Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Mystery photo of riflewoman

This small found photograph features a woman standing in a field and aiming a rifle. To the left, there is a shadow of another individual, who might or might not being the person snapping the photo.

The width of the image is 3⅛ inches.

The only helpful information on the back of the snapshot is a purplish stamp for FOX-TONE PRINT, FOX CO., of San Antonio, Texas. There's actually a good bit of history about Fox — which existed under various permutations of that name from the early 1900s until 2001 — available, as it has its own Wikipedia entry. At one point, a Canadian-born Texan, Carl Newton, was running the largest mail-order, photo-finishing business in the world as the company's primary business. Much, much later, Fox Photo one-hour photo processing booths were a 1980s rival of Fotomat. (Those booths were one of the oddest segments of U.S. consumer and car culture, I but digress.)

None of this, of course, gives us any insight regarding when and where this photograph was taken, who that woman is, or what she's aiming at. We can write our own story. I suppose some possibilities for her targets are cattle rustlers, traveling encyclopedia salesmen, aliens, gnus, and zombies. But we'll never know for sure.

Is there enough detail for anyone to identify the rifle she's using?

1 comment:

  1. I really like the idea of writing your own story to go with this picture. When I taught 4th Grade I would purchase all the old (mostly Victorian era) photographs I could find reasonably. We would then study the culture of the era. Each student would receive an antique picture and pretend that they were the person illustrated. They would make up a name and tell all about themselves including things like: why was this picture taken, what were you doing in this picture, what kind of things did you have to do to get ready for your portrait, what were your hobbies and pastimes, explanation of your hairstyle (How did you do it, how long did it take, etc.), description of your clothing (was it comfortable or were things like starched collars and corsets really miserable to wear), family description, difficulties and trials (like disease, death, war, and other disasters), your occupation or chores, how you died, etc. These neat old photos are a wonderful tool that can stimulate creative writing in the classroom.