I picked out a photo at random, which turns out to be a picture of Amelia and Henry Stoddard having a meal at the dining table. Breakfast I think, since Henry appears to be reading the newspaper, and there is a lot of light streaming in from the outside.
Henry and Amelia Stoddard's dining room
I was looking at the picture, noticing that Amelia didn't look all that happy about having her picture taken, then the chandelier caught my eye ... lovely shaped glass covers... and the bas relief frieze above the fireplace mirror. Traveling around the picture my eyes settled on the chair by the window. Oh! I've seen that chair before!
A couple of days ago Alex's issue of Fine Woodworking came and guess what is on the back cover?
How is that for coincidence? The article is about a student of Boston's North Bennet Street School (known for producing very fine woodworkers) and his reproduction Federal-era heartback chair. The article continues to describe how Steve Brown found the chair in a book, tracked it down to the Philadelphia Museum of Art where he was permitted to take measurements and trace the original. Heartback chairs were popular in Philadelphia around 1800.
You just never can predict where you will find something interesting about your family.
The next photo may the one we will never figure out. Let me know if you have any ideas...
If all else fails, there is a woman, Maureen Taylor, who specializes in identifying old photographs. Maybe I will send it to her to help us figure it out.