Thursday, June 27, 2013

Many Things Thursday - The Black Cat

"The time has come," the Walrus said, "to talk of many things."

Thursday, on Shades Of The Departed, will be dedicated to
many things,
and nothing in particular.

Many Things Thursday
The Black Cat 
The young woman above appears to be advertising a once popular magazine called The Black Cat. This photograph is common for the genre referred to as advertising photographs.

The Black Cat Cover 1895

The Black Cat (1895–1922) was an American literary magazine published in Boston, Massachusetts. It specialized in short stories of an "unusual" nature. The magazine's first editor was Herman Umbstaetter (1851–1913). It is best known for publishing the story "A Thousand Deaths" by Jack London in the May 1899 issue.  Reminds me of Penny Dreadful.
The Black Cat describes itself:
The Black Cat is devoted exclusively to original, unusual, fascinating stories - every number is complete in itself. It publishes no serials, translations, borrowing, or stealings. It pays nothing for the name or reputation of the writer, but the highest price on record for Stories that are Stories, and it pays not according to length, but according to strength.  
The most intriguing story published by the magazine established its reputation for the unusual, "The Mysterious Card" (February 1896) by Cleveland Moffett. The story reminded me of the Twilight Zone series. A man has a card that is blank when he looks at it, but is revolting to all others who look at it.
I have purchased several of The Black Cat magazines, a favorite of a certain black cat I know. You can read  The Black Cat, December 1899 online.

The most famous story published by the magazine helped establish its reputation for the unusual, "The Mysterious Card" (February 1896) by Cleveland Moffett, where a man has a card upon which he can see nothing but it revolts all he shows it to. - See more at:


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Twice Told Tuesday - Old Photographs & The Historiographer

Twice Told Tuesday features a photography related article reprinted from
my collection of old photography books, magazines, and newspapers.

The Living Age, 1913

One of the most envied accompaniments of high birth in the past is becoming almost universal. Almost everyone nowadays is possessed of family portraits. That is, they are possessed of accurate delineations of the features of their more immediate ancestors. Old photograph albums tell middle-aged men and women what their grandfathers were like before they grew old, and young people can study the clothes, faces, and deportment of their great-grandparents and great-aunts and great-uncles. We all have pictures of the block whence we were hewn—an advantage reserved at one time for chips of greater distinction. The fact ought not to be without its effect upon character—if the heirlooms of family tradition are of any value. As in the case of jewels, there is something fictitious about the store which is set by them. Nevertheless the fascination of such heirlooms is eternal

A really good collection of old family photographs is a great treasure. But why, as we turn over its pages, are we quite sure to laugh? What is there that is ridiculous about the earlier photographs? It is not very easy to say. They tell us truthfully a great deal about those who are separated from us by a small space of time and an immense expanse of change. The sitters are self-conscious. Some of their self-consciousness was doubtless due to the long exposure then necessarily exacted by the photographer, but also they are frankly trying to look their best. But whatever we may say of them as individuals, taken all together they bear witness to a simpler generation than ours.

It is curious how often they give an impression of belonging to a lower rank of life than the one they adorned. Any look of distinction is rare in an old photograph, and groups of children belonging to the well-off classes remind one of groups collected at a village school feast. To our eyes the men and the children of the early Victorian period were wonderfully badly dressed. Perhaps there has never been a period when the beauty of women was substantially injured by the fashions.; But if the men in early photographs lacked vanity to reform the tailoring art, they were not above striking an attitude in obedience perhaps to the suggestion of the photographer any more than their wives and daughters were. As we turn over the heavy leaves of the album we are sure to see a young soldier intending to look fierce, a young lady looking intentionally modest, a husband and wife exhibiting devotion by staring at one another, she from a chair that she may look up, he on his legs looking down. A clergyman, or perhaps he is only a grave father of a family, is represented with an enormous Bible on his knees, and a group of oddly dressed little girls are feigning interest in a geographical globe. We could not put ourselves into such self-conscious positions nowadays.

Would it be absurd to say that it is partly because we are too self-conscious? Reserve may become an affectation. A good deal of our vaunted simplicity arises from the terror we feel of being ridiculous. It la the simplicity of the schoolboy, who dare not be self-conscious and who is not in real truth a very simple being. No generation is a judge of Its own airs and graces. Will our photographs make our grandchildren laugh? Will they see an extraordinary egoism behind the studied simplicity of our attitudes and expressions?

