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<2017 June>

by Maureen A. Taylor

More Links

# Sunday, 07 May 2017
Stamp Boxes, Messages & More: Family Clues in Old Photo Postcards
Posted by Maureen

Old postcards among your collection of family letters and photos might contain a variety of clues worth exploring. From stamp boxes to postmarks and messages, there can be genealogical gold in the littlest things.

I've written about real-photo postcards (RPPCs) in the past. These are family photos printed with a postcard back. An RPPC is an actual photo, not a chromolithograph print.

Not all postcards were mailed. Printing on a postcard back was just another option when you visited the photo studio or had your snapshots printed.

Do you have RPPCs in your family photo collection? If you're not sure, take a close look with a magnifying glass or loupe, or scan and zoom in. A chromolithograph print appears to made up of tiny dots; an RPPC does not.

Here's where to look for information about RPPCs in past Photo Detective blog posts:
  • RPPCs debuted in 1900, but there were changes to the backs of these cards within a few years. Read Old Family Photos on Postcards to learn more about the history and formats for these cards.

Postcards were popular both in the United States and overseas. Do you have one to share?  Email it to me here, following the instructions in our How To Submit Your Photo section.

Identify your old mystery family photos with these guides by Maureen A. Taylor:

  • Family Photo Detective: Learn How to Find Genealogy Clues in Old Photos and Solve Family Photo Mysteries
  • Fashionable Folks: Bonnets and Hats 1840-1900
  • Finding the Civil War in Your Family Album
  • Hairstyles 1840-1900
  • Photo-Organizing Practices
  • Preserving Your Family Photographs
  • Searching for Family History Photos: How to Get Them Now

  • Save
    photo postcards | unusual photos
    Sunday, 07 May 2017 22:23:21 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #  Comments [6]
    # Sunday, 30 April 2017
    Turn It Over! Genealogy Clues on Old Postcards
    Posted by Maureen

    This ordinary postcard captioned "R. I. Institute for Deaf and Dumb, Providence, R.I." contains a photo clue and it's not the building pictured. It's the message on the back:
    Dearest Ma got my proofs to day only one out of five that looks like me. The rest looks as if I was going to cry. The two of Ed and I are good. Grace wants to know how much the cards are up there. She wants to sent you some money for you to get some. With lots of love and kisses Ella. Sent to Mrs. Charles Hoxie, 36 Twelfth St. Norwich Conn
    Let's add up the clues in this message:
    • Ella posed for a school picture and so did her friend or brother Ed.

    • Ella's mother is Mrs. Charles Hoxie of Norwich, Connecticut.

    • I can't read the postmark, but this style card was popular circa 1910.

    • Students are named in various Rhode Island records. I'll be looking for Ella, Ed and Grace.

    • We don't know if Ella ordered final prints, but this type of message would send me sorting through family photos.

    While I'm working on the Hoxie family, let me know about any interesting family history-related messages you've found on old postcards. 

    Identify your old mystery family photos with these guides by Maureen A. Taylor:

  • Family Photo Detective: Learn How to Find Genealogy Clues in Old Photos and Solve Family Photo Mysteries
  • Fashionable Folks: Bonnets and Hats 1840-1900
  • Finding the Civil War in Your Family Album
  • Hairstyles 1840-1900
  • Photo-Organizing Practices
  • Preserving Your Family Photographs
  • Searching for Family History Photos: How to Get Them Now

  • SaveSave
    1910s photos | photo postcards
    Sunday, 30 April 2017 22:07:08 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #  Comments [19]
    # Sunday, 11 May 2014
    Mothers in Old Photos
    Posted by Maureen

    Who doesn't own an image of an ancestral mother with her children? It seems like everyone has at least one.

    This week's photo doesn't show a mother. Instead, she's referenced in a note on the back.

    Maureen Petrilli's grandmother Mary Ellen Gillespie arrived at Ellis Island with her cousin Alice Broderick in June 1906. They were headed for Alice's sister Margaret's home in Scranton, Pa. Both women were from Eskeragh, Ireland. 

    On the reverse of the postcard is a message: "Give this to Mrs. Broderick Eskeraugh Dooley So from her daughter"

    It seems pretty clear that a copy of this image was meant to go to either Alice's or Mary Ellen's mother. Both bore the surname of Broderick at this point.

