Mary, Belle, Kate

Three beautiful little girls pose for their photograph by an unknown photographer in an unknown location. We are lucky that someone identified them as Mary, Belle & Kate, children of Emma Rudd McGinnis.  Iggy found that Emma Kate Rudd McGinnis was the daughter of William Mann Rudd. You can view Emma’s photograph in my first post about the Rudd family.

Emma was born as the seventh of twelve children to Dr. William Mann Rudd and Catherine Eliza Rudd. As I was trying to sort this out, I realized that the Dr and his son Jr, who is pictured here, were many years apart in age. Dr was born in 1827 and was 51 when Jr was born in 1878. His youngest child Catherine was born in 1881 when Dr was 54 years old. The children were as follows:

James – 1855

Nancy – 1857

Elvira – 1859

Rosalia – 1860

Davis – 1861

Charles – 1864

Emma – 1867

Virginia – 1871

Alome/Olney – 1874

Ida – 1876

William Jr – 1878

Catherine 1881

Yes, in the days without effective birth control, a woman could be in a state of pregnancy, nursing or otherwise caring for children for thirty years. Wow.

Emma married Bernard McGinnis (1852-?) in 1889 at the age of 19. Their daughters soon followed, Isabelle in 1889, Anna Kate in 1891 and Mary in 1892. Unfortunately, Emma passed away in 1902. While Belle and Mary both do not have living descendants, Anna does. Hopefully one of them may come upon this site and be able to provide some insight into this large family.

Wm Mann Rudd Jr

Fading with time, before we lose the image altogether, here’s a photograph of William Mann Rudd Jr in the 1890s. The edges of the card have that deckled cutwork that was popular at the time. This makes him about 13 or 14 years of age in this image.

For other images of the Rudd family, enter “Rudd” in the search box.

I have been quite busy with ahem, cough, work, cough, cough, something this afternoon and have as yet to figure a way to tie this to Sepia Saturday. So, in the interest of time I’m not going to, haha. For great sepia images of boys at the library, books, study, and more, click over to Sepia Saturday.

Flip the page


Here are two photos from the Rudd collection that feature people looking remarkably similar!


The top photograph is identified as Catherine Eliza Rudd, Kitty and Dr William Mann Rudd. Interestingly, another photo in the set identifies the adults as Dr William Mann Rudd and Eliza Catherine Mann. It was pretty common to intermarry among families, twisting lines around cousins first and second, etc. Further research may tell us how William and Eliza/Catherine were related.

The second photo is identified as Grandpa and Grandma Rain (or Rains) and Minnie. Also written in a large scrawl in pencil is “This is Minnie’s.”

The family came from Rudd, Arkansas apparently. Iggy found some good information for the women shown on my previous post and I suspect he is correct. More to come, this was a family that enjoyed photos and correspondence!

Odd cropping

Sepia Saturday this week encourages us to look at women, and although I don’t have a photo of women talking on the phone, operating office machines or other possible directions the prompt could go, I do have some women from a recent purchase that I am ready to explore. These three photos have rather odd cropping.

This cabinet card has the deckled edges popular in the 1890s, and the clothing also suggests that same time frame. You notice the image appears to have been cut in a rounded fashion along the lower portion of the girls’ bodies, and then placed on a brown field. Just under the girl on the left it says “me here” I think. The back identifies them as Ida & Catherine Rudd.

Another cabinet card with the strange rounded cropping. The clothing is indicative of the 1890s again, so my first impression that it was a photo cut out of another photograph and remounted. That could still be the case, but it isn’t an older photo reprint, as was often done. This one was identified as Emma Rudd.

This image was clearly cut from another and reprinted. You can see behind the curls of her hair, a lighter backdrop than the dark brown one used here. The cutting was done carefully, but it is still possible to see where the scissors changed direction on the rounded edge at the bottom of the image. This is definitely another Rudd family member as the facial resemblance is quite strong, but it was not identified. None of the photos have any photographer’s information so at first I wasn’t even sure where they were from geographically. However, another photo in the batch was made in Los Angeles, CA, so that gives us a jumping off point for genealogical research. More to come with this family as I have a variety of cabinet cards, snapshots and possible even some postcards (mailed ones even!) to explore.

For other images of women doing interesting things (oh my!) click over to Sepia Saturday. You will be happy you did!

What number please?

Minneapolis Millers, 1896

This is a print of a press photo of the Minneapolis Millers, 1896. The team had just won the Western League baseball championship. The Minneapolis Millers existed in some iteration for 76 years, beginning in 1884. They originally played in the Northwestern League, but when that failed they were absorbed into the Western League. The team pictured above was formed in 1894 when Ban Johnson and Charles Comisky (of that famous stadium Comisky Park) revived the Western League.

In the year the Millers won the championship, they played 150 games between April and October, then six additional games giving them the win over Indianapolis. Many of their season games were double headers and they often played every day of the week. They ended their season with 89 wins and 47 losses. Some of the scores of those games have staggering tallies: losses 14-20, 6-24 and 8-41, wins 22-7, 30-3, and 18-3 are just a few that stand out. It is no wonder some of those games had such high scores. The fellow second in from the left in the back row hit 49 home runs that year. That’s Perry “The Moose” Werden. Center front was their manager/outfielder Walter Wilmot.

There is a fantastic page dedicated to the Millers (click here) that has stats from the various seasons.

