Free Updates

Let us tell you when new posts are added!

Email:

Navigation

Categories

Search

Archives

<April 2014>
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
303112345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
27282930123
45678910

by Maureen A. Taylor

More Links










# Monday, September 28, 2009
Texas Mystery Photo Puzzle: No News
Posted by Maureen

No news ....is not good news in this case. A week ago I posted the Two Texas Mysteries column with the hope that someone out there would be able to shed some light on these two pictures. Nope! Not a word.

I received an email from David Lintz of the Improved Order of Red Men (I'd consulted him because I wondered if the interesting designs on the men's shirts had to do with a fraternal organization), but he didn't have a solution either.

So for now, this mystery remains just that: a mystery.  I'm temporarily out of angles. I'm back to considering either religious or Masonic symbolism, because Dr. Francis Marion Montgomery, who may be in one of the images, was linked to both types of organizations.

Here are a couple of interesting links I found this week. 
  • Freemason Symbols This site didn't prove helpful to this particular case, but if you have a picture of a man in fraternal attire, look for the symbols here and solve your own mystery.

  • 8-Pointed Star This explanation of the star symbol comes from the Messiah Evangelical Lutheran Church in Sterling, Illinois.  An interesting perspective.
Now if I could only figure out the symbols on the second man's shirt. Any guesses?


1860s photos
Monday, September 28, 2009 9:39:41 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Two Texas Mysteries
Posted by Maureen

092109img041 (5).jpg

Take a good look at these photos from Peggy Batchelor Hamlett.  I can date them, but I'm still working on identifying the symbolism on the men's shirts shirts. 

Pictorial Evidence:
  • The design of the mat for the above image suggests it was taken in the 1860s.

  • The image is a tintype, which isn't unusual for the time period.

  • The man's beard in the photo above is a style called a Greeley, after newspaper publisher Horace Greeley. In the image below, the man wears an imperial-style beard.

  • Both men's shirts are in the style of a collarless work shirt with a double-buttoned small band around the neck.

  • The eight pointed stars on shirt of the man above and the design down the button placket are very interesting. The eight-pointed star is called the Star of Redemption, and is associated with baptisms.
Peggy and I are trying to determine if this image represents her ancestor Dr. Francis Marion Montgomery, of Tyler, Texas, who was born c. 1830. He was a devout Methodist and became a circuit minister. 

Montgomery could be the man in the image above, but there's one problem—the second image, below. Who is this man, and do the shirts signify that the two pictures are related somehow?

092109img038 (3).jpg

This image made me start from scratch. I've seen work shirts like these from the 1860s, but frankly, I haven't seen this design before. In the second photo, the design looks like either a tree of life or the flame of life. 

Are these fraternal society photos? I don't think so. I consulted with Rhonda McClure of the New England Historic Genealogical Society, and we agreed the markings are unusual, but couldn't find a fraternal match. David Lintz of the Improved Order of Red Men is taking a look at the images to see if he recognizes their significance.

A couple of folks at the Smith County Historical Society in Tyler, Texas, are working on this problem, too. They have a large photo archive, so my hope is that someone there will have an "aha!" moment. They're considering Civil War Uniforms or volunteer firemen.

Could the shirts be traditional attire from another country?  Peggy's family had been in the country for a while when these images were taken.

Could the pictures show Montgomery and a colleague who traveled with him on the circuit? I contacted the United Methodist Archives at Drew University, but they couldn't identify the star or the other design as part of their symbolism.

Could these be people who aren't in Peggy's family? Anything is possible.

At this point I'm waiting to hear back from a few folks ... I'll keep you posted. If you have any ideas, contact me.


1860s photos | men
Tuesday, September 22, 2009 7:24:46 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Monday, September 14, 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?

unidmen122.jpg

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, September 14, 2009 4:16:12 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Monday, September 07, 2009
An Album of Funny Pictures
Posted by Maureen

Last week I asked readers to submit funny pictures. Thank you to everyone who sent images. I've been laughing all week. So here they are...fun images that leave you wondering, "What were they thinking?"

EdminsterWill Samels Robt Shane and others.jpg
Sue Edminster sent in this photo (above) of men with numbers on the soles of their shoes. Why?  Who knows!  The men are, bottom to top, Will Samels, Bob Shane (Edminster's grandfather) and Will Young. The photo was taken circa 1890.

mcclenahan2kirk brothers.jpg

Here's a card-playing group courtesy of Merna McClenathen. With her grandfather, Milton "Tom" Kirk (2nd from right), are his brothers, William McCready "Crede" Kirk (3rd from right) and Alfred "Alf" Kirk (far right). The man holding all the cards on the far left is unknown. McClenathen thinks this photo was taken circa 1890 in the Black Hills of South Dakota near Lead, SD,when the Kirk brothers were working as carpenters at the Homestake Mine.

McClenathenGeo Alford.jpg

Merna sent in two images. Above, you can see what a double exposure looked like taken with either the real Freako-Shutter mentioned last week, or a similar device. Your eyes aren't playing tricks. It's the same man, George P. Alford.

PierceManFeedingDoll.jpg

The earliest funny picture I received came from Rachel Peirce. This one (sbove) dates between Aug. 1, 1864 and Aug. 1, 1866. I know this because on the back is a tax revenue stamp. One can only wonder why this man posed feeding a doll. The doll probably has a china head and cloth body, and could be an imported model. The man is "feeding" it from the dish on the table. The photographer hand-colored the doll's dress a light pink.

PikePoker girls.jpg

Sharon Pike sent the most recent image in this set. It dates from c. 1900. I've seen other images from this time frame of women dressed like men in funny pictures. Here, it's Belle and Fanny Curtis. Belle was born in 1882. Their father, Asaph Curtis, owned the Hotel Rockford on Long Lake in Washburn Co., Wis.

Come back next week, when I reveal an unusual coincidence in a reader's picture.


1860s photos | 1890s photos | 1900-1910 photos | group photos | men | Photo fun | props in photos | women
Monday, September 07, 2009 8:59:22 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #  Comments [1]