The Orphaned Images Project: Bathing cuties

19 10 2011

Learn more about my ongoing series, The Orphaned Images Project, here and see more orphaned images here.

The Orphaned Images Project: Olive and me

21 09 2011

Written on the back of this photo:

They were taken one Sunday morning & we put on something to make us look foolish. Please notice our hats. Olive and I and they do look funny, don’t they?

The Orphaned Images Project: Ethel’s postcard home

9 03 2011

This postcard was sent to Mrs. J.W. Noland in Laketon, Indiana on March 2, 1911 from their daughter Ethel in Wabash, Indiana. The postcard reads:

Dear Papa & Mother,
Received Saturday’s check—many thanks. Expect I will be home Saturday.
With love, Ethel

I’m not sure which woman on the front of the postcard is Ethel. I have several other photos from the same source with the family name “Noland” written on the back of each. Alonzo Noland, John Noland and George Noland are three of the names mentioned in several photos. I’m assuming they are brothers, based on photos.

During a cursory web search, I discovered a Mary Ethel Noland in Missouri (known to her friends as Ethel), who was President Truman’s first cousin, a fervent genealogist and keeper of all things related to her cousin’s presidency. The Mary Ethel Noland Papers (4,800 pages!) date from 1672-1971 with the bulk of material spanning 1893-1971. The collection includes postcards, printed materials, correspondence, charts, photographs and newspaper clippings relating to her genealogy of Harry S. Truman. She donated the collection to the U.S. government.

I got a tad excited about my Ethel (remotely) being that Ethel, but I really can’t connect them because Truman’s Ethel was in Missouri for most of her life; my Ethel appears to remain in Indiana throughout the series of postcards. That Ethel did have a sister (Nellie) and this postcard shows that my Ethel possibly had a sister, too. I’ve seen a few photos of Truman’s Ethel and none look quite like either of the young women in the postcard below.

It’s rather fun to research (if even just for five minutes) some background information for these orphaned photos—and they’re not even my relatives! I am consistently amazed at how much information can be found if you have a name, city, state or even a studio name written on a photo—even one dating back to the late 1800s. I know I owe most of this gratitude to the multitude of fervent genealogists out there!

A little behind-the-scenes research: My friend Barbara, a self-admitted fan of The Orphaned Images Project, just made a comment on this post and asked about the photograph—suggesting maybe it was bought at a store and quite possibly isn’t Ethel or her sister. I did a little thinking on the subject, then a little research. Here is the thread below:

BARBARA: Now I am confused…would the photo on the front of the postcard necessarily be the writer of the card? (Ethel) Back in those days how easy was it to get your photo taken and have post cards printed? (And we didn’t have Cindy Dyer around to make such cards!) So, I say neither woman is Ethel, they are just two sassy gals on a post card purchased at the local drug store or post office on which to write correspondence.
Am I missing something? I am a fan of the Orphaned Images Project. :)

ME: Barbara, that thought had occurred to me too, but I have lots of postcards that have photos of people and they’re signed on the back. One postcard has two young men on the front and it is signed like it’s from two young men on the back. It would have been easy to make a print that had postcard info printed on the back and an area to write. The subject would have a portrait taken and just request that the back of the image be postcard-ready. Sort of a pre-cursor to Costco’s Christmas card print. I’m glad you’re a fan of The Orphaned Images Project!

Oh, and one more thing….the back of a print made then was always matte finish (at least in all of those photos I have). It would be incredibly simple to simply STAMP the postcard art/type on the back and voila! You have a print that is postcard-ready!

So, as I always do, I typed in and did a search for “postcards with photographs from the 1900s.” I found this article by author Mike Yoder:

Here is an excerpt from that article that confirms my thought on the process:

For the price of a 1-cent stamp and a special postcard, Mary had printed her son’s photo on one side, added a note on the other and put it in the post. It was a turn-of-the-century social media exchange with user-generated content. In 1898 the postal service established a reduced postage rate for privately printed postcards. In 1902, the Eastman Kodak Co. produced a postcard-sized photographic paper on which images could be printed. These two events began a photograph postcard boom.

