Who Were They?

Lost and forgotten photos from the past

Dobb Long Book

I came into possession of the Dobb Long book sometime in 2010, as the result of an eBay auction. The book is very large, with 57 cabinet cards placed within 56 photo openings. The pages allow two cabinet cards each, one over the other. The book is about 20″ high, 8″ wide and 3″ thick. The clasp is still working. The spine is damaged and somewhere along the way, someone put black tape on it, which is starting to break down. If I retain ownership of the album, I’ll look into book restoration. The insides of the book are practically pristine, with only a few of the photo openings having damage to them. The album was probably stored safely in a trunk or box, because the only damage seems to be to the outside. Even the photographs have very little wear and tear to them, not even a lot of scratches to the images which is often found on old photographs.

Of the few photographs that have been identified, the most interesting is the image of Mrs. Nina Dobb, presumably the reason this is called the Dobb Long book.

Funeral Card of Mrs Nina Dobb, died June 27, 1898

This is a funeral card, and while I have seen others and even possess one other card, this one features a photograph of the deceased, something that is unique to my experience. The poem below her image reads as follows:

Just one year ago;

A precious one from us has gone,

A voice we love is stilled;

A place is vacant in our home,

Which never can be filled.

God in His wisdom has recalled,

The boon His love had given;

And though the body slumbers here,

The soul is safe in Heaven.

Mrs Dobb looks quite young in the photograph, and the poem hints of a sudden and unexpected death. Very sad, and yet, quite a dignified way of notifying family and friends who were far away. A card mailed to them after a year of mourning could have only brought sadness, but it speaks of her in a loving manner, in remembrance of her.

5 thoughts on “The Dobb Long Book

  1. IntenseGuy says:

    Now that’s a challenge. There aren’t many clues to work with.

    A young person’s death is always hard to deal with – and if she was “mom,” it would be even harder. Where did this album turn up (I mean what state was the eBay seller from?)

    We might assume the cute child with the bow in her hair may have been a child of Mrs. Nina Dobb and they lived near Troy, NY. We might assume Nina died young maybe during childbirth or tragic accident – and perhaps her maiden name was “Long”. That is a lot of assuming.


  2. mrsmarvel says:

    Unfortunately I don’t remember where the album came from and eBay deletes the information about closed auctions after 90 days, so I can’t look it up, either. I don’t think the little girl was Nina Dobb’s child, based on placement within the album – they were pretty far apart. Perhaps as I post more photos the locations will help. When I searched on Nina Dobb I came up with nothing.

    It’s interesting to suggest Long might have been another surname. I had thought “long” referred to the shape of the book, but maybe it’s a clue for us.


  3. Interesting book, lovely tooled leather, it is beautiful. The funeral card is very interesting. I believe they were sent off to relatives that could not travel to the funeral. Do you think that they waited a whole year to send them off?
    Dobb Long could be two names in the book..but it is a long album..mine is of normal size only 11 x 8 1/2 inches. Who knows:)


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