Mystery Photo: Duluth’s Saddest Family

For sale on eBay under the header “RPPC Duluth Minnesota Melancholy Mother with Children Real Photo Postcard c1910” is this photo of a rather unenthusiastic-looking foursome. The postcard is from the Owl Studio in Duluth.

People commonly did not smile in old photos because cameras had long exposure times and it was important to remain still to avoid blurriness, but this group might have taken that too far.

G. E. Sackett is the likely photographer. He ran Owl Studio, which was located at 220 W. Superior St. circa 1913. The identities of the people in the photo are unknown, as is the reason they appear so excessively dour, but a penciled note on the back of the card hints that one subject in the photo might have been disenchanted with the wardrobe.

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