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Sorry for the absence. New job and a new house have eaten up a lot of time. Anyway, I still don’t know who the little girl is, and the little boy just adds to the mystery. I thought that maybe he was wearing a Boy Scouts uniform, but from looking around in the web I’ve ruled that out. Could this just be some sort’a childhood fashion? 

Sorry for the absence. New job and a new house have eaten up a lot of time. Anyway, I still don’t know who the little girl is, and the little boy just adds to the mystery. I thought that maybe he was wearing a Boy Scouts uniform, but from looking around in the web I’ve ruled that out. Could this just be some sort’a childhood fashion? 

Still trying to work out the identity of this kid. The photo was most likely snapped in Detroit near the end of the 1940s and is probably one of my distant cousins.

Still trying to work out the identity of this kid. The photo was most likely snapped in Detroit near the end of the 1940s and is probably one of my distant cousins.

A beach shot of my Grandma Gen, that part is easy. As for the location and which kid, well that isn’t as clear. My Dad can’t tell if this is him or his older brother Robert. His guess, which makes sense, is that this was his brother since there is only one kid around in the shot. That would mean this was most likely taken during the summer of 1940. 
As for the location, that too is a mystery. The family would take their summer vacations to a quiet beach in Western Michigan. Obviously, this is not a quiet place. I thought maybe Chicago, but you would be able to see some part of the city from this angle (based on the sun and that snow fence). So Chicago is out. Maybe it was near Detroit. You could probably get this angle from a beach on Belle Isle where downtown wouldn’t be in the background. 

A beach shot of my Grandma Gen, that part is easy. As for the location and which kid, well that isn’t as clear. My Dad can’t tell if this is him or his older brother Robert. His guess, which makes sense, is that this was his brother since there is only one kid around in the shot. That would mean this was most likely taken during the summer of 1940. 

As for the location, that too is a mystery. The family would take their summer vacations to a quiet beach in Western Michigan. Obviously, this is not a quiet place. I thought maybe Chicago, but you would be able to see some part of the city from this angle (based on the sun and that snow fence). So Chicago is out. Maybe it was near Detroit. You could probably get this angle from a beach on Belle Isle where downtown wouldn’t be in the background. 

My Uncle Bob on what appears to be his 2nd birthday, which would make this July 1, 1940. The use of two dinner candles instead of the standard small cake candles is interesting. It makes me wonder why they did that. Maybe small candles were hard to come by back then, or maybe it had something to do with the Great Depression. I don’t really know. 

My Uncle Bob on what appears to be his 2nd birthday, which would make this July 1, 1940. The use of two dinner candles instead of the standard small cake candles is interesting. It makes me wonder why they did that. Maybe small candles were hard to come by back then, or maybe it had something to do with the Great Depression. I don’t really know. 

That’s my Grandma Gen with my Uncle Bob on her knee in the first photo. Both were shot at Queen of Angels school in Chicago, and guessing from my Uncle’s age I would place this about 1944. Looking at that flower headdress my Uncle has on I’m going to guess that this was some sort’a Spring show. The only other bit of info I have is the name of the woman behind my Grandma. She was Fran Spata and according to my Dad her family lived around the corner from them on W. Windsor Ave. 

My Dad, Grandma Gen, and Aunt Marion on the steps of the Maxwell St. house in Detroit. They most likely took a train up from Chicago to visit her parents. Seeing how young my Aunt is would place this shot as late Spring or early Summer of 1948. Maybe this was a trip up for my Grandma’s birthday in June. After showing this to my Aunt she said she believes that she still has that doll in a box somewhere. Also, those were quite the socks and shoes my Dad was wearing.

My Dad, Grandma Gen, and Aunt Marion on the steps of the Maxwell St. house in Detroit. They most likely took a train up from Chicago to visit her parents. Seeing how young my Aunt is would place this shot as late Spring or early Summer of 1948. Maybe this was a trip up for my Grandma’s birthday in June. After showing this to my Aunt she said she believes that she still has that doll in a box somewhere. Also, those were quite the socks and shoes my Dad was wearing.

I’m phoning this one in with a reblog of an older Easter post.

Happy Easter:

Happy Easter from 1946. 

Unfortunately the shots were a bit overexposed so I did what I could with them. The older child was my Uncle Bob and the younger boy is my Dad. The two street shots were taken on Hamilton Ave. in Chicago and appear to have been taken from this spot which is along the side of their apartment building. Both buildings in the photo are still there but that cool looking old street lamp is long gone. Also, the street is now one way (opposite direction from the parked car). The last shot was taken on the back porch of their apartment. Whichever camera they were using must have had a self timer which allowed them to snap that family photo of them in their Easter best. 

These four go together, and even have something written on the back, yet they remain a complete mystery. These shots were at one time glued down to a scrapbook and then removed. Unfortunately, some of the words are covered by remnants of the black scrapbook paper (which is impossible to remove without damaging the image). For all I know these folks could be old relations of mine, yet off hand I don’t recognize any of them. I do have one clue and that is the little girl. She is named Cecilia and she shows up in one other photo (that doesn’t appear to be from this set because of size and no glue residue). She was from a Polish immigrant community in Hornsbyville, VA, a town that no longer exists. 

The first thing that struck me about this photo was that house. It appears to be a log farm house with a thatch roof. So right off the bat I think it’s safe to say this isn’t Detroit or Chicago. As for a location it sure feels like it could be in rural Poland.
On the back is the notation Kasia Renick Lapinski Nov. 24, 1937. I believe this is my Grandpa Pete Kownacki’s sister Katie. Kasia translated is Katie, so that makes sense, and her age in the photo also falls in line. We don’t know the name of her husband but my Dad remembers him speaking with a heavy accent. (The name Renick is also a mystery.) So, a guess would be that this photo was taken on a trip back to Poland to give Katie a change to meet his family. 

The first thing that struck me about this photo was that house. It appears to be a log farm house with a thatch roof. So right off the bat I think it’s safe to say this isn’t Detroit or Chicago. As for a location it sure feels like it could be in rural Poland.

On the back is the notation Kasia Renick Lapinski Nov. 24, 1937. I believe this is my Grandpa Pete Kownacki’s sister Katie. Kasia translated is Katie, so that makes sense, and her age in the photo also falls in line. We don’t know the name of her husband but my Dad remembers him speaking with a heavy accent. (The name Renick is also a mystery.) So, a guess would be that this photo was taken on a trip back to Poland to give Katie a change to meet his family. 

A torn photo of my Grandma Gen sometime in the early 1920s. I can’t tell exactly when, or how old she was, but my guess is that she was in her late teens or very early twenties at the most. And being she was born in 1906, well, you can do the math. As for the location I’m not sure. I don’t recognize the background, but behind that shed looks like a typical early 20th Century garage. So most likely this was either in Detroit or Hamtramck. 

A torn photo of my Grandma Gen sometime in the early 1920s. I can’t tell exactly when, or how old she was, but my guess is that she was in her late teens or very early twenties at the most. And being she was born in 1906, well, you can do the math. As for the location I’m not sure. I don’t recognize the background, but behind that shed looks like a typical early 20th Century garage. So most likely this was either in Detroit or Hamtramck. 

Anonymous said: Hi - I was surfing the Internet and came across your page. I have some information on the sailing history of John A. Zabowski that may be of interest to you. I have a list of his position and a number of Pittsburgh boats that he worked on between 1943 - 1968. Regards, Russ

Hi Russ, 

Absolutely! I would love to see what you have. Feel free to use my email at FPKownacki@aol.com and we can chat from there. 

Thanks, Frank

After a bit of back and forth my family and I think this might be my Great Grandma Frances Zabowski’s twin sister Olesia. Now my knowledge of this side of the family gets a bit thin at this part. I think her maiden name (my Great Great Grandparents name) was Koscieszi. And, according to what I can find, her married name was Zepnikowski. Thats about all I know, other than I think they lived in Eastern PA. 
As for the location it’s most likely Detroit during the 1930s, and a guess would be that the two younger women are daughters. It also looks like they were dressed up, maybe for a special occasion or mass. The white gloves is a good tip off. 

After a bit of back and forth my family and I think this might be my Great Grandma Frances Zabowski’s twin sister Olesia. Now my knowledge of this side of the family gets a bit thin at this part. I think her maiden name (my Great Great Grandparents name) was Koscieszi. And, according to what I can find, her married name was Zepnikowski. Thats about all I know, other than I think they lived in Eastern PA. 

As for the location it’s most likely Detroit during the 1930s, and a guess would be that the two younger women are daughters. It also looks like they were dressed up, maybe for a special occasion or mass. The white gloves is a good tip off. 

I had overlooked this photo since I first found it, and it wasn’t until recently that I figured out that the older boy is my Grandpa Piotr (Peter) Kownacki. On the back of the photo someone wrote “11 yrs” and then in a different hand (most likely my Grandma) there is “Alex 2 yrs, Katie 4 yrs, and Peter 11 yrs.” Also, after I scanned it, I noticed in the lower left that someone had written their names on the print. The ink had long since faded and it wasn’t until I could increase the size did I find this little notation. 
My Grandpa was born in December of 1909, so that makes this summer of 1919, and I would imagine somewhere in Milwaukee. I’ve found some old Milwaukee addresses for them close to the now Historic Mitchell Street area. So that would be a good guess as to the location. I love shots like this because you get glimpses of daily life. No nicely trimmed grass but rough sod lots for a lawn. Plus, the clapboard house with shutters and a little fenced in yard. Most of which is probably long gone and since replaced with I-94. 

I had overlooked this photo since I first found it, and it wasn’t until recently that I figured out that the older boy is my Grandpa Piotr (Peter) Kownacki. On the back of the photo someone wrote “11 yrs” and then in a different hand (most likely my Grandma) there is “Alex 2 yrs, Katie 4 yrs, and Peter 11 yrs.” Also, after I scanned it, I noticed in the lower left that someone had written their names on the print. The ink had long since faded and it wasn’t until I could increase the size did I find this little notation. 

My Grandpa was born in December of 1909, so that makes this summer of 1919, and I would imagine somewhere in Milwaukee. I’ve found some old Milwaukee addresses for them close to the now Historic Mitchell Street area. So that would be a good guess as to the location. I love shots like this because you get glimpses of daily life. No nicely trimmed grass but rough sod lots for a lawn. Plus, the clapboard house with shutters and a little fenced in yard. Most of which is probably long gone and since replaced with I-94. 

This is a wallet sized print that was stuck amongst the photos my Grandma had taken. Obviously it’s a studio portrait that she wouldn’t have shot, and I would say it was taken sometime in the late 1920s or very early 1930s. Unfortunately she didn’t write down the name of the person on the back, and none of my relations recognize her. 
With this being a nameless individual a thought occurred to me. Chances are good that someone living today is related to this woman, and may even be a direct descendant. There is also a good chance that this living relation has never seen this photo. And since I can’t tag this post with her name, they most likely never will. 
That’s kind of a bummer. 

This is a wallet sized print that was stuck amongst the photos my Grandma had taken. Obviously it’s a studio portrait that she wouldn’t have shot, and I would say it was taken sometime in the late 1920s or very early 1930s. Unfortunately she didn’t write down the name of the person on the back, and none of my relations recognize her. 

With this being a nameless individual a thought occurred to me. Chances are good that someone living today is related to this woman, and may even be a direct descendant. There is also a good chance that this living relation has never seen this photo. And since I can’t tag this post with her name, they most likely never will. 

That’s kind of a bummer. 

I’ve asked around and no one recognizes these kids. The poor quality of the print doesn’t help matters, but being it is so poor makes me think that my Grandma kept it because it was somewhat rare to have a shot of them. Meaning that they might not be folks that she saw with any regularity. If they were immediate family the initial reaction would be to toss the print because it would be easy to get another shot. There is also a wood planked walkway on the left. That wouldn’t have been that common in Detroit or Chicago during this time period. So, maybe these are distant cousins that lived on a farm or the like. I know my family had connections to a Polish settlement in Virginia. As a matter of fact the girl on the left could be Cecilia from this shot. So, maybe that’s what I’m looking at.
One other thing strikes me about this shot. That would be the dresses the girls are wearing. They have a distinct Great Depression feel to them. They were obviously made from the some fabric. A common practice, albeit a more rural one, was to use flour or animal feed sacks as raw material for kids clothing. It was so common during the Dirty 30s that companies started to make sacks with patterns that little girls wouldn’t mind wearing. While these dresses don’t have a pattern that I’ve seen before they still have that look to them. If they are from sacks it would back up my theory of this being distant relations that lived on a farm. It really makes me wish I knew the background of this shot. 

I’ve asked around and no one recognizes these kids. The poor quality of the print doesn’t help matters, but being it is so poor makes me think that my Grandma kept it because it was somewhat rare to have a shot of them. Meaning that they might not be folks that she saw with any regularity. If they were immediate family the initial reaction would be to toss the print because it would be easy to get another shot. There is also a wood planked walkway on the left. That wouldn’t have been that common in Detroit or Chicago during this time period. So, maybe these are distant cousins that lived on a farm or the like. I know my family had connections to a Polish settlement in Virginia. As a matter of fact the girl on the left could be Cecilia from this shot. So, maybe that’s what I’m looking at.

One other thing strikes me about this shot. That would be the dresses the girls are wearing. They have a distinct Great Depression feel to them. They were obviously made from the some fabric. A common practice, albeit a more rural one, was to use flour or animal feed sacks as raw material for kids clothing. It was so common during the Dirty 30s that companies started to make sacks with patterns that little girls wouldn’t mind wearing. While these dresses don’t have a pattern that I’ve seen before they still have that look to them. If they are from sacks it would back up my theory of this being distant relations that lived on a farm. It really makes me wish I knew the background of this shot. 

Sorry for the absence. New job and a new house have eaten up a lot of time. Anyway, I still don’t know who the little girl is, and the little boy just adds to the mystery. I thought that maybe he was wearing a Boy Scouts uniform, but from looking around in the web I’ve ruled that out. Could this just be some sort’a childhood fashion? 

Sorry for the absence. New job and a new house have eaten up a lot of time. Anyway, I still don’t know who the little girl is, and the little boy just adds to the mystery. I thought that maybe he was wearing a Boy Scouts uniform, but from looking around in the web I’ve ruled that out. Could this just be some sort’a childhood fashion? 

Still trying to work out the identity of this kid. The photo was most likely snapped in Detroit near the end of the 1940s and is probably one of my distant cousins.

Still trying to work out the identity of this kid. The photo was most likely snapped in Detroit near the end of the 1940s and is probably one of my distant cousins.

A beach shot of my Grandma Gen, that part is easy. As for the location and which kid, well that isn’t as clear. My Dad can’t tell if this is him or his older brother Robert. His guess, which makes sense, is that this was his brother since there is only one kid around in the shot. That would mean this was most likely taken during the summer of 1940. 
As for the location, that too is a mystery. The family would take their summer vacations to a quiet beach in Western Michigan. Obviously, this is not a quiet place. I thought maybe Chicago, but you would be able to see some part of the city from this angle (based on the sun and that snow fence). So Chicago is out. Maybe it was near Detroit. You could probably get this angle from a beach on Belle Isle where downtown wouldn’t be in the background. 

A beach shot of my Grandma Gen, that part is easy. As for the location and which kid, well that isn’t as clear. My Dad can’t tell if this is him or his older brother Robert. His guess, which makes sense, is that this was his brother since there is only one kid around in the shot. That would mean this was most likely taken during the summer of 1940. 

As for the location, that too is a mystery. The family would take their summer vacations to a quiet beach in Western Michigan. Obviously, this is not a quiet place. I thought maybe Chicago, but you would be able to see some part of the city from this angle (based on the sun and that snow fence). So Chicago is out. Maybe it was near Detroit. You could probably get this angle from a beach on Belle Isle where downtown wouldn’t be in the background. 

