ANCESTORS PHOTOS (week 36)
FAMILY PHOTOS are amongst our most treasured possessions
Ask anyone what the first material thing is they would try to save if their house was burning down and they nearly always say their photos
The first permanent photograph was an image produced in 1826 by the French inventor Joseph Nicephore Niepce. If you are interested in the early days of the technical side of photography this is an interesting article and includes the earliest surviving photograph of a scene from nature in France, c1826
We have come a long way. From the large, hanging photograph of a stern, intimidating great-grandfather looking down on his domain, his eyes following you around the room, to (one of my) present-day colourful snaps of a lovingy, patient father having his beard braided with pink ribbons by his 4 year old daughter
Gone are the days when we took a roll of film (all of our newborn) into the chemist, he sent it to be developed and we waited a long week to go pick up the prints.
Photos 'put meat on the bones' of our ancestors. How we imagined they looked is usually blown away by finding their photo and being able to see their uncanny likeness in our children. Seeing their environment tells us of the living conditions of their lives. We may have been told that great-granddad was a Farmer, but having the image in our heads of him on his farm is usually far different from the photo in front of us of him wearily, trudging behind the plough pulled by his tired old horse
- Looking at photos bring out ALL our emotions -
- (often more that one at the same time)
A friend once gave me a photo of her mum, the only one in existance that had been ripped in half by her grandson. She was terribly upset and asked if I knew where to get it 'mended' so she could once again hang the photo and be able to 'talk' to her mother daily. Thank goodness there were people out there who knew how to do that. Now you can do it yourself at home with the right software program
Photos of the young men who paid the ultimate price so that we may live free are very treasured and often brought out and talked about to preserve and honour them to another generation. These photos are necessary to make the soldier more tangible to them
Many years ago I visited friends. It was in the middle of Winter, the fire was going in the large farm kitchen. The adults were sitting around the "Waltons Table" as we called it (big enough to seat a dozen or more), with coffee and fresh baked muffins and the kids were sprawled out on the floor with the old family photo albums out. The kids were screaming with laughter "OMG!! is that you Mum? no way!! please tell me you didn't wear that!", "DAD! look at your long hair, where has it all gone?" and we were flat-out defending ourselves. Without these photos the retelling of things as they were in 'our day' would not seem so real
I have a very precious photo of a beautiful little girl with a cheeky smile, taken when she was 6 months old, just prior to her dying of SIDS. I was there that morning. I cuddled her in the morgue. I put her favourite toy in the grave with her.
I remember her very well without the photo - so why do I keep it
What is a photo anyway ??
isn't it just a flat image of some people on a piece of paper ??
what's the big deal ??
the way you look at your friends "kids photos" is not the same way he looks at them. The way you see yourself in a photo is not the same way your family sees you. How many times have you said "I hate that photo of me, why do you still have that?" and they usually look at it in shock and reply "Why?, it's a beautiful photo of you"
We have a passion to preserve 'us' for the future
... Way before photos there were cave drawings
the way we take photos is very different from the way our ancestors took them
the way we store and view photos today is VERY different from the way they did
It seems that the only thing that hasn't changed is the REASON we take them
Visit the following sites for a look at some wonderful yesteryear shots and for help in storing your precious memories for your descendants
some weird and wonderful photos
... RARELY SEEN PHOTOGRAPHS of London in the 1800s
an A-Z of vintage photos from around the globe 1850 - 1940 (great site):
... THEMED COLLECTIONS
... 13 PHOTOGRAPHS THAT CHANGED THE WORLD
Weren't we excited when computers came along and we could upload our precious photos, thereby preserving them forever! and enabling easier viewing by all visitors at once with clever features like slideshow etc. Remember, hard drives can crash so hold on to the albums and if you only have uploads from your phone or camera, an easy, cheap and reliable backup is to copy them to a portable external hard drive (USB memory key).
They are SO cheap, a great investment. I recently bought a 1000GB USB storage device (I know, ridiculously way over the top) but my excuse is that it was only $100 and photos can never be replaced ;), we must preserve our photos that they may become later generations "Ancestors Photos"
PRESERVING YOUR DIGITAL MEMORIES
PRESERVING PHOTOS Documents & Heirlooms
How to Make a Family History CD
How to Properly Store Old Photographs
Caring for Your Photographs
A Guide to Donating Your Personal or Family Papers to a Repository
Preserving Family Albums
Preserving Personal Papers and Photographs
PRESERVING THE PAST
Why not share your favourite photo with us
52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy
FUNNY ANCESTOR STORY
SOCIETY JOURNAL or QUARTERLY
PAST GENEALOGY RESOURCES
BIGGEST GENEALOGY ACCOMPLISHMENT