Monday, November 07, 2011

Fixing Them For Eternity


This coming Saturday will mark the 100th Sepia Saturday : quite a milestone for something which started as a bit of a joke between Kat Mortensen and myself. Even though its' origin can be found in a convenient alliteration, its' mission was always serious : to preserve and share old images via the internet. Within a few weeks, Sepia Saturday had attracted a number of loyal weekly contributors and followers, and over the last two years it has gone from strength to strength. For Sepia Saturday 100 we are asking contributors old and new to join in with a post that is linked to the list on the Sepia Saturday Blog. As a lead-up to Sepia Saturday itself I am going to spend the week looking at all types of old image and I am starting with one of the most popular types of all - the old family photograph.


This is a scan of a tiny two inch square print which must have been taken at a family celebration. The young child being held at the front of the picture is, I suspect, my brother Roger which means that the photograph must have been taken in the mid 1940s.

We can be a little more certain about the others in the group because someone has attached a convenient yellow sticker to the back (and it looks as though it is my writing). Thus, I can tell you that on the back row (from the left) is my paternal grandfather, Enoch Burnett, my uncles Wilf and Harry (the musical workhorse), and my maternal grandfather Albert Beanland. The centre row has my grandmothers Harriet-Ellen Burnett and Kate Beanland, whilst the front row features my Auntie Amy, my mother, my Auntie Annie ... and the mysterious child. My father is missing from the picture (but he would have been taking it) and so am I : I had yet to make an appearance. When I took the photograph out of the box that contains all my old family photographs the yellow sticker had all but fallen off : that precious key to the identification of three generations of my family was almost lost. This post has given me the opportunity to fix the identifications for all time, to attach a digital sticker to the image which will stay there for all time and which will be available to anyone who cares to do a Google search.

And that, of course, was partly what Sepia Saturday was all about. We are the first generation that has had access to such powerful archiving tools. Many of us are the keepers of old images of one type or another. It is our task to fix them for eternity.

20 comments:

  1. Congrats on 100 and fix them for eternity? Geez, no pressure or anything..haha

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  2. Oh this is a great family photo! I'm excited to be back in town and ready to post for this exceptional grand 100!!!!! celebration!

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  3. You're good at kicking things off as a bit of a joke, as Clare and I can attest.

    Sepia Saturday offers a marvellous window on the history of families, worldwide, and it's no surprise to me that it's thriving - raises virtual glass to Alan and Kat.

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  4. As I'm the only one remaining that was there, let me add that the photograph was taken in the back garden at 6 Southmere Drive.

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  5. I cannot resist a 100th birthday celebration, and I'm working on my post. Congratulations to you, Alan. These stories in sepia are part of each of us, and to tell them is to express and perpetuate our human legacy.

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  6. I cannot resist a 100th birthday celebration, and I'm working on my post. Congratulations to you, Alan. These stories in sepia are part of each of us, and to tell them is to express and perpetuate our human legacy.

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  7. Congratulations to both you & Kat on the success & quality of Sepia Staurday--looking forward to the next 100!

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  8. Ok, I will try and do that on Saturday - I have a photo in mind.

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  9. Great photo, Alan! (In my usual fashion, I misread your bit about your father taking the photo - ignored the parentheses and thought YOU had been snapping it as a toddler!)

    I really must get back into the Sepia Saturday routine. I haven't been doing much genealogy lately, but I was beavering away at it for quite a while and have lots of new things to share.

    I shall, of course be present this Saturday.

    Kat

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  10. Nice Pic!!
    good to have this post-it...

    I will do something unusual [for me] for the 100th. You'll see...
    ;)~
    BTW:
    It's done already and scheduled for Saturday, 12:10 am, local time, obviously!!

    Currently cheering you on with a beer!!
    HUGZ

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  11. yes, quite a milestone!! congrats to you and kat for your stick-to-itness sepia saturday is a wonderful phenomena and i'm happy to be a loyal follower but admit i'm not a very consistent contributor or commentator.

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  12. We are the keepers of memories. Now it's our turn to archive. I made a video of such pictures from my father's 1923 album. It worked well enlarging from two inches to a 42 inch TV!

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  13. What fun it is to look at this photo and see the family resemblances. We've seen many of your father when he was younger and of your brother when he was tiny: it was easy to recognize your brother in this photo. But the best is to see how your grandparents passed their "looks" to their son and daughter. Isn't it grand that Sepia Saturday took root and flourished!

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  14. It's nice to remember the people who were in these images, too.

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  15. Looks like an early Labour Party conference, if you ask me.

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  16. My dad has all of the old family photographs. Maybe I should ask him for the box so that we could do a little digital fixing.

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  17. Thank goodness that post-it wasn’t lost forever. Those old family photos are wonderful; everyone squeezed in tight and trying to smile for the camera. There’s always one who doesn’t. Congratulations for the one hundred!

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  18. That wrap-up was positively eloquent, sir. How many pints did it take? :)

    Congrats on the SS milestone. I may come out of "retirement" to contribute something if I can fit the 100 theme.

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  19. I get thoroughly fed up with PostIt notes - they never stick for very long, and have usually fallen off by the time you really need the information that's on them. I think you're right, merely captioning our photos is an important job, that should perhaps be done even before telling the stories behind them. I wish my siblings would add material to my captions like Roger has done, but they have little to no interest.

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  20. Congrats on 100..lovely sentiment to fix them for all eternity..I have so many photographs at the museum..it is mind boggeling..but yes I feel them all calling my name:)

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