Our grandfathers and grandmothers wished that their photographs should call attention to the fact that they were playing their parts well. Men and women in modern fashionable photographs say nothing about their roles. They call - attention - Loudly to their own individualities.

Will our descendants amuse themselves sometimes on Sunday afternoons comparing old "snapshots" with old fashionable photographs? Will they be so cruel as to believe that the snapshot was the more like? Probably not, because it is in the carefully taken photograph and not in the snapshot that family likenesses are most often obvious.

Perhaps the most interesting thing about old family photographs is the likeness we are able to trace between the representatives of one generation and another. At times, between fairly close relations, it approaches to something like identity. This impression is strengthened when we remember that likeness of feature almost always carries with it likeness of voice. For instance, we may find a very early Victorian lady in a crinoline, with banded hair. Her hand is upon the shoulder, perhaps, of a mild little boy in a species of fancy costume which was known as "kilts." The photographer desired to show the sedate tenderness of the early Victorian ideal matron, but the likeness to her great-niece strikes every beholder, and the great-niece is perhaps a suffragette.

Dressed like the photograph, supplied with the crinoline and a little boy, with rearranged hair and taking similarity of voice for granted, the two ladies would seem to be one. Would the aunt in the photograph have been a suffragette had circumstances permitted? Would the great-niece have been a mild, sedate lady of early Victorian proclivities under other conditions? We wonder perhaps what the great-aunt was really like. Probably no one can remember anything about her except that she lived in such-and-such a place, and that the boy died.

We turn to another picture, saying sadly that "there is no one now whom we could ask." There is no key now to the personality of the great-aunt except that of the great-niece who is so like her. It is sad how soon we are all forgotten, or remembered only by a resemblance which strikes beholders as ridiculous. "Quite comically like!" they cry as they look at the portrait. Change of circumstance does sometimes make a resemblance absurd. The prototype seems like the antitype masquerading, and It Is difficult to get away from the theatrical suggestion.

It is amazing what a likeness a large-headed, very untidily dressed young man in a photograph, who seems to be seeking a leonine effect, may bear to his young relation at Sandhurst. The modern military cadet, shocked by the much creased trousers, is perhaps the only person who does not see the likeness.

The early photographs of children seem at first as little like the children of to-day as the Fairchild family are like children in a modern story-book. All the same. If we isolate and magnify o rIngle face we may probably find Its antitype in the present nurseries of the family or at school. Old photographs of children are, however, very unsatisfactory. They are surprisingly without charm. Has the modern worship of children brought something out in them which was not patent in their little grandfathers? The painters contradict a theory to which early photography certainly lends a plausibility.

Why does the ordinary middle-class family beep so poor a record, not of its own doings—they are, for the most part, dull enough—but of its own personalities? None of us can see in front of us much further than the probable lifetime of our own children, and we do not like to look even so far as that.
Surely it would give us a sense of space if we could see clearly a little further behind us. Moreover, to those who are engaged in the bringing up of their own children, a history of the family might furnish many a hint. Would it not be a good plan if every family appointed a historiographer. It would be his or her duty to make a slight sketch in words of every living member of the family; to keep a few characteristic letters; to put down a few characteristic sayings, and to send this little dossier to some discreet person who should be agreed upon as a recipient of the family archives.

 As a companion volume to the family album it would be very interesting! The post, too, would be an interesting one to fill. The choice would fall often, we think, upon an unmarried woman. Women are far more interested in character-study than men; unmarried women are apt to stand a little outside the family circle. Also such a woman would be likely to accept a somewhat onerous job for the sake of the sense that she was somehow augmenting the significance of her own blood, though only by words.

All the same, we are not sure but that the book might prove enervating reading. History repeats itself, as the photographs show us. A minute description of their forebears might remove from present members of a humdrum family all sense of originality, and leave them with a calm acquiescence in stagnation, a sense that there is nothing new under the sun, and that each successive generation is a reproduction of the last in different clothes and fresh circumstances.

"Old Photographs." The Living Age, 1913.


Monday, June 24, 2013

Doppelganger - Clare Bowen, ABC Television Series Nashville

This week's doppelganger is a ghostly duplicate of Clare Bowen of the ABC television series Nashville. There is no more ghostly duplicate of a living person than that of a photograph of someone taken almost a hundred years before they were born. A photograph of someone that could be their double.

Here is a photograph of Mary B. Goble, a school teacher in 1901 in the Prairie School, Dist. No. 8, Monroe Township, Allen County, Ohio, who could be the look-alike for Clare.

