Look at the street scene in Photo A. It's one of several photos I had randomly grouped together from a family I believe to be related to my grandmother's Bulak or Kowalewski family in Kepno, Poland. I never really looked at the photo that closely before. The actual size of the physical photo is approximately 3 1/2" x 5 1/2", a little bigger than an index card. Small it doesn't look like much, does it? Now zoom in. Before I tell you what I see take a look for yourself.
I was amazed at the details of the lively scene unfolding. Look at the business under the sign "W. Piatkowski." I was able to see several of the words clear enough to translate them: wlosow, szczotki, lalek, perfumy, panow, manikure (hair, brush, dolls, perfume, men, manicure). See the two girls on the steps in their white jackets? It's a beauty shop! Check out the business to the left of the beauty shop. I don't know what it is, but it appears to be at number 30 on the street. The man walking on the sidewalk is carrying a cane, and there is a man leaning on the back of the car. The car has a license plate. There's a lamp in front of the beauty shop. A gas lamp maybe? A toddler with what appears to be a rake is standing just to the right of the lamp.
Look over on the far right side of the photo. What's going on over there? See the restaurant? I can make out a few words: piwo, win, herbata, kawa, zimne, cieple (beer, wine, tea, coffee, cold, warm). Do you see the man in the suit leaning out the window? Look at the business to the immediate left of the restaurant. The owner of the business is A. Mazur. Can you see what's in the window? Hats! Apparently A. Mazur was the owner of a hat shop!
See the business to the left of the hat shop? There's a man holding a baby. He is standing on the stairs under the awning and a woman is standing behind him. What about the store window? The writing on the window says "Sklad Obuwia (Composition Shoes) T. Walkowski," and there is a display of shoes on a shoe tree. Take another look at my post, Christmas in Poland 1929. The man in the photo is Tomasz Walkowski! Now I know what business he is in! Shoes! I also know from family letters Tomasz Walkowski was fairly well off and owned several apartment buildings in Kepno.
Look at Photo B. What do you see? Zoom in...
What else does Photo B tell us? Do you see the words Mleczarnia Kepnie? It's some kind of a dairy shop. See the man and the two women on the balcony above Mleczarnia Kepnie? Now look at the very top of the building with the children. Do you know when the building was built? 1933, and probably by someone with the initials J.W. Could W. stand for Walkowski? Another possible lead to follow up on...
Tuesday's Tip: Look at your photos closely and more than once. Zoom in to see the details. Have someone else look at your photos to see if he or she sees something that you do not, and if you are not familiar with a location ask someone else who might be. Sometimes there's more to a photo than you might initially think. Maybe you will see something today that you didn't see yesterday!
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