Having Fun Yet?

Old photo, circa 1920s – 1930s.

Price:  $8.00          Size:  About 4 and 1/4″ x 2 and 1/4″

Continuing on with a mini-theme of families or groups of people. This one is a stumper. Where were they? The major clue, if we can call it that, appears on our left….something Ranch. Had the camera been pointing slightly more in that direction (or the photographer further back), we probably could have figured it out. Maybe “something-or-other Ranch” was a restaurant. Do we imagine we see a small outdoor dining table there covered in white cloth? The other clue (for some ingenious person) is the out-of-place looking geometric metal? phone booth-ish (space ship, time portal, 😉 ) thing at the far right, that we only see a portion of. What the heck was it? Then the people depicted here….Looking like, I hesitate to say it, a family of con-artists. Maybe it’s the younger girl – the stony-faced look and the cool octagonal sunglasses, note her grip on her grandma’s arm (yes, we remember that smiling into the camera was not mandatory, like it pretty much is today – refreshing, really – scowl if you want to) and her sister – with that trick of the eye – one eye closed, the other squinting slightly, not a wink though, but different….how did the camera catch that? Now, the dark-skinned gentleman on our right, is he the dad of the girls and the (nice-looking) older brother? Dad sun-bronzed from years of outside work…..or are they a wealthy bunch and this man is their driver (but part of the family) and native to (imagining) Central America. Well, idiotic questions like these are in abundance. Notice, too, how the whole gang is dressed in white except for the matron of the bunch. Makes you think this snapshot was taken in one of the southern states, Florida or SoCal, perhaps? Anyway, every picture tells a story, as they say, and what this one tells is……open to impression….flashes of insight appearing and disappearing…..in the end, I’d say they’re a nice, very stylish family with a million stories to tell. Oh, and this photo had been in the family album for some time, as evidenced by some of the black paper still stuck to the back.

San Antonio, Texas, 1927

Old photo. San Antonio, Texas, 1927. Printer:  The Fox Company. Copyright by Carl D. Newton.

Price:  $10.00         Size:  3 and 7/16 x 2 and 7/16″

There’s a good story in this moment, for sure. The phrase, “a pointed look” comes to mind – that which the young girl is directing toward her…..would you say, older sister? If siblings, that might explain the hostility 😉 Or, do you imagine, that the one girl is just very engrossed in what the older one is saying (is she talking?) Personally, I love these old photos from the ’20s and ’30s, with the front yards (if this is one, sort of) that were not expected to be showpieces (no lawns) and often with old hand-built wooden fences that are leaning. (Actually, that’s a very nice gate, but the fence is falling in, and the gate off-kilter.) Or, maybe if not a front “yard” this is a commercial or semi-commercial street view. I’m now imagining some sort of auto servicing business. When you enlarge the image you’ll see that there is a second car in this photo and then also a third person, who’s standing behind it. We’ll check with the experts on the Antique Automobile Club of America forum, for the make, model and year of the car in the foreground.

Willie Joseph Brennan, May 1898, Orlando, Florida

Cabinet Card. May 8, 1898, Orlando, Florida. Photographer:  E. W. Jackson. “Ivory Finish.”

Price:  $10.00           Size:  4 and 1/16″ x 6 and 1/2″

Seemingly, the last name for this handsome lad is Brennan. (It’s so easy to scribble names when we know them.) Other possibilities were tried. Nothing showing up for him online, like his possible sister, Gertrude Brennan, in our prior post. Unusual, since we have his full name and that he was born in June of 1884. Both cards were found together in an antique store in California. City directories for this time period in Orlando are not available (in a quick search). Nothing showing in census and newspaper records, death records, etc., at least without getting into hours and hours of searching.

Some info and a photo (!) was found on the photographer, E. W. Jackson. He’ll be upcoming in the next posting…(well, almost next).

Gertrude Brennan In 1894

Cabinet Card taken October 13, 1894. Photographer: Howard. “Enameled Ivoryette.” Orlando, Florida.

