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Posts Tagged ‘identification of antique photograph’

If you recall my posts about Jennie Culver, and her daughters Rhea and Lela, moving to Seattle, you will see that this photo fits neatly into the move. Try this post if you need a reminder or are new to the story:

Bingo: When Aunt Jennie Left for Seattle

On the back, one of the girls has written “my present domicile” and on the front, the date is 1918, the year other photos showed them at the train station, ready for the move.

I glanced at some of the other unidentified Culver photos to see if this apartment building (I assume it is apartments) shows up. Only one other photo with square brick columns shows up, but it can’t be of the same building. See here:

Notice what confuses me here. The square brick column, the white round column–the same as the first photo, right? But the white siding in the second photo is not in the first photo, right again?

I will say the age seems right for Seattle in this photo. The more I look at the Culver photos, the more Kalamazoo photos I suspect might be in the collection.

So who wrote “my present domicile” on this photograph? It wasn’t Jennie because the scrapbook and its photos clearly belonged to one of the daughters.  My confusion began with information I noticed that I wrote about in this post:Who Went Where When?. According to the newspaper, Rhea, the stenographer, moved to Seattle mid-August 1918. Jennie and Lela were not mentioned. But at some point Jennie and Lela did move to Seattle and lived there the rest of their lives. Somewhere around 1918. And Rhea did, too, except that in 1920 she was “spotted” living in Kalamazoo (see my post).

Can I assume that Rhea did go to Seattle August 20 as the newspaper and photograph verify? And that “my present domicile” was where Rhea lived? If so, can I conclude that the scrapbook belonged to Rhea. And that this photo I posted earlier was, in fact, Rhea in the plaid?

Is the handwriting on the above photo, the same as on the back of the first photograph I posted here?

Barely any letters to compare. They each have a final “le”–in Seattle and domicile. While nobody’s handwriting is completely consistent, are these in the bounds of what could be written by the same person? I will say there is a similarity to MY handwriting, weirdly. Both Miss Culver and I produce the triangular Ts of Emily Dickinson.

As usual, I manage to produce more questions than answers. This is becoming a disturbing trend!

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Maureen Taylor, photo detective, helped me with a couple of photos a few years ago. The other day I bought her book, Family Photo Detective.

The book gives a good overview of many topics associated with identifying old family photographs. I haven’t read it all yet, but I did read certain sections because of various questions I already have in my mind.

In my post Mysterious Antique Photographs I posted a painted metal photograph which is unidentified. I believe it is from the Remine family. Although it can seem that the Remines are very distantly related, in fact, Richard DeKorn’s mother was a Remine:

 

 

Johanna Remijinse

1817–1864

BIRTH 15 JUL 1817 Kapelle, Zeeland, Netherlands

DEATH 1864 Kalamazoo City, Kalamazoo, Michigan

* my 3rd great-grandmother *

The consensus seems to be that the photo below (of an unidentified Remine female) is a tintype.

 

However, according to Taylor, a painted photo like this would be a daguerreotype which is painted on its metal surface with colored powders which are brushed or gently blown.

One of the characteristics of a daguerreotype over a tintype is that the image needs to be viewed from an angle. Another important characteristic is a mirror-like surface. I had to pull out the original to examine it for these traits.

It’s impossible to tell if the image needs to be viewed from an angle because the image is so thoroughly painted. But the background is not mirror-like, but rather a matte dark gray with a slight texture.

I went to the internet about this mystery and discovered a site that showcases some hand-painted tintypes. Unfortunately, after 45 years, The Ames Gallery in Berkeley is closing this year. I wonder what will happen to their photographs. Click the name of the gallery to see the painted tintypes.

I think we were right that this is a tintype that has been painted. In fact, the painting is so well done that her face is very realistic. Years ago, I used to work with gold leaf, embossing leather and vinyl products, and I suspect that the jewelry has been painted with gold-leaf.

It’s frustrating that I have not had the time to work on the photos and genealogy for many months (for the most part), but I like to keep moving along, getting one little thing after another accomplished so I don’t lose my touch haha.

Without a doubt, this is the most beautiful photograph in the whole collection.

 

 

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I’ve written about the Leeuwenhoeks, and in particular, my great grandmother’s brother-in-law, Lambertus Leeuwenhoek. He was called Uncle Lou by my grandfather, so he’s still called Uncle Lou by me today, although I never met him. I did know his wife, Aunt Jen, who survived him by decades.

