Who Were They?

Lost and forgotten photos from the past


For this week’s Sepia Saturday post I had to look through my photos hoping for something that would dovetail from the prompt. The prompt is a picture of a magazine cover from 1937, featuring a lovely lady riding a polo pony of sorts. Well, I know I don’t have any photos of people on horses, and I have very few 20th century photographs (other than my own family), so this was a real challenge. I finally settled on this young man, posed on a chair in the backyard or side garden, with the date of 1947. Hm. On the back is a note written in a language I don’t recognize. I am guessing at something from Europe, but that’s the best guess I can make. Seriously, if it’s not Spanish or French it could as easily be Martian for me. If you recognize the language, please comment! I’d love to try to run this through a translator to find out what the note says.

Please click through to Sepia Saturday to experience other interesting posts inspired by a woman on a polo pony. The potential is really unlimited!

16 thoughts on “Guess the language, 1947

  1. postcardy says:

    I have never had any success reading foreign handwriting. Unless you know the language it is hard to guess what the letters are.


  2. IntenseGuy says:

    I can’t make uot some of the spelling – but the language looks Polish to me.

    Strykowi – Stryków (a town in central Poland) Do milego – Very nice, Brata – brother, Syn – Son.


  3. Bob Scotney says:

    I guessed at Polish too. The spelling beat me on a number of words and M/S translator as well.


  4. Karen S. says:

    I guess that it may be a combination perhaps of bad spelling as well….where the writer really sounded out the words! Excellent photo, he is just kind of very sincere…and thoughtful!


  5. Christine says:

    My vote is for Polish too. I wish i knew what it said.


  6. Little Nell says:

    Playing around with google translate I’d affirm that’s it’s Polish. There’s something about ‘nice to see you with uncle’


  7. gluepot says:

    also from Google Translate:
    Dnia = day
    pamięć = memory
    Do Miłego = to enjoy
    If it’s Polish and from the post-war period, I wonder if it was sent to relatives in the US. It would be nice to know the back story behind this one.


  8. Alan Burnett says:

    You can’t beat a post which gets you thinking, which gets you investigating, and which gets you trying to work out the back story.


  9. It does look like an eastern European language – easy enough for me to say now that everyone has identified Polish. :) The handwriting is very full of flourishes, isn’t it.


  10. Liz Stratton says:

    I love the bucket on the left. Somehow it makes the posed shot seem more active, as though he were taking a break from weeding the garden.


  11. I agree with Polish. Brata!!! is brother so I think the photo is younger/older brother Leon? having his obligatory graduation/wedding photo in a new suit.


  12. Pat says:

    I think it is Polish too with my limited knowledge of my ancestor’s tongue. It appears the signature is Leonyd, aka Lenny. An interesting mystery for us this week.


  13. He looks quite content, sitting there in the garden.


  14. No idea on the language. I found the way he is sitting and how he was photographed a little strange. I am thinking he spent much of his time in a wheelchair..he has the posture and the look. My Great Grandfather was crippled with RA and some of his old photos look like this. The posture and the hands held in the front. :(


  15. PattyF says:

    The man in the photo looks a tad bit awkward in his pose, but it’s still a great photo. I love the handwriting on the back, too … lots of flourish in their penmanship. I just read an article this week about the demise of cursive and I think it’s such a shame. There’s something so elegant and cultured about beautiful script, no matter what the language.

    Thanks for sharing!


  16. It’s a fascinating angle, isn’t it? Usually shots are taken straight on, but this time the photographer is looking down causing the odd perspective of his legs.


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