Sunday, July 5, 2009

Smile for the Camera: They Worked Hard for a Living

The word prompt for the 15th Edition of Smile For The Camera is "they WORKED hard for the family." The professions of our ancestors are almost as interesting as the people themselves. Some of our ancestors worked very hard; they took in laundry, worked the land, raised many children, or went to school and became professionals. Photographs of them working are called occupational photographs and are rather hard to find.
I agree, they definitely aren't easy to find. However, I have found a few. I'll start with my maternal grandparents Martin Deutsch (1907-1991) and Myrtle Van Every (1900-1951) who worked at the St. Louis Post Office together in 1935 when this photo was taken, less than a year before they were married. I've drawn a box around my grandparents.
The below photograph of my paternal grandfather, Melvin Newmark (1914-1992), shows him with gavel in hand as a City Judge. I like how the nameplate reflects in the photo.
Here's a photograph of my great grandmother, Margaret (Denyer) Van Every (1868-1923) at work on the farm. The photograph was likely taken after 1920, as the writing on the back suggests my grandmother, the recipient of the photograph, had already moved to St. Louis. The writing also indicates that El Paso had received some snow. Which isn't completely unheard of.
Finally, I have a photograph - circa 1935 - of the Lichtmann Leatherworks shop in Margitta, Hungary - Address: 43 December Street - birthplace of my maternal great grandmother, Helen (Lichtmann) Deutsch (1881-1958). The people in the photo are my grandfather's first cousins, Andre and Sanyi Lichtmann, sons of Helen's brother, Frank (Fere).


Family Attic said...

What wonderful pictures! Thanks for sharing them and the stories.

Brett Payne said...

Thanks for sharing these photographs, John. The shot of your great-grandmother at work outdoors in El Paso is particularly evocative. Regards, Brett