Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Who's that guy? Wednesday

Although I have titled this post 'Who's that guy', you will notice that in addition to the unidentified very serious young man, there is also a little girl in the background of the photograph. Her mischievous little smile makes me curious to know her identity.

The photo dates to either the 1930s or the 1940s, but I am uncertain of the exact date because there are a couple of contradictions at play here. First of all, Serious Young Man's hair is styled into finger waves, parted in the center and slicked down with what must have been a generous amount of pomade. This hair style was very popular with men all over Europe in the 1930s before the war.

Based on his clothing, the photo may have been taken in the 1940s after the Second World War. You will notice that his suit jacket has both pockets and flaps, something which was eliminated from clothing made during the war. With the rationing of all goods, including cloth, clothing during the war was made with as few 'extras' as possible, no pockets, no pleats, no flaps. The other possibility, of course, is that it's a very old suit made during the pre-war period of the 1930s.

The other element at play in the photograph is the chain driven tricycle which the little girl is standing on in the background. With its large wheels, fenders and chain position, the tricycle dates to the 1940s. (Thank you Tricycle Fetish)

The man in question is most likely from my mother's side of the family tree, and he may be one of the Barnwell sons. I do recall my mother telling me that the pin in his lapel is a pledge pin. To wear a pledge pin meant that the owner of the pin was a member of a Catholic organization called the Pioneer Total Abstinence Association. The pin stood as a symbol of the fact that the wearer pledged to maintain a lifelong abstinence from alcohol, as well as a devotion to the Sacred Heart. The pin also worked as a signal of sorts to remind others not to offer alcohol to the person bearing the pin.

So...I have a serious looking young man wearing a pledge pin, and a mischievous looking little girl on a tricycle.
Hmm??? Looks like it's a week for mysteries.

What do you think?

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  1. I love the way he's trying to rid himself of his curls. His barber knows for sure.

    Great Post. No I do not know who he is. From his clothes and the little girl in the background that photo was taken in the 30's or 40's.


  2. Haha Great Pic Jenn. My vote is for the late 1940s because of what you said about the bike.

    1. Hi Charlotte,

      Thanks for your comments. I hope all is well with you. I haven't heard from you for a while.
      I agree with you about the photo dating to the 1940s; otherwise, the bike would be an anachronism.



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