As if I didn’t already have a full schedule leading up to the holidays, I decided to open a box of old photos inherited from dad. At the top was a stack of about a dozen or so very old photographs mounted in individual cardboard folders.
Just guessing, it looks like the most recent photo dates from the 1940s. The others were probably taken much earlier, a few of them from the 1920s, the rest…much older. The only clue I had as to why dad had them was a Post-It-Note with one of my Swedish great grandfather’s name written on it. Were the photographs of his friends? Were some of these people related to me somehow?
All of the photos are in reasonably good condition because they were not stored in an attic or a basement. A few of them were bound with a waxed paper protective insert to keep them from touching the cardboard cover. (Click to enlarge.)
The first one is a 7 X 10 sepia toned image of an accordionist. Judging by the man’s suit, the picture appears to have been taken in the 1940s. The front of the cardboard folder is marked “A.V. Fenger, Norfolk, VA.”
A 4 X 6 photo of three children is protected inside of a brownish grey thin cardboard folder marked “F J Arnold, 627 Edgemont Avenue, Chester, PA.
The Roaring Twenties are represented by this young lady dressed in Flapper style. The 5 X 6.5 picture is self matted and is embossed with “Longs Studios, 441 Granby St., Norfolk, VA.”
The woman in her music room is the most visually fascinating photograph of the bunch because it is not a studio shot. Everything in the image–the woman’s dress and appearance, the piano, the hanging picture, the lace curtains, and the carpet –is interesting. This semi-sepia toned 5 X 7 image is the only photo that was loose and unmounted, so I don’t know its origin.
A group of three individuals is one of the older photographs. Are they siblings? Are they part of a wedding party? Like many photos of the period, the men are posed in front of the woman. The 4 X 5.5 picture is mounted onto a cardboard mat marked “Johnson, Sioux City” (Iowa). It did not have a folder.
The last photograph shows two people I can easily identify. The 5 X 7 picture of my paternal grandparents was probably taken in the early 1920s. It is marked, “Skoglund Studio, Omaha, Neb.”
I was pleased that these photographs were very well preserved, especially the one of my grandparents. Each image captures a little share of history on a personal scale.