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Thursday, 03 March 2022


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What a wonderful post. I love old stuff. (Maybe because that's what I'm made of?)
Whenever I see old photos of places and the locations are noted, I try to match the shooting position on Google Maps to see how they appear now.

Quite the find as a young man, and a bargain as well. I also have a hundred or so 5x7 and 8x10 glass plate negatives. These are documentary type of an old foundry and they document many things. There are executive portraits, work in progress and completed items from which the foundry made its profits. I have found the best way to preserve them is to scan them on a flat bed scanner before they get further damaged or just start to deteriorate. I was even able to repair digitally a broken glass negative after scanning it. Scanning and then printing on a good inkjet printer and paper brings them back to life.

This seems to be precisely the type of story where the missing details can be fleshed out through crowd sourcing.

Great images, always fascinating to look back at life and people, in this digital age our families will have slim pickings to look at.
The image with the very noble dog, I think the rifle is a Winchester 1893 pump action shot gun
coming from Liverpool U.K.no expert just used Google.

Looks like a Winchester 1897 shotgun.

Fascinating pictures from an early 20th Century era that was post “the closing of the frontier” but well before most of the continent had been homogenized into the modern postwar Present.

My guess is that is a Winchester 1897 shotgun.

It has an external hammer and when you pump it, the bolt extends back towards the shooter and cocks the hammer - hence its nickname "the thumb buster" See the picture under "Description" heading:

Mike --

I believe that firearm is certainly not a rifle but a pump-action shotgun, most probably a Model 1893 Winchester. I cannot place an image in this note, but a google search will confirm the likeness.

This was John Browning design and the first commercially successful repeating shotgun. In context the owner would be rather proud of it since, in addition to fowl and upland small game, it could also be used for deer under 100 yards. Therefore it was a useful tool with a family to feed in an era before hunting regulations (which came along about 20 years later).

-- gary ray

In the family picture, since you were wondering, the man to the left is holding a Winchester 1897 slide action shotgun. The boy to the right (on the man's lap) looks like he's holding something similar -- in a very alarming way.

Terrific story, Ernest! Old photos such as these can be so mesmerizing. I spent the summer before the pandemic helping to examine and catalog an enormous collection of daguerreotypes. Nearly all the subjects were anonymous. But it was great fun to deconstruct some of their lives by analyzing minute details still crisply recorded on those dags. That family portrait outside the log cabin is a real gem. Yes, that proud dog really lends a comic air to it. But the baby’s enchantment with the dog makes it even better.

As to that gun, I’m no firearms fan but it looks like a shotgun to me. Further, it looks like a pump-action shotgun…probably an expensive weapon for the day. A quick search reveals that that style of gun made its first appearance after 1882 (the Spencer Pump. That, plus details from the clothing suggest that that image dates from right at the end of the 19th century.

Thanks very much for sharing this with us, Ernest!

The gun on the left is a Winchester Model 1897 pump shotgun -- not an 1893. The 1897 came out in 1897 but was manufactured for many years.

The composition of these photographs is better than 99.8% of all pictures posted on the internet nowadays. Clearly shows a time when making a photograph was taken seriously as it involved a lot of effort and expense.

I grew up in Santa Paula (1928-1950), But I do not recognize the houses. There are a number of small farms surrounding the town. Were there any names in the box of junk? If I can be of any help, please contact me.

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