08 December 2020

Fun With Photos

In my post “A Picture Is Worth…” I mentioned Nanny’s “photo album”.  This past week I was looking through that book and found something I had never noticed before. 

On my desk I have a small picture of Nanny and my dad in a nice frame.  I need to replace the frame as I knocked it off the desk one day and a piece broke off.  It’s not noticeable, so I’ve put it off. 

The broken piece is at the very top.

In Nanny’s album I found this picture in a larger format.  And true to Nanny’s way of doing things, she dated it 1919.  There was something new to me in this slightly larger photo.  Nanny has a pendant or something on a ribbon around her neck.  I’ve been looking at the picture in the frame for at least 30 years and I never noticed that pendant.  It’s clearly visible, but I never noticed it before.  </sigh>

The larger, dated version

Needless to say, I immediately posted the larger photo to several genealogy groups on Facebook and to several Twitter lists.  I was curious if anyone could help me identify just what it was.  Folks seemed to think it was anything from a War 1 emblem, to an asafoetida bag.  I had to look that one up, it’s usually a bag with a stinky resin to ward off disease. While Nanny was a believer in home remedies, I don’t think she would have worn something like that for a studio photo session.  The most common, and likely, answer was a memorial locket for her recently deceased husband.  This would also explain why her husband, Herbert, is not in the picture.  Although a simple ribbon to hold the locket seems a bit strange to me as a chain would be a better fit.  But I’m looking at this was 21st century eyes.  The ribbon may have also had a special significance that is lost to us now. 

The pendant in a zoomed view

I have no idea where this picture was taken.  The larger version is glued into the photo book and I don’t want to damage it by trying to separate them.  The smaller one doesn’t have any studio imprint that I can find.

Herbert died 5 February 1919 in McKeesport, PA.  and I cannot find Nanny and dad in the 1920 census.  I do have a Sunday School certificate for my dad from the St. Paul’s Methodist Episcopal church dated 25 September 1921.  I can find this church today in State College, PA, and I have many pictures of Nanny and dad in State College as well.  The certificate is signed by the pastor, John W. Long, which matches with the history on the church’s website.

This is one of my favorite pictures of “The Friend’s Union” in State College.  This was an establishment run under the auspices of the Quakers that Nanny had a kitchen in.  On the back of the picture someone has written “This is where the cookies come from”.  Nanny was an amazing cook, and she’s the reason I enjoy cooking. 

The Friend's Union

Nanny's BBQ Restaurant in Altoona, PA

What are your thoughts on that there pendant?  I’m leaning towards the memorial for Herbert.  I just wish I could find it among her things, but all that’s left is this photo album.


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1 comment:

  1. My older sister has told me that she was given this locket when Nanny died. It contained pictured of our mom and dad, so guessing that whatever picture or pictures that were originally in the locket had been replaced. Sadly, the locket and more of Nanny's jewellery were stolen from my sister's house.