Nelson’s wife and child

Click here to view it larger.

Click here to view the back.


What it is:

Real photo post card measuring 3.5 x 5.5 inches.


What I know about it:

Photographer is Frank’s, Alma Studio, Ashton-under-Lyne, England.  [UPDATE:  a reader wrote to inform me that this would be Frank Worthington, Alma Studio, Ashton-under-Lyne.]  Written in pen on the back is: Dear Sister and Brother, / This is Nelsons wife and child / So good night and God Bless you all. / From Sister Mary Ellen.



The mother and child look tense, and the presence of a pacifier so ready to hand in the baby’s lap suggests it wasn’t the easiest of sittings.  The inscription on the back is interesting to me.  What relation is Nelson and his family to Mary Ellen and her siblings?  Could Mary Ellen be Nelson’s mother, writing to her bachelor brother and spinster sister, who are sharing a home somewhere?  And there’s something about the “So good night…” that suggests the conclusion of a longer message, making me think this photo may have been included with a letter.  Those are my first impressions from the clues given, and I could easily be completely wrong.

8 comments on “Nelson’s wife and child”

  1. I think the pacifier is hooked on a ribbon attached to the baby’s dress. (I’m not sure why I feel compelled to mention this, but to me it’s an interesting detail.)

    • Hmm, could be. I saw what appears to be a white loop at the end of the pacifier, but it’s hard to tell if it’s attached to anything. Either way, it appears to be a baby who needs pacifying. 🙂

  2. What if Sister Mary Ellen is a nun? And the photo is in reply to a query from a couple in either Sister Mary Ellen’s or Nelson’s congregation…I can’t even begin to guess why there’d be an identifying photo unless it’s to sponsor a war widow or to adopt a child…what if this is Sister Mary Ellen’s proof that this woman and child are….what…worthy or hale or…
    What if this woman isn’t married to Nelson, and the code at the Church’s home for unwed mothers is to call the women So and So’s wife? Maybe Brother and Sister are the young mother’s parents, who are waiting to bring her and the baby after the faux husband is tragically faux killed in a faux accident. Poor faux widow.
    I doubt it. Photos were too expensive for shenanigans. Brother and Sister are likely either Mary Ellen’s brother and sister-in-law, or sister and brother-in-law.
    But the rest of my wild conjectures were fun.

  3. That baby wants to bawl soooooo bad.

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