Old Family Photos

I have recently come into possession of some old family photos. When I say old, I mean late 19th century and 20th century old. So much time has passed, while there are names written on the back in my grandmother’s hand, I don’t know how any of these individuals are related to me. Some of them aren’t family, but are postcards that were sent to family from other family still in Germany. I am proud to introduce the only online version of this particular photograph of what I’m fairly certain is Kaiser Wilhelm II:

The back of the postcard is written in traditional German script, which I have a difficult time deciphering. You can see the date on this is 1910, before we went to war with the Kaiser, and before the Nazi’s banned S├╝tterlinschrift. As a result, I never learned how to read this in high school, though my German teacher could write and read it, since she was educated in pre-war Europe. If anyone can read this, I’d sure be grateful:

There are some pictures of family in here from, I think, around the turn of the century, taken in Hamburg, during a time when it was still fashionable to be photographed smoking, in front of your children.

One thing I’ve noticed is that photographers, at the time, made their prints on thick cardboard, with very detailed advertisements on the back. I’ve found this on both the photos taken in Germany, and here in Philadelphia and New York.

My favorite from the collection is this, from a business card:

Polar Bear Trainer. Theodor Schroeder. Old Business Card.

Since I’m fairly certain I am not related to any polar bear trainers, I decided to look this up, and it turns out this is documented online here, and also here. So I’m guessing someone in my family must have come into contact with this advertisement or calling card, and kept it. It makes you wonder how many of these survived. Maybe I have the only copy of these particular things? The pictures of my family, for sure, but I was unable to find a duplicate of the picture I’m fairly sure is Wilhelm II using Google image search.

5 Responses to “Old Family Photos”

  1. PhilaBOR says:

    ” It makes you wonder how many of these survived. ” … I thought you meant the polar bear trainers!

  2. MikeSilver says:

    Have you visited the address? Its alot safer doing it on Google Maps .. here

    • Sebastian says:

      Interesting. I didn’t think to look up the address for the house. First I have to figure out how this guy is related to me :)

  3. mobo says:

    Yeah, 2nd and Indiana is a nasty neighborhood smack in the middle of the “badlands”.

  4. Pete says:

    The Kaiser’s left arm was stunted and he liked to keep a baton, gloves, etc in that hand to hide it. It does look like Der Hohe Herr. The relative lack of decoration on the uniform is unlike him though.