Two young men from Redfield, South Dakota

What it is:

Photo measuring approx. 3.25 x 5 inches.

What I know about it:

Photographer is J. C. Patterson of Redfield, South Dakota.  Otherwise undated and unidentified.


I like this image a lot, but I’ve hesitated to post it because of the damage.  I finally figured what the heck.  The damage is weird, like rust even though it’s on paper, and it has caused discoloration over most of the lower right area.  But you can still see these guys clearly, and they are an interesting pair.  This photo is printed on a card stock that resembles a postcard, and printed on the back is the word “Photonote”.  It seems to be similar to a real photo post card, except that it has none of the regular postcard markings, such as a place for a stamp.  I was unfamiliar with such a thing, and nothing came up on a quickie internet search, so I can’t be sure about it.  More research later, I suppose.  Meanwhile, my brief internet searching did not leave me empty handed, for I learned that Redfield, South Dakota, was involved in a bitter and lawless dispute to seize the county seat, has the oldest extant library in the state (a Carnegie library, no less), and currently calls itself “The Pheasant Capital of the World”.   🙂

9 comments on “Two young men from Redfield, South Dakota”

  1. Damage in an old photo is an enhancer in many cases. One might expect a certain amount of damage over time. Well you posted one where both subjects look completely normal, nothing demonic about them.
    Our photos, the ones of us, will be vintage old photos in the blink of an eye.

    • Thanks, Mike. I agree. Damage to old photos is normal, and in the right frame of mind can add to their beauty. While some people feel damage automatically detracts from the value of a photo, and while I would generally prefer photos in pristine condition, I feel the real value is in the window that a photo offers to a different time and/or place, and as long as the window isn’t completely obscured, then it’s worthwhile. And I chuckled at your comment about our photos being vintage before long. I have already posted a few “vintage” photos on my blog that were taken during my lifetime, and I don’t think I’m THAT old! LOL

  2. Although the definition of “antique” automobile varies from state to state, the Antique Automobile Association defines an antique auto as 45 years old or older. I hate to break this to you, but you fit the definition, barely. And I am well into that category. 🙂

  3. Is the photographer’s name embossed? Is that unusual? I feel like it’s the first time I’ve seen it done this way on a portrait.

  4. I like these two. I’ve spent the morning pondering the combinations they could be. Brothers? Business partners? Cousins? College friends? Lovers? Neighbors? Fellow actors in a play? Flatmates?

    I have to say I *love* damaged photos where a seeming chemical reaction affects the less interesting parts of the photo but leaves intact the faces. Favorite.

    If I had known you are willing to cat sit in Oakland….I’m now totally putting you on the list. 😉

    • Yeah, I was wondering the same thing. To my eyes, they don’t have an obvious family resemblance like brothers, but you never know. Glad you like the damage. I agree that, as damage goes, this one turned out nice, almost looking deliberate. (As for cat sitting, have I found a new calling? LOL)

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