My Uncle Bob on what appears to be his 2nd birthday, which would make this July 1, 1940. The use of two dinner candles instead of the standard small cake candles is interesting. It makes me wonder why they did that. Maybe small candles were hard to come by back then, or maybe it had something to do with the Great Depression. I don’t really know. 

My Uncle Bob on what appears to be his 2nd birthday, which would make this July 1, 1940. The use of two dinner candles instead of the standard small cake candles is interesting. It makes me wonder why they did that. Maybe small candles were hard to come by back then, or maybe it had something to do with the Great Depression. I don’t really know. 

That’s my Grandma Gen with my Uncle Bob on her knee in the first photo. Both were shot at Queen of Angels school in Chicago, and guessing from my Uncle’s age I would place this about 1944. Looking at that flower headdress my Uncle has on I’m going to guess that this was some sort’a Spring show. The only other bit of info I have is the name of the woman behind my Grandma. She was Fran Spata and according to my Dad her family lived around the corner from them on W. Windsor Ave. 

My Dad, Grandma Gen, and Aunt Marion on the steps of the Maxwell St. house in Detroit. They most likely took a train up from Chicago to visit her parents. Seeing how young my Aunt is would place this shot as late Spring or early Summer of 1948. Maybe this was a trip up for my Grandma’s birthday in June. After showing this to my Aunt she said she believes that she still has that doll in a box somewhere. Also, those were quite the socks and shoes my Dad was wearing.

My Dad, Grandma Gen, and Aunt Marion on the steps of the Maxwell St. house in Detroit. They most likely took a train up from Chicago to visit her parents. Seeing how young my Aunt is would place this shot as late Spring or early Summer of 1948. Maybe this was a trip up for my Grandma’s birthday in June. After showing this to my Aunt she said she believes that she still has that doll in a box somewhere. Also, those were quite the socks and shoes my Dad was wearing.

I’m phoning this one in with a reblog of an older Easter post.

Happy Easter:

Happy Easter from 1946. 

Unfortunately the shots were a bit overexposed so I did what I could with them. The older child was my Uncle Bob and the younger boy is my Dad. The two street shots were taken on Hamilton Ave. in Chicago and appear to have been taken from this spot which is along the side of their apartment building. Both buildings in the photo are still there but that cool looking old street lamp is long gone. Also, the street is now one way (opposite direction from the parked car). The last shot was taken on the back porch of their apartment. Whichever camera they were using must have had a self timer which allowed them to snap that family photo of them in their Easter best. 

These four go together, and even have something written on the back, yet they remain a complete mystery. These shots were at one time glued down to a scrapbook and then removed. Unfortunately, some of the words are covered by remnants of the black scrapbook paper (which is impossible to remove without damaging the image). For all I know these folks could be old relations of mine, yet off hand I don’t recognize any of them. I do have one clue and that is the little girl. She is named Cecilia and she shows up in one other photo (that doesn’t appear to be from this set because of size and no glue residue). She was from a Polish immigrant community in Hornsbyville, VA, a town that no longer exists. 

The first thing that struck me about this photo was that house. It appears to be a log farm house with a thatch roof. So right off the bat I think it’s safe to say this isn’t Detroit or Chicago. As for a location it sure feels like it could be in rural Poland.
On the back is the notation Kasia Renick Lapinski Nov. 24, 1937. I believe this is my Grandpa Pete Kownacki’s sister Katie. Kasia translated is Katie, so that makes sense, and her age in the photo also falls in line. We don’t know the name of her husband but my Dad remembers him speaking with a heavy accent. (The name Renick is also a mystery.) So, a guess would be that this photo was taken on a trip back to Poland to give Katie a change to meet his family. 

The first thing that struck me about this photo was that house. It appears to be a log farm house with a thatch roof. So right off the bat I think it’s safe to say this isn’t Detroit or Chicago. As for a location it sure feels like it could be in rural Poland.

On the back is the notation Kasia Renick Lapinski Nov. 24, 1937. I believe this is my Grandpa Pete Kownacki’s sister Katie. Kasia translated is Katie, so that makes sense, and her age in the photo also falls in line. We don’t know the name of her husband but my Dad remembers him speaking with a heavy accent. (The name Renick is also a mystery.) So, a guess would be that this photo was taken on a trip back to Poland to give Katie a change to meet his family. 

A torn photo of my Grandma Gen sometime in the early 1920s. I can’t tell exactly when, or how old she was, but my guess is that she was in her late teens or very early twenties at the most. And being she was born in 1906, well, you can do the math. As for the location I’m not sure. I don’t recognize the background, but behind that shed looks like a typical early 20th Century garage. So most likely this was either in Detroit or Hamtramck. 

A torn photo of my Grandma Gen sometime in the early 1920s. I can’t tell exactly when, or how old she was, but my guess is that she was in her late teens or very early twenties at the most. And being she was born in 1906, well, you can do the math. As for the location I’m not sure. I don’t recognize the background, but behind that shed looks like a typical early 20th Century garage. So most likely this was either in Detroit or Hamtramck. 

Anonymous said: Hi - I was surfing the Internet and came across your page. I have some information on the sailing history of John A. Zabowski that may be of interest to you. I have a list of his position and a number of Pittsburgh boats that he worked on between 1943 - 1968. Regards, Russ

Hi Russ, 

Absolutely! I would love to see what you have. Feel free to use my email at FPKownacki@aol.com and we can chat from there. 

Thanks, Frank

After a bit of back and forth my family and I think this might be my Great Grandma Frances Zabowski’s twin sister Olesia. Now my knowledge of this side of the family gets a bit thin at this part. I think her maiden name (my Great Great Grandparents name) was Koscieszi. And, according to what I can find, her married name was Zepnikowski. Thats about all I know, other than I think they lived in Eastern PA. 
As for the location it’s most likely Detroit during the 1930s, and a guess would be that the two younger women are daughters. It also looks like they were dressed up, maybe for a special occasion or mass. The white gloves is a good tip off. 

After a bit of back and forth my family and I think this might be my Great Grandma Frances Zabowski’s twin sister Olesia. Now my knowledge of this side of the family gets a bit thin at this part. I think her maiden name (my Great Great Grandparents name) was Koscieszi. And, according to what I can find, her married name was Zepnikowski. Thats about all I know, other than I think they lived in Eastern PA. 

As for the location it’s most likely Detroit during the 1930s, and a guess would be that the two younger women are daughters. It also looks like they were dressed up, maybe for a special occasion or mass. The white gloves is a good tip off. 

I had overlooked this photo since I first found it, and it wasn’t until recently that I figured out that the older boy is my Grandpa Piotr (Peter) Kownacki. On the back of the photo someone wrote “11 yrs” and then in a different hand (most likely my Grandma) there is “Alex 2 yrs, Katie 4 yrs, and Peter 11 yrs.” Also, after I scanned it, I noticed in the lower left that someone had written their names on the print. The ink had long since faded and it wasn’t until I could increase the size did I find this little notation. 
My Grandpa was born in December of 1909, so that makes this summer of 1919, and I would imagine somewhere in Milwaukee. I’ve found some old Milwaukee addresses for them close to the now Historic Mitchell Street area. So that would be a good guess as to the location. I love shots like this because you get glimpses of daily life. No nicely trimmed grass but rough sod lots for a lawn. Plus, the clapboard house with shutters and a little fenced in yard. Most of which is probably long gone and since replaced with I-94. 

I had overlooked this photo since I first found it, and it wasn’t until recently that I figured out that the older boy is my Grandpa Piotr (Peter) Kownacki. On the back of the photo someone wrote “11 yrs” and then in a different hand (most likely my Grandma) there is “Alex 2 yrs, Katie 4 yrs, and Peter 11 yrs.” Also, after I scanned it, I noticed in the lower left that someone had written their names on the print. The ink had long since faded and it wasn’t until I could increase the size did I find this little notation. 

My Grandpa was born in December of 1909, so that makes this summer of 1919, and I would imagine somewhere in Milwaukee. I’ve found some old Milwaukee addresses for them close to the now Historic Mitchell Street area. So that would be a good guess as to the location. I love shots like this because you get glimpses of daily life. No nicely trimmed grass but rough sod lots for a lawn. Plus, the clapboard house with shutters and a little fenced in yard. Most of which is probably long gone and since replaced with I-94. 

