Learning to build a nation: students in the new Latvia

On November 18, 1918, Latvia declared independence from the new Soviet government in Russia.  In November of this year, Latvians celebrated the centennial of that event.  Neighboring Lithuania and Estonia will be celebrating the centennial of their own independence in February 2019.  Finland's centennial celebration took place on December 6, 2017. The photo above was... Continue Reading →

Millie at the Juneau Restaurant in Milwaukee (1911)

When I bought this postcard, I assumed the Juneau Restaurant was in Juneau, Alaska.  Naturally, I was wrong.  The restaurant was attached to the Hotel Juneau in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  The hotel was named for city founder Solomon Juneau, a French-Canadian fortune-seeker who arrived in the area in 1818.  (The state capital of Alaska is named... Continue Reading →

Juhan Kukk, State Elder of Estonia, with Finnish Envoy Rudolf Holsti (1923)

This formal portrait has a handwritten inscription on the back: "Rudolf Holsti, Tallinna, 1923, helmikussa."  Tallinn is the capital of Estonia, and helmikussa means February in Finnish. Rudolf Holsti (1881-1945) became one of the founding fathers of the Republic of Finland after that country declared its independence from Soviet Russia in December 1917.  He served... Continue Reading →

Partners

This photograph came from a dealer in Llangefni, Wales, who didn't know where it had originated.  It appears to be a gelatin silver print, mounted on heavy cardboard, and I'd guess it was made around 1900. Although the photo isn't particularly old, the image has a timeless quality.  Nothing about it looks modern or industrial.... Continue Reading →

The piano tuner (Wales)

The young man appearing on this carte-de-visite could be certain everyone would remember his profession.  You might even say he was in tune with the latest trends in advertising and self-promotion.  The one thing he neglected to do was write his name on the back, which is a pity. The CDV was made by James... Continue Reading →

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