Tuesday, April 21, 2009

My "Adopted" Family

I have this habit of collecting old photographs from thrift and antique stores. Feeling bad for the unknown souls, I carefully take them home and "adopt" them as my own family. The story teller in me creates a history for the people who stare back at me from the brittle, fragile paper. I often use the photos as historical research for the shows that I design and sometimes they make their way on to the stage as prop photographs and set dressing (always as copies of course--I do not want to further damage the originals).

Here are a few that I have collected over the years. If you recognize them--please let me know. I will be happy to return them to their true families.

Aren't they the happy couple? I really love this one. They do not looked strained as so many did when holding for the photo. Mr. & Mrs. look genuinely happy to be together. The photo was removed from its cardboard holder and contains no information.

Now this gentleman...he looks fierce! I bet he was a strict man of hard principles. The back of the photo says "Grampa Floyd" The photo was taken at Boyd Studios of Walnut Street in Des Moines, Iowa.

This lovely lady mystifies me. I can't tell if she is just timid or if she has some secret worth telling. The back of the photo says "Maggie M. Sweeney". The photo was taken at J.B. Gibson, Artistic Photographer, Coatesville, Pennsylvania.

He's very handsome, isn't he? Probably closing in on eighteen or twenty years. Maybe a college photo? The photo was taken by S. Smith of DeWitt, Iowa.

Another stern individual. She appears to have fought life very hard. I love the ribbon locket around her neck. This photo was taken by Thayer of Lake City, Iowa.

Here we have another beautiful couple. So sweet. According to the back of the photograph, they are Fred & Alice Wright. The photo was take by Zwiggle & Johnson's Studios in Rapid City, South Dakota.

Baby photos are rare for me to find. Many times it is difficult to tell if they are male or female as babies were all dressed the same until about 3 years of age. Luckily, this one simply says "Grandmother" and was also taken by S. Smith Photographer of DeWitt, Iowa.

A formal photo of sorts--notice the white bow tie, vest and frock coat. He reminds me of a violinist. This photo has no identifying markings as to the photographer but in the upper right hand corner is a name--Harry Paynlear (that is doing my best as I really can not make out the surname clearly).

This lovely lady probably sat for this photo during the mid to late 1920's. Again, there are no clues as to the photographer, location or even the identity of the woman.

This handsome young man also goes without identity. The photo was probably taken any time between 1923-1935--that is just a guess. Without really being able to view his full attire, I can only speculate when he lived. The card board holder has the photography studio as Janousek of Yankton, South Dakota.

If you know or recognize these individuals, please leave a contact address in under the comment section below.


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