Saturday, January 13, 2007


I have no idea who the child is in this picture; it looks like a girl (with long, sausage curls and an odd-looking hair bow) but the child is dressed in a boy's suit and black boots. This picture, which had been applied to the back of the postcard you see above, was in the possession of my grandmother. It was found after her death, so no one knows for certain who this child is.

The postcard is clearly postmarked Sep 1913, from Moundsville, West Virginia. The photo was glued to the top of an old postcard, which has flowers painted on it. You can see some of them at the top rim, and as the photo has come loose on the bottom, I can see clusters of violets underneath. I'd love to see the whole card, but I don't dare try to remove the photo because I am sure it would tear. Unfortunately, someone in the past cut off part of the postcard which makes the message almost impossible to decipher, and removed the signature. I suspect they were trying to make it fit an album sleeve. Shame on whomever that was!

You'll note the one-cent stamp. Wouldn't it be wonderful if we still had postage that low?

This is an example of the type of stuff I cannot bear to throw away - even though I have no idea who it is - the card and photo are 94 years old!! I think it is amazing that it still exists at all.
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21 comments:

utenzi said...

Michele sent me, part-time resident of Cyburbia, to visit you way off in Raleigh.

I could see that as being a boy whose mother just couldn't stand to have the cute curls cut off. No doubt the dad fuming in the background over that sissy hair. LOL

It is a mystery though and no doubt one that will never be explained. It's unfortunate that nobody old enough is left to describe who the person in the picture is. Since the kid was probably born around 1905 he or she's not likely to be still around either.

Windfall Woman said...

I wouldn't have thrown it away either!

Catherine said...

Some people use old photos like these in collage and I hate that thought, too. If I ever collage any of my old family photos it will be copies I make, not the originals.
I have a photo of my father and his brother with curls like that, but they are wearing dresses. Little boys used to wear dresses till two or three years of age. I think this is a girl dressed up in a suit for fancy dress or something. I have a wonderful photo of a bunch of girls around twelve years old in fancy dress, sent to my grandmother from Scotland. It would date from about 1913 I suspect, after she emigrated and before WWI. Sadly I couldn't ask her who they were as she had gone blind. She died last year aged not quite 104.
Here from Michele's today.

srp said...

And it should go in an acid free sleeve too. Isn't there some way to access records from that area and perhaps find out who sent it? It is amazing though.

Blond Girl said...

Hi Judy!
Michele didn't send me; I came on my own. First, thanks for your comment; it's obvious you've been checking in on me this last month and I appreciate it.

As for the postcard, it does make me wonder what the story is. There is a website full of these old kinds of pictures. I can't remember the name of it, but I think it might be called "Look at me"... tons of untold stories. Too bad you can't find out who your grandmother's cousins were and study it out...

Claude said...

Just love those old photos. They are mysterious on the one hand but do tell you a lot about the past

Anonymous said...

I have a hard time with stuff like that too and would not throw it away Judy! It is always so fascinating to imagaine what they are thinking of or looking at in old photographs.

Catherine said...

hi Judy,
I tried to fix that link to Wild Appetite but blogger seems determined to mess it up for me. I'm sure my html is fine. Try www.wildappetite.co.nz
I think www.wildappetite.com works too

ET said...

I couldn't throw something like that away either. We hardly have room to walk, but at least we have stuff like that.... which I rather have, than not have.

Star said...

You have the neatest stuff!

Anonymous said...

Oh I just love things like that too. I assume you already know about this:

http://www.foundmagazine.com/

Gotta love it.

Here by way of michele again!

Anonymous said...

I understand completely! I must say I am fascinated by old pictures.

Would you believe me if I told you that I have a whole photo album of strangers from the late 1890s and early 1900s? Probably relatives and friends of my great-grand-mother's.

Even more fascinating to me is lost correspondance: someone, somewhere, at some point in time, was sending a message. What happens when no one is there to receive it anymore?

I sure wouldn't be the one throwing that kind of stuff away.

Chancy said...

I would never throw that postcard photo away either. It is a reminder of our past no matter who the child is.

Perhaps this is a reminder to all of us to go through (I am the world's worst) and at least write out on the back of our photos who the subjects are.

I adore old photos especially those of children

Anonymous said...

Wow, that is certainly worth keeping though it is a shame you don't know who it is.

craziequeen said...

What a 'Keeper'!!

I have a Bible Card that I inherited from my Polish Grandmother. No idea how old it is, but she used it for years to keep her place in the Good Book.

cq
Michele sent me, Judy.

Angie said...

Do not try to remove that photo. Those postcards were made for the photos to be mounted that way. What a treasure! I see it is signed "Love to Becca" blah blah "your Coz" (your cousin). There is a clue. I collected old photos of this type of children. I should scan and show some of them. I love photos of this style.

Terri said...

As you know from my recent cookbook entry...these old items are priceless. They have a history all their own and I just love them.

Carmi said...

I feel as if I've just peered into the past. I often wonder what successive generations will think when they come across similar gems from today.

Will we be able to leave them with more background for our images? Will they have a clearer picture of who we are?

Isn't history amazing? Thanks for sharing this, Judy.

Beverly said...

I have several old photos of my daddy's family that were printed on postcard stock. The reverse side has a place for the stamp and everything.

Great photo. I'll have to post some of mine.

PI said...

What panache that little girl has got. Got my magnifying glass out but could only get the odd word. Maddening:)

Shephard said...

Very interesting photo. Full of mystery.
~S :)