family f

This vintage photograph features a handsome family posing for their portrait at the F. A. Free Studio in Davenport, Iowa. This good looking and well dressed couple had their hands full with three children so close in age to each other. It is possible that the two older children are twins. Whatever the case, all three children are adorable. Note their boots, bows, and ruffles. The photographer, Frank A. Free, is the subject of an article in the Quad-City Times (2010). The newspaper reports that a Free Photographic Studio estate sale was being held.  Frank Free had already left thousands of portrait negatives to the Putnam Museum (located in Davenport) and to the Davenport Library. Frank died in 1968 and his wife Lois continued operation of the studio through part of the 1990’s. Frank Free’s name is mentioned in a number of photographic journal articles. An article in the Bulletin of Photography (1922) states that he won a silