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by Maureen A. Taylor

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# Monday, February 21, 2011
Double Mystery Revisited
Posted by Maureen

Well, this photo problem is a tough case tough to crack. In Double Mystery and Back to the Double Mystery, I analyzed the clues in Sandy Forest's photo of her ancestor Felix Forest and an unidentified man.  

sandyforest1.jpg
Have you added your thoughts to the comment section? I'd love to hear from you. This week, a couple of readers think the objects in the photo are just props and not real items owned or carried by the men. I agree that some of the items are just for showing off -- the bottle of liquor, the glass and the fake dog. But how far does the photo clowning go? Are their hats and the spike photographer's props as well? That's what we'd all like to know.

I emailed Robert Holzweiss, president of the Railway and Locomotive Historical Society about the spike and the hat that reads "Asst. Engineer."  He showed the photo to a panel of railroad experts and they agreed that there is no railroad connection. They suggested the spike could be an in to hook wagons together.
 
What do you think? I want to revisit family history with Sandy Forest and see if census records identify any other occupations in her family. That's my next step.

In honor of Valentine's Day last week, I have a short video on my Vimeo channel. If you like it, please click the "like" button.

Later this week, I'm in England at Who Do You Think You Are? Live. In my next column I'll have a report for you and hopefully a few photos.


unusual photos
Monday, February 21, 2011 2:05:51 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #  Comments [3]
Friday, February 25, 2011 5:33:32 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
I took a slightly different approach..I first looked at the history of the top hat (when they were first invented and popularity) and the various styles and when they appeared to change in the 19th century. I then narrowed it down to between 1848 and 1850 then I looked at the gentleman to the left's mustache. I then looked up the history and various styles that were worn during this period and narrowed the time to still again to the mid-19th century.

Just my 2cents
Tericka
Tuesday, March 01, 2011 7:57:19 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
Could they possibly be actors?
Sherry
Wednesday, March 02, 2011 2:15:59 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
The top hat changed in shape and style throughout the nineteenth century. This man could have owned this hat or it could be an old prop. The other details in the picture especially the studio props suggest a date later in the nineteenth century. Good detective work!!
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