Mystery Photos Posts

Mystery Photos: Undeveloped Roll of Film from 2004

Duluth photographer Kip Praslowicz occasionally acquires old point-and-shoot cameras that still have a roll of film in them. In this video he shows off black-and-white images from a Samsung IBEX 3x camera.

Clues in the background of two of the mystery photos indicate the images might be from the Minnesota State High School League Region 7AA Visual Art Festival in early 2004. That’s as much as we know so far.

Mystery Photos: Slideshow Edition

This video displays a “fine set of portraits” that were shot “probably in Duluth, Minn.,” and some others taken “probably in Santa Barbara, Calif.,” circa the 1940s. As a bonus at the end there’s a little advice on clearing snow from the porch.

Mystery Photo #141: Mr. & Mrs. Burchell

From the back of this cabinet card photo we know the subjects are Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Burchell or Burehell, married Aug. 26, 1891. They were also presumably residents of West Duluth. The photo is from the Downtown Duluth studio of John R. Zweifel.

Mystery Photo #140: Fourth of July Gals

All that is known about this photo is the information written on the back. “4th July Celebration in Duluth” gives us a date, along with the vague understanding that it’s from sometime in the early half of the 20th century. And we get the first names of the girls: Bonita (?), Rosemary, Helen, Jerry and Kathryn.

Can anyone figure out more?

Mystery Photo #139: Three Men in Caps

Anyone who wants to delve into the difference between a flat cap and a newsboy cap and a bakerboy cap and on and on can feel free to do so, but the main mysteries we seek to solve are who these three gentlemen might be and whether they were Duluthians.

Mystery Photos #137-138: Mr. and Mrs. Peter Anderson

Someone was kind enough to write the names of these love birds on their photos and keep them together. But who are Mr. and Mrs. Peter Anderson?

Mystery Photos #131-136: The Duluth Polka Dots?

This contact print of photo negatives comes from Ben Marsen, who many years ago acquired a collection of negatives of scenes from around Duluth. (See Mystery Photo #125 for more info on that.)

Marsen doubts he still has the negatives, so we have to squint a bit and work from the contact strip. Who are these musicians?

Mystery Photo #130: Going Some

Going some? Huh? What is that supposed to mean? Seems like a weird name for a fake boat.

The back of this postcard photo indicates it was shot at the Owl Studio, 10 E. Superior. St., next to Duluth’s Empress Theatre. Estimated year: 1912.

Mystery Photo #129: Trolley Car and Conductors

This undated postcard photo of two conductors standing next to a trolley car comes with a few details. The trolley car has a destination sign that reads: “W. Dul. & Aerial Bridge.” And the word “Duluth” is handwritten on the back of the card.

Mystery Photo #128: Duluth Residence in 1910

Based on the postmark and the last line of the scrawled message on the back, we might presume this image is of a Duluth house in 1910. What is the address? Is it still standing? Let the mystery solving begin.

Mystery Photo #127: Miss Victoria Benson

Often we don’t know who is the subject of these old studio photos, but this time it’s written on the back. So we know this is Marie Victoria Benson of 2801 W. Second St. in Duluth’s friendly West End. (Or is it 2301?) She later became Mrs. Edward Cluett.

Mystery Photo #126: Twin ‘Tin Man’ Water Towers

The harbor looks busy in this vintage photo for sale at the Superior Salvation Army

I found this framed photo with an unusual view of the Duluth Harbor and Aerial Lift Bridge at the Superior Salvation Army last weekend. It’s signed by Tim Slattery.

Lots of questions about this picture: Was the photo taken from a structure or from an airplane? Can anyone identify the three (!) ships in the port? What jumped out to me were the twin “tin man” water towers on the hill above the bridge. Where were they located and when were they taken down?

Mystery Photo #125: A&E Supply

Back when he was a student at East High School, Ben Marsen acquired a collection of photo negatives of scenes from around Duluth. The one above appears to have been shot on the 200 block of West Michigan Street, maybe where the rear entrances to R.T. Quinlan’s Saloon and Minnesota Surplus are located today — the proper addresses being 220 and 218 W. Superior St.

Mystery Photo #124: Owl Studio

The back of this postcard photo indicates it was shot at the Owl Studio, 10 E. Superior. St., next to Duluth’s Empress Theatre. It’s the same address as the Wide Awake Studio, which was featured in a previous Mystery Photo.

Mystery Photo #123: Duluth Public Library Reading Room

At one time for sale on Amazon, but now marked “currently unavailable,” is this photo labeled “Reading Room, Duluth Public Library, 1890-1930, Minnesota, MN, Chairs, People, Books.”

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