Sunday, August 31, 2014
Only one card on the last page of the album, and, once again, a mystery. The writing is German, and for a change I can make it out. "Weihnachten" or hallowed nights is the observance of Christmas day. The date, "1935" is after the Nazis took over Germany. But the postcard has an English language back. Did this family get out of Germany while the getting was good, or where they refugees after the war? Was the photo taken in the United States, or was it from Germany, but printed much latter? Or, did a local German photographer get a good deal on postcard stock from overseas? Questions, questions, but no answers.
No dates or written messages on these two. But, we've got the first and only military uniform. So, before or after the advent of Hitler and the rearming of Germany?
Friday, August 29, 2014
Another hidden photo and another mystery. When I took out the top card for scanning, I found a second card, same people, same clothes, and obviously, taken at the same time. But, the image that was visible is credited to "H. Mehlin, Photograph, Buhl i. Baden. Tel. 385" The hidden card, "Imperial Art Studio, East Fordham Road, N.Y." The only thing I can think of is that the owner of this album emigrated to the United States, had the negatives from the original shoot, and had another postcard printed.
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
The hidden picture. A few posts ago I wrote that I had finished with the non real photo postcards. I was wrong. When I took out the top image for scanning, a wallet sized photo popped out. Why was the second photo in this post hidden away? I like the idea of some covert meaning, but the probable answer...It was too small to fit in the album pages mounts. There is a photographer's stamp on the back. "JOS. FIRNKES FOTOGRAF LAHR I. BAD. KAISERSTRASSE 69" Of course, when this photo was taken, the Kaiser was long gone. Part of the treaty that ended World War 1. In the group photo, take a close look. They posed in the mud.
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
I know, I know. Posting the full page with the cards sideways looks silly. I did a bit of translation, the only word, other than von, that I was sure of. Schwester, which means sister. So, she's some one's sister. For those who can't read the really tiny print, the photographer is, "H. Mehlin, Photograph, Buhl i. Baden. Tel. 385" I wish my computer could make those little dots above the "u" in Buhl. And the girl, center, in the second photo, is making a second appearance. Go back to post 6 to see her.
Monday, August 25, 2014
There's always a lot of speculation when I post these old photos. I've speculated that the owner of this album was from Pforzheim, Germany because the first two photos in the album, in a place of prominence, were from Pforzheim photographers, and because the only commercially produced postcard is of a Pforzheim landmark.
But, there are a lot of towns associated with the images in the collection, two new ones in this post. There's a photographers stamp on the back of the top photo. "Photographie, G. Lampe, Baden-Baden, Ludwig Wilhelm, PL. 5" Yet another town in Baden-Wurttemberg. For those who can't make out the embossed credit on the bottom card, "Eder & Sohn, Kempten i. Allg" Kempten is in the Allgau region of southwest Bavaria, near the Baden-Wurttemburg border. It's also the oldest urban settlement in Germany, known to have been inhabited as early as 50 B.C.
Of course, there's a lot more to wonder about than where the owner of this album actually lived. I don't know about anyone else, but every time I see photos from Germany taken in the years before World War 2, I wonder what the people in those photos believed. Going on the assumption that all the photos in the album were taken in the late twenties, the little boy in the baby carriage, almost certainly, became a member of the Hitler Youth. But was he a loyal follower of the Fuhrer, or did he go along to get along? The small boy in the lower photo would have been the right age to fight in the war. Was he army, navy, a flier, the S.S.? Did he survive? And if he survived, did he go back to an ordinary life, or was he tried as a war criminal?
I'm not going to try and translate the handwriting on the back of the top postcard, but the name Huck makes another appearance. This time Josef. Baby or father? Perhaps a native German speaker can let us know.
Friday, August 22, 2014
There's an embossed logo on the bottom of the first image. I couldn't make out the photographer's name, but I was able to figure out (I think.) the town name. The only thing that gives me doubt is that Meiringer is not in the German state of Baden-Wurttemberg, like the other communities I've run across in this album. It's in Switzerland.
Meiringer's claim to fame is it's proximity to the Reichenbach Falls, known to Sherlock Holmes fans as the place chosen by Arthur Conan Doyle to kill off the famous detective in The Adventure of the Final Problem. Poor Doyle, he hated Holmes, but after the failure of what he considered his serious work, a series of Medieval romance novels, he was forced to resurrect Sherlock Holmes. As a Holmes fan, I'm pleased.