Price:  $10.00           Size:  About 4 and 1/4 x 6 and 1/2″

A beautiful, young lass of Irish descent:  Gertrude Brennan, taken in Orlando, Florida on October 13, 1894. We’ll do some research this weekend for her. The next post will be a possible relative, a portrait of a young lad, Willie Joseph Brennan. They are possibly siblings but we’ll find out. Just getting this one up quick-like for Saint Patrick’s Day.

Well, very surprisingly, nothing was found for Gertrude in the usual search places online (census, city directories, newspapers, etc.) It’s possible, too, that the date on the back is Gertrude’s birth date, rather than date the photo was taken, but a broad search under dates was tried. Also, tried with potential brother, Willie or William Joseph Brennan (see next post). The photographer, Howard, is possibly Clarence E. Howard, born PA, about 1858. City directories for this time period in Orlando, seem to be unavailable. (This is just in a general, quick search.) And maybe the Brennan head of household exists in directories that are not digitized, at Orlando libraries, perhaps.

Source:  Year: 1900; Census Place: Orlando, Orange, Florida; Page: 11; Enumeration District: 0116; FHL microfilm: 1240175.

Double Exposed Car

Old photo, white border. Circa 1910s – early ’20s.

Price:  $10.00

Young man posing in front of….perhaps a Model T (just a guess). Looks like maybe he’s going camping, with the gear strapped in somehow on the running board. Though, at first glance, this looks like an x-ray of the car with….surprise, much different innards than expected. 😉 I’m struck just now by the synchronicity of the man and vehicle both sporting a soft “cap” (Yeah, we’re all a little crazy lately, eh? 🙂 )

Gas Pump – Verdun, France

Photo, white border, deckled edge. Circa mid-1930s, France.

Price:  $10.00

Verdun, France, a man refuels his vehicle, a 1934 or 1935 Peugeot 401.

Two members of the Antique Automobile Club of America came to the rescue (lightning quick responses, as usual) to identify the make, model and year of the car in the photo, and for clarification on the Castrol sign appearing to the left of the large Essences – Huiles.

Of course, it’s one of the first things to do (and so fun) when enlarging old photos – try to decipher any blurry or murky-looking wording, and that word under Castrol had me stumped (was guessing Brewster, haha) but it turned out to be something simple, in french, brevetée, patented. (See link in Sources.) And that’s a Gargoyle Mobiloil sign, to the right of Essences – Huiles. Gargoyle was a brand name under the Vacuum Oil Company. Also, noteworthy in the photo, is the small piece of machinery on the concrete, to the left of the man. Per my mechanic hubby, this is maybe an air compressor or pressure washer. Last but not least, we love the intricate wrought ironwork over the doorway of the Bureau de something, not quite readable – another of those, if you already knew what it said, it would be perfectly clear. 😉

Sources: Photo and video forums. What is it? Antique Automobile Club of America. Response to query of February 7, 2020. https://forums.aaca.org/forum/66-what-is-it/.

Vacuum Oil Company. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vacuum_Oil_Company (accessed February 7, 2021).

“French Castrol Oil Double-Sided Porcelain Flange”. Mecum Auctions Road Art. mecum.com. (accessed February 13, 2021).

George Paden, Sardis OH

Old photograph, white border, circa 1920 – 1921.

Price:  $8.00            Size:  2 and 1/2 x 3 and 3/8″

We’re estimating George was four or five years old here, so cute in his double-breasted checked coat and white hat. The house across the “street” is likely George’s paternal grandparents’ George E. and Catherine (Kate) Paden’s house, per the 1910 and 1920 Federal Census records for Lee Township, OH. Sardis is in southeastern Lee Township, Monroe County. George is the son of Clyde Paden and Martha (Mattie) Dunn.

Sources:  The National Archives in St. Louis, Missouri; St. Louis, Missouri; WWII Draft Registration Cards for Pennsylvania, 10/16/1940-03/31/1947; Record Group: Records of the Selective Service System, 147; Box: 1896. (Ancestry.com).