An ancestor perhaps, or a true doppelganger? What do you think?.

Have you read the latest issue of Shades Of The Departed Magazine? You really should. Teacher Mary B. Goble and her entire class are featured in the School Souvenir Article on page 118.


Friday, June 21, 2013

The Last Picture Show - Cadwallader & Fearnaught

They bill themselves as Artistic & Practical Photographers. Cadwallader & Fearnaught of Indianapolis, Ind., established Aug. 19, 1872.

They show their "Artistic" flair in their choice of backstamp. Very attractive, but not really out of the ordinary for the period of time. It is the "Practical" that caught my eye and the reason I purchased this cabinet card for its backstamp.

Many photographers include the negative number, but Cadwallader & Fearnaught included the date of the sitting. I have personally seen six of their cabinet cards and while several had a different design, each had a place for the date of the sitting. So very helpful to any family historian.
"The sitting for this photograph was made May 1886 at the elegant photographic establishment of Cadwallader & Fearnaught the negative numbered 15967 is carefully preserved, from which duplicates can be obtained at any time."
Now, if they'd just had a spot for the name of the person who sat for the photograph. Have you read the latest issue of Shades Of The Departed Magazine? You really should. The Last Picture Show is a regular feature of the magazine.


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

iAncestor - Change Font & Font Size in iPad Notes

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
~ Nelson Mandella ~

I want to change the Font and Font size in iPad notes. Changing is simple.


Step 1 -
Tap Settings

Step 2 - Tap Notes

Step 3 - Select one of the three types listed.

Step 4 - Press the Home Button

Your Font is now changed.


Step 1 -
Tap Settings

Step 2 - Tap General

Step 3 - Tap Accessibility (Bottom Right Side)

Step 4 - Tap Large Text
 Step 5 - Select your preferred Font Size

Note: This will change the font size in Notes, Mail, Contacts, Calendars and Messages.

Step 5 - Press the Home Button.

Now, wasn't change much easier than you expected?

Have you read the latest issue of Shades Of The Departed Magazine? You really should. iAncestor hangs out there.


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Twice Told Tuesday - An Historical Photograph

Twice Told Tuesday features a photography related article reprinted from
my collection of old photography books, magazines, and newspapers.

Save any old picture you may have; the time may come when it is historically valuable. Do you know what is an historical photograph? Read this and you may have a different perspective. Very appropriate to the family historian.
Historical Photography
By C. B. Turrill
Camera Craft Magazine
November 1914

The mention of history has a tendency to cause a momentary mental picture of numerous large, heavy books, full of details, statistics, and all sorts of disagreeable things that must be read and remembered, and when historical photography is mentioned in connection with our own country, one naturally feels sorry for the enthusiast who does not seem to realize we have so few ivy-clad towers or picturesque castles, and no kings except those of diamonds, spades, clubs and hearts. So we are quite prone to continue the usual routine of photographing Bill's back yard, the dog therein, and other things of everyday.

However, a new country has one great advantage in that we can get in on "the ground floor" in our historical picture-making. And besides, we can take the baby's picture, at as frequent intervals as possible, on the chance that he may become President some day - or that he may be hung. In either event, his picture becomes an historical asset. So with the house in which he was born and the pond in which he sported as a boy playing hookey.

So, after all, historical photography does not mean only the making of artistic properly lighted photographs of crumbling buildings that we new ages ago. We are making history all the time. The events of yesterday are history today. The events of yesterday are history today. The flag raising, the parade, the casualty of last week, each has been embalmed and becomes a part of that mysterious something we call history. It is a part of the life story of the individual, the town, the county, the State or the nation.

In almost every amateur's album of prints are pictures of historic value. An instance will prove this: Some years ago the writer was engaged in the almost hopeless task of furnishing the illustrative part of a book, "The First Half Century," which recounts the struggles and successes of St. Ignatius University. Many of the desired pictures were difficult to find; in fact, a few were secured only after some two years' search.

The portrait of the founder of the institution was one of the most important. Photography as we know it had not been introduced at that period and the good priest in his modesty and fully occupied time had never "sat" for a daguerreotype. Somewhere was found a modern "Brownie" print, soiled and crumpled, that some "kid" had "snapped" when the loved priest was not looking. The film could not be found and the boy who made it unknown. The picture was a poor one and shows the man in his decrepitude. It was copied, enlarged, worked up, and is the only portrait in existence of the founder of a great educational institution. That little picture is an invaluable historical one.

