I know I've said this too many times, but I'm going to say it again... I love old family photos. And I’m fortunate that my father kept detailed records of dates and names to accompany most of them. The man in this series of three snapshots is my great grandfather I.J. Cranmer (1868-1931). I forgot about them before unearthing a photo album and rediscovering a piece of my family history. I have only five pictures of I.J. and information on him is scant but I do have a newspaper clipping of his marriage announcement. I've been told that he and his wife divorced a few years later after having three children. I'm also fairly certain that he most likely spent a good portion of his life farming.
Two things jump out at me when I look at these shots: his grin and the bowler hat. I wonder if that hat and suit were the style of the time... was he a naturally snappy dresser or did he dress up for some (probably) expensive photos? How much did it cost him? Today, I personally couldn’t put a price on such items. I had these and several other family photos scanned to be preserved on computer. But there’s still nothing like holding the original that he held, probably smiling to himself, "That’s a damn fine mug!" I'm sure he must have because I can be just as vain on occasions myself.