Here in the US, Labor Day (the last holiday of the summer) is over and school is in full swing. In honor of the new school year, today's Sepia Saturday post contains photos of family members when they were young and in school.
My mother, Helen Royer Shaffer, circa 1930 (?) on what I assume is a pony belonging to a roving photographer. From what I've read, these traveling photographers roamed neighborhoods well into the 1960s, taking photos of children. In later decades the photographers apparently provided cowboy costumes for the children to wear. Into the 1930s, the photographers made tintypes, which were faster to produce and made available for parents to purchase right on the spot. I'm not sure that's the case here -- my mother had many copies of this photo, all with their own stand-up cardboard frame. Is it possible to produce copies like that from a tintype? Did the photographers visit schools to take these photos as well?
I adore the expression on my father's face! Little Johnny looks like he's trying to be serious, but it's all he can do not to laugh. I saw this expression many times throughout my life, most often when Dad was caught being "naughty." I'm guessing that he was probably seven years old in this picture, and it's the only time I've ever seen a photo taken at a school desk. Makes me wonder if it wasn't something the teacher had done, rather than the school. Nonetheless, it's a darling photo and one I cherish.
Here's one of my grandmother, Sarah Felmy Shaffer, with her schoolmates. (She's on the far left, second row from the bottom, in the white pinafore.) She looks to be about nine years old in the photo, which would date it somewhere around 1906. I'm not sure if the little girl in the first row with the white pinafore is a relative or not. I know it's not her sister, Mary; if Sarah is nine in this photo then Mary would have only been three. Plus, my grandmother's name is the only one on the back of the photo, written in my great grandmother's hand, which leads me to believe Sarah is the only one in the picture. The photo was taken by U.N. Eisenhauer in Millmont, PA.
Finally, just because it's only fair ...
Me -- first grade, 1971. The photographer made me say "pickles." I whistled when I said it.
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