For this Carnival, I thought I would give you a glimpse of some of the stuff. You'll see the challenges and the joys ahead. You can enlarge any image by clicking on it.
First, there is this curious picture below, which I call "Children in Wagon." I think that there are actually two, maybe even three adults in the picture. I have no idea when or where the photo was taken. I do suspect that it was taken in either Illinois or Missouri. On the back of the original is the handwritten notation "For Francis." That could refer to a number of family members, none of whom seem to be in the picture. Or it may refer to someone other than a family member. The problem is that the people most likely to know have all passed away.
"Children (?) In Wagon" (Photographer unknown; original in possession of Craig Manson, Carmichael, California)
The photograph on the right I labelled "Young Woman." Again, we have no idea of the woman's identity or when the photo was taken. We do have several clues, however. On part of the original which I have covered with the frame here, there is the embossed name and address "Maxwell, 2607 Lawton Ave, St Louis, Mo". This apparently refers to photographer William C. Maxwell, who had a studio in St Louis from at least 1910 until at least 1915. See Early St. Louis Photographers. I haven't found any evidence that the business still exists.
The other potential clues about "Young Woman" are that this was actually a post card. I've come across several post cards with identifiable family members in them, leading me to believe that this was a popular way in which to send pictures in the early part of the twentieth century. Below is the "Young Woman" post card. You can see what kind of shape the photograph is in by looking at the post card back.
There is an address on the post card. To me, it appears to be:
"Miss B. Mc. Quin
And I'm not sure that it isn't "McQuin." There were families named Quin and McQuin in St Louis in the period that Maxwell could have made the portrait. But beyond that, nothing else is known to me about the photo.
The next photograph I call "Surly Woman, Distracted Man." I have no idea who these people are or when or where the photograph was made. I presume that their clothes are a clue. Notice how the man has his right hand tucked inside his coat. And what does the sign behind the man's head say? Another challenge for you photo-sleuths!
Finally, I've come to realize that a lot of the material may be valuable to researchers looking at other families. So from time to time, I'll share some things that may be of broad interest. Today, somewhat apropos of a Carnival, here's a list of couples who were feted on their 50th (or greater!) wedding anniversary in the Archdiocese of St Louis in 2001. See if one of your surnames is there! [Click on pages to enlarge].