A FATHER AND HIS FIVE CHILDREN IN WILKES BARRE, PENNSYLVANIA

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A nicely dressed family poses for their portrait at the Wildermuth Studio in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania. It is immediately noticeable that this family photograph is missing someone. We see dad, but where is mom? It is interesting to note that the children in this family, all five of them, are nicely dressed. One would expect that a mother’s influence would have something to do with the children being so fashionable. In this case, we will never know who is doing the fashion consulting. It is a nice touch that the two youngest girls are wearing identical dresses. We see a few smiles as well as a some affection in this photograph. The oldest daughter has her hand placed on her fathers arm. It certainly appears to be a happy family. The photographer of this image is Martin S. Wildermuth and his career spanned from the late nineteenth century through the early twentieth century. After a time of being a sole proprietor, he joined forces with photographer Joseph Stearns. Post retirement he did some work with the Ace Hoffman company. Wilsons Photographic Magazine (1910) credits Wildermuth & Stearns for published photographs in the journal. He is also cited in the book “Coal Men of America: A Biographical and Historical Review ……..” (1918).  He was one of the photographers that contributed images for the book.

 

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Published in: on January 25, 2016 at 12:58 pm  Leave a Comment  
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PORTRAIT OF A 1920 CLASSROOM IN BERWICK, PENNSYLVANIA

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This vintage photograph features a fourth grade class from a school in Berwick, Pennsylvania. I suggest to viewers that they put this photograph under magnification and be prepared for a trip back to a 1920 school classroom. I know that the students are in the fourth grade because it is written on the chalk board. The board also reveals that the teacher is named Miss Drake and that the date of the photograph was April 20th, 1920. There is a second teacher in the classroom. The class includes boys and girls. The kids dressed up for their portrait. The boys are wearing neck ties and the girls are also dressed up. Many of the girls have bows in their hair. Note the old style desks, the piled books, the American Flag, the Red Cross poster, and the old style calendar. It is particularly interesting to observe that all the seated children have their hands clasped and resting on their desk. Looks just like the discipline commonly seen in American schools today; or maybe not. The photographer of this image is the Lowry studio which was located in Berwick. The name of the studio is embossed on the bottom right hand corner of the mat. Mr. Lowry wrote an article in Abel’s Photography Weekly (1922) which attempts to answer the burning question “Is the Customer Always Right?”. Berwick is about 28 miles southwest of Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania. Among the town’s claims to fame is that it is the place where the Wise Potato Chip Company was founded in 1921.This photograph is from the post cabinet card era and it measures 10″ x 8″.

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Published in: on May 26, 2015 at 12:04 pm  Comments (2)  
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SIX YOUNG GIRLS BEHIND A WALL WITH TAMS

This cabinet card photograph presents Dolly, Mable, Francis, Nellie, Lottie?, and Daisy standing behind a brick wall. Their names are pencilled on the reverse of the card, The girls are all wearing tams. Tams are of Scottish origin and are woolen caps with a round flat top that projects all around the head. Girls tuck their hair under the cap and the cap has pom pom on its center top. The image was photographed by Griffin and Colburn of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Research reveals that Griffin is George T. Griffin (1858-?), who was a native of Pennsylvania.

Published in: on May 19, 2010 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment  
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PRETTY WOMAN POSES FOR PHOTOGRAPHER IN “LAND OF THE BEAVER” (TAMAQUA, PENNSYLVANIA)

A very pretty woman poses for her portrait at the studio belonging to a photographer named Baily, in Tamaqua, Pennsylvania. The woman appears very fashionable in her high collar dress. Tamaqua is located in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania and is about 35 miles south of Wilkes Barre. The name of the town comes from the Native American word Tamaqua; which means “Land of the Beaver”. The town was in Pennsylvania’s coal region and thrived in the late 1890’s and early 1900’s. Baily’s studio was founded by David Baily circa 1862. An 1892 edition of Anthony’s Photographic Bulletin reports his retirement after 30 years in his occupation. The article adds that he was succeeded by his son Elmer D. Baily. The format of this photograph suggests a time period that makes it likely that this portrait was done by Elmer Baily.


Published in: on April 17, 2010 at 2:05 pm  Comments (1)  
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