Uncle Lou and Aunt Jen owned a general store. They had a store in Kalamazoo for a time and one in Vicksburg for a time, as well. In the 1910 and 1920 censuses, he and Aunt Jen are living at 110 Balch Street in Kalamazoo. His Kalamazoo store sold Gold Medal flour.

may-19-1910-leeuwenhoek-ad

 

In the 1930 census, they live at 111 East Prairie Street in Vicksburg. In the 1940 census I find them with Lou’s first name mangled into Laonbatius. They are living with their daughter Alice and her husband, Clarence Moerdyk, at 1014 Gerdan Street in Kalamazoo. Could that be GARDEN Street? Because that would be a real house in Kalamazoo. One still existing, most likely.

I looked for city directory entries, and I found these–all date jumbled:

Leeuwenhock Lambertus (Jennie) household 110 Balch, 1926 City Directory: See Page
Leeuwenhoek Alice M, dressrnkr, boards 110 Balch, Kalamazoo City 1915: See Page
Leeuwenhoek Lambertus (Jennie) resides at 1014 Garden, City Directory 1935: See Page
Leeuwenhoek Lambertus (Jennie), grocer 110 Balch, residence same, Kalamazoo City 1915: See Page
Leeuwenhoek Lambertus (Jennie), grocer 110 Balch, residence same, Kalamazoo City, 1905: See Page
Leeuwenhoek Lambertus, compositor, 306 Wall., Kalamazoo City 1895: See Page

Compositor means that Lou was working on the Dutch newspaper. See here. But he had a grocery store in his house?

And if he lived in Vicksburg in 1930, but lived in Kalamazoo in 1926 and 1935, he couldn’t have lived in and owned a store in Vicksburg for very long. Unfortunately, I haven’t found a source for Vicksburg advertising yet.

I found this photo of Uncle Lou standing out in the front of the store, but I’m not sure which city this is:

Any ideas on the years, judging by the cars? Any idea if that looks like Kalamazoo or Vicksburg in the distance?

Likewise, I’m not sure which city Uncle Lou is in as he walks down the sidewalk? Does that window say “Russell” on it? In the city directories, there are many Russells, including ones owning businesses. There is one on Burdick Street, for instance, in my family’s neck o’ the woods, that is a variety store.

Here he is on a bench:

I wouldn’t be surprised to find this bench outside Richard DeKorn’s (his father-in-law) house on the corner of Burdick and Balch, judging by the design of the light colored stripe through the brick.

Here the photo is again–yes, it’s the same house. It’s hard to see Lou’s face up close. Below he is with his father-in-law, Richard DeKorn.

Uncle Lou with Aunt Jen and their only child, Alice:

Here is a closeup of young Uncle Lou.

And now this is a curiosity. This photo is labelled Lou Leeuwenhoek by the same person who knew that the man walking down the street was Lou, that that was Lou standing out in front of his store, etc. But IS it Lou?

This is not his brother, for sure. While it’s not the same hairstyle as the photos above, the features seem to be the same–except for the eyes which, in the other photos, seem to be deep-set. Is the difference aging (the style of tie is the same) or lighting?  Or is the photo mislabeled?

***

You can check out the Bibles Uncle Lou brought with him from the Netherlands here.

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Last year I posted two unidentified photographs that I wished to identify. The photographer was based in the Dutch towns of Utrecht and Den Haag (The Hague).  Both photographs seemed to have the same props, so it was likely that they were taken around the same time at the same photography studio.

But they sure looked different. One looked as if the subject could have lived three hundred years ago. The other looked more turn-of-the-century.

Thanks to a Dutch reader, Hubert Theuns, I learned much information about the photos. In particular, he discovered that the older style outfit was the traditional costume of Cadzand, a small town in the Dutch province of Zeeland. In 2007 Cadzand had about 800 inhabitants. He told me that the photographer, Cornelis Johannes Lodewicus Vermeulen, was born in Utrecht 18.11.1861 and died in Hilversum 05.01.1936. Photographs from the period 1886-1915 can be found athttps://rkd.nl/nl/explore/portraits#query=cjl+vermeulen&start=0&filters%5Bcollectienaam%5D%5B%5D=RKD%20%28Collectie%20Iconografisch%20Bureau%29

Here are the two photos–first the more “modern” looking one and then the “traditional costume” photo.

 

Look at this amazing costume. It looks so Puritan to me.