The writer has just had occasion to print from some negatives made twenty-seven years ago, subjects that were quite commonplace at the time, yet subjects that could not be otherwise obtained, illustrating conditions that passed away a quarter of a century ago.

The almost daily search for such things has impressed upon me the importance of them and causes me to plead for their preservation. This is one side of a many-sided matter. Save any old picture you may have; the time may come when it is historically valuable.

Turrill, C.B. "Historical Photography," Camera Craft Magazine, November 1914.


Monday, June 17, 2013

Doppelganger Django Unchained

In legend a doppelganger is a ghostly duplicate of a living person. There is no more ghostly duplicate of a living person than that of a photograph of someone taken over a hundred years before you were born. A photograph of someone that could be your double.

Here is a Civil War Carte-de-Visite of a handsome young man who could be the look-alike for Leonardo DiCaprio in Django Unchained.

An ancestor perhaps, or a true doppelganger? What do you think?.

Have you read the latest issue of Shades Of The Departed Magazine? You really should.

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Friday, June 14, 2013

Keep Me, Protect Me, Share Me

the photographs are saying "keep me, protect me, share me, and I will live forever." Kodak
As each family historian will tell you, this is our mantra when it come to family photographs. The 2005 commercial takes six minutes to play, but it is worth every minute.

In the beginning of the film you will see the 1886 series Horse in Motion, by Eadweard Muybridge. The photographer, Muybridge, will play a role in the August issue of Shades, Cops & Robbers.


Thursday, June 13, 2013

Shades Favorite iAncestor Tip

iAncestor's favorite iPad Tip is simple yet sublime.

Are you at the bottom of a long page of research or any listing of information and want to quickly return to the top of the page? Tap the Status Bar.

Saves time and the wrist. I told you. Simple yet sublime.

This not only works in your browser, but you can use this while viewing Mail, iTunes, the App Store, iBookStore, Photos, Twitter, Newsstand and many other apps.


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Helen Keller's Graduation

In keeping with the Golden Rule Days Theme of Shades Of The Departed Magazine, I give you Helen Keller in her cap and gown. Below is an excerpt of an essay she wrote upon her graduation. I admire her optimism.

"As my college days draw to a close, I find myself looking forward with beating heart and bright anticipations to what the future holds of activity for me. My share in the work of the world may be limited, but the fact that it is work makes it precious. Nay, the desire and will to work is optimism itself."

Keller, Helen. My Key of Life, Optimism: An Essay. London: London, Ibister & Co., 1904.


Sunday, June 9, 2013

Shades The Magazine - GoldenRule Days

The relaunching of a magazine is far more hazardous than the launching of a new
battleship; for the latter is intended to be dangerous to its foes, whereas the former
is fraught with danger to its friends. Nor can the quality of the magazine, like that
of the ship, be tested by its trial trip; for the vast ocean of literature is covered with
the wreckage of periodicals that started out with every indication of making a long
and profitable voyage. Still, an enterprise that smacks not of peril makes no appeal
to a brave and aspiring soul; and in these piping times of peace, the pen is mightier
than the sword.  

William Lyon Phelps with a few adjustments by fM

It’s been dinosaur years, but Shades is back! Thank you for your support, letters of encouragement and ideas for a better old photograph centric magazine. It’s so good to be back. 

It has been a learning curve. The online world changes so rapidly we're learning all over again. But enough jawing, let's get started. Select the image above or Golden Rule Days to read the new Shades Magazine.

Yes, Shades The Magazine is back.

The Table Of Contents:

The Future of Memories - Painting A Life History
Documenting a Career At Sea
Denise Barrett Olson

The First Class Photograph

The Healing Brush - Graduation Day
A Gelatin Silver Print
Janine Smith

Penny's Dreadful Secrets
Unlocking the Clues in Old Photographs
Penny Dreadful

A Picture's Worth
The Friends Album Finds Its Way Home
A Face Study
Missy Corley

To The Nines
School Days
A Little Class
Maureen Taylor

The Golden Rule Album
Surely it would give us a sense of space if we could see clearly a little
further behind us. Would it not be a good plan if every family appointed
a historiographer. 
The Living Age, 1913

Prom Photographs
When did the custom of proms begin in America?

Behind The Camera
Yearbooks and Their beginnings

A Family School Album
Sheri Fenley

How Will You Know?
You Must Look!
Caroline Pointer

My iLibrary
Denise Barrett Olson

School Photo Souvenirs
When This You See Remember me

The Last Picture Show
From The Cornell University Art Gallery