Friday, May 20, 2016

Foto Friday--Totally Stumped

Photos without names trouble me. Their faces seem to haunt me, to call to me, asking me to give them a name and tell their stories. My hope is that by sharing these un-named photos that someone will recognize them, help me identify them and hopefully I can then find and tell their story.

If she is the child's mother, she seems very young and yet, there surely is too big an age gap for these to be the only siblings in the family. Is the child a girl or a little boy?

I am intrigued by the scene as well. Obviously a back drop, but what about the stump? Did photographers really have huge stumps brought into their studios? The ground really does appear as if it is grass......but is it?  

No real details to betray the location, no name of the photographer, it's just one more photo to drive me crazy. 

Whoever they are, I would love to be able to save their name with their picture and better yet, learn a little about their story.







Copyright © Michelle G. Taggart 2016, All rights reserved

17 comments:

  1. Michelle, How did you come to own this photo? Was it part of a group of other photos? What is the size of the photo and has it been trimmed by anyone or does it appear to be the original size of the backing?

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    1. Michelle, The dimensions of the photo are important in terms of identifying a time period. What is its size and has it been trimmed or does the size appear to be original?

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    2. Linda, the dimensions of the card is 4 3/8 x 6 1/2 and it has not been trimmed and does appear to be the original. Thanks for your help.

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    3. Dating this photo is difficult other than late 1890s or early 1900s. It's too bad the lady is wearing her cape, as it is hiding her dress detail. I would guess maybe the early 1900s because of the patterned material of her dress. Boys and girls wore dresses when they were little well into the 1900s, but the toddler looks like a boy to me.

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    4. You've given me some good ideas Linda about who it might be. Now to see if I can somehow find more to prove my theory. Thank you so much!

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    5. You've given me some good ideas Linda about who it might be. Now to see if I can somehow find more to prove my theory. Thank you so much!

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  2. My Grandma Ganus had a few photos in a small suitcase that was passed down to me. Some photos have been from Grandpa's side and some from hers. The problem is that it was a small farming community and most everyone is related somehow---so it could literally be anyone in the community. The photo is a cabinet card but I guess when I scanned it, I just the photo itself.

    There is absolutely nothing written or stamped on the photo or card anywhere---no date, no photographer, no indication of which side of the family or anything.

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  3. This is a haunting photo. The woman could be the child's mother as women often married very young decades ago. Stumps and other props were typical, but I am intrigued by the ground, which appears to be grass. To the left of the woman the backdrop seems to rest on the grass. Could it have been a plein air photograph?

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    1. Molly I had never heard the term plein air before and had to look it up. Very interesting! I really have no idea, but it is an interesting possibility.

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  4. I read a tip about identifying boys and girls: if the hair is parted on the side, it's a boy. If it's parted down the middle, it's a girl. Looks like a boy to me.

    I am sure stumps as props were common. The rug perhaps was an early model shag rug meets Astro-turf.

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    1. I'm guessing a boy too Wendy. The "stump" is really odd when I when I went back and really examined it after someone mentioned that the stump almost looked like some type of skin rug (like bear or something??) If that is bark, it really has odd bark, yet the prop is certainly shaped like a stump.

      As for your rug comment---you make me laugh, but you are probably right.

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  5. Looks like a boy to me, too. I have a photo of my father from about 1914 and he's wearing what looks like a dress, which was not uncommon for young boys of the time. His hair was "long" and curly so he hadn't had his first hair cut yet. But your photo appears to be before 1900, is my guess. Best of luck!

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    1. Thanks for your comments Marian. When my Grandmother was living, she had a picture of a child with long curly ringlets hanging on her wall and she told me it was her brother. When I was younger I always thought she didn't understand which picture I was asking about because surely the picture had to be of a little girl. It makes it tricky to identify photos when the customs were so different. Thanks for your ideas!

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  6. Looking at the photo, the expressions, demeanor, and body language of the two in the portrait I have a hard time imagining that they are mother and child. The young woman does not seem to have a motherly "look" about her. I wouldn't discount that they are siblings simply because of the age difference. Children between could have died young or maybe, for some reason, they wanted a photo of just those two together.

    If you know the location where it might have been taken, you could check Dead Fred for that community and see if there are any photographs of the same two that have been identified.

    Those old photographs with no information are such a challenge! I hope you're able to determine something, Michelle.

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    1. Your comments really made me think Nancy. My Great Grandfather's first wife died and he remarried. The daughter from his first marriage was 13 years older than his son from his second marriage. It really makes me wonder if that is possibly who this is!

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  7. I was going to mention the hair parting to determine if a male or female, too. And, I was going to say it didn't look like a mother/child photo as they aren't even touching. Your idea that this could be a 13 year old from a first marriage & son from a second sounds incredibly likely!

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    1. And that would make me cry if it is her! She would be my grandfather's half sister. I have one picture of her that is super small, so I don't know if that will help, but the possibility sure has me thinking!

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