalk (Huron). In 1880 he settled in Columbus, where he was part owner and principal camera operator of Duane H. and Lorenzo Marvin Baker's studio from 1886 until well into the twentieth century. IN 1901 he served as president of the National Photographer's Association and was elected several times to head the Ohio State Photographer's Association. Some of his carefully posed genre scenes were shown at the 1900 Paris Universal Exposition. (SOURCE: Artists in Ohio, 1787-1900)

JOHN S. SCHNIEDER, Of Baker's Art Gallery, Columbus. Son of Rev. John S. Schnieder; completed his education at the German Wallace College, Berea; began as a photographer at Marion and after a short time at Norwalk came to Columbus as one of Baker's staff and in 1886 acquired a third interest in the business. He is in charge of the operating rooms. (SOURCE: Ohio American Local History Nework)
And then there was the youngest son, Lorenzo N. Baker, who was not a partner in the gallery:
LORENZO N. BAKER *1861-1905). Photographer, born in Columbus (Frannklin), December 16, 1861, the younger brother of Duane Henry Baker and second sone of Lorenzo Marvin Baker and his wife, Samantha. He worked in this father's Art Gallery during the 1880s, but by 1890 he had established his own business in Piqua (Miami). In 1899 he was again listed at the family home in Columbus, where he died, February 10, 1905. (SOURCE: Artists in Ohio, 1787-1900)
The two photos I have are blank on the back, but here's an example of their advertising on an earlier card showing their studio.

(SOURCE: Sheaf -Ephemera)

Here is an actual photo of the Gallery from the Ohio Historical Society files.

Here is a photo of the front display window.

And here's a shot of their reception room.

The two photos above are from a vintage book, The Photographic Journal of America, Vol. 31, which can be read here at Google Books. It's quite interesting to read.

What I really find fascinating about Baker's Art Gallery are some of the famous names and otherwise interesting folks that walked through their door:

Actress Baby Lillie Havre here and here

So, this leaves me with a few questions and possible facts.

It's likely our lovely young girl walked through the Baker's reception room and possibly met one of the men shown above. Now, was she simply a well off young lady who posed twice at the studio or was she an actress who brought a change of clothes for a one time sitting?

Both of these images of the young girl are from Bert's collection. Thank you Bert!


It's All About THE CLASS

Click on image to see it larger.

This is a very large framed photo measuring, with frame, 23" x 17.5". Wood is nailed to the back as it often was when old photos were framed. There is no glass. Obviously I didn't put this one on the scanner. I dragged this out front and propped it against my garage door to take a quick shot.

No information is given other than a signature near the lower left corner. Any idea what this says? I've tried a variety of letter combinations and have come up zip, nada, zero. Perhaps someone else will recognize it.

As to what the subject matter is, well that's another question. One person said Mormon's, but I think the young people are all too similar in age so unlikely these girls are the bride of the old gentleman. Than again, who knows.

I'm thinking school photo or Sunday School photo. Teacher in the center with what I guess would be his adoring flock.

Thanks to the photography methods of the time they look dead in the eyes. It's hard to see personality coming through. You really have to study each face and try to imagine them the split second after the shot was taken and they relaxed. Think of them out of context with the group. A lot of lives here. A lot of stories.

Perhaps hidden behind the wood on the back is the answer, but I'm not taking it apart to find out.

Another great vintage photo from Bert's collection.

Update: Received the following comment today from AnyJazz of Lost Gallery who has cleared up the name of the photographer. Thank you!
From an old city directory of Omaha, Nebraska:

GEORGE HEYN, proprietor of the Grand Central photograph gallery, was born in Germany in 1856. He came to America in 1871, learned the profession of a photographer in the East and was employed at it some years. He came to Nebraska in February, 1879, located in Omaha and was engaged in conducting a photograph gallery for E. L. Eaton until November 1, 1880, when he purchased the business and has been engaged conducting it under the above style since. He employes three men.



Do you know about the Leaners? People who lean in when a photo is being taken? Sometimes it's just two people leaning towards each other. Sometimes it's a group of people all leaning towards the center, perhaps thinking if they don't they'll not be in the photo.

I give my best friend an elbow nudge about this because so often she has sent me family photos where one or more family member is leaning. I call them The Leaners.

I now give you...the Kneelers. An entire family of kneelers. And they did this because...?

Click on image to see it larger.

Were they worried someone across the street would see them being photographed so they tried to hide behind the porch railing? Did they know their nosy neighbor Mrs. Plunken would come rushing across the street wanting to be in the shot?

Were they a family of performers that liked to duck walk?

Or was it because that's where the sun was? Did the photographer want them to go off the porch onto the lawn, but the patriarch of the family refused and sat his rear down on a tub of nails forcing the rest of the family to kneel to be around him?

We'll never know. Nothing is written on the back. They will henceforth be known as The Kneelers.

Another image from Bert's collection.



Here is a RPPC with no information given on the back. I call it "Baby Takes Wing." I can almost see the anxious bouncing, arms outstretched, ears/flaps up reading for crosswinds. Its little engine is revving knowing in just a moment it will be able to take flight across the studio and fly around and around up at the ceiling. Mother has other plans. Father is thinking that yes, it would be fun to fly. And the photographer? Oh, the poor photographer is wishing his day would be filled with sleeping nonmoving babies so that he wouldn't need to keep doing re-dos because the little dears are constantly blurred.

This is another image from Bert's collection.

Click on image to see it larger.

Fly baby, fly!!!



I'm now officially rusty at blogging having been away for so long. Net access has kept me away and will continue to keep me on a short leash. It is taking an unmerciful time to drop to a useable buffer zone for usage. And I don't want to talk to tech support again because if I hear someone say "thirty days, thirty days" one more time I'll completely lose it.

So, I've gotten that out of my system and now hope to be able to begin posting again, all the while keeping an eye on Wild Blue's stupid blue arrow indicating usage.

While away I have had a quite wonderful thing happen. Last week I met a very kind gentleman who gave me his vintage photography collection in pay for my providing him with tutoring on his computer, specifically a Wacom tablet and Photoshop Elements. His name is Bert and I hope to be able to provide him with more help in payment for his collection. Mostly cabinet cards, some snapshots, several framed photos, and a few interesting landscape shots. Alas, virtually all of them have nothing written on the back so other than the photographer's info we'll know nothing about the people or places.

I'm going to start with this lovely framed piece. Because it is framed behind glass the scanned image is not nearly as clear as it would be if you were holding it. I'm not willing to take it out of the old frame.

Click on image to see it larger.

Sisters? Friends? Did this hang on a mother or father's wall, an image of their two daughters? Was the portrait shot in the United States or in a European country?

Bert, the collector, was at sea for many many years as a merchant seaman. He travelled both the Pacific and Atlantic. Perhaps this was purchased on one of his journeys. He also loved to haunt flea markets for captivating images and I look forward to sharing many of them with you.

There's something about this framed portrait that almost looks religious in nature. I sense a feeling of a religious icon when I hold it.