    One of the key ways to date a postcard is to look at the back.

    broderick stamp box.jpg

    Stamp boxes are very important. This one shows the postcard was manufactured by the Kruxo Co.  A quick check of Playle's stamp box website provides information on when this style of stamp box was common. Playle's suggests that this design was used about 1907, providing another piece of evidence that Alice and Mary Ellen posed for this picture around the time they immigrated.

    The term postcard first appeared on privately produced cards in 1901; until that point, they were called private mailing cards. Initially only postcards produced by the US Postal Service could use the term.

    In the early years, real photo postcard printers were prohibited from using divided back cards with separate areas for address and message. That changed March 1, 1907. You can read more about postcard history on Wikipedia.

    This particular card doesn't have a divided back. 

    Many of us have postcards in our family photograph collections that were never sent. Maureen isn't sure if this card was ever sent to Ireland or, if it was, how it ended up back in the United States.

    Solve your family photo mysteries with these books by Maureen A. Taylor:

  • Family Photo Detective: Learn How to Find Genealogy Clues in Old Photos and Solve Family Photo Mysteries
  • Fashionable Folks: Bonnets and Hats 1840-1900
  • Preserving Your Family Photographs
  • Fashionable Folks: Hairstyles 1840-1900
  • Finding the Civil War in Your Family Album

  • 1900-1910 photos | photo postcards | women
    Sunday, 11 May 2014 15:24:33 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #  Comments [1]
    # Sunday, 17 November 2013
    Old Family Photos on Postcards
    Posted by Maureen

    Frieda Tata submitted this lovely photo of two women and a girl for some advice. She knows the young woman on the right is her grandmother Mae Davis (born 1888 in Brownwood, Mo.). 

    This is a photo postcard.

    One of the most common questions about family photos is, "My ancestor had their photograph taken and it's a postcard. What does that mean?"

    I love real-photo postcards (RPPC) because there are several ways to date them. 
    • Real photo postcards debuted about 1900. That immediately gives you a beginning time frame for the image.

    • While the photo here was taken in a studio, it is possible your ancestor took their postcard photo themselves. Kodak's No. 3A camera, introduced in 1903, let amateur photographers take images and have them printed on postcard stock.

    • Flip the card over. Does it have a divided back for the address and correspondence, or is there just space for the address? This little detail can further refine the time frame. On March 1, 1907, federal legislation finally let postcard senders write messages on the back of the cards they sent. 
    •  Take a good look at the stamp box. The designs of those boxes can help date your image as well. They identify the paper manufacturer. For instance, AZO is a popular manufacturer.  Compare your designs to those described on the Playle website.

    • If the postcard was mailed, look at the stamp design and the postmark for a specific date.

    Mae's birth year suggests that this photo was taken circa 1908. I'd love an image of the back to see what clues it holds.

    Last week I wrote about women in World War I and featured photos of  Dora Rodriques. Thank you to Wendy Schnur for telling me more about the Holland-born actress who supposedly walked across the United States to promote recruitment.

    Solve your family photo mysteries with these books by Maureen A. Taylor:

  • Family Photo Detective: Learn How to Find Genealogy Clues in Old Photos and Solve Family Photo Mysteries
  • Fashionable Folks: Bonnets and Hats 1840-1900
  • Preserving Your Family Photographs
  • Fashionable Folks: Hairstyles 1840-1900
  • Finding the Civil War in Your Family Album

  • 1900-1910 photos | photo postcards | women | World War I
    Sunday, 17 November 2013 16:13:54 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #  Comments [0]
    # Sunday, 17 February 2013
    Clues in Old Photo Postcards, Part 2
    Posted by Diane

    Jennifer Bryan sent me a photo-postcard mystery and I featured part one in last week's post.

    This week I'll share what I learned about the recipient of the postcard, Miss Flossie Howell of Baker City, Ore.


    Flossie's friend Desca wrote:
    Hello. Rec'd letter other day ans soon. What are you doing? Still working in store? Its snowing here today and is quite cold. I am feeling pretty good but can't stand much work. Lee is at work. Will come home soon. Do you like the pictures? Lo Desca. 
    I'd estimated the date for this card as circa 1910 based on the attire, so I used to search the census for that year. I started my search by thinking that Flossie was a nickname for Florence and didn't find any good matches. I should have taken the direct approach. I immediately found a match for Flossie Howell in Baker City. The enumerator appears to have written her last name as "Hawell" rather than Howell.


