Mystery Photos Posts

Mystery Photos: Wide Awake and Green Dragon Studios

The three gentlemen in the photos above appear to be the same guys in different positions in front of different backgrounds with different cowboy outfits. They also are at two different Duluth photo studios, according to the ink stamps on the back. The first is from the Green Dragon Studio at 18 E. Superior St., and the second is from the Wide Awake Studio at 10 E. Superior St.

Mystery Photo: The Girls

This postcard photo was taken at Arcade studio, 110 W. Superior St. in Downtown Duluth. Based on a few other Arcade photos, the prevailing theory is that the studio was called Penny Arcade until about 1915 and then became simply Arcade, or Arcade Camera Shop/Studio or Arcade Photo Supply Company. Thomas W. Furniss was the proprietor.

Who are “the girls”? Well, that detail might be lost to history.

Mystery Photo: Alice

This special Valentine’s Day Mystery Photo comes from the Duluth Public Library, where it was found in an office after one of the librarians retired. The photo is dated Oct. 28, 1918 and comes with a message of love on the back.

Mystery Photo: Drag Racing on Lake Superior

Allouez Bay in Superior was recently the scene of a stock-car racing event, which might have seemed like a newish idea, but … the undated photo above has a handwritten message on the back that reads: “Taken on Lake Superior. Duluth in distance. Thousands on ice at time of races. A new sport. 24 in. of ice at time.”

Mystery Photo: Carl Thiel Cabinet Card

The identity of the woman in this photo is almost certainly lost to history, but on Perfect Duluth Day it’s always worth trying. What we know about this photo is the photography studio it came from and roughly when it was shot.

Mystery Photo: Children in Front of Depression-era Duluth Home

This old photo, titled “1940 DULUTH Children in Front of Home DEPRESSION ERA Photo (198-N)” popped up on eBay recently.

Mystery Photo: Ekstrom Wedding

Here they are, Berger and Hilda Ekstrom, in their wedding duds. We know their names thanks to the scribbling on the back of the photo. And we know from the cardboard frame that the photographer is Lars Linden, the fiery Swede who had a studio at 1619 W. Superior St. in Duluth. What’s the mystery? Well, everything else. What became of ol’ Berger and Hilda?

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: 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: 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.

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