Treasure Chest Thursday

20 Oct 2011

Anna Larsdotter Hann’s Swedish Portrait

Anna Larsdotter Hann’s Swedish Portrait is today’s Treasure Chest Thursday post. This carte-de-viste photograph of my great-grandmother is one of my prized possessions.

Thanks to the photographer’s imprint on the mount, I know she had it taken in the town of Kopparberg (Copper Mountain) in Örebro Län, Sweden, probably just before she left for America on 18 Oct 1888 via Göteborg for Ishpeming, Michigan. It’s about 35 kilometers between Kopparberg and Anna’s hometown of Lindesberg. I wonder how long it took her to get to the photographer?

I’ve talked before about Anna and how much I admire her for raising my grandmother, and another daughter and son alone after she was widowed at the age of 33. I don’t have many photographs of her, but this is by far my favorite. How brave she was!


30 Dec 2010

Your Kodachrome Slides: Treasure Chest Thursday

The last roll of Kodachrome film is being processed today at a lab in Parsons, Kansas. Kodak stopped producing the chemicals and the film itself on 22 June 2009. The Kansas lab – the last one in the world still developing the film – has been working around the clock to process the last rolls before the developing machine is sold for scrap.

The excellent article in the New York Times about this milestone contains this quote:  “It’s more than a film, it’s a pop culture icon,” said Todd Gustavson, a curator from the George Eastman House, a photography museum in Rochester in the former residence of the Kodak founder. “If you were in the postwar baby boom, it was the color film, no doubt about it.”

If you’ve got 20th-century family photographs, then you have Kodachrome in your collection. Professional photographers favored Kodachrome because of its brilliant color accuracy and professional archivists valued its […]

5 Aug 2010

Gottfried Hann’s 1891 Marriage License


Today’s Treasure Chest Thursday is Anna Larsdotter and Gottfried Hann’s 1891 marriage license. And the reason why it’s in my Treasure Chest is that this document and his death certifica are the only documents that prove Gottfried Hann ever existed. Gottfried Hann is my brickiest of brick walls. I know he’s from Austria, probably from the Tyrolean region, and that he was born in 1861. And that’s it – the sum total of family knowledge. His daughter, my grandmother, was born in December of 1896, two months after her father died at the age of 35 in Chicago.

My mother recently unearthed this Marquette County, Michigan, marriage license and I almost wept to see that he actually existed in a real tangible record.

I used the FamilySearch online database of Michigan Marriages, 1868-1925, and Godfrey Haun and Annie Larson’s record is there (#101), but it has a line drawn through their names.

Most puzzling in light […]

29 Jul 2010

Treasure Chest Thursday: My Grandmother at Work in 1912

My grandmother (second from right) worked as a seamstress and tailor her entire life in various Chicago sweatshops. She was born in 1896, two months after her father died, and left school after the 8th grade to help support her mother and siblings.

I think this was taken circa 1912, or right about the time of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire in 1911 in New York.

I found this photograph (a mounted vintage print) and three other similar images, after her death in 1979. Oh, what I would give to talk to her about this photograph, even for just a few minutes!