    She's living with Nathaniel B. Starbird, a janitor in a bank, and his wife Ada. Flossie works as a bookkeeper in a grocery store. She was 20 at the time of the census, suggesting a birth year of 1890. You can find this census record using the following link.

    Flossie was born in Kansas, but she didn't know the birthplaces of her parents. The Starbirds were originally from Maine.

    Flossie lived in Baker City from circa 1908. She appears in the Baker City, Ore., City Directory for that year, working as a domestic. You can view the city directory on

    I'm still working on the identity of Desca, Hazel and Mabel. Desca turns out to have been a somewhat common name. 

    This week I'm at Who Do You Think You Are Live in London!  Each year I share images from the event.  I'm taking a few extra days in London, so watch for my images in two weeks.

    Next week I'll write about how I'm helping to identify images from a photo album in a historical society. My new book, The Family Photo Detective, has a whole chapter on unraveling clues in photo albums. It's one of my favorite types of mysteries.


    Solve your family photo mysteries with these books by Maureen A. Taylor:

  • Family Photo Detective: Learn How to Find Genealogy Clues in Old Photos and Solve Family Photo Mysteries
  • Fashionable Folks: Bonnets and Hats 1840-1900
  • Preserving Your Family Photographs
  • Fashionable Folks: Hairstyles 1840-1900
  • Finding the Civil War in Your Family Album

  • 1910s photos | hairstyles | photo postcards | women
    Sunday, 17 February 2013 19:09:52 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #  Comments [0]
    # Sunday, 10 February 2013
    Clues in Old Photo Postcards
    Posted by Maureen

    Last week I wrote about orphan photos and how you can reunite them with family. This week I'm featuring one such image that Jennifer Bryan bought. I'm hoping that a descendant will see this two-part story.


    These three young women—Desca, Mabel and Hazel—sent this real photo-postcard to their friend Flossie. It's a postcard with clues on the front and back. Postmarks, postage stamps, address information and the message all add up to tell the story of these women. 

    I'll start with the front. The high necklines of these blouses suggest a time frame of circa 1910. These white lawn fabric blouses could be purchased through the Sears Catalog for 49 cents to $1.35. You can view the Sears Catalog pages on

    I especially love the fashionable hairstyle of the woman on the right. She's rolled her hair away from the sides of her head. She's accessorized her appearance with a hairstyle she may have seen in a women's magazine, a watch pinned to her bodice, and a neck ribbon.


    Just like the best- and worst-dressed issues of People magazine, ancestral fashion magazines had articles about fashion foibles. What do you think of this young woman's hair? 

    The other two women are not as fashion-conscious as their friend, based on their simpler hairstyles and lack of accessories. Their hair and blouses agree with the tentative time frame about 1910.

    Next week, I'll examine the clues on the back of this photo-postcard to see how the clues add up.

    Solve your family photo mysteries with these books by Maureen A. Taylor:

  • Family Photo Detective: Learn How to Find Genealogy Clues in Old Photos and Solve Family Photo Mysteries
  • Fashionable Folks: Bonnets and Hats 1840-1900
  • Preserving Your Family Photographs
  • Fashionable Folks: Hairstyles 1840-1900
  • Finding the Civil War in Your Family Album

  • 1910s photos | photo postcards | women
    Sunday, 10 February 2013 23:37:28 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #  Comments [0]
    # Monday, 31 October 2011
    Trick or Treat in Your Family Album
    Posted by Maureen


    It's Halloween and time for trick or treat.  You might have images of this holiday in your family album.  These two young girls, c. 1920 are dressed in the style popular for the period. On the right the dots on this girl's outfit suggest she's a harlequin.  On the left, her companion is in a short dress with the dots. 

    Department stores advertised that customers could purchase their costumes in the store, then return to have their picture taken in the outfit. Most major stores had a photo studio.  You can submit images of your ancestors in costume by using the "How to Submit Your Photo" tips in the left hand column.

    I've spent the last few years trying to locate images of historic costumes and information on how Halloween was celebrated in the past.  This one is from my small collection.

    I enjoy browsing the pages of's Historic Catalog of the Sears, Roebuck and Co. for costumes. Pick a year and the season and start browsing or use "halloween" as a keyword.