The photo itself has an interesting story. While this is simply a press photo circulated globally, it was picked up and printed in Argentina. Gillermo (William) Maubach ran a photo studio in Buenos Aires, and also worked for the Deutsche La Plata Zeitung newspaper. By 1940, the newspaper was forced to close by the government because it was considered socialist. All of the holdings of the paper and Maubach were sold among various buyers and are scattered across the world. If you don’t remember your history, by 1943 a military coup had taken over the Argentine government, setting in motion events that would make Juan Peron president. It is very complicated so I won’t go into it further here. Maubach was identified by 1947 as having been a German agent in Argentina and was ordered deported. Strangely, he disappeared before deportation could take place and his where abouts remained unknown. This of course feeds off the Argentine and other South American governments offering asylum to German war criminals after World War II ended. Was Maubach really a German agent? Did he return to Germany or escape to another country friendly to Germans? I suspect we will never know.

Baseball, 1890

This fantastic image is identified only as “Baseball, 1890.” I wish I knew more about the team! Their uniforms have a large W on the front, but that could be anything from Washington to Woonsocket. Baseball was really well developed by the 1890s, having started out prior to the 1850s with local teams each having some variation of their own rules. In 1860, the National Association of Base Ball Players unified all the local rules into one set, and these were published and distributed throughout the US and beyond, enabling teams to travel more and play clubs farther away from home with confidence in the rules.

Early baseball used a black or brown leather ball stitched with white thread – unlike our modern white leather with red stitching. The men also didn’t use gloves, but caught the ball barehanded. Can you imagine catching one of those screaming line drives with your bare hands!? Me neither!  There is great similarity between vintage and modern baseball, but also some nuances that really make a difference. Until 1884, pitchers had to keep both feet on the ground and pitch underhanded. Early on, a ball that was struck and bounced inbounds before going out of bounds was considered fair regardless of where it left the field. In the 1870s, the umpire might ask a bystander if a ball was caught fairly before making a ruling! Until 1892, a bat could have a flat side. After that time, all bats had to be round.

Although Abner Doubleday (1819-1893) is credited as the inventor of baseball, he was well unaware of that during his lifetime! The myth came about after a dispute between Henry Chadwick, a British journalist, and Albert Spalding, an American baseball player. When Chadwick (correctly) asserted that baseball had evolved out of many ball and bat games, in particular rounders, Spalding took great offense and helped establish the Mills Commission in 1905. The Commission searched far and wide for someone who could identify any American person who might have had an early knowledge of the game. Well, out came an elderly fellow who claimed to have seen drawings made by Doubleday back in 1839. It did not matter that the “witness” had been five years old, while Doubleday was in West Point at that time, they took his assertion that he had attended school with Doubleday in Cooperstown, NY as factual. The false identification was published in newspapers and Spalding forever linked Doubleday to baseball. Spalding, by the way, was the originator of a little sporting goods company in 1875…you may have heard of them?

Today there are vintage baseball clubs that play by their favorite year’s rules, be they before the Civil War, the Knickerbocker rules, the Union Association rules, etc. These clubs dress much as our fellows above, in bibbed shirts and knickers, and there is a definite emphasis on gentlemanly behavior among players. Early on, a base ball player could be fined for using coarse language in front of fans.

There are many wonderful resources available to learn more about the history of baseball. Click the links below for more reading.

19th Century Baseball

Vintage Base Ball Association

The Society for American Baseball Research

For other vintage sports photos, click on the category “sports.”

Vintage sports

This week’s Sepia Saturday prompt shows Irish boys taking a break from a game called hurling. Well, we don’t have hurling here in America (at least, not as a sport!) so I’m drawing on American sports to provide us with our image for the week.

Click to enlarge


Here we have a truly American sport that was invented by James Naismith in 1891. Basketball was invented as a distraction for the YMCA in Springfield, MA to keep energetic students occupied during the winter. It was also designed to be a strategic game, not a physical one. The only way to score a goal was to carefully lob a ball into a basket suspended over the players’ heads. Players were not allowed to bounce the ball, but instead were to move the ball down the court by passing it to one another. The original baskets were in fact, baskets: peach baskets, to be exact. The first basketball game was played in December 1891 as a nine-on-nine game and ended with a score of 1-0.

The photo above was advertised as a basketball team in 1890, but since basketball was not invented until ’91, we now know that date to be wrong. The team was G. H. S. and it was suggested the team was from the Chicago area. That makes it likely this is Geneva High School, Geneva, IL – a school that dates back to 1876. The photographer is listed in the lower right corner as Northup. The team has six players and I find it interesting that they have padded knickers. Being as the game was invented to be nonphysical, I don’t really know why padding would have been necessary. While you can see the ball they used, apparently this style of ball wasn’t the standard until the 1950s. Prior to that time, soccer balls could be used where no basketball was available. My best guess is that the photo is from 1895-1905, based on the studio props. By that timeframe, basketball was wildly popular in high schools and colleges across America. The photo itself is rather large, about 8.5″x10.5″ matted to 11.5″x14″.

Modern basketball of course is fraught with injuries, the players are incredibly strong and not at all scrawny like those shown above. Scores for professional teams routinely get into the 100s. A lot has changed in the 111 years since the sport was invented, but basketball continues to be an exciting and fast-paced game enjoyed by many.

Check back later for some 19th century baseball teams.

For more Sepia sports, click over to Sepia Saturday to see what other participants have kicked up.

Go for the goal!

Previous Older Entries Next Newer Entries

%d bloggers like this: