Monday, November 18, 2019


Last week I found two very interesting  old photos  over on the FamilySearch website from two different branches of my Dad's family, one from the Barkers and one from the Wests. I'll discuss the West photo in another post.

This is a photo of my 2x great granduncle Tilson W. Barker and his son Alanson Augustus Barker. I think it safe to say this is not your typical  Victorian era photograph. I laughed the moment I saw it. It looks like something out of an old silent movie  Then I looked closer at the surroundings. There's an ornate rug and the wall behind them looks like tile with a dark border at the base and the rest of the wall tiles are white. Alanson's trousers look to be patterned as well. I'm not sure what tools Tilson is supposedly using.

I am impressed by how sturdy that chair must have been!

Seven years ago I discovered from census records that Tilson was a blacksmith and a maker of coaches. Selected U.S. Federal Census Non-Population Schedules, 1850-1880 at Ancestry had this:

Here's a summary of what it says:

Capital Invested, in real and personal estate, in the Business   $500
Raw Material Used, Including Fuel.                            Kind of Motor Power,
Quanitities                      Kinds                        Value        Machinery, etc
2 tons                           Iron & Steel               $120                None
6 sets                           Carriage Works          $175               2 forges
3 tons                           B Coal                         $50                 None

Average Number of Hands Employed - 1 male
Average Monthly Cost of Male Labor- $40
 He produced 6 carriages worth a total of $320 and other work worth $600

That's doing pretty well for that era's economy.

Alanson was born in 1852 and is listed as a farm laborer on the 1880 Census. But in 1900 and 1910 censuses his occupation was a coachman for a private family, which seems logical for the son of a someone who made them. But by 1920 the automobile had taken over and Alanson had become a gardener, possible still working for the same family.

Thanks to "stws" who posted the picture at familySearch and allowed me to post it here.


No comments: