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Fringe Festival: 1923

Washington, D.C., circa 1923. "Daniel Boone group." When I was a kid I had all their albums. Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative. View full size.

Washington, D.C., circa 1923. "Daniel Boone group." When I was a kid I had all their albums. Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative. View full size.


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Today’s Top 5

Final Fringe Answer

This is one of five associated photos in the Harris & Ewing collection all taken at the same spot. The other four all show the small molding, seen at the lower right in this shot, at the left; to the right is a shelf-type structure that would prevent anyone from standing there. In fact, in the one below, you can see the assistant standing at the left. Therefore, ipso facto, the Daniel Boone group shot is reversed. Or all four of the others are.

[tterrace has solved the mystery! Another clue is that the label on the negative is backward. - Dave]

I've Got It

I've read with great interest the back-and-forth regarding the reversal/non-reversal of the image. I'm surprised that no one has referred to the hand holding the backdrop taut. I can clearly see a wedding band on the ring finger of the hand. Wedding band=left hand. The owner of the hand would be facing the camera to remain as much out of the frame as possible. In an unreversed image, the hand would be the right hand.

I have proved with geometric logic that the strawberries, er, the key, that is, the left hand is part of a reversed image.

Reverse picture or not

I don't know how common left handed rifles were. A larger number would astonish me, though, considering how right-hand-minded people used to be in the western hemisphere.

I would point out the ribbon cross (or whatever it is) sewn to the chest of the gentleman on the left. I feel that such a device would likely be worn on the left side of the chest, over the heart, even if its wearer was a genuine lefty with a left-handed rifle.

I would take that as a sign that the exposure is the other way round.

This is a tough one

Okay, the belts probably mean nothing.

This would be easier if one or more of them was wearing a wedding ring but nooo, we aren't even sure of the relationships here, they might just be friends, or siblings, or Swingers.

I think the young girl has the eyes of the man on the right so he would be my guess for Daddy, whether or not he's the Husband is another story -- maybe he's the brother-in-aw.


Even if you buy into the notion that women wear belts "backward," that wouldn't make any difference here -- the kid is dressed as a boy. Also note that Dan's belt is arranged the same as in the painting.

Just a minute

I know all about girl side/boy side shirt buttons, and I support that. When did belt direction become gender specific? I've been a bouncer for 30 years and I'm left handed; I thread my belt on right to left so I can put my ASP and flashlight holsters on without needing to take my belt all the way off.

The mysterious hand

I think I'll have to agree with those who believe this image has been reversed. The hand we see at the right has the thumb at the top and we are seeing the palm, meaning it is the right hand. But there is a ring on the ring finger. If the photo is reversed the hand would be a left hand with the ring on the appropriate finger for a married person. Not conclusive, I know, but the man's belt buckle would also be correct if we flip the photo; if the boy is really a girl then her belt buckle would also be correct.

The belts are wrong!

If you look at the Fathers belt the buckle pin is pointing to his left side, it should be towards his right side (unless I'm wearing a Woman's belt right now?).

The young girls belt is also reversed if you follow the convention of male vs female clothing being opposite.

Re reversed: Once again, to Dave's rescue, sort of

Here ya go, and it's a Pennsylvania rifle (the Kentucky rifle industry lobbyists were oh so good) made in Lancaster. That is pronounced LANCaster, not LanCASTer, btw, in those parts. For candy trivia buffs and I know you're out there, the founder of Hershey Chocolate, Milton Hershey, began his career in Lancaster making caramels. Had he gone with firearms instead of candy, would his life had been (here it comes) as sweet?

About the hats: I think Walt Disney had as much to do with upping the coonskin cap's profile as anybody (cf. Fess Parker).

No one has mentioned the fotog assistant's hand on the right border. I guess that destroys the illusion of these furred-up folks being out on the frontier, posing on an iceberg.

This is

the most beautiful woman I've ever seen.

My God

That is the most beautiful young woman. My heart is skipping a beat.

RE: Reversed Image?

While I might believe one left-handed rifle, the odds of all three being left-handed are astronomical. It has to be a reversed image.

[They're not very rare, and probably cost less than right-hand ones. Google results for left hand flintlock: 115,000 - Dave]


I agree

With Scottiam. The youngest definitely looks like a girl. There is a lot of hair tucked up under that cap she is wearing.

Is the "son" really a daughter?

On the full-size picture, you can clearly see long hair emerging from the bottom of the cap on the "boy." I've hardly ever seen long hair on males of the early 20th century except for pre-school-age children. Could this be a girl portraying a boy? Or perhaps girls wore boys' clothing in the back woods as a matter of convenience?

Coonskin caps

One of the big misconceptions about D. Boone is that coonskin cap. He hated coonskin caps. Thought they were barbaric. He always sported a wide brimmed fur felt hat. The coonskin was really a Davey Crockett thing, and he wore it mainly for PR.

Authentic Footwear

While the men's footwear seems authentic to the period, the lady's shoes seem downright modern.

BTW, I know it's probably a crime to view the full sized images on anything other than a full sized monitor. However, on my Kindle Fire the full sized images seem to be much clearer with the new display method. I for one embrace the change.

Looks like a young June Lockhart.

As seen here.

Pretty sure this one is reversed

Of course I was pretty sure about the one with the eye charts too and I was wrong. But I agree with the original poster on this one, it has a very high probability of being reversed.

[If it is, those belts are on backward. - Dave]

It looks to me like it is a tossup on the direction of the belts. Look at the metal piece that goes through the holes in the belts one is facing to the right and the other is facing to the left. Girls belt vs boys belt maybe? Kinda like they each button shirts on opposite sides.

I have never seen a flintlock with the hammer and lock on the left side.

Second edit....
Thanks tterrace for solving the image flip issue.

I did a very unscientific survey of several women and they all said that they thread their belts the opposite direction from what a man usually does. One commented that the only time they don't do it that way is if the belt has a design that has a logical top and bottom and by putting it on in the ladies direction would have it be upside down.

Daniel Boone Group

Big Dan could really rock on that powder horn, couldn't he?

Thinking outside the box

She looks a lot like the 1927 Betty Crocker.


Husband, wife, lover and son? Those wilderness families were quite progressive!

The woman of the "group"

is beautiful. With a Mona Lisa smile.

Fashion statements

Apparently Mom refused to partake in the coonskin cap and buckskins, but her daughter had to. There appears to be some long hair tucked under the youngest's cap.

"Mom, this studio

Is like a sauna." Big brother on the left is starting to melt.

Reversed image?

All three long guns have the lock on the LEFT side, either the picture is reversed, or they were expensive, custom made rifles. I wouldn't want to shoot one right-handed.

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