Tag Archives: 1920s-1930s

Frozen in time by ‘The Elliotts, Makers of Pictures’

cabinet-the-elliotts

The Elliotts – Austin, TX.

The Elliotts, Makers of Pictures photo studio was owned and operated by a couple, Martyn (1871-1936) and Jane (1871-1955), of 814 Congress in Austin, Texas. Jane, sometimes referred to as Jean or Jeannie on family documents, was a full partner – a rare and uncommon practice at the time!

Martyn and Jane were both 30 when they moved to Austin in 1901, and opened their studio. It remained successful until the Great Depression when Martyn’s increasingly failing health, and the poor economy pushed them to sell the business and negatives to Jensen Studios and Student Publications.

During their years as co-owners they managed to land exclusive contracts with the State of Texas’ legislature and the University of Texas annual where their daughter, Sarah Pelham Elliott, graduated in 1929 with a degree in stenography.

Was this serious looking teen a University of Texas student? Was it Mrs. Elliott he saw behind the camera?

As all good photographers, Jane must have had a knack for making people comfortable in front of the lens. I imagine she must have had to work hard to assuage preconceived notions, and to gain and maintain a successful, professional and personal reputation in an era when women were not expected to own businesses, and especially not in a field traditionally occupied by men.

She should have seen mindsets slowly changing from the 1900s to 1930s, with  women gaining the right to vote in 1920,  around the middle of her career.

And photographs speak for themselves. This nice shot would have made a fine class portrait in the ’20s to mid ’30s.

Source: Sanders and Elliott Family Papers

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A 1930’s Portrait

1930s-portrait-young-man

A high school portrait for the yearbook maybe? This is a 4″ x 6″ on thick paper with a blank back.

Ah, the 30’s…starting with the Great Depression and ending in war…I hope this dapper young gentleman survived those tumultuous times. The 30’s weren’t exactly the best decade to be coming of age.


Showing off the monkey

Showing off the monkey. 1930s-40s snapshot. Private Collection.

Showing off the monkey. 1920s-30s snapshot. Private Collection. Click for larger image.

Was it Family Day on this USS? Here two sailors are happy to show off their pet monkey to a group of civilians, the one on the left distracting it while the one on the right is at a control board’s commands…but to what purpose? Also, I have trouble believing sailors were allowed to have a pet monkey, but it’s looking like that one got a free pass aboard!

The young girl to the right is tired, rubbing her eyes while the lady behind looks like she was in the middle of saying something, maybe about that monkey. The gentleman in suit and boater is the lone soul of the group who caught the photographer in time for the snapshot, and he isn’t shy to smile big.

I’m not familiar with the history of the U.S Navy ships, but going by the man’s suit and detachable collar, and the women’s big flowery hats I’m thinking this was taken in the late 10’s, 20’s, or at the very latest the early 30’s…and I’m only mentioning the 30’s because I have no idea what USS Navy ships looked like then, but to me those canons look like they were going to be used in WW2.

I love how busy this photograph is; everyone seems to have had a good time on board. And the curled tail of the monkey around the sailor’s neck.

Are these two related?

The wife, sailor brother and a far cousin?


Three 1920s studio portraits of adorable Cecil Brown from Topeka, Kansas

You know ‘Freckles’ had to be his nickname, that or ‘Ginger’ ;). This is a cute trio of portraits from the 1920s of young Cecil Brown from Topeka, Kansas. Cecil is not the usual type you’ll find in my collection but I could not resist his portraits. There’s something so loveable about him! He makes me want to smile, and my followers know just how much I love people smiling and laughing on pictures! These portraits taken at different times give off the feeling Cecil was generally of nice temperament.

The first is Cecil in his cap and bowtie, with his signature on the side. On the second he’s laughing, and on the last one he looks a tad older but this could just be my impression. He still has a smile on his face. The town and state are written down on the back of the first one.

These are photobooth size studio portraits. I believe them to be late 20s, early 30s.


The Good Fellows

RPPC. Private Collection.

The dapper gangster look of the 20s-30s. RPPC. Private Collection.

These four gents are wearing the classic suits and hats made iconic by the bad guys of the era. The gentleman to the front right has the perfect looks and demeanor for the style, doesn’t he? He looks like the leader of the pack, and he stands out wearing a light colored suit against his friends’ darker ones. Interesting detail is no one’s holding a smoke in their hand, but they’re all smiling!

RPPC: I haven’t seen this type before. It has a stamp box with S in each corner.


Hand tinted portrait of 1930s era boy

Portrait of boy with the tinted cheeks. Private Collection.

4″ x 6″ 1930s portrait of boy with the tinted cheeks. Private Collection.

A beautiful large cabinet photo portrait of a bright looking boy with freckles. This picture came in a large mat protected by flaps. No photographer logo, unfortunately. I was not expecting to see hand tinted cheeks and lips on a portrait from the 30s but apparently it was still a feature photographers offered. His hair cut with the close cropped sides was very popular in his time, along with the pointy collar.


If you keep on making me laugh, I AM going to fall!

1920s-1930s snapshot. Private Collection.

1920s-1930s snapshot. Private Collection.

A slice of life on a picture! This laughing man is all well dressed in a three-piece with a boutonniere. Perhaps he was at a wedding and this low river bed nearby got more and more tempting as the hot day rolled by. Those stream and river beds are slippery too. With a hand in pocket and the other holding shoes, he left no room for a wrong step..!

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