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Crowdsourcing an Identity in an Old Vacation Picture

By Maureen A. Taylor

Alex Jenner of Ipswich, Suffolk, England, bought this photo at a “boot sale.” He’s fascinated by it and he’d like our help figuring out who posed. Crowdsourcing is a way of spreading information on the internet and trying to find answers through the viral qualities of the web. It might help Jenner figure out who these people are.

The scenery isn’t a mystery. The distinctive landscape is the Gap of Dunloe, Ireland. In researching the image he stumbled upon a column I wrote years ago about an earlier picture of a group near this landmark.

Photography and family vacations go hand in hand. The first known family vacation photo likely dates from the daguerreotype era of the 1840s, when people posed in front of tourist locations like Niagara Falls.

Alex also researched the photographer of this image, L. Anthony of Killarney. A quick Google search turned up information on Louis Anthony, a popular photographer in the area. He’d travel daily in the tourist season to the Gap to take pictures, return to the studio to develop them and have them ready for pick up by the time the tourists came back from the Gap. It’s possible that he also took the image in the previous column I wrote about that carload of visitors to the Gap.

The first number in the close-up above refers to the vacationing group. This information was written on the negative.

If you’re on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or other social media platform, let’s get this picture on the web and see what happens. Tell your friends too. It’s a good test of the virtual world.

Let’s see if we can make crowdsourcing work to identify this couple.

Identify your old mystery family photos with these guides by Maureen A. Taylor: