Daily Archives: August 26, 2014

Those frustrating images of ‘the unknowns’

Old unlabelled and undated photographs… you could be looking at bona fide ancestors and not even know it.  A reminder that we should be dating and labeling our family photos so that someday—100 years from now—our descendants aren’t left in the same predicament. But I know how it is. We’re all busy, and for me, it always seems to be ‘mañana when it comes to the drudgery of dating and identifying my own photos.

Anyway, what can one do other than share these antique photos in the hope that someone out there can provide some clues? Here are five that I have come across; I think they all date back to the 1880s, but I could be wrong. Only the last one provides evidence of that. Two were taken in Philadelphia, one in Boston, one in NYC, and one in Plainfield, NJ.

Naturally, I would love to know who these folks were. The images may have belonged to Charles Conrad Martin (1866-1943), son of Moses Martin and Sarah Augusta Lewis, and brother of my great-grandmother Margaret Lewis (Martin) Brodhead. I found them in a box with some of Margaret’s correspondence concerning her late brother’s estate. The NY lady and the Philadelphia lady share some resemblance, I think. And the Philadelphia lady in particular looks a bit like my grandfather Frank Martin Brodhead, Margaret’s son. But, maybe I am just grasping at straws here…

Left photo taken by McCormick & Heald, 22 Winter Street, Boston. Right photo taken by Langhorne Photographer, Plainfield, NJ (both undated)

Left photo taken by McCormick & Heald, 22 Winter Street, Boston. Right photo taken by Langhorne Photographer, Plainfield, NJ (both undated)

Photo taken by Fredricks, 770 Broadway, NY. Image en verso says 'Copyrighted 1881'.

Photo taken by Fredricks, 770 Broadway, NY. Image en verso says ‘Copyrighted 1881’.

Left photo taken by Gilbert & Bacon, 820 Arch Street & 40 North 8th Street, Phildelphia, PA. Right photo taken by F. Gutekunst, 712 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA.

Left photo taken by Gilbert & Bacon, 820 Arch Street & 40 North 8th Street, Phildelphia, PA. Right photo taken by F. Gutekunst, 712 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA.

Categories: Miscellaneous | 16 Comments

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