Category Archives: Photography

Photographic Trio

A benefit of a little digital organizing is discovering files that have been hidden. A recent David’s diary entry mentioned photographs taken in March 1971. I found the photographs! I don’t have the original, but I have a scan I made several years ago.

Deborah, March 1971

©2018 copyright owned Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2018/02/03/photographic-trio/

A Family of Three

Roscoe, Gladys, and John Yegerlehner, 1932 (Photograph from the author’s collection)

Sometimes, even when you think a project is finished, the project isn’t done! I’ve been sorting through the digital images I have stored over the years, from scans of old photographs to my contemporary collection of iPhone photographs. When I posted the collection of pictures of my great grandmother holding my uncle John a few days ago, I completely forgot the above photograph. It belongs in the same pile.

The weather was certainly mild in late February 1932! The 28th landed on a Sunday that year. The perfect day for a family get-together and presumably attending church. Roscoe and Gladys moved frequently in the early days of their marriage. He worked in Clay County teaching school. The setting isn’t rural enough to be Clay County. I presume the photograph’s location to be Terre Haute. In 1932, Emma and James Foster resided at 719 Harrison Street, Terre Haute. When the photographs were taken, James’ divorce from his first wife Gladys was about to be finalized (March 1932). I am also making the assumption that the automobile belonged to Roscoe and Gladys. He bought his first car a year or two before he married Gladys.

719 Harrison Street, Terre Haute (Image courtesy of Google Maps)

If Roscoe, Gladys, Emma, and Jim were standing at the curb, looking back at the house when the photographs were taken, their house would not have been visible. By panning the angles in Google Street view, a large tree obscures the view of the house directly behind the family! Notice the newly planted trees in the background behind Roscoe and Gladys. However, by moving back down the street a house of interest is detected. The two-story house behind Gladys’ head has a gable window as well as roofs of two different heights.

Harrison Street, Terre Haute (Image courtesy of Google maps)

Emma and Jim’s house is the first house on the right. The tree obscures the house directly across the street, but the house with the two roofs and gable is visible to the left of the tree.

Have you searched for an ancestor’s home using Google yet?

©2018 copyright owned by Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2018/01/29/a-family-of-three/

A Funeral

Another three photographs create a grouping in my collection. Since everyone is dressed in black—at least they seem to be in the black & white photographs—I assume the foursome attended a funeral. Again, the time frame appears to be the mid to late 1920s. None of the women are wearing jackets, but the ground is covered by a light layer of snow. The tree limbs are bare. The photographer is unknown (since they never make an appearance). The petite woman standing next to Gladys is believed to be her Aunt Minerva, fraternal twin to Gladys’ mother Emma. Minerva’s dress is old-fashioned compared to Gladys’ stylish frock. The longer skirt hem and squarish collared neckline hearkens back the the World War I years. James (Jim) and Emma stand in the background. He was quite tall; his shoe can be seen on the ground next to Minerva’s feet. While Emma stands on the lower step—her boot just visible behind Gladys’ legs—creating the illusion that mother and son are the same height.

Gladys, Emma, & Jim Foster, with Aunt Minerva (Photograph from the author’s private collection)

I do not know whose funeral generated these photographs—especially since the mood is not particularly somber. Gladys smiles in both pictures. I have not discovered a Foster or Lawhead relative, living in the Terre Haute area, whose death occurred in the late 1920s, who would have prompted such a reunion. Perhaps I will someday…

[Photographs from the author’s private collection.]

©2018 copyright owned Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2018/01/28/a-funeral/

Sunday in the Park

 

Another group of photographs in my possession likely dates from the spring of 1929. I did not acquire them together, but spread out over a few years. Until I started looking at each photograph closely—sometimes better achieved once a photograph is scanned—I did not realize that they were taken on the same day. Or at the very least, Gladys is wearing the same dress. Because of the quality of the photographs, the different angles, lighting, and her hat, it may be hard to tell that the dress is the same. The feature that stands out the most is the sleeves—a fitted upper sleeve with a gathered, more voluminous lower sleeve controlled into cuffs at the wrists.

In the five photographs, Gladys is captured alone and with both her husband, Roscoe, and her brother, James. My gut feeling tells me that the outing took place in the spring before Gladys and Roscoe married—perhaps an engagement photo shoot. They married on 25 May 1929. Gladys wears a ring on her right hand (the only one clearly visible in any of the photographs). While an engagement ring is traditionally worn today on the left hand prior to marriage in western cultures, that has not always been case. The band appears simple so it may or may not be relevant. Skirt hems rose during the 1920s, and the tight fitting bell-shaped hats, known as cloche hats, remained popular throughout the decade.

It appears that the threesome had fun taking turns with the camera. Unfortunately, it appears that they didn’t find a stranger to take a photo of all three of them together!

©2018 copyright owned Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2018/01/27/sunday-in-the-park/

Another Photographic Series

 

[Emma (Lawhead) Foster holding her grandson, John Yegerlehner, 28 January 1932, Terre Haute, Indiana, photographs privately held by the author.]

Sometimes we know when photographs are taken. In this case,  my grandmother probably labeled the photographs, as the one of the far right refers to Emma as “Mother.” I do not know the occasion for the photographs, but the photographer (again most likely my grandmother) took several.  We think nothing nowadays of taking picture after to picture to get the correct shot, to make sure everyone is smiling, eyes are open, etc. Not so in the previous centuries. Film cost money, and you didn’t know what you shot until the film was developed.

FOS1932 James L. Foster with John - Terre Haute, 1932-02-28

James L. Foster, holding his nephew, John Yegerlehner, 28 January 1932, Terre Haute, Indiana, photograph privately held by the author.

If the photographs had not been dated, the automobile provides a great clue, especially to all the old car experts out there. Emma’s dress—although we don’t see much of it since John is in the way—does give some clues as well. Gone is the dropped waist of the 1920s. Seated on the car’s sideboard, the top of Emma’s dress blouses over a waist (left). Soft pleats may also be visible at the hip line (right) as well as a longer skirt. These are clothing characteristics of the 1930s. A great place to look for everyday clothing styles of the 20th century are the Sears catalogues, found at Ancestry.

Sears catalogue, Fall 1931 (Image courtesy of Ancestry.com)

©2018 copyright owned Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2018/01/22/another-photographic-series/

 

Photographic Clues

[Photographs of Gladys Foster and unidentified female, early 1920s, Terre Haute, Indiana, from author’s private collection]

These photographs of my grandmother were taken in Terre Haute, Indiana, in the 1920s. Only these three survive in my collection, and who knows if  more were taken? The clothing and hair definitely say 1920s. The length of Gladys skirt indicates the earlier part of the decade, before skirt hems rose to knee length. Born in late 1905, Gladys would certainly have been in her late teens or early twenties when the pictures were taken. The company name on the window provides a fantastic clue for when the photograph might have been taken.

Terre Haute city directory, 1924, Foster listings (image courtesy of Ancestry.com)

I already knew that my grandmother worked as a stenographer before her marriage. After high school she attended some kind of secretarial school. The whole Foster family (with the exception of the eldest daughter Lydia who had married and was deceased by 1924) can be found in the Terre Haute city directory. They lived at 2046 N. 8th Street. Gladys’ entry shows that she worked as a stenographer at Pierson & Bro. I could conclude that the photographer was taken about 1924, possibly on her lunch break with one of her co-workers.

As an added bonus, I found 2046 N. 8th Street on Google Street view. Fortunately, this house still exists (light brown in the center). (One of Gladys’ later residences was torn down and was replaced by a freeway!)

2046 N. 8th Street, Terre Haute, Indiana (Image courtesy of Google Maps)

©2018 copyright Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2018/01/21/photographic-clues/