Tuesday, December 1, 2009

An Innocent Little Boy?


Many parents, myself and my parents before me included, take their young children to a photo studio in order to have the cute, innocent image of their children preserved in a photograph to be framed and hung in the home with pride.

Although I can't say that I ever thought of my paternal grandfather, John Gaull Hadden as being cute or innocent, it appears that my great grandparents, Alexander and Jessie Hadden felt that way. The photo to the right is of John when he was estimated to be three or four years old. If this is correct, the photograph was taken around 1913 or 1914. The photo (original in my possession) is printed on post card type stock and, typical of a postcard, the back has space for a stamp, an address and a message. It also identifies the photography studio as the Elite Studio, 5 Market Street, Aberdeen.

This studio was located about three and a half miles from the home at 6 Piries Lane, Woodside, Aberdeen in which John is said to have been born (according to John's oldest brother, Alexander). The Elite Studio was a "well known Aberdeen firm of photographers" and the proprietors were George and William Morgan. Although I have been able to track down other examples of their photography work, I have been able to find little more about the two brothers and their business.

What is clear though is that John was dressed in his 'Sunday' best and some expense was made to capture this image including some faint colourization - rosy cheeks, brown hair and eyes, brown socks and boots, and of course, John's prop, the red-brown pail. What John could not have known at the time of his trip to the studio is that in about ten years, he would leave Scotland, never to return, and begin new adventures in Canada.

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