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by Maureen A. Taylor

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# Monday, May 23, 2011
Scenic Assistance
Posted by Maureen

Thank you to everyone that attended last week's Photo Detective Live! webinar. Don't worry if you missed it. You can still watch and listen to it online. There's even a free PDF download to go with it.

This week's photo was submitted as part of our call for images for the contest that accompanies the webinar. (The Photo Mysteries contest concludes this Friday, May 27—here's how to enter.) I'll be featuring these photos and questions in the next few weeks.

Sharon Woodsum sent in a great set of images. Her family called this photo "Roberts on the Cliff" and believed that it was taken in Wales, home to her husband's grandfather of that surname.



That's until Sharon spotted this postcard of the exact location.


Notice the similarities in the background. You can see the lighthouse and the other buildings on the cliff. Now Sharon thinks the family is actually the Emersons of Portland, Maine. It's possible that her grandfather Anthony E. Roberts is in the picture. I'll fill you in on that comparison next week.

So why did the family go to Nubble Light? It's a beautiful lighthouse and has been in that location since 1879. If this is the Emerson family, they could be on a day-trip to York, Maine, but since it's more than 40 miles from Portland to York and the lighthouse, perhaps the family is on vacation in the area. The date for the photo of this group on the rocks is circa 1900.

Sharon was lucky to find a postcard view that confirmed the location of the first photo. It yielded a clue that is helping her sort out the evidence in the group portrait.


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

  • 1900-1910 photos | group photos | photo backgrounds | unusual surfaces
    Monday, May 23, 2011 6:56:22 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #  Comments [1]
    Saturday, June 04, 2011 4:18:59 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
    After studying the photo and post card, I was struck by the difference in perspective in the size of the buildings in the background. I'm wondering if the family could have been posed in front of a blow up of the postcard or was that type of enlargement not available then?
    Linda Neubauer
    Comments are closed.