The trunk was probably my great grandmother’s. It was obvious to me that the contents were the collections of Ida Conrad Longwell and her mother. The small picture caught my eye. It was alone in the trunk, not in an envelope, not with other pictures, just loose among the albums and papers. It is card size, about what we’d call ‘business card’ size today. I didn’t recognize the handwriting on the back as any that I’d seen before so this person must have been of an undiscovered generation before my great grandmother’s. I knew ‘Lamb’ was a family name.
But who was
The line back from me to the Lamb family goes like this: Me, my dad Kenneth Brandes, his mother Floy Longwell Brandes, her mother, Ida Conrad Longwell, her mother Judith Lamb Conrad. That was as far as I’d taken my research at the time.
But who was
During the years that followed the discovery of
Before the photo technology that we have today where most of us use digital cameras, in order to get a good copy of a photograph you had to have a negative made and a print or prints from that. I know that most of you who read this will remember those times but it is necessary to say this as it is part of the story.
During the 1980’s I had a lot of negatives made from my old photographs. At that time we lived in
While discussing the order (you can see the old man's shaky writing: “2-3x5” on the back) I mentioned to Mr. “X” (darn if I can think of his name!) that
At that point in my research experience I did not know that people even considered taking pictures of dead people although since then I've taken many myself. I found that it was a common practice in the 19th and early 20th centuries. It may have been the only photograph ever taken of a person. (There are lots of websites on the subject. Just search “postmortem photography” and you'll find more than you wanted to know).
“She was dead when they took her picture!!” No, wonder
But, who was