Friday, January 6, 2017

Found photo: 1928 dinner at Snyder Middleswarth Forest

This found photo1, which measures 5¾ inches wide and has a slight sepia tint, features four women sitting on an outdoor swing or bench.2 The cursive, handwritten caption on the back states:

Snyder-Middleswarth Forest
May 20, 1928

This locaton is now Snyder Middleswarth Natural Area, and it's located in Snyder County in central Pennsylvania. It is named for a pair of Snyder County politicians whose lived in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Located within the greater Bald Eagle State Forest, Snyder Middleswarth is one of 27 National Natural Landmarks in Pennsylvania.

Here's a closer look at the four women...

Their names and lives are a mystery. Age-wise, they could be anywhere from their late 20s to mid 40s, I suppose. So some (all?) of them were definitely born in the late 19th century.

May 20, 1928, was a Sunday. It was a weekend that feature a federal election in Germany and a horrific mine explosion in Mather, Pennsylvania, that claimed 195 lives. That would be a bad week for mine incidents. On May 22, a mine explosion in Yukon, West Virginia, killed 17, and, a mine explosion in Kenvir, Kentucky, killed eight.

1. According to Wikipedia, University of Central Florida associate professor Barry Mauer "lists four practices of looking that influence inferences made in regards to the origin of found photos; voyeurism, Sherlock Holmes' style deductive reasoning, Surrealism, and with the eyes of a cultural anthropologist." I think that's a great list. With regard to the Surrealism, I definitely like the idea of "found photo as unintentional art photo."
2. And, fortunately, you can see all of their legs.

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