We all have interesting photos in our collections, those images of the distant past where we have little to no idea about the who, what, when, where, or why.
Here is one of mine:
With no obvious identifying marks on the tintype, neither the man (nice mustache, by the way) nor the young girl are identified. Why is she so out of focus? What is she holding or leaning against? Perhaps she is his daughter?
The only information I have to work from is the image was mixed in amongst several other photos from my Russell and Everett lines, all dating from the families’ time in Toronto. This would also be the time period when the tintype was prevalent in photographic technology. A small lead, to be sure, but a lead nonetheless.
The girl could be my g-g grandmother, Mary Ann Everett, but it’s hard to say with any degree of certainty, as her face is so out of focus, and other images I have of her are as a much older woman. Could the man, then, be my g-g-g grandfather, still an unnamed and unidentified leaf on my family tree?
Ironically, the image above represents the oldest original document or image in my possession. My oldest family resource, and I know next to nothing about it!
I believe that the girl is holding a straw hat decorated with ribbons or flowers. If you look closely at the lower portion of the object, you can see the weave in what I think is the brim. She appears to have her elbow resting on the settee behind her, with the hat dangling from a string. Behind her elbow is what appears to be the brim of a man’s hat, probably belonging to the man beside her.
My husband commented that she may actually be holding a bouquet or basket of flowers and that, given the white dress, it’s possible that this photograph is commemorating a communion or similar event.
That’s some excellent analysis, I missed some of those clues. Thanks for taking such a close look!
You’re welcome. I don’t know whether any of the things we noticed will help you to identify your family members, but sometimes something small will help you make a connection. Good luck!
In those days it was difficult to photograph children. People had to hold still for a few seconds to allow for ample exposure time. You’ll find that adults usually rest their hands somewhere. Sometimes they even had headrests propped up behind them.
Image google ‘the hidden mother’ and you’ll see the trouble they went through to get a picture of a one-year-old. I suppose Pamela is right, it must have been a special day for the girl. Those photographs were expensive and were only taken for special occasions.
What fun! I hadn’t come across “the hidden mother” motif before and had a blast looking at many sweet images. What makes it even more fun for me is that I once took a hidden father picture of my oldest son: http://pics.livejournal.com/pdlloyd/pic/000209bb/g90
Not a vintage photo, by any means, but very special all the same. Thank you, irmaLAdouce!