Monday, March 16, 2015

Consider Why Your Ancestor May Have Paid More for a Special Photograph

Digital cameras have made photography so easy and cheap to take hundreds of photos that younger people may not know that it once required a bit of thought and money.

They also may not know that most people, including professional photographers, took black-and-white photos.

Before color film and prints became cheap and easily purchased, photographers offered hand-colored black-and-white prints to make them look like color photos.

No doubt hand-colored prints cost a little more than black-and-white prints.

Beatrice Valara Pierce (1921-1993), who almost everyone called Bea, had this hand-colored print made for her high school graduation in 1938.

Note the diploma scroll in her right hand. She graduated from Wilmer High School in Wilmer, Alabama, after the 11th grade. At the time, high school stopped at that grade, at least for those in the country school..

Inspired by one of her teachers, Bea often repeated her dream of becoming a teacher. But she never pursued the dream.

Clearly, having this photo commemorating her graduation was important to Bea.

Do you have similar family photos in your collection? Have you thought about why they may have been important to your ancestor?
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