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<April 2014>

by Maureen A. Taylor

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# Monday, October 20, 2008
Gloved Mystery
Posted by Maureen

Last week I wrote about a photo in which two of the men depicted each wore only one glove. I wondered about the significance of this oddity. A couple of people sent me e-mails about their thoughts.

Let's take a closer look at the gloves:

Lance and Elmore Melsonedit.jpg

Candy Rypczyk wrote, "My husband had a relative who lost both hands in a coal mining accident in Pennsylvania, and wore heavy gloves like this to hide the hooks he had in place of hands. The young man looks pretty young to have worked in the coal mines, but could also have been born with a hand deformity. Just a thought. (Perhaps the other young man is wearing a glove 'in sympathy.')"

I agree with you, Candy. There's definitely something different about the hands of the man on right. If you compare the dimensions of his hand, the gloved one is significantly larger. That's not the case with the man on the left—both his hands are the same size. I'll delve deeper into this mystery by contacting the owner of the photo to see if she has an additional family information.

Thank you also to the reader who suggested the man on the right might have an artificial limb, and to the person who observed the way the men in the front posed their legs for the picture. Another reader thought it might be a golfing glove.

I wonder if the type of glove provides any clues. It's a heavy leather glove. It's a little fancy for a work glove and their attire doesn't suggest they've come from their day's labor to pose for this picture.

So the questions remain:

  • What type of glove is this?
  • Do their gloved hands correspond with their dominant hands?
  • Did they have injured/artificial hands? Perhaps they are missing partial fingers on those hands?
  • What did these men do for work?
Isn't it fun the way a single photo can generate so many questions!

Monday, October 20, 2008 2:19:33 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #  Comments [4]
Thursday, October 23, 2008 8:51:44 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
The hands of the man on the left may be the same size but his ring finger is considerably shorter than it should be, the knuckles should line up, but don't. In fact, his gloved hand looks like it may be a bit atrophied compared to a normal hand.
diana thornton
Thursday, October 23, 2008 8:55:12 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
Yes, that's another option. I'm still hoping to talk with the owner to find out the story. There are so many interesting details in this image! It's a great mystery.
Friday, October 24, 2008 7:44:10 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
I may be mistaken, but it looks like the two young men in front are also wearing thin white gloves; also on opposite hands.
Carol McGinn
Thursday, November 06, 2008 8:16:38 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
I couldn't help sharing this. This 1-glove mystery reminded me of a joke that was popular in 1986. Back then, Michael Jackson was the star of MTV and Red Sox fans (like me) were mourning the loss in game 5 following Bill Buckner's error. The joke was "What do Bill Buckner and Michael Jackson have in common?" and the answer..."They both wear a glove on just one hand for no apparent reason!" (Ouch - it still hurts to share that).
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