For some unknown reason I have always been fascinated by group pictures such as shown in my revised header above and a larger copy here. I love looking at each individual face and trying to imagine their life story. In studying local history such as from the picture above I have come to understand just how hard previous generations have it compared to ours. It makes me appreciate all that I have today.
We must remember that our grandparents, or maybe great grandparent, often time worked a twelve-hour day six days a week to just put bread on the table for their family. I suspect that many in the picture above due to working around limestone came down with emphysema and other such lung related problems. Many, like their coal miner brethren, likely died of lung cancer. There is still a very strong limestone industry just south of where I live. But I am sure that their employer now takes the necessary precautions to prevent such dangerous environments that those in this picture faced.
I am not much of a collector as such. I do have a few “Simplify” signs strewn around my study that I have been collecting for a decade or so. I am now on the lookout for pictures like the above. I take digital copies where I can but I would really like to gather some of the old originals. I have had that opportunity in the past but sadly didn’t take advantage of it.
For some reason I look at group pictures and have a sense of empathy for all those who posed in front of a camera many years ago. I think that is one of the reasons I have such a passion for local histories. During the past twelve years my wife and I have made at least one annual trek to various cities within a day or two driving distance. We spend much of our time there studying its history. I have collected many books and such and I will soon be presenting in a new blog. For those who might be interested I will be giving you more info about this new project soon.
In order to appreciate what we have today we must understand how those who have lived before us helped shape our present world.