Saturday, 25 January 2014

A blast from the past.

A while back, Mr Squidge was given a suitcase full of family photos dating back to the turn of the last century. It inspired me to do a bit of rooting into both of our family trees, as my hubbie's family are originally from Germany.

Earlier this week, he came back from his dad's with a black wooden trunk. Inside was a complete set of early twentieth century photographic equipment...including recipes for developing solutions, hundreds of glass plates, and an early bellows camera - probably pre-1900's from what little bit of research we've done.

There are also hundreds of glass slide and cellulose negatives.

We've found out how to 'develop' them (scan with the silver nitrate face up, then use Microsoft Office Paint to invert the colours - hey presto, the negative images turn positive!) and so I'm working through scanning them all.

Some I recognise - Pappa and Nanna in the late 1920's; possibly some of Mr Squidge's Dad as a young boy; Ludwig, who came over from Germany in the very late 1800's...and then there are others that must be around 1911. Everyone's dressed in their Sunday best, so I'm wondering if it was for the coronation.

Here are just a few...

A pair of flapper girls, all dolled up. 

Not sure about these children. They might be the first four of Coral's five children, 
Alex, Bernard, John and Nancy

Haircut and a beer...?

Pappa and Nanna, probably late 1920's, as they were married in 1930. 

Family Hetzel, again 1920's or very early 1930's.

Fred * Ludwig Jnr * Coral * Nig (Philip)* Bob (Albert, Mr. Squidge's paternal grandfather)
Hannah * Sarah (nee Webb) * Ludwig Snr * Henrietta * Florence

A bit of guesswork going on with the ladies - the only ones I know for sure are Coral and Sarah...

There are loads more to scan and invert. I wonder who else we might find? 


  1. How lucky of Mr Squidge to have these. Looking into family history can be fascinating. If you want to look into family history, the Ancestry website is really good for this (I don't know if you've already tried it). You can get access to worldwide genealogy records, build up a family tree with photos and stories attached, and if you set your tree as 'public', the site will pick up where other people have the same people in their family tree. Subscription isn't cheap though. I have a family tree on Ancestry. I can guarantee if you start you'll get sucked in, like you walked into the wardrobe on 'Nania'!

  2. :)
    It was certainly a bit addictive at the time I did the research! Mum still wants to have a look at her mum's side of the family, but like you say, it's not cheap. I managed to get back as far as the late 1700's for one strand, but then the records dry up computer-wise, and it'd be a trip to various church records all round the country. Not sure I'm THAT dedicated!

  3. I had a similar situation, but I'm short of time at the moment to go and visits my family's old stomping grounds. I might just add some more photos as they kind of bring people to life, so to speak....