    If you want to learn more about Halloween in a particular year, try reading the newspaper using In the advanced searching tab, enter "Halloween" as a word you want to include and then the date.  I suggest using a span of days, since not all papers ran holiday related items on October 31st.  Most of the advertisements are in the week before that. 

    Have fun exploring the past using the printed materials that were part of ancestral lives. It's like time traveling using your computer.

    Solve your family photo mysteries with these books by Maureen A. Taylor:

  • Preserving Your Family Photographs
  • Fashionable Folks: Hairstyles 1840-1900
  • Finding the Civil War in Your Family Album

  • children | holiday | Photo fun | photo postcards
    Monday, 31 October 2011 18:50:39 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #  Comments [0]
    # Tuesday, 01 June 2010
    A Memorial Day Salute and a Web Reunion
    Posted by Maureen

    About a year ago I started creating short videos of photo cases I've worked on and began posting them on Last week I featured a photo from Valerie Moran. It's a lovely summer scene and the flags in it provided a valuable clue. Hope you enjoy it! A New York production company created the 3-D effect. 

    After years of writing about other folks online reunions, I now have one to brag about concerning one of my husband's relatives: A Facebook friend, Meryn Cadell, sent me an e-mail last week. I've included the links in this quote.

    "I was just browsing the website of the ACE hotel in New York, and came across a lovely postcard, sent from the Hotel Breslin in 1908 to a little boy in Newton, Mass. named Gilbert McNamara. I wondered who he might be, and did a little searching, coming across your lovely story about the table that belonged to your husband's grandmother as well as a Gilbert McNamara, quite likely the same one, as the year and location seem appropriate."

    When I saw this email and the postcard, I couldn't believe it!  I immediately picked up the phone and called my mother-in-law. She confirmed that the Gilbert in the postcard was indeed the right person.  Now it's a family history mystery in three parts:
    • How did the postcard end up on the web?
    • What was Mother McNamara doing in New York in December 1909?
    • Who was watching Gil? 
    Ah..the power of the web to connect folks and information.  Wow!  Thank you Meryn.

    photo postcards
    Tuesday, 01 June 2010 18:01:59 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #  Comments [3]
    # Monday, 14 September 2009
    One More Time: Funny Pictures
    Posted by Maureen

    I have another album of funny pictures to share with you. This time, there's even an entry from faraway Chile. Thanks to the Web, this column has readers around the globe.

    Cook6 Jul 1913 Mt  Washington 001.jpg
    Laura Cook sent me several images of her grandmother Marie Schultheis clowning with friends in the summer of 1913. This is my favorite (above). I love the pained expression of the guy on the bottom.

    caponeLadies with dresses pulled up (2).jpg

    Barbara Capone sent in a family mystery. It was taken in Scotland County, Mo., at what she thinks was Minnie and Joseph Cook Walker's house, but she has no idea who these people are. The Walkers were her Capone's grandparents.

    PeelEarlMarionNeil (3).jpg

    Here's a fun snapshot of Faith Peel's father, aunt and uncle. She doesn't know the names of the rest of the folks.

    sebaskyunidmen275 (4).jpg

    Marlys Sebasky thought this picture and the next one looked very similar to the original posting of the card players in Fergus Falls, Minn. What do you think?


    Gonzalo A. Luengo O. of Chile sent the image below. It's a postcard sent from Sestri Ponente (near Genoa, Italy) to Luengo's great-great-grandfather Antonio De Filippi Montaldo. It's a bit of a mystery. The banner reads "Premio Beneficenza, 28 febbraio 1903" which translates to "Charity Prize, February 28, 1903."  Does anyone have any information on the tradition shown? E-mail me if you do.
    GonzalesANTONIO DE FILIPPI 1.jpg

    1920s photos | 1930s photos | candid photos | group photos | Photo fun | photo postcards
    Monday, 14 September 2009 16:16:12 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #  Comments [1]
    # Monday, 13 October 2008
    Postal Clues and a One-Glove Mystery
    Posted by Maureen

    In honor of an upcoming article in the print Family Tree Magazine, this week's photo mystery is a postcard.

    In the January 2009 issue, I wrote a piece called Getting the Message on the ways our ancestors communicated and the types of records they left behind. One of the methods highlighted was postcards. (The issue mails to subscribers near the end of October and goes on sale Nov. 11.)