 

 

Here are the backs of the photos:

 

Note that they both have the 3 digit telephone numbers. According to the research of Hubert Theuns:

The telephone was introduced at The Hague on July 1, 1883, and at Utrecht in February 1883. There used to be local telephone directories, but I have not (yet) found any on the internet. National telephone directories were published as from 1901. The collection of national telephone directories from 1901 till 1950 are being digitalised by the dutch national library, but unfortunately this process has found delays. Only the national directory of 1915 is available on the internet, and shows that the photographer in 1915 in Utrecht had the same three digit number as mentioned on the photograph, but that his number in The Hague already had four digits.

Hubert narrowed down the time period to pre WWI.

Now he has been able to get these photos published in a newsletter of the city of Goes, as well as its website! Check it out: IDENTIFY THESE PHOTOS.

Eventually these photos WILL be identified!  I am so grateful to Hubert. He is a reminder that genealogy is a collaboration of many people. It’s not a a selfish interest.

Thank you to everyone who has helped me with my research! I think of you all with fondness!

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My last post Is it Live or is it Memento Mori? relied on information about the dates of the photographer of the photograph in question (whether the lady is dead or alive in the photo).  I used information from a listing of late 19th and early 20th century Kalamazoo photographers on Bushwacking Genealogy.

I started wondering if I approached my photos from this perspective if I could add information to my identification of photos and dates.

For example, this photograph of Carrie Paak Waruf was taken by Evans. Evans is not on Bushwacking’s list, but notice how the photo says “Successor to Packard 120 E. Main St.” So I looked when Packard seems to have stopped being a photographer at that address: 1887. But wait. Mary H. Packard seems to have been in business at that address in 1899. (The lesson here is to pay attention to the photographer’s address if it’s on the photo–they moved around quite a bit and it can help identify a year). Her husband committed suicide in 1898. So who was Evans? And what year was this photo of Carrie taken?

Carrie was born 8 May 1862 in Lexmond, Netherlands. She was my great-great-grandmother’s sister. That means that if Mary Packard was out of business by 1900, Carrie would have been 38 years old. And even older if it was sometime after that point.

That is not possible. This photograph is of a young woman. This is confusing. I might have learned something, but now I have still more questions (is this The Family Kalamazoo refrain or what? more questions, more questions)

Here is another one:

This woman is Jennie Remine Meyer (Meijer, married to Klaas Meijer who became Carlos Meyer).  She’s my first cousin, 4x removed. How old do you think she looks in this photo?

She was born 12 April 1860 in Kalamazoo. Just for the record, she passed away in Kalamazoo on 20 September 1940.

This photographer also bills him or herself as a successor to C. C. Packard, the photographer who died in 1898.  You are correct if you are guessing that Kidney is also not on Bushwacking’s list of photographers.

This is where I wish I had a Kalamazoo city directory for every year right at my fingertips.

If this photo was taken in 1900 or after she would have to be 40 or older.  I think she looks pretty good for 40. No botox, no makeup, no hair dye. But she could be 40, whereas I don’t see how Carrie could be 38 or older.

Then there are the clothes to consider. My instincts tell me Jennie’s clothing and hair is from an older period than Carrie’s, but that would be impossible because she is older than Carrie in the photos, but these two women are only two years apart in age.

There is much work to be done on solving the mystery of these two “successors” to photographer Packard.

Let’s just spot check a couple and see if the information on Bushwacking seems to correspond with the information I have about my photos.

This is Gertrude, Richard, and Adrian DeSmit, the children of John DeSmit and Mary DeKorn DeSmit. Gertrude was born in 1889, Richard 1887, and Adrian in 1891. If we assume that the children are about 6, 8, and 4 in this photo, the year it was taken would be 1895. The photographer Wood was Thomas E. Wood (also went by T.E. Wood) who was in business at least from 1887 to 1895, according to Bushwacking. She says he was not in the city directory in 1899. From 1887-88 he was at 316 E. Main St. From 1889-1895, he was at 134 S. Burdick St. The address on this photo is 134 S. Burdick St. (way up the street from the neighborhood where my relatives lived).

 

OH WAIT, what does that say in the middle of the bottom of the photo? 1895!!!!!!!! So my calculations about their ages was correct, plus it means that my grandfather was correct when he identified exactly which DeSmit children are pictured (there were many, but these were the youngest).  This verifies my info about the photo, as well as the info provided by Bushwacking.

Here is one more. Gerrit Leeuwenhoek:

Photographer Philley is not a common one in my albums, but he is on Bushwacking’s list. Silas Philley, Jr. In 1895, he was in business at 303 E. Main, and in 1899 at 305 E. Main. This photo says 303 East Main Street.

