Friday, October 29, 2010

Family Politics

While scanning and documenting the Swann-Harper photographs, I noticed the button on the lapel of this young man's coat.  His true identity is a mystery, but his political leaning is obvious.  The enlarged portion of the photo reveals the head of Warren G. Harding, the 29th President of the United States (March 4, 1921 - August 2, 1923).  President Harding was a Republican and died in office. 

I have no idea if the identifiers of the photograph had the benefit of viewing both the photos at the same time.  Possibly that is the reason they identified them as two different individuals. 

The two Swann-Harper photos are unmistakably the same person.  One shows a flower with leaf in the lapel and the other shows a Warren G. Harding  Presidential Campaign Button (which helps date the photo on the right).

Is the young man Charles Abney or Will Todd?  Hopefully, one day someone will be able to help determine his identity.  The only thing we know for certain about the photo at this time is when the photo was taken and that the subject was happy on Election Day as his candidate won!

Read more about President Harding here


  1. Excellent of you to think to enlarge the photograph to see the lapel pin. It certainly adds interest about social history and it places the young man in a specific time period.

    I don't think the photographs are of the same young man, though. I was looking at the enlargement and I think the man on the left has deeper-set eyes than the man on the right. I also think their ears are different. Could they be brothers or cousins? I guess that's hard to tell considering that you don't know who he is. Don't you wish they'd written on the backs of photographs! (I do. I have too many unidentified family photographs.)

  2. I was looking more at the hairdo, lips, and noses. Their postures were also very stiff--but credit for that could easily be given to the collars. :-)

    I hope others will give us their thoughts on whether we have one or two people here.