Saturday, June 22, 2013

Sepia Saturday - A Child on a Horse

The Sepia Saturday suggestion for today is a photograph of a man posing horseback while holding a milk can.

Well I looked and I don't seem to have any photograph exactly like that.

And since I don't have anything like that, I decided to take this opportunity to collect together all the LOST GALLERY photographs of a Kid on a Horse that appear to be taken by an assortment of itinerant photographers when that sort of thing was popular, indeed possible. I've been needing to get them all together on their own page anyway.

I have a good friend who had an ancestor who was one of these enterprising photographers. She tells me that they would lead the saddled pony through a neighborhood. When they spotted a child playing in a yard, they would pick it up and put it on the pony. The parents could hardly turn down chance for a professional photograph of the event.

And yes, the practice was called, in the trade, "Kidnapping." There were variations of the system. Some offered free pony rides and free costumes. But the point was the photograph sale.

So here they are, and not a milk can among them.

boy on a horse

Boy on a horse enhanced
Boy on a pony

Horse and baby
Here you can spot the cautious parent crouching behind the horse to make sure the tot does not fall.
Child on a Pony
But not in this one!

Child on Pony
Baby on pony

Girl on a horse
Girl on Pony
Boy on a pony (enhanced)

Cowgirl on a horse
Child on a Pony
Hidden Safety, Crouching Parent
Girl on Pony

Girl on a pony enhanced
Anyone have a carrot?
Another safety minded parent.
boy on horse

Girl on a pony
Boy on horse
This one was finished at a commercial photolab so it probably isn't by an itinerant photographer.
Cowboy outfit
I'm not sure about this one. This might be at a theme park so it might not be a "kidnapping" at all. (It's not a pony either...)

Boy on a pony
Itinerant Photographer
baby on horse
This one is probably not from an itinerant photographer either. Also there's no crouching parent.

Itinerant photographer with pony
Boy on a pony
Small child on a horse

Kid on a pony
This one is probably an itinerant photographer but not a very good one. There's a big parent shadow included.

There's more ...
Here are some related pages about -
Novelty Photobooth
Itinerant Street Photographs
Posing on a Pony with lots of NON itinerant snaps

Saddle up and ride on back to the Sepia Saturday homepage and mosey over to some more results of this week's suggestion.

Most popular photographs most popular, Family Group,
and the most requested photographs in the Lost Gallery.

Area 51 and a Half Area 51 and a Half You are probably not authorized to see these.

Don't take my picture! Oh! You DID didn't you! completely unaware of the photographer This is a collection of photographs that disappear on the way home from the photo processing shop.

And don't miss
Cabinet Card Gallery
One Man's Treasure
Penny Tales
Square America
Tattered and Lost
Vernacular Photography
The best
sites on the web.

And for postcards try

All images are the property of Lost Gallery and the author. Permission must be granted for their use. All rights reserved.

THE KIDS Lesson one. It is always a mystery how a photograph of any of these precious children could end up lost or abandoned. Here are a few. You will probably say "Ooh..." at least once.

Dee and the Business School Dee and the Business School
The beautiful Dee. A curious story; What do you see?

Neiffel and Helvetica Typehigh

"What are they doing?"


  1. What fun! I have a few pictures that look very much the same. A hoot.

  2. Ooh Ooh I'm the first to comment. I laughed and shrieked out loud to my partner to come and look at the crouching parents. How hilarious. These are great great photos. If a photographer came up the street now I simply could not resist. Only I don't have a wee bairn to pop on the pony. I did hire a pony once for my daughter's birthday party down in the local park. It was possibly an unmitigated disaster when said pony encountered a dog on the loose but all good grist for the mill for stories afterwards. You take the prize this week as far as I'm concerned.

  3. It wasn't just itinerant photographers who used these methods. A few years ago I wrote about the very up-market Manhattan studio of Sol Young that resorted to tricks like these to stay afloat during the Depression years. Fantastic selection you have, as always, thank you.

  4. My favourite would be the fifth photo. How cute is that little guy? And well done on the repair job too.


  5. Thanks Joan. There must have been a large number of photographers engaged in this money making scheme. There is an abundant supply of these photographs sought after by collectors everywhere.

    Thanks Alex Daw. Thanks for the compliment and the story! Yes, these are funny photographs. The whole idea is a bit silly really but it caught the imagination of neighborhood kids and photographers alike. I’d think in today’s litigious society the gimmick probably wouldn’t work. I’d shudder to think what would have happened in picture number five if a dog had showed up.

    Thanks Brett Payne. That’s a fine bio on Sol Young that you did. I am sure that photographers often used their ingenuity to stay afloat in those days.

    Thanks Sharon, I think that’s a favorite of mine too. I do worry about those tiny children who have no idea what is going on, being involved in fall of several feet. I suppose everything worked out all right.

  6. For some reason or another the first set of pictures of boys on their horses reminded me of an old TV advert called 'The Milky Bar Kid.'

    A great set of photos.

  7. Thanks Bob Scotney. I must confess that I've never seen that one. But that kind of fits, doesn't it?

  8. They could never get away sith "kidnapping" today. I do wish I had a picture of myself on a pony like those.

  9. Thanks Postcardy. I agree, I don't think it's possible today. I wish I had one too.

  10. Oh, it's a category and you've done a spectacular job. I always buy these shots when I see them, but I have no where the amount you have.

  11. Kidnapping or perhaps it should be 'kidsnapping' - what a great idea.

  12. Thanks Tattered and Lost. I have had them lumped in with just people posing on horseback. There’s a lot of just people posing on horses at farms and riding clubs and such but I wanted to do a page of just the itinerant photographer and the pony.
    Thanks Little Nell. Whatever we call it I’m sure we wouldn’t get away with it today.

  13. Well, you sure have plenty to show for. I think the first one is the best, as the boy looked very sure of himself and wore his costume with such poise. And the angle is not bad.
    I laugh at those over cautious parents!! What if the kid slipped on the other side?!? They would grab empty air, unless they were already grabbing their child by the [hidden] ankle...

  14. Thanks Ticklebear. I like the first one too. That photographer was in business to stay. He had not only invested in a pony but a fine saddle and costume.



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