Gerrit died in the service of our military 23 July 1898. If you want to break your heart, read this: he only immigrated to the United States on in April 1897.  I’ve written about him previously in several posts–his death, his life in an orphanage, and the court case he brought against a teacher. You can search his name in my blog’s search bar.

But look at these dates. Since this photograph had to be taken in 1897 or 1898, it means that Philley was still operating out of 303 E. Main Street through that period. This helps narrow down the Bushwacking information a bit more.

I wonder why this photograph was taken and who paid for it. Since Gerrit was a young immigrant, I wonder if his older brother Lou paid for the photo. And I also wonder if it was taken because he was leaving for Cuba for the Spanish-American War. Would the government have taken photographs of new enlistees? If this were true, there might be more photos of young soon-to-be soldiers taken by Philley at this time period.

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Two posts ago, in What I Discovered in the Box of Unscanned Remine Photos, I posted a photo of two girls circa 1870s or 1880s. One reader wondered if one of the girls could be deceased. She saw the wooden stand behind the girl. While I didn’t think this particular girl was deceased, and photographers mainly used stands behind people to help them hold still for the 15-20 minutes required to take the photo, it is true that photos of the dead, called Memento Mori, were quite common.

In fact, I have a Pinterest board devoted to the subject.

Of all the antique photos that I have in my collection, I don’t think I have any memento mori. Apparently, the style did not catch on with my relatives. By the beginning of the 20th century, most of the Victorian form of photographing the dead had (sorry) died out.

However, there is one photo that sometimes I wonder about . . . .

This particular photo might, in fact, be too late. The photographer was in business from at least 1899-1915. I found researched information on the site Bushwacking Genealogy.

Dornbush, Henry G.: Lived 1878-1962. In business at least 1899-1915. Not a photographer in 1920 census.
1899-1915:  120 E. Main

But maybe he was in business a bit before 1899. Or maybe this photo is from 1899 or 1900 and was on the tail end of the fashion.

Why do I wonder about this photograph? Notice the rose the man is wearing. It is upside down. In the 19th century, flowers were a language between people. This photograph has the general feeling of a wedding portrait because of the flowers, but because his flower is upside down, it likely means he is in mourning.

Notice how her body leans into and behind him, but is stiff in appearance. Her gaze is directed off somewhere, while he looks into the camera.

I would like to identify this couple. It’s very possible they are on my family tree. Just in case she is deceased here, any ideas for how to compile a search on Ancestry of death dates? After all, I have a couple thousand people to sort through.

What do you think? Is this photograph memento mori or can all the clues be explained away?

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More tintypes! In Mysterious Antique Photographs I shared a beautiful tintype that I own.

Yesterday I opened the box of unscanned Remine photos. I haven’t had time to scan so many photos–or to organize either–but I thought I should just start doing a few a day because when WILL I ever have the time?

And I discovered these beautiful tiny tintypes. The one on the other post is large and painted. These are only 2.25 x 3.5 inches in size–and unpainted.

Because they are in the Remine box I can guess they might be Remines. Judging by the faces, I am ready to conclude they probably are Remines.

Because these girls and women were photographed full length (standing and seated), we can examine their entire outfits to try to guess a time period.

Therese was born in 1891. Could this photo be from around 1900?

I am having trouble identifying the correct information about Therese’s sisters. When I figure it out, this might help in identifying this tintype. For instance, if there were sisters born in 1880 and 1881 as might have been, this photo could, I suppose, be those sisters. If so, one of them is Genevieve Remine Tazelaar and the tintypes would be in the early 1890s.

I suppose the hair and collars could be 1900. But what about the fitted jackets with all the buttons? I can’t find anything like that in photos of 1900. Odd, too, that it would be a tintype if it was as late as 1900.

Here is the other tintype. I’m sorry it’s kind of crooked and uneven. It was difficult to scan it.

What about these outfits? They are not leg o’mutton sleeves, so does that rule out the 1890s?

I guess I am not very good at taking the nuances of change in fashion and extrapolating to what my relatives would have worn (generally a much more conservative version of the fashion).

The woman on our left looks a lot like Mary Paak Remine, Therese’s mother. She was born in 1859. But the woman doesn’t look terribly young in this photo. And then who would the other woman be? She looks NOTHING like the Paak sisters. She is not Mary’s mother because Jacoba Bassa had passed away long before this.

Were these photos taken in the Netherlands or the United States? The Remines were from Kapelle and the Paaks were from Lexmond. Notice the wallpaper/painted background. I’m pretty sure that these photos were taken in the same studio, perhaps near the same time period.

I’m afraid I have more questions now than I did before.

 

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