Friday's survey of the three recently discovered photo of Barney Bloomfield was far from conclusive. Some of my most observant readers, were as uncomfortable as I was in concluding that all three photographs belong to the same person or even resemble the one known photo of Barney. Being the perfectionist that I am, it's been bugging me, and I've been re-examining these images and looking at my great-grandmother's album for possible clues.
Let's start with our baseline photo. We'll call it photo #1 (as per the suggestion of Mariann). It's the close up of the one known photo of Barney from around 1919-1920. He is about 16 years old in the photo. As Mariann pointed out last week in her comment, Barney's face is a bit smudged. Both the nose and the eye seem to be affected. I've tried to rescan and enhance this photo to the best resolution. Unfortunately it's not much better than what I posted on Friday.
The next image, is photo #2, and a closeup of the second image I posted on Friday. I'd like to compare it to the formal image of Joe's from the same time. This second closeup, shows how much resemblance there was between the two brothers when they were young.
Joe (left) has a very slight suggestion of his typical crease above the nose. Barney (right) , if that is the brother in the picture, has a slightly wider face. They both have a very stern look. Compare the two of them standing side by side from the family photo. The close up below, is from the same picture photo #1 is taken, but includes Joe.
|Joe (left), Barney (Right) version 2 of photo #1. (Closeup of family portrait with their mother).|
Both boys look remarkably different in this less formal portrait, than in the later studio photographs above, though Joe, two years the elder, seems to have changed a bit less. Still, without Marty's (Joe's son) help, I'd be hard pressed from this photo, to decide which of the formal studies correspond to Joe. What we can learn from Joe's formal portrait, is that the studio photo did distort a bit what they looked like. How many of us, barely recognize ourselves in a formal portrait?
Let's examine photo #3. In this last, more spontaneous closeup of the shot on the dock, the man is smiling. He seems a bit older, maybe in his early twenties, and the sides of his head remain shaven, like in the formal photo, but the top is allowed to curl more naturally. Despite trying to improve the resolution of this photo, the eyes and bridge of his nose remain fairly obscured. Placing the closeup of photo #2 next to photo #3 helped convince me, that this can be an older version of the same man. The width of the nose and the hairline, only a bit more receding, suggest the same man.
Photo number #4 is not much help since the quality is so poor. Here the man is smiling and the general structure of the face seems to be the same.
Now for the last clue. This next photo, photo #5, comes from a different source, Minnie's album. It lies on the same page as several similar unlabeled photos, long suspected to be taken in Frieda Toby's back yard and most likely belonging to the Bloomfield brothers. Over the years, as I familiarized myself with the brothers, I was able to identify most of the photos in this group. I reasoned that one photo must belong to Barney, but I was never quite sure which one. After receiving Marty's package and studying the four possible photos of Barney, I believe I've identified Barney in the group from Minnie's album. this positive ID also helps confirm his identification in photos #2-4.
|Photo #5, Most likely one of the Bloomfield brothers. ?Barney, sitting on his mother's stoop. c1920|
(click to enlarge)
|Closeup of photo #5.|
(Click to enlarge)
|Minnie in the Yard. Her mother in-law's house is|
clearly visible. The back porch is behind the
chicken coop fence.
Oct 30th, 1920. Photo #6
|Photo #8: Joe (click to enlarge)|
|Photo #9: Ben (Click to enlarge)|
|Photo #10: William Bloomfield c1920 (click to enlarge).|
Here is one last look at the five potential photos of Barney Bloomfield, and a bit of algebra.
Photo #1=Barney. Photo #2=probably Barney.
If Photo #5=Barney then Photo #3 & #4= most likely Barney.