    Sue Stevenson sent me this postcard of four men:

    Lance and Elmore Melson.jpg

    In the front row are supposedly
    (left to right) Lance Melson (1907-1988) and Elmore Melson (1896-1938). It's a real-photo postcard—a photograph with a postcard back.

    Sue's big question doesn't concern the men's identities, but the mysterious single glove on each man in the front row. Before looking at that puzzle, let's backtrack and look at the other clues.

    Let's start with the postcard back. One of my favorite postcard sites is Playle's Auction Site. It has an online directory that details the stamp box designs.

    According to this site, the AZO box with upright triangles in the corners appeared from 1904 to 1918. Uh oh—if Lance Melson was born in 1908, he'd have to be 10 in this photo. That doesn't add up.

    The men's clothing is a bit odd. Are their pants legs rolled up, or do they just have very wide cuffs? Cuffed pants were common on casual clothes in the early 20th century, but the cuffs on these pants are a bit extreme.

    Neckties are the other interesting clothing detail. The man on the right in the front row wears a soft polka dot tie, a pattern that first appeared in the late 19th century. This style may be unique to his area, since it's not the type of tie you'd see in most of the country in the early 20th century.

    Based on a working date for this image between 1904 and 1918, it may depict Lance's and Elmore's fathers, rather than the boys. More family history information would be necessary to verify that conclusion. 

    As to the one glove? It's curious that one man wears a glove on his right hand and the other on his left. This could indicate their dominant hands. I haven't found other images like this, but I suspect these heavy leather gloves were worn for work. Or perhaps the men were just clowning for the camera.

    Sue's right about their ears, though. This facial similarity indicates the men are likely related.

    If anyone else has a photo of men wearing one glove—decades before Michael Jackson made it fashionable—send it along to me.

    1910s photos | group photos | men | photo postcards
    Monday, 13 October 2008 16:44:33 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #  Comments [6]
    # Tuesday, 24 June 2008
    Loopy Photo Labels
    Posted by Maureen

    A big thank you to Leanne M. Baraban!  She bought this photo to share with me (and you). It's a great example of how good-intentioned labeling can go so very wrong. Below are all the identifications, and the woman who made them added a note: "I numbered these all so you would know who all of them were."


    While it was a great idea to name each person for posterity, the numbers are written on the front of the photo in India ink. Here are the identifications:

    no.1 Is my feller
     "    2 Nans feller
     "    3 Papa
      "   4 Nan
      "    5 me
      "   6 Mamma
      "   7 Mrs. Ashcroft (a neighbor)
      "   8 Miss Smith (the school teacher)
       "   9 is Miss Smiths feller
      "   10 Lucile
      "   11 Pleasant
      "   12 Mabel

    That's all she wrote. I'm sure you've seen other examples of photos identified with arrows or x's, but if you really want future generations to be able to say who's who, follow these three steps.
    1. Never write on the front. On the back is OK if you use a soft lead pencil for cardboard-mounted images, or a special photo-marking pen (such as a Zig marker) for 20th-century resin-coated snapshots. You can tag digital images using photo organizing or editing software.

    2. Use the full name whenever possible. Wouldn't it be great to know who "Nan's feller" was? While this woman knew everyone's name, it's doubtful that identification lasted past her generation.

    3. We'll probably never know why all these folks got together on a summer's day. If there's a special occasion associated with the image, include a short note.
    If you're curious about when this picture was taken, look at the hats on the neighbor (7) and the school teacher (8). Those broad-brimmed, deep-crowned chapeaus were very common in the 1910 era. By the way, this is a postcard, and the design on the back first became available in late 1907.

    1910s photos | photo postcards | preserving photos
    Tuesday, 24 June 2008 14:26:59 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #  Comments [0]
    # Wednesday, 05 December 2007
    Gift-Giving Tips
    Posted by Maureen

