Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Turn it Over! There's Something on the Back! - July 2014

Sometimes there is some writing on the reverse side of a found photograph. Very often, notations on the reverse of these found photographs are obscure or too brief or illegible. Most often there is nothing at all.

But now and then there is a message from the past that sparkles.

Back in March of 2009 LOST GALLERY had a full page of photographs and their very interesting reverse sides. There have been many new additions to the collection since then.

Here is a new group of those photographs with mysterious, funny and sometimes puzzling reverse sides; tiny bits of history, reaching out to us over the decades and sometimes centuries.

Two babies
Two children

On reverse:
Jerry Judy
Barnes Ruby
Logue Studio
Quality Prints
Feb 8 1938
Pine Bluff, Ark.


On Reverse:
Sis & Iva
This is now
Mrs. E. Nevis
Mis Iva Glenn Reid
Caloma, Calif
Stockton Calif

Seven men

(Greatly enhanced) Looks like just a bunch of numbers.

Seven men reverse

The Girls

On the reverse:
Mattie D.
Babyn G.
Florence L.
Kate C.
Artie C.
Hazel P.
Lilia N.
Lorene W.
Frances G.
Maude F
Lila W.
Ada B.
Litha B.

The girls

RPPC Group
RPPC Group

You're pretty much on your own for this one. Here's what I got:
Sentinel Butte N. Dak. 18de
April 1912
Kere Mrs Mattson of Familil.
Ja des favde vares mid ousk on min tanke ogsoa
al besogt dre da jig var i siouxt fallo mendes
bleu ikke alligvel jey var til clowa og besogte mine fordldre
og des tog en hel mooned og sas bleu tiden for kars og sad
mad eg da ofsoo fortelle den nyhed as gig er ingags i
og siskab iggen med en mand bed navn Malkalm
Paulson fra Christine (N. Dak.) ( Christine er en liden by tolved Fa
jeg sender dette Billide al Vennerne Som var i vos Brylly N
som bleu hals i garretson S. D. i Pastof Salems Lyim. Du
Sunes Maask del vas rarl jiggiftel mig iggen, men reg
haar nu fordog at farme allene i 3 aar siden Mr Rogness dode
men des varals for trish. Ker hilsen Sophie Paulson ( mere siden

Family of Five
Family of five

On Reverse:
How do you like
my feet ha-


On Reverse:
Lucile & Ben Burton
50 Wedding anniversary
Clair & Fred Standing at
back and Artie on end
getting ready to pour juice


On the reverse:
Aaron and Mabell
This is a "snapshot
picture of our home. You
cant see any of the
upper story for the trees
was taken at 4:00 o'clock
one Sunday afternoon.

RPPC group

On Reverse:
Mr G. A. Fast.
Fielding Sask.

AZO postcard design used 1904 -1918

RPPC group

Rppc group
RPPC family

On the reverse:
Geo H. Fast & family
Agusta, wife (Marie
Bill, Hester
Leana Art
& Walter
(Killed in Act
World War II

RPPC design in use 1908 - 1911


On the reverse::
This is our home
where we're living
in. its me and onkle
my son and daughter
and you cousin Lizzie
from your aunt -
Emelia Birnbaum

Solio post card design in use 1903 - 1920's


On the reverse:
Alfred Binn
Little Kennety Putnam
Born June 18th 1931
Picture taken June
19th 1932 - Go Harvard
Los Angles


On the reverse:
Taken Aug. 1938
Kennnith will be
8 in June 1939
Robert will be 6 in April 1939

Group of men
RPPC group

Miss Laura Rightman
W. Va.

plus some things that look like algebra.


On Reverse:
Grup of Young People
of F??I?? ??? and ?allan ???

The most popular photographs most popular, Family Group, An album of 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. It always makes the photo more entertaining and human when the flip side has a message. Even when the note was added years later. My favorite photo is the large wedding party dwarfed by the horizon of the Canadian prairie. The best message is the cryptic numbers -- a practice drill of arithmetic or a calculation of hours worked?

    1. Thanks Mike Brubaker. Yes, the Canadian one is a good one. When I enlarged it I saw that all the children sitting in front are shading their eyes. It must have been taken late in the day with the sun directly behind the photographer. That one with the numbers baffles me. I almost missed it and it is still very dim with a lot of enhancement. I can't figure out what it was for.



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