The second image is the second of two snapshots in the album.
Thursday, August 21, 2014
So, the town band, and what, the ladies chorus? What happened if a woman wanted to play the coronet and a man wanted to sing?
Only one image on this page. There's a photographer's stamp on the back, but it's so faded that I can't make it out.
Ah the Gypsy craze of the first third of the twentieth century. It looks like a costume party or theater cast, and while we've got a few fine ladies, some milk maid types, and a plain old regular maid, it's the Gypsy look that predominates. The few photos in this album that are dated are from the late twenties. In just a few years, 1933, Adolf Hitler will come to power, and put the Roma, the Gypsies, on the list of people to be exterminated.
There's a stamp on the back of the group shot. "Oscar Lang, Hofphotogrph, Lahr I.B., Werderstr. I. 4" Hof is German for court, so Mr. Lang was the court photographer? I looked up Lahr. It's another small city in Baden-Wurttemberg. As far as I can tell, there are no royal courts in Lahr.
Tuesday, August 19, 2014
Do we have a wedding? That would be my best guess on the top postcard. Still, since all but two of the women are wearing the same white dress, I have some doubt. Note the accordions in the front. There is a photographer's stamp on the back, "Hubert Gombert, Buhl I.B." I ran Mr. Gombert's name and found some commercially produced cards, all scenes of Buhl, for sale, at 19 Euros. I guess the European economy is doing better than I thought. Buhl, like Pforzheim is a town in Baden-Wurttemberg in southwest Germany.
As far as card number two, Frieda Meyer and Else Huck are exchanging pictures. School pictures I think. My other guess would be conformation photos, but wouldn't young Else be in white for that? Or is it young Frieda? I did try doing a search on those names but came up with nothing.
Sunday, August 17, 2014
Another page with a single postcard. Another person posed with a book. And more writing that I can't figure out. Translations welcome.
It's more than the class photo that makes me think this album belonged to a teacher. All the photos in the album appear to have been taken by professional photographers. Posing the woman with a book hints at someone with an interest in the intellectual. I don't know about Germany in the 1920s, but in the United States, at that time, teaching was one of the few jobs held by a woman that required a college education. I doubt it was much different in Europe.
Friday, August 15, 2014
There are many things that computers don't do well, among them translations. Schlosskirche, or Castle Church, was easy. But, then I started in on German websites and things got a bit more complicated. Despite the very, very bad English grammar of auto translate, I think this is right.....Construction on The Castle and Collegiate Church of St. Michael began in 1219 and continued, with some design changes until 1475. It was heavily damaged in the February 23, 1945 RAF raid mentioned in post number two from this album. Repairs and reconstruction continued until 1957. Part of the late Romanesque building dating from 1220 to 1230 survived, and is one of only two buildings from the period to survive World War 2.
This is the only photo on this album page, and it's the only commercial postcard made for general sale to the public, in the album.
Wednesday, August 13, 2014
A large group of women. My first thought, all the women in a single family, but then I saw the man off to the side wearing what looks like some sort of uniform. Now I'm thinking teachers. The second image is the one of two, non postcards in the album. (And yes, I did notice the child in the lower left.) Other than the date, 1929, I'm going to allow an actual German speaker to translate what was written on the back. My one term of College German, forty years ago, and Google Translate isn't enough for me to make out the handwriting.
Only one image on this page. Pforzheim is a city of 120,000 people in the south-western German state of Baden-Wurttemberg. It's famous for jewelry and watch making. On February 23, 1945 a British air raid killed 17,600 people. One third of the city's then population. It's probable that some of the people in this album died that night.
Monday, August 11, 2014
It's time to start another album. I'll be following my usual practice of a single post for each individual page. If there's more than one image per page, I'll post the whole page to show positioning. If there's only one photo on a page, then I won't bother. Most of the images in this album are real photo postcards, and since they aren't pasted in, scanning will be easy. There are only sixteen pages with images, so unlike a lot of the other collections I've published, I won't be breaking things up. It'll be all sixteen pages in a row.
The top photo is credited to "Photo-Atelier Max Wolf. Pforzheim, Schulberg 5" And the second, "M WIESENER PFORZHEIM."