Monday, October 22, 2012

Consolidated Ship Yard, Bronx, WWII

"Consolidated Shipbuilding was a builder of luxury yachts, the result of the merger of Charles L. Seabury Co., originally established at Nyack in 1885, and Gas Engine & Power Co.  Note that the companies operated jointly for many years: their activities were consolidated under the Consolidated Shipbuilding name during World War One.  The yard was located on Matthewson Road, in the Bronx, in what is now Roberto Clemente State Park.  See the shipyard site from the air on Google here.  After WWII, Consolidated bought the Robert Jacob shipyard on City Island and closed the Morris Heights yard.  It ceased to be an active shipbuilder in 1958 but continues as a yacht repair center. " 

I was surprised to read that many yachts and smaller ships owned by private citizens or businesses were requisitioned by the Navy for use in the war. During WWII they built mainly for the Navy but also for the Coast Guard and the Army. They built sub chasers and tug boats.

My mother had graduated from Hunter College with a political science major in 1942. There were no jobs available for her major without going to graduate school. The war had started so she found a job as the secretary to the Admiral in charge of the ship yard. In this photo she is the woman at the desk. Who is the man at the other desk? He would probably be older than my mother, who would have turned 90 this year.

She met my Dad here. He had been drafted at the age of 38 because he was unmarried and had no children. The Army Air Corps tried to turn this business man into a bombardier mechanic but finally gave up, and sent him to Consolidated to work as a civilian for the Navy. He met my mother, they married in 1944, and in the early 1960’s she did go back to graduate school as the only woman student at a Jesuit college. Now almost everyone goes to grad school but it was rare in my mother’s time, and she helped pave the way for those who followed.

This photo has always reminded me of a Humphrey Bogart movie scene.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Senior Pictures, Probably St. Peter, MN

These are photos I found at an antique store in Minnesota. Ruth wrote on the back of her photo St. Peter, Minnesota. The photos were taken by a photographer in Mankato, MN. The girls are Marg. , Marjori, Ruth, and Orda. Ruth was the only one whose last name was included, it was Hanson. I'm guessing, by the hair styles, these were taken in the 1920's  but I suppose it could be the 1930's also.

Little Girl with a Lamb

I have tried for years to find out who this little girl is. The photo was in Wallace Gifford Olmstead's collection of photos, and of course there was no writing on the back. I believe it was taken around 1890, probably on Wallace's farm in Gerry, NY.  His wife was Mahala Strong Olmstead. The little girl could be an Olmstead, Strong, McCullough, or Damon as they all lived close to Wallace's farm. My Dad didn't know who it was. It's possible she isn't related to any of the families named above but given the time period I doubt that.

Update 25 March 2015: I wonder if this is Mahala Olmstead, oldest child of Austin and Emma Torrey Olmstead. She was born in December 1897 and died on March 25, 1903.

Unknown Family 1921, Probably Gerry, NY

This photo comes from Kenneth Justus Olmstead's album. He was my great half-uncle. His mother was Lillian McCullough Olmstead, his father Wallace Gifford Olmstead. I think the people in this photo might be relatives of Lillian's. The Olmsteads and McCulloughs lived in Gerry, New York. This photo was taken in 1921. On the back it says Merry Christmas and happy NewYear to Lillie and Kenneth. "Hughs have baby girl borned Dec 24 1921."

Wallace had died in 1916. Kenneth lived with his mother until her death.

Class Photo, Probably in NJ

This is a class photo of elementary students, probably 2nd graders, possibly 3rd grade. It appears to be a public school. There are 30+ students in the class. There is one African American boy. One of these children might be a Bogert, and the photo is probably from New Jersey. I would guess the year span to be late 1940's, early 1950's.

A child printed a few names on the back. They are: Nancy, Jeffrey (the one I believe might be a Bogert), Sally,Sata, Jimmy L., Jimmy V., Jack V.,Tommy, Danny, Urban, Tony, Barbara I., Barbara O., Bobby G., and Bobby.

Chris and Buddie Roberts

This is a 5X7 of a couple, Chris and Buddie Roberts, married on March 18, 1945. She is wearing a white or light colored dress with a corsage, hat on head. I think Buddie's uniform is a Marine Corps one but it could be Army. They might be from New Jersey, and friends of a Bogert family.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Blog Purpose

I have in my possession hundreds of photos of people and places without names. Some come from my paternal great grandfather's album, my paternal great uncle's album, my Dad's album, albums I've bought on ebay, and random photos I've bought at antique stores. I would like these photos to be identified and when possible returned to family members.To do this these photos will need lots of exposure so please share this blog with your friends. I will be using as many tags as I know for the photos.

I was able to return an entire album once to an elderly lady in southern Iowa. I bought it on ebay, from an antique dealer in Missouri. The album had been put out by accident when she had a farm auction after the death of her husband. There were photos of their marriage, first baby, and hundreds of other photos. She was so glad to get the album returned to her.

I have a strong belief that photos belong to families. I hate when I see photos for sale in antique stores. This is the reason I like to see photos returned to the families they belong to.