Marriage Records. Pennsylvania Marriages. Various County Register of Wills Offices, Pennsylvania. (Ancestry.com).

Year: 1920; Census Place: Lee, Monroe, Ohio; Roll: T625_1419; Page: 9B; Enumeration District: 52. (Ancestry.com).

Year: 1910; Census Place: Lee, Monroe, Ohio; Roll: T624_1219; Page: 13B; Enumeration District: 0155; FHL microfilm: 1375232. (Ancestry.com).

Mrs. Monika Urbanski and Grandaughter Mary Ann Ferguson, 1942

Vintage photograph, white border dated November 8, 1942

Price:  $10.00            Size:  About 3 and 1/4 x 4 and 1/2″

“11-8-42    Mrs. Monika Urbanske      granddaughter Mary Ann Ferguson. Now Mrs. K. Shiflett.”

I thought I had a Thanksgiving card waiting to get put up for this year. Hmmm, well, no – but I like this grandmother/granddaughter one for the holiday. It reminds me of baking pies for Turkey Day (it’s probably the apron that does it) and then just being with family. Mary Ann would have been eight years old when this picture was taken. The photograph seems vivid even though in black and white (love b & w photos!) with those expressions, and then the patterns – plaid (hair bow), stripes, flower prints….the tree branches in the background.

Mary Ann Ferguson, born August 1934 in Washington, DC, was the daughter of James Scott Ferguson and Mary Elizabeth Urbanski. Mary Ann’s second marriage was to Kenneth Shiflett.

Monika (Lubiewski) Urbanski, born in Poland, about 1867, was the daughter of Joseph Lubiewski and Francisca Buszkiewcz. She married Boleslaw William Urbanski.

Sources:  Find A Grave. Find A Grave. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi.

Virginia Department of Health; Richmond, Virginia; Virginia, Marriages, 1936-2014; Roll: 101168604. (Ancestry.com).

Ancestry.com family trees. (accessed November 25, 2020).

 

Young Woman With Bow, Circa 1900 – 1910

 

Small photograph, circa 1900 – 1910

Price:  $7.00          Size:  About 1 and 5/8 x 1 and 5/8″

It was so distracting to look at this original because the cropping of the actual photo was so off-kilter, so I cropped it and then ended up cleaning it up, somewhat, in Photoshop. This would be a really nice one, if professionally re-done. There is no name on the back, just evidence that it came from someone’s old photo album. And who was the lovely young woman? We’ll probably never know but we get a sense that she was bright, maybe working-class, a teacher perhaps, or maybe this was a school (or school-era) picture and she was in college. The camera seems to have caught a little sadness or perhaps it’s wistfulness in the look. She wears her hair up, in a style common in the Edwardian Era, and wears a large, dark bow, a brooch at its center, and a round pendant or locket suspended from a chain.

Treehouse In The Black Forest

Photo, deckled edge. Circa 1950s. Photo printing paper company:  Leonar.

$7.00

“In the Black Forest. Near Wildbad.”

Baumhaus is the German word for treehouse. And this one is a narrow wooden structure setting atop numerous tall poles which are criss-crossed in the center for stability. Wonder if it could have been a ranger station (reminded now of Ranger Gord on The Red Green Show 😉 ) But, for sure, it must have been great fun to climb up the ladder, enter the rather narrow “house” and wave down below to your family, like the boy in the photo is doing. We presume the shot to be from the 1950s; a detailed look at the family car might narrow the time-frame, maybe we’ll get to that in the near future.

The printing out paper used for the photo appears on the back as Leonar – a German company with lots of history. Here’s a great blog article for them:  Leonar-Leigrano photographic paper, R. I. P.?

Source:  Collins, D. “Leonar-Leigrano photographic paper, R. I. P.?” D. nonfigurativephoto, August 20, 2014. http://nonfigurativephoto.blogspot.com/2014/08/leonar-leigrano-photographic-paper-rip.html (accessed June 28, 2020).