Photos

Philadelphia Sailor Boy – A Photo Mystery

This time we have a great picture of a cute child in a sailor suit. The card provides lots of clues for us to follow.

boypostcard1

A quick web search for the company listed on the postcard tells us N. Snellenburg & Co. opened a department store on Market Street in Philadelphia in 1889 advertising “a thrifty store for thrifty shoppers”. Here is how the store appeared in 1915:

city

Source: Wikimedia

A visit to our favorite postcard website Playle.com (http://www.playle.com/realphoto/) tells us the AZO stamp block with all 4 corner triangles pointing up was in use from 1904 to 1918

“With best wishes to all” Dollie gives us the boy’s age (6 years) and name, Orin J. Lockwood Jr, a pretty strong indication his father was also Orin J. Lockwood. Dollie is most likely his mother but could also be an older sister or aunt or grandmother or even an unrelated neighbor or family friend.  As a nickname, Dolly/Dollie is not strongly associated with any particular first name, but could be used for any girl or woman.

We love seeing indications of military service in pictures, but that’s not we have in a child this age in this time period. Sailor suits were popular for young boys (with sailor dresses for girls) beginning as early as the 1870s and variations are still seen today. The hairstyle matches the date range of the postcard, with bangs and shorter hair replacing the curls for young boys as seen in the 1800’s.

With names of father and son, a location and date range, it’s off to Ancestry.com to check census records for Pennsylvania in 1900 and 1910.

In the 1910 U.S. census for Philadelphia City, on Twentieth Street, we find Commercial Traveler-Hardware (traveling salesman) Orin J Lockwood, his wife Pauline B, and son Orin J (age 2) all born in Pennsylvania. Widowed mother-in-law Pauline B Springfellow was also living with the family. Since mother and daughter share the same name, perhaps Pauline B Lockwood is using the nickname Dollie.

census

By 1920, the family had moved to Wilks-Barre, Pennsylvania and added daughter Helen A., born about 1918. In 1930, Orin J Lockwood Jr was listed with wife Greta, and was following his father’s profession as a salesman in Binghamton, New York. In the 1949 census, we see their daughter, born in New York about 1936.

Further research shows Orin J Lockwood, our little sailor boy, was born Sept 4 1907, the first child of Orin J Lockwood Sr. and Pauline B Stringfellow. He married Greta Mildred Cornell about 1929 and had a daughter around 1936. Orin died in 1987 and is buried in Prospect Hill Cemetery, Gloversville, New York. Orin’s sister Helen A. Lockwood, born about 1918, married J. Richard Stevens (Richard and his father Jesse were also professional salesmen) and had a son and daughter.

Because the children of Orin and his sister could still be living, they are not mentioned here by name or full birthdate. I have posted the picture and brief family tree on Ancestry.com in hopes of finding one of these children or another family member to accept the postcard.

Submitted by Alice Clark, SBAGS President, president@sbags.org

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