The Orphaned Images Project: Ladies in hats

8 03 2011

The Orphaned Images Project: Nellie’s bible & family photos

22 01 2011

In the box our family friend Doris gave me many years ago, there are two photo albums that are chock full of cabinet cards, tintypes and even a post-mortem photo of a little girl (both albums belong to a young woman from Missouri named Tippie Botts). There are also three Daguerreotypes (or Ambrotypes), three autograph books (one belongs to Tippie and the other two belong to Helen Shepherd), and a tiny bible given to Nellie by her mother in 1877.

The main title page reads: The Holy Bible containing the Old and New Testaments, translated out of the original tongues; and with the former translations diligently compared and revised, by His Majesty’s Special Command. Appointed to be read in churches. London, printed by George E. Eyre and William Spottiswoode, printers to the Queen’s Most Excellent Majesty.

The two photos below are the remaining Daguerreotypes Ambrotypes that were not inside the photo albums. I assume the trio in the photo below are siblings. In the photo of the older gent, the photographer appears to have painted something white in his hand—I can see texture on top of the image.

Late-Breaking Research!
On one ancestry website I discovered this information: Nellie’s birthname was Nellie Celeste and she was born 12.21.1871. When you look at the year Burdette Barr married Eva Trimble, you’ll note that she couldn’t have been Nellie’s mother. Further research reveals he was previously married to Hattie Grey on 9.15.1869 in Linn County, Missouri. Hattie most likely was Nellie’s mother.

Nellie married William Sterling Botts on 12.24.1891 when she was 20 years old. Her sister Carrie married Nat Hopson and another sister, Ida Belle (born 10.19.1873) married a man with the last name Littrell and then married a second time to Virgil Botts.

The smaller photo album belongs to Tippie Botts and in the front of the album I found a newspaper clipping that reads:

Death of B.G. Barr

Burdette G. Barr a former citizen of Meadville died in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, July 10. Mr. Barr had been sick about ten days with the pleurisy, and the news of his death came as a shock to his relatives and friends here. The remains were brought here for interment. The funeral was held at the Baptist church Sunday morning under the direction of the M.W.A. of which Mr. Barr was an honored member. The funeral was preached by Eld Smith of Wheeling. The immense congregation which packed the church gave evidence of the great esteem in which the deceased was help by the people of his community. With impressive ceremony the body was laid to rest in the Meadville cemetery by the Woodman. Mr. Barr was born near Beloit Wisconsin, July 18, 1849, moved to Mo. in 1869, lives on a farm near Meadville until fall of ’98. Moved to South Dakota in 1900. Had three children all of whom live in Meadville, Mesdames Nellie Botts, Carrie Hopson, and Belle Botts. He was married Dec. 1899 to Mrs. Eva Trimble who survives him. The relatives have the…(clipping torn at this point)

I’m surmising that Tippie is related to Nellie since she kept the newspaper clipping in her photo album.

Special thanks to Alan for clarifying that these are Ambrotypes and not Daguerreotypes!

The Orphaned Images Project: Tippie Botts’ album (tintypes)

22 01 2011

Tintypes are also known as ferrotypes and melainotypes. They are actually produced on a metallic sheet (not actually tin) instead of traditional glass. The plate was coated with collodion photographic emulsion and sensitized just before it was exposed. Introduced by Adolphe Alexandre Martin in 1853, it became instantly popular, especially in the U.S.

Tintypes were popular with street photographers and photographers working outside fairs and carnivals because the process didn’t require much capital to get set up in business. It was also faster to create: no negative needed and no drying time—making it a one step process. Tintypes also didn’t require mounting in a case and were not as fragile as glass-based images. They were easy to cut and fit into pocket watches or charms. It was the most common photographic process until gelatin-based processes were introduced. 

In some of the images below, the photographer hand tinted the cheeks of his subjects.

Late-Breaking Research! I just figured out that Sarah (Sallie) Buchanan Gordon (the young girl whose autograph book I previously posted, along with a lock of her hair) would later marry William Marion Botts, a farmer. They had four children: Parrilee, William Jr., Lorraine and Tippie. So it appears the contents of this box might have originated with one family after all. I’m not sure what Nellie’s connection to the family is, though—perhaps they are cousins.

(It just dawned on me that my enthusiasm for this particular project is verging on obsessive…perhaps I should be researching my own family instead? Then again, I’ve never seen photos this old from either side of my family!)