Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Help us identify an "orphan" photograph

We have two categories of "orphans" in the Lucas County Historical Society's collection of vintage photographs. For most, we know who the donors were, but the donors didn't know who the people in the photographs were when they donated them.

Anyone who has dealt with a collection of old family photographs recognizes the problem. The original owner neglected to write names on the back of the image.

In other cases, we have no idea where the photograph came from. Every item in the collection is supposed to have an identifying number on it --- but for whatever reasons, these don't.

This large image of vintage automobiles and, apparently, their owners is in the latter category. The lead car has a "59" --- or Lucas County --- license plate. The lineup makes it look as if a parade were planned, but who knows?

Written in pencil on the back is "3 columns." This most likely means the image was used three columns wide in a newspaper shortly after it was taken. I'm guessing it dates from the 1950s or 1960s.

Chances are, it didn't appear in the Chariton newspapers. The Leader and the Herald-Patriot generally held onto images they commissioned or that their staffers took, and these eventually were discarded.

But there always were "stringers" at work in Chariton who forwarded stories and photographs to The Des Moines Register or The Ottumwa Courier. These images generally were returned to the stringers and several have been donated to the historical society over the years.

So, if the image or any of the people in it look familiar, please comment either here on the blog or on Facebook, where links will be posted. We'd love to know who these people were and what the occasion was.

No comments: