Welcome to children's pictures through the generations. At present it includes pictures taken between the 1850s and the early 2000s. More pictures will be added as time permits.
The first pictures of children, like those of adults, required the subjects to sit still for such long periods that photographers often resorted to devices that held heads in place. It is hard to tell for certain, but such a device may be visible in the picture of Anna Elizabeth Kerlin alongside her neck. No device is visible in the picture of husband-to-be, Enoch Beery Seitz, but I would be very surprised if were allowed to sit for the picture without one. Brief biographies and these and other pictures of Anna and Enoch can be found on my other picture page, Pictures of my ancestors.
Pictures: The picture on the left was copied by a professional photographer from a badly faded ambrotype that appears from its case to have been made in the mid to late 1850s (Anna was born in 1854). The picture has been electronically despeckled and been selectively sharpened. The picture on right was copied by the same professional photographer from an ambrotype in excellent condition that was made in 1856 when Enoch was 10 years old. It was probably made at the same time as pictures of his parents found on another picture page. The picture is in very good shape and received only minor electronic touchups.
Although they take pictures of people of all ages, I suspect professional photographers have been making much of their livelihoods from children's pictures from the very early days. Certainly a majority of the professionally taken pictures that have survived in my family are either of children by themselves or of children with adults. Actually the same is true of family snapshots, although those don't go back as many generations.
The following pair of pictures were made in the 1880s by Mader Bros. Photographers on East Third Street in Greenville, Ohio. The subjects are three sons of Anna Kerlin Seitz and Enoch Beery Seitz. A fourth son died a few months before his fifth birthday and I am not aware of any pictures of him that have survived. Since these and other pictures of the boys were apparently kept by Anna during her lifetime, it is possible that pictures of Clarence were discarded as too painful to keep. These pictures were taken after Anna returned to Greenville to live following the death of her husband in 1883 in Kirksville, Mo., where he was a professor of mathematics at what is now Truman State University.
Raymond Enoch Seitz (left) was born 30 Oct. 1876 in Greenville, Ohio. He died 26 Jan. 1954, in Laredo, Mo. Ray served as an Army captain in World War I and held a variety of jobs before becoming an educator. He retired as principal in the Normandy Consolidated School District of suburban St. Louis. He married Grace McClanahan who was born 23 March 1883, in Harris, Mo., and died August 1980 in Chillicothe, Mo.
William Kerlin Seitz (center)was born 19 Oct. 1879 in Kirksville, Mo.. He died 7 April 1936, in St. Joseph, Mo. After graduating from the state Normal School at Kirksville, Mo., he became an civil engineer, working in various cities before going into business with his brothers. He later became a consulting engineer for several cities. Willie K. married Claudia McBride who died after 1965
Enoch Beery Seitz Jr. was born 26 July1883, in Kirksville, Mo., a few months before his father's death. He died 3 Nov. 1941 in Seattle, Wash. After graduating from the state Normal School in Kirksville, Mo, as had his two older brothers, Enoch became school superintendent in Milan, Mo., where he met his wife, Hazeldean Bolt, who was born 9 Nov. 1886, in Montgomery County, Iowa and died 1 June 1979 in San Antonio, Texas. In 1913, Enoch joined his brothers in the Missouri Valley Construction Co., and ran the company's quarry in Alton, Ill. By the mid 1920s, Enoch was in Chicago as executive director of the U.S. Power Washing Machine Association. He was president of the Frederick Washing Machine Co. (founded by Frederick Maytag) when it failed during the Great Depression. The last several years of his life, he ran an independent insurance agency in Seattle. Pictures: These pictures appear to be of a type called carte de visite although they were made at a time that was past the peak popularity for this type of picture. A carte de visite picture is an albumen print measuring 2-1/4 by 3-3/4 inches mounted to a card measuring 2-1/2 by 4-1/4 inches. These pictures have had some electronic brightening.
|Beatrice Kerlin's picture is similar to the cartes de visite of the Seitz boys, but is a cabinet card (photographic print on 4-1/4 by 6-1/2 inch card). It was taken about 1901. Beatrice is a niece of Anna Kerlin Seitz, being the daughter of Edgar Jefferis Kerlin (1869-1934) and Mary Elizabeth Clapp. Beatrice was born 13 Nov. 1900. The image to the left was cropped from a picture taken by Harrod's Studio, 110 Virginia Ave., Indianapolis, Ind. It has had some electronic brighting and minor touchups.|
|By the 1920s, professionally taken pictures of children had taken on the form we still find today, absent only the use of color film. This picture of Kerlin McCullough Seitz was taken in June 1921 at the studio of William Louis Koehne, 4518 Broadway, Chicago, Ill. Kerlin was born 9 Nov. 1916, in Alton, Ill., the second child and only son of Enoch Beery Seitz Jr. Kerlin died 1 Feb. 1985, in Lakeland, Fla. After graduating from Kirksville State Teachers College in 1939, Kerlin taught junior high courses at Normandy School in suburban St. Louis, a job that his Uncle Ray probably helped him get. That is where Kerlin met his first wife, Martha Elisabeth Tillman, a fellow teacher, who died in 1959. During World War II, he was a Naval aviator, spending much of the time as a flight instructor. After the war, he became a professor of geography at several colleges and universities. He and his second wife, Ethel, retired from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in the early 1980s.|
|The idea of dressing children in special outfits, like young Kerlin Seitz's sailor uniform above, has stayed around for a long time. In these professional pictures taken more than 50 years apart, we have brothers dressed in matching outfits, a common practice when siblings are young although it meets resistance as they grow up.|
To the left are Walter and Andrew Seitz of Huntsville, Ala., sons of Lee and Dorothy Seitz. The picture was taken in 2002. To the right are Robert and Karl Seitz in a picture taken about 1949 at Rembrandt Studio, 27 1/2 N. Pinckney St., Madison, Wis. Robert and Karl are the sons of Kerlin and Martha Seitz.
|Although the methods of achieving the effect may change, certain types of pictures seem to surface generation after generation. For example, these pictures taken nearly 60 years apart both have the background removed and the bottom of the people fading away, although the later one has added a dark halo effect in the background. The picture on the left is cropped from a carte de visite of Enoch and Willie Seitz, taken by Jno. W. Garver located on the Southeast corner of the square in Greenville, Ohio. It was taken in the late 1880s or early 1890s. The picture on the right is of Karl Seitz, taken by an unknown professional photographer, probably in the mid 1940s, perhaps in Kirkwood, Mo., although Madison, Wis., is also possible.|
|This picture of Karl Seitz is in color, but it was not taken in color as I have larger versions in sepia -- I don't think my eyes were ever as blue as they are in the picture. The picture had color added later, a practice that has been around since ambrotypes as can be seen in an 1856 picture of Daniel Seitz found at the top of the page containing pictures of my ancestors. This picture was taken in the mid 1940s by an unknown professional photographer.|
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