This is a wallet sized print that was stuck amongst the photos my Grandma had taken. Obviously it’s a studio portrait that she wouldn’t have shot, and I would say it was taken sometime in the late 1920s or very early 1930s. Unfortunately she didn’t write down the name of the person on the back, and none of my relations recognize her. 
With this being a nameless individual a thought occurred to me. Chances are good that someone living today is related to this woman, and may even be a direct descendant. There is also a good chance that this living relation has never seen this photo. And since I can’t tag this post with her name, they most likely never will. 
That’s kind of a bummer. 

This is a wallet sized print that was stuck amongst the photos my Grandma had taken. Obviously it’s a studio portrait that she wouldn’t have shot, and I would say it was taken sometime in the late 1920s or very early 1930s. Unfortunately she didn’t write down the name of the person on the back, and none of my relations recognize her. 

With this being a nameless individual a thought occurred to me. Chances are good that someone living today is related to this woman, and may even be a direct descendant. There is also a good chance that this living relation has never seen this photo. And since I can’t tag this post with her name, they most likely never will. 

That’s kind of a bummer. 

I’ve asked around and no one recognizes these kids. The poor quality of the print doesn’t help matters, but being it is so poor makes me think that my Grandma kept it because it was somewhat rare to have a shot of them. Meaning that they might not be folks that she saw with any regularity. If they were immediate family the initial reaction would be to toss the print because it would be easy to get another shot. There is also a wood planked walkway on the left. That wouldn’t have been that common in Detroit or Chicago during this time period. So, maybe these are distant cousins that lived on a farm or the like. I know my family had connections to a Polish settlement in Virginia. As a matter of fact the girl on the left could be Cecilia from this shot. So, maybe that’s what I’m looking at.
One other thing strikes me about this shot. That would be the dresses the girls are wearing. They have a distinct Great Depression feel to them. They were obviously made from the some fabric. A common practice, albeit a more rural one, was to use flour or animal feed sacks as raw material for kids clothing. It was so common during the Dirty 30s that companies started to make sacks with patterns that little girls wouldn’t mind wearing. While these dresses don’t have a pattern that I’ve seen before they still have that look to them. If they are from sacks it would back up my theory of this being distant relations that lived on a farm. It really makes me wish I knew the background of this shot. 

I’ve asked around and no one recognizes these kids. The poor quality of the print doesn’t help matters, but being it is so poor makes me think that my Grandma kept it because it was somewhat rare to have a shot of them. Meaning that they might not be folks that she saw with any regularity. If they were immediate family the initial reaction would be to toss the print because it would be easy to get another shot. There is also a wood planked walkway on the left. That wouldn’t have been that common in Detroit or Chicago during this time period. So, maybe these are distant cousins that lived on a farm or the like. I know my family had connections to a Polish settlement in Virginia. As a matter of fact the girl on the left could be Cecilia from this shot. So, maybe that’s what I’m looking at.

One other thing strikes me about this shot. That would be the dresses the girls are wearing. They have a distinct Great Depression feel to them. They were obviously made from the some fabric. A common practice, albeit a more rural one, was to use flour or animal feed sacks as raw material for kids clothing. It was so common during the Dirty 30s that companies started to make sacks with patterns that little girls wouldn’t mind wearing. While these dresses don’t have a pattern that I’ve seen before they still have that look to them. If they are from sacks it would back up my theory of this being distant relations that lived on a farm. It really makes me wish I knew the background of this shot. 

About:

My Grandma Gen Kownacki, nee Zabowski, died in 2002. Shortly after her death I helped my father clean out her house and I came across hundreds of old photographs. Along with the photos there were plenty of negatives (sadly, I haven't had the chance to scan them). I never knew that she loved photography so much in her youth, though it does help explain why she supported my own interest. This collection of photos starts in the 1920s in Detroit and ends after WWII with her living in Chicago. Some of the images are simply snap shots of friends and relatives. Then there are some that are a little bit more. I hope you enjoy this peek into the past. Frank Kownacki


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