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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]
# Monday, February 14, 2011
Back to the Double Mystery
Posted by Maureen

Two weeks ago, in my Double Mystery post, I began dissecting the evidence in a photo owned by Sandy Forest. A couple of readers asked about the hat worn by the man on the right. It's a big clue.

sandyforest1.jpg

sandyforestcropped hat2.jpg

It's difficult to read the hat, but it says "Asst. Engineer" with letters beneath it. The first letter is "H,"  followed by what I think is an "E" and maybe a "D." Initially, I thought the second letter was an R, but there seems to be a bottom line to the letter. So what does it stand for? That's the big question.

He's holding a spike and is an engineer. That suggests a railway connection. But I'm not sure it's a locomotive railway line. It could be a street railway. Perhaps they are celebrating the inauguration of the first tracks being placed where Felix lived.

Railroad spikes come in different shapes, but the ones used to lay the rails have an off-set head. I've spent time researching spikes and so has Sandy. Something doesn't seem to quite add up.
sandyforestspike.jpg
I'm looking for an expert on railroads and think I've found one. Hopefully, I'll be back next week with an answer. 


1880s photos
Monday, February 14, 2011 4:59:56 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #  Comments [2]
# Monday, February 07, 2011
Baby Picture Week
Posted by Maureen

Last week, Genealogy Insider blogger Diane Haddad, gave birth to a beautiful baby. In honor of this, I'm featuring your ancestral baby photos. Thank you for all the submissions.

estelle baby2.jpg
Kim Dolce sent in this picture of her grandmother Estelle Miller Moore, who was born May 12, 1911, in Riverside, N.J. Estelle looks like she's about to topple over. 

Ben  Adolph babies2.jpg
Linday Bly Holub emailed me this charming picture of her grandfather Benjamin Bly (on the left), born November 1890, in Moberly, Mo., and his baby brother Adolph Bly, born January 1893, in the same town.

Carol Norwood submitted several photos of three generations of baby pictures. Here are two.
norwood2edit.jpg
This is her maternal grandmother, Agnes Catherine Caroline Simon, born in 1896 in Erlangen, Germany. Don't you love her bare feet!

Norwood1edit.jpg

This is Carol's maternal grandfather, Helmuth Dromer, born in Potsdam, Germany in 1900. Small children of both sexes wore dresses. Carol actually owns pictures of his two older sisters, who as toddlers also posed in this dress sitting in this basket.

I've seen many different techniques and devices to photograph babies and small children, but one has to wonder about this basket. Cute, but if you look closely you'll notice the basket is on a pedestal. One false move the this tot is on the floor. 


1890s photos | 1900-1910 photos | children
Monday, February 07, 2011 2:50:32 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #  Comments [0]