I found this photo at Duck Creek Antiques in Cincinnati, Ohio, last week. I was spending time with my son, Linton – yes, named for our famed ancestor Captain John Hancock Linton from Loudoun County, Virginia. Linton kindly supports his mother’s love of genealogy and visits cemeteries with me to take photos, and antique shops to find old photos to share with you!
This is such a fascinating photo! I love photos taken in homes – it gives you a feel of how they lived, and I think people are always more comfortable photographed at home! This gentleman is Elmer Thompson. He sits quite comfortably in his rocking chair, holding a book, which I think is an atlas. Perhaps he is perusing the world from his armchair! I would guess Mr. Thompson to be 40 or 50 – with a nice mustache and hair. Notice his big hands.
The ceilings in the home are tall, as were most from that time period, but if you notice above Mr. Thompson’s head at the very top of the photo, it looks as if a part of the ceiling is slanted – could this be a staircase, or where the house had additions throughout the years? The wallpaper is definitely Victorian, very similar to all old photos of the early 1900’s. The floor is wood, with a small carpet under the subject’s chair, and a glimpse of another, probably flowered pattern, in the lower left-hand corner.
Another striking feature – no pun intended – is the grandfather clock – very tall, but instead of the glass encased middle section that would show the pendulum, there is a wooden door. The top of the clock is nicely carved, with three spindle tops. It was a quarter past the hour when this photo was taken, but impossible to see the hour!
The table that holds the plant is rather unusual – perhaps homemade from twigs? Or was this a folk art that was popular at the time? The rectangular lock on the door is exactly like the one at the board office where I work – it was once a home, built about 1900.
There is no date on the photo, no place name, only the name of the photographer – Witteman.