    If you're looking for a gift for the genealogists on your list, here are a few photo-related suggestions:
    • A digital camera. There's a member of my family who still uses film. While there's nothing wrong with that, the holiday season is a good time to jump into digital. Manufacturers often bundle printers with cameras, saving you or your recipient time and money. Keep in mind you don't need a lot of megapixels to make 4x6-inch prints, or fancy gadgets to take a good picture. Look for cameras with image stabilization and an optical zoom that fit your budget.
    • A photo printer. I just bought an all-in-one—a combination photo printer/scanner/copier—for around $50! It's an Epson and uses the Durabrite inks, which means I don't have to worry about the longevity my prints as long as I also use acid- and lignin-free photo paper. Before purchasing a photo printer, check out its preservation ratings on Wilhelm's Image Research.
    • A scanner. While legal-size scanners are still little pricey for my budget, you can find many letter-size models for less than $100. Look for scanners that can do high-resolution (300 dots per inch or higher) scanning. Here's a tip: Read the reviews at
    Looking for some smaller gifts? Buy Zig markers (for labeling resin-coated pictures) and soft-lead graphite pencils (for labeling heritage images) at art supply or scrapbook stores. Buy a box of acid- and lignin-free photo paper at an office supply store, or a beautiful preservation quality photo album at a stationary shop.

    Click Comment to add your photo-gift ideas. Happy holidays!

    photo postcards
    Wednesday, 05 December 2007 15:49:33 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #  Comments [0]
    # Thursday, 26 April 2007
    Blanket Backdrop
    Posted by Maureen

    Last time, we used the stamp box on the back of this photo postcard to establish a date. Now let's look at the beautiful backdrop.

    I've seen ancestors posed in front of all sorts of painted backdrops and even a few wrinkled sheets, but this gorgeous bed covering adds texture to a simple portrait. Georgia women such as these ladies have a long tradition of producing beautiful quilts and blankets. The online New Georgia Encyclopedia contains a description of this history. On this Web page, you can see a photo of several members of another family, the Wheelers, in front of a quilt they made. This makes me wonder if the backdrop in Armstrong's photo is part of the story.

    Armstrong believes whole-heartedly the older, seated woman in this photo is her great-grandmother Margaret E. Jordan Stephens, because she owns identified pictures of her. The picture dates from about 1910 based on the length of the young women's dresses, as well as the shape of the collar on the dress of the woman on the left. According to information from census records, Margaret would've been about 77 years old at this time.

    There are a couple of possible IDs for the two younger women: They may be Margaret's daughters, hard to find in censuses because they went by nicknames or middle names. Margaret had sons, so the women could be daughters-in-law. Or they may be ladies who helped with the quilt in the background, posing to commemorate the completion of their work just as the women in the New Georgia Encyclopedia photo did.

    I'm still working on the bedcovering facts. I'll let you know about new information in the Photo Detective Forum. Or if you can identify the pattern, please add your own thoughts to the forum.

    photo backgrounds | photo postcards | women
    Thursday, 26 April 2007 21:28:52 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #  Comments [2]
    # Thursday, 12 April 2007
    Ladies First
    Posted by Maureen

    Often details other than what's pictured in a photograph tell you a larger story. Helene Armstrong thinks the seated woman here is her great-grandmother Margaret E. Jordan Stephens. A caption on the back of this photo reads "Ally, Rose, Mar." The "Mar" probably stands for Margaret, but Armstrong has no idea who the other women are. She's trying to research all Margaret's children, but there may be as many as 13.

    Since Armstrong knows Margaret's husband's name and where the family lived, I began my photo identification work in census records, looking for children named Rose and Ally. Armstrong had already searched the census for 1860 through 1900, but I wanted to double-check.

    Though I found Margaret and her husband Joseph in the 1880 US census for Georgia, living with 10 children aged 1 to 25 years, no daughters were named Rose or Ally. Both Margaret and her husband listed their ages as 47, suggesting a birth year of about 1833. This information will come in handy when trying to verify the rest of the evidence in the photo.

    Along with the caption on the back of the image was a distinctive box for a stamp. It was easy to match up this stamp box with one on, a Web site with an alphabetical and pictorial listing of postcard manufacturers.

    Armstrong's "real photo" postcard (a photo with a postcard back) was manufactured by CYKO, which used this particular stamp box design from 1904 into the 1920s. This provides an initial date range for the photo. You can read more about postcards in As We Were: American Photographic Postcards, 1905-1930 by Rosamond B. Vaule (Godine, $45).

    Next time, we'll narrow the date and see what this photo's beautiful backdrop can tell us. It's coming your way April 26.

    You can weigh in on photo identifications on the Photo Detective Forum. Post your own mystery photo, too—it might be selected for free analysis in my next column!

    photo postcards | women
    Thursday, 12 April 2007 21:24:02 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #  Comments [0]