Ah, Yep, I am old enough that, to know that my first phone number to remember (late 50s) was "Woodward#-####" (that is when I lived in "Detroit 9, Michigan")That's a phone number. Prefixes used to be called by name, so you'd tell the operator "connect me to Glenview 4, 4546".
contact the local or state PPA (professional photographer's association) in Illinois, historical societies, the phone number is on the back of the photo GL4-4746 I doubt the photographer was an amateur, he must have had some following. There is the census too. County tax records. City business records.Alright folks, with how engaged everyone can be solving for mystery items and locations, I think our combined curiosities can solve a real life mystery...one that quite literally fell in my lap tonight. Let me explain, and tell you what I’ve uncovered so far -
Tonight, while enjoying drink and music, I found myself paging through and examining some very old books I haven’t touched in years. A photo fell out of one of them, that I never knew previously that it was inside.
Can we find her or her descendants?
View attachment 866413
So my initial thinking is this - what a lovely photo of a bride on her wedding day. Surely, a granddaughter or other family member would cherish having this photo much more than I?
So here are the facts at hand, and where the mystery comes into play -
The back of the photo is very helpfully stamped with information that’s usable-
View attachment 866414
James took this picture. My guess is in 1952, per the scribble in the top right. Finding James’ obituary from 8 years ago was not difficult. He was a part time photographer from outside of Chicago-
Here is where our mystery deepens: the book this fell out of was from 1891 (or at least gifted in May of 1891). Why would this wedding picture from 60 years later be found in this book? Lets talk about the book. I purchased this from a vintage/antique place somewhere in Pennsylvania...that’s all I can remember, about 8-10 years ago I’d guess. Although in terrible shape, I was enthralled to find a book illustrated by Gustave Dore. The fact that is was translated by some dude named Gary, well, that’s just bonus. D’uh...Gary translated all the best books back in the day. (Edit: apparently it’s Cary)
View attachment 866415
View attachment 866416
So, how do I know it was gifted in May of 1891? Well, mostly because it says as much -
View attachment 866417
Near as I can tell, it says “The Seasons, Congratulations and best wishes, Rev(erand) B. L. Peck and wife, from A.Curry. Akron, O(hio). May 1891 (possibly O.A. Curry).
Unfortunately I’ve found nothing on Rev Peck, and searching for anything Curry related in Akron yields a lot of basketball stuff. My assumption is that the wedding photo from 60 years in the future belonged to a descendant of the original book owner, or picture taker? Why othewise would it be there?
So, what’s the goal? Let’s identify the young bride and/or location and get the photo back into the hands of her (maybe in her 90s if still alive) or her family!
Who‘s up for the mystery?