Who Were They?

Lost and forgotten photos from the past

It’s the end of my vacation and back to work, so I thought the above CdV of a fellow holding a sledge hammer would be an appropriate photo today. This man looks like he knows how to work! The CdV is on sturdy pearlized card, with a gold edge, which tells me the photo is probably from the 1880s, which is when I believe that was popular. There is no indication who the photographer is, but there is a handwritten note on the back that this is Mr Boozel or Boozu. I wonder if this was taken in one of those traveling railroad car photo studios, out in the wilds of the West when the transcontinental railroad was being built?

5 thoughts on “Back to work

  1. IntenseGuy says:

    There were a whole bunch of Boozels in PA in the 1880’s and many of them lived in Juniata, PA and some in the coal town of Plain Grove, Lawrence, Pennsylvania. Juniata was/is on the Main Line of the Pennsylvania Railroad. The Juniata RR works were greatly expanded during 1888-1890. The coal towns in PA were all connected via railroads by the 1880s. I don’t know for sure – but it does look like a railroad Spike Sledge Hammer that dude is hefting.

    I didn’t see any Boozu’s in the Census records.


  2. grace says:

    That photo is a real treasure. Sad that it got separated from family. He does look like a real hard worker


  3. I don’t mean to be disrespectful.. are you sure it is a name? I heard this word growing up..by both my German and Finnish ancestors..Boozu..a drinker. I never heard it as a positive only a negative. :)


    1. mrsmarvel says:

      It’s the only thing written on the back and definitely “Mr Boozel” or “Mr Boozu”. I wonder if this was not an endearment from the family, lol.


  4. mrsmarvel says:

    Did anyone notice something odd about his eyes? Instead of him simply squinting, do you think he is blind? Could he have been a coal worker used to darkness?


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