Thank you all for your kind Thanksgiving wishes. We had a good visit from Our Son yesterday, and the Dafter was well enough to join us. We made things very, very easy – the pumpkin pie was the only actual Thanksgiving dish, but we were grateful in our hearts. I’ve been enjoying reading about Thanksgiving celebrations in America and seeing lots of amazing pictures of beautiful food and decorated tables.
On to today’s post. Does it ever take you about 11 years to get around to something? Sometimes it does me. This post is about a task that I had been meaning to carry out ever since we moved into our flat 11 years ago. We discovered, up the the crawlspace above the top floor, three framed Victorian photographs. I immediately contacted the people who had lived here for the 40 previous years (didn’t put that off!), but they didn’t know anything about them. And ever since, I’ve felt a sense of responsibility for these photographs. They seem like a family, although it’s impossible to be sure. Here’s the photograph of the woman:
She has such character in her face, don’t you think? I think she must have been alert, intelligent and kind. And probably quite strong as well.
There’s a photograph of a baby, lovingly framed in gold: The photograph isn’t in sharp focus, and the baby’s hand, which obviously waved, is quite blurry indeed. This was the best I could do to avoid reflections in the glass, sorry:
What a sweet baby!
The photographs are all about two and a half feet tall. I wonder whether having them taken and framed would have been a considerable investment for a family?
In a frame that matches the one the woman’s photograph is in, there is a studio photograph of a man. He looks curiously like the Dafter’s primary school headteacher! I wonder what his profession or trade was? There don’t seem to be obvious clues in the photograph, and also I notice that he isn’t wearing a wedding ring. What significance this has, I don’t know. Perhaps not all married men wore wedding rings in those days? Perhaps he was unmarried.
The photograph of the woman is printed directly onto a kind of card, but the other two photographs are printed on something more akin to photographic paper, which makes me think the photograph of the woman is older than the other two. On the back of the man’s photograph is a print of three boys, used as a backing. The writing on the top says 27 Victoria St, and I can’t make out the word beginning with B. I wondered if it might be Berryden, but there’s a t in the word, and also Victoria Street isn’t near the Berryden area of Aberdeen. Perhaps it’s Victoria Street in another town altogether.
I really like the faces of these three boys. Were they cousins, or brothers? Is there a significance to the fact that the middle boy is sitting on a chair, and the other two standing? The two either side are wearing sailor suits, and the one in the middle is wearing a different kind of suit. Are the two in the sailor suits brothers, perhaps? And does the one on the right not have eyes very like the man’s, rather hooded? The boy in the middle seems very confident to me!
Well, I’m happy to tell you that these three photographs (four if you count the boys) now have a permanent home in the City Archives, who graciously accepted them. Perhaps it was as well that I waited so long to contact the Archives, because as it turns out the Archivist is someone that I met a few years ago through work. After I dropped off the photographs, we had lunch together, and it was quite a thrill to me to be having lunch in town, I’ll tell you!
I’m so pleased that this group of photographs has found the best home I think they could have. They are somewhere that will value them, even if we will probably never know who the people in them are. So I’ve crossed that one off my list!