Wednesday, October 28, 2009

RAGAN & MUNN, Photographers, Atchison, Kansas

Pink image:
"RAGAN & MUNN, Photographers, 317 Com. Street, Atchison, Kan. Negatives preserved. Copies can be had at any time."

White image:  
"J. M. MUNN, Photographer, Atchison, Kansas."
Very small lettering at lower left: "Riches Co." 
This is probably the name of the printer.
Images ©   Personal collection.

These are the reverse side of two more carte de visite photos from my Grandmother's little olde album.
The pink one is fancier that the first one that I posted on October 25th.  Note the camera with the painter's palette and the cloak. Two little angels are holding the banner.I have found a record that puts Ragan and Munn in business in Atchison, Kansas in 1880.
The logo on the black and white one, is much larger, taking up almost the whole back of the photo and even more artistic. Note the camera is a bit smaller and the artist's palette now is larger and  has brushes.
From what I have read, the photographer's logos became larger and more artistic as the years pasted. Knowing this, helps to date these little keepsake photographs.

An excellent site for information on how to date these vintage photographs is Roger Vaughan's site.
This extensive site is a great resource.
It also shows pictures of the clothing during the late 1800's and early 1900's another helpful technique.
Roger Vaughan is from the UK and appears to have been collecting and researching vintage photographs for a number of  years.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

J. M. MUNN ~ An Olde Business Card

Carte de Visite, "J. M. MUNN PHOTOGRAPHER, Atchison, Kansas."
Image © My personal collection.

This back of an carte de visite  photo,  from an album of my Grandmother's. It is the back of the photo of the woman standing that I posted a little earlier.
Although the photos were know as 'carte de visite' they were not actually a visiting card for the person in the photo, but they were an inexpensive way for family and friends to exchange photos. A close look at the upper left corner shows - $1.00 Per Dozen.
Gradually, the photographer's logo became more and more prominent and gives a clue to dating these little 2 1/2" x 4" photos. The larger the logo, the closer to 1900. Free advertising for the photographers of the day!

Boogie Jack ~ Web Design & Free Graphics

It's hard to compare with other sites. Created by a published book author on web design, his web design tutorials are written with humor and ease, the free graphics archive has some beautiful works of art, and his writings about life are always enlightening. My unique "marblized" header is one of many available at

A Touch of Elegance with 24K Gold Graphics

Browsing today for a little something to add to my site. Here's a sampling of a touch of elegance with 24K GOLD GRAPHICS

Friday, October 23, 2009

Treasure Chest Tuesday ~ My Unknown Ancestors

                  Carte de Visite photographs: unknown c. 1895.
                  J. M. MUNN, Photographer, Atchison, Kansas. 
                                  Images  ©  Personal Collection.

I see that the chair used is exactly the same in both photos. I think that rather than a couple, these two people may be brother and sister, or related in some other way.

These two vintage carte de visite  photographs  were in a small family album of my paternal grandmother, Ada May (MILLER) GATES.
My father, his parents and siblings emigrated from Kansas to Canada in February 1923, crossing at North Portal, Saskatchewan.

In the late  1800's  tintype and carte de visite photos were hugely popular. So much so that it was dubbed "Cartemania." Every family had one of these small albums, similar in size to a bible, about 1 1/2" x 4" x 5 1/2". It reminds me of a diary, it has a metal clasp to close it.

I've also read that only the very poorest of families did not have a carte de visite album.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Other

While I was on the web today, I followed a few links and came to The Other Pages. A beautiful site.

I was actually looking for quotations, which brought me to their quotations page QUOTATIONS There's more: PHOTO ESSAYS

The owner of this intriguing site is Stephen Spanoudis.
Thanks Steve. Enjoy.

Vintage Marriage Certificate

I found this olde Marriage Certificate at an Antique shoppe just a few days ago.
On the left side are the "Requirements of the Husband"; on the right side are the "Requirements for the Wife." These are listed according to verses in the Bible.
Provides a glimpse into the past - probably some 100 years ago.

"I Love Typography" and "Typedia"

I remind myself at times to visit my own "Interesting Links."

I just checked out I Love Typography. Johno, the owner (I presume) has a new post about Typedia
Typedia - "The Shared Encyclopedia of Typeface." This is a community website with a team of over 12 people involved in creating it.

Both sites look great. Well worth a visit. Extensive and educational.
I have a new appreciation for fonts and typefaces.

The Jeanie Johnston ~ Replica of 1847 Ship

PLEASE NOTE: This image is NOT the Jeanie Johnston. Just a nice little olde sailing ship.

A coincident that the ship's name is the same as my Mother's family name!

My Mother's ancestors came from Ireland. Her father was George Albert JOHNSTON/JOHNSON. George's father was Christopher JOHNSTON. Christopher's parents arrived from Ireland between 1836 and 1838, according to the 1851/1852 Canada Census.

George's mother was Mary Jane ACHESON. Mary Jane's parents came from Ireland too. They arrived in Canada in 1850. Both sides of her Father's family sailed from Ireland in the mid 1800's. Both paternal grandfathers, John JOHNSTON in about 1837 and George ACHESON, in April 1850, a 28 day voyage.

We don't know what ships they sailed on. Could they have been a ships like the The Jeanie Johnston?

The Jeannie Johnston was built in 1847 and was one of the last of the wooden tall ships of her kind.

At the time of the Great Famine during the late 1840's and early 1850's, The Jeannie Johnston brought Irish emigrants to North America. Their website states that the Ship is now (2009) docked in Dublin and plans for 2010 voyages will soon be made. Ready for an adventure!

PLEASE NOTE: This is NOT and image of The Jeanie Johnston ship. Just a nice little olde sailing ship.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A new look!

Well, I continue to research my ancestors - lots of new finds! Actually, got totally sidetracked.
In my web travels I came across PaisleyCatScraps
Fabulous designs and ideas to "dress up your blog."
PaisleyCat is where I got my new background. I love it!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Grandma's Photo Album ~One of My Mystery Ladies!

Carte de Visite ~ Unknown woman, late 1890's.
Photographer:  J. M. WINN, Photographer, Ottumwa, Iowa.
SOURCE: Image copyright  ©  Personal collection.

She could be a GATES or HULL; a MILLER or BEEGHLY.

Many years ago my paternal Grandmother, Ada May GATES, gave my parents a very old photo album.
From what I can determine now, it was from sometime between 1860 and 1900. The album has a metal clasp to keep it closed and looks somewhat like a small bible.

There are 19 tinypes and 9 carte de visite. Not a single one has the name of the person on it!

Let's identify our photos for our descendants!


Here's a place to do a search for your "dead freds" - great site - fun and informative.

Dig Up Your Relatives at - The Original Genealogy Photo Archive

I'm not an expert!

I'm not an expert genealogist. However, I've found some useful links that have helped me researching my ancestors. Here are a couple - Canada Census Records

The Canada 1851/1852 Census Records which is where I found my Mother's great grandparents: John JOHNSTON born 1799 in Ireland and his wife Catherine RUTLEDGE born in 1803 Ireland.

One article I found on the net indicated that a large portion of the 1851/1852 Census was lost and/or destroyed. Considering that I consider this a special find.

This is a fun one! DeadFred Tin type and vintage photos; search for last names; etc.


Thought I'd start with one of my favorite sites - Such a great way to lend a hand fun for all ages. OK Go fill up a bowl.
Fight World Hunger