photograph showcase

Photograph Showcase: A Visit With Grandparents

PETERSON, Rulon, Janice, Ronald and Joseph Skeen
1931 – Back, l-r: Rulon Powell Peterson, Joseph Skeen; front l-r: Janice Peterson, Ronald Peterson.
PETERSON, Naomi, Marilyn, Janice, Petrina and Evan Skeen
1931 – Back, l-r: Naomi Skeen holding Marilyn Peterson, Jane Zina Petrina Folkman; Front: Janice Peterson; lying on the ground: Evan Folkman Skeen.

I found these two photos in my Grandmother’s collection.  Rulon and Naomi were the parents of Ronald, Janice, and Marilyn Peterson.  Joseph Skeen and Jane Zina Petrina Folkman were the parents of Naomi and Evan Folkman Skeen.

I am very curious about these groupings.  I wonder who came up with the combinations and what their reasons were?  Either way, I love seeing multi-generational photographs like these.  Such a treasure.


16 thoughts on “Photograph Showcase: A Visit With Grandparents”

  1. I think people like to take photos of several generations of same sex. Like all women and all men. My grandmother, who was born in 1898 loved those photos.

    1. Yes, I have seen that too. These photos are close to representing that but not quite there so I find it puzzling. It really isn’t important, just made me wonder. 🙂

  2. I guess you’ll never know for sure about the groupings. There may even have been other photos, that have been lost, which put them in context.

    1. Maybe so. Or it may be as simple as family needs. Maybe Naomi and Petrina were busy preparing a meal and baby Marilyn was sleeping so Evan took the photo with mostly males. Then later a second photo was taken to include those who were busy when the previous photo was taken? Who knows. I guess it really doesn’t matter, it just struck me as an interesting combination. 😉

      1. You could be right. It’s so hard not to read things into old photos because they are all we have of those people, but the actual circumstances of their taking can be totally mundane and innocuous, and how people look in them can be purely a matter of chance.

  3. These are great photos! They are so evocative of the time period. I like the multi-generational because they also help identify years and ages of other photos!

    1. Yes! In fact, I only knew the year because Marilyn is a baby and was born in January of that year. Thank goodness she was a January baby, no guessing on spring/fall etc.

  4. I think that unless the photographer has a particular preference for how people are to be posed, what tends to happen with photos with children is that the kids gravitate to their favourite relative – and if they are scared of the camera or lights, they will go to the one who makes them feel safest. Als,o as another commenter said, people were frequently grouped by gender… but children rarely counted in past times as a specific gender so some will pose with women and some with men. But – we can’t know, really.

  5. The most important thing is that you can identify everyone in the photo. It is very sad when one has a photo but no names written on the back and nobody in the current generation knows who is who in the photo.

  6. I read your blog & wanted you to know how much I enjoyed it. Rulon Peterson was my mother’s 1st cousin. Lettie Taylor was Mom’s aunt. Mary Jane Taylor Owen was my grandmother. I saw the obit of Lowell Skeen Peterson & knew, just knew! It was the word Herefords.

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