Friday, June 29, 2007

Home Today

With Sabrina at home today with a slight fever and cold, I had time to sit with her and sort through the trunk of photos. Lots of interesting and fun things to find.

I've got most of the Gibbs side of the family photos sorted into a single box. There's lots of duplicates in the stacks, but still will take some detective work in getting them in groups. I would find one photo with no id to it, and then get into another stack, and find the same or similar photo, with voila, a name to it. I think with some work, some of the unidentified folks may also be renamed-by comparing the photos with identified ones--many are unique looking folks, so I think we can identify many, but alas, probably not all. I've also got a stack for Jim to view, in the hopes that he might know some of the people.

I did find some fun things in the piles--in one letter to Susan, Grandma Madge explained some of the origin of the Philippine chest that Jennifer took back to Atlanta--even with her suggestions for restoration of it--I'm going to copy that portion for inclusion with a photo of the chest I shot over the weekend in a scrapbook page--thought it made a nice side note to the chest. Soon as I get it copied, I'll get that to you Jen so you can have it to go with the chest.

I found a graduation picture of Grandma Madge on her graduation day from Kansas State, and part of what I think is a scrapbook of photos from her KState days. There are a few photos of buildings of on the campus-I'm betting that some of the KSU alumni at HCC might be able to tell me a bit more.

I also figured out the English church we kept finding stuff on over the weekend---Jane Clark Gibbs was born in England, in that area that Grandma Madge had all the information on. In another stack-Madge had written out a nearly complete explanation of the history behind that--the Clarks owned the Abbey Mill, and Jane had played as a child on the steps of the church-next door to the Mill. How cool is that.

The key thing was to rid the photos of the cardboard, bags, tape and other acidic items that they were wrapped and stored in, to stop further deterioration.

It's a treasure trove folks, I've had such fun going through the stacks-the old history major is enjoying the mysteries that lie within.

I'll share more in the coming days-don't want to let all the cats out of the bag at once. I hope to install the genealogy software sent by Uncle John and attempt to make sense of the hundreds of pages of meticulous notes (some of which aren't genealogy related, but fun to read), and start to piece it together for us.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Military Medals

I was telling Jennifer about being able to request medals or replacement medals for family members from the various branches of service (I've requested ones for my father's service in WWII). The National Archives provides tons of interesting information...

3. How can I get my medals or those of my family?
NPRC (MPR) does not issue service medals; that is a function of each military service department. Nevertheless, veterans may request issuance or replacement of their medals and awards. Family members may only request medals and awards of living veterans by obtaining their signed authorizations. For deceased veterans, requests will be accepted from next-of-kin (unremarried widow or widower, son or daughter, father or mother, brother or sister of the deceased veteran). Military Awards and Decorations contains instructions and addresses for submitting requests. A sample authorization is also included for review.

To request, hit the link below. It looks like to get Oscar's medals, Jim and John will have to request them, as grandchildren are not eligible to request, the way I read the page.

There's also a neat Cold War Certificate that it looks like Jim would be eligible to receive for his service with a written request as well.

Monday, June 25, 2007

The Angel Photos

Those wonder photos of Madge at age 3 have a history. The photo frame that Sami and Jen found does have reprints of the original "Cupid Awake" and "Cupid Asleep". They're quite famous photos--I found a bit about them on the internet.....

"Your pictures are known as "Cupid Awake" and "Cupid Asleep." They picture a real little girl named Josephine Anderson. The original portraits were taken by M.B. Parkinson. The copyright was owned by a large printing company, Taber-Prang Co. of Springfield, Mass. But it was the Ohio Art Co. that made the prints popular across the country. Ohio Art of Bryan, Ohio, was founded in 1908. It began as a manufacturer of metal picture frames (today it's best-known for the Etch A Sketch). To increase sales, the company sold the frames with pictures. Among them were the cupids. Matted and mounted originals in their original frames sell for about [US]$50 to [US]$100 a set"

M.B.Parkinson Little is known about M.B.Parkinson who was a New York photographer in the late 19th and early 20th century. He formed the Parkinson Art Co in the early 20th century, a few years after he had sold the rights for the Cupid Awake & Cupid Asleep to Taber Prang Art Co.Printer :Taber Prang Art Co. Springfield, Massachusetts. Louis Prang (1824-1909)was considered to be the finest chromolithographer of his time and he is credited with creating the original Christmas card. His objective was to offer the great artworks to the masses but in a quality form. He stopped making Christmas cards when they became a cheap commodity in the late 19th century. Ohio Art Company offered Taber Prang $100,000 for the rights to the pictures, but the company refused. In an odd twist, Taber Prang went bankrupt in 1938 and Ohio Art Company bought the rights for $10. It still holds those rights and in the 1940's they released the much larger reproductions that are more commonly seen in Australia. All Taber Prang original prints have the Taber Prang stamp on the pack of the print

Model : Josephine Anderson was the daughter of a friend of M.B Parkinson, a single mother who worked and sometimes left her child in Parkinson's care. Josephine was four when these photos were taken and she continued to model for M.B.Parkinson for many years, some of the photos are in the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. The later prints of Josephine are also very sought after collectables. Josephine died in the 1970s.

Since these photos were shot not long before Madge was born, probably they were the inspiration for the photos we found. I'm guessing that some family member noticed the resemblance between Madge and Josephine, and saw an opportunity to recreate the photos. Kind of cool though huh? If anyone finds out more, please update me.

Where We can Keep Updated

SO, with the photos at least partially now in Kansas-thought the far-flung group would like to know progress on the scanning, sorting and making sense of the boxes and piles.

This will be a spot where I can keep you updated easily on progress, and you can check whenever you like, or nag me to keep updating and posting as we scan and update things.