The same two children in the yard, this time with a man

By: usermattw

Jun 24 2019

Tags: ,

Category: Children, Families


Click here to enlarge the top photo.  Click on the other photos to enlarge them.

What it is:

Four photos, each measuring 6.5 x 4.5 inches.


What I know about it:

Undated and unidentified.



I went to my neighborhood bookstore again last night and browsed their jumbled bins of antique photos.  I’m beginning to think they don’t put all their stock out at once, since I keep finding photos that go with ones I previously bought.  I found these four last night, and they obviously belong with the ones I previously posted here.  Honestly, I likely wouldn’t have bought a few of these individually, but I couldn’t resist trying to keep as much of the set together as I could find.  As my reader Günther pointed out in the previous post, the little boy’s sailor tunic has a swastika on it (more easily seen in the previous post), suggesting that these photos were taking in Germany in the 1930s or early 1940s.  I’m debating with myself whether the same man appears in both pictures here, or whether it’s two similar looking men, say the kids’ father and uncle.  As always, without identification, any attempt to determine the relationships between all these people is just guessing.  But I think we can make reasonable assumptions.

UPDATE:  Much discussion with readers has concluded that it is probably not a swastika after all, but a generic naval emblem that happens to resemble one.  This is likely a family in the United States.

17 comments on “The same two children in the yard, this time with a man”

  1. I’d really like to know how these things ended up in a San Francisco bookstore.

    • Probably either somebody moved to the Bay Area from Germany, or was sent these photos from relatives in Germany, and then the photos were sold to the bookstore by an estate dealer. (That’s just one likely option.) Since neither you nor I noticed the swastika until it was pointed out, it’s perfectly likely that an estate dealer rushing to sort an otherwise uninteresting pile of old photos might not have noticed their significance, either.

    • Hmm, well that’s possible, too. I did think the house in the background looked more American than German (based on my limited experience there), and the overall feel of the photos and clothing felt earlier than WWII, though early-’30s made sense to me. Now that I try to see the emblem again, it’s hard to make out clearly.

    • WTF, Günther! Did you get us all riled up for nothing?? 😜

      But it seems weird to put a real Navy insignia on a child’s suit. Usually children’s sailor suits have only generic sea symbols. I suppose it could be a knockoff version of the emblem, but it seems a little odd to me.

      • LOL, it was an interesting path to travel down for a bit, and it did look like a swastika after Günther’s suggestion, so he was hardly the only one who could see it that way. Even a generic naval emblem on a child’s jersey might have included a swastika if came from Germany in the ’30s.

      • (The website won’t let me reply to your last comment, Matt, so I have to reply to my own.) I think that, since my worldview was so rocked last time, that I didn’t want to rock back and was hoping that Günther could be wrong about the Navy thing. But now that I see it on a bigger screen, I see that he’s correct; it’s not a swastika. I’m still curious to see an actual child’s sailor suit with a swastika on it, but I haven’t found one. Incidentally, at the time I wrote the last comment I was wearing a t-shirt my mom gave me that features a cat wearing a sailor suit. It sports a pretty generic anchor.

      • Perhaps they were American fascists? Would that rock your worldview even more? 🙂 But yes, the more I look at it, the more I agree it’s not a swastika. But, like you, I find it interesting to see the variety of interpretations of sailor emblems available for children.

  2. still more nonsense and I beg your pardon: No eagle but a seagull!

  3. see . An eagle sitting on a railing? Looks like some mixture of eagle and seagull 😉

  4. It was not just the better visiblle sleeve symbol which changed my mind. Everything looks American: the house, the smooth business trousers, the white shoes, the children’s rocking chair…

  5. Could it be that there is no meaning at all to the decorations on the outfit – just a designer’s impression of something that looks nautical?

    • Yes, that’s possible, too, though it still might be a clue to the location. For instance, a clothier likely wouldn’t produce an emblem, even a generic one, that too closely resembled that of an enemy nation. It’s too bad we can’t see it just a little more clearly. Of course, who knows, maybe the next time I go to the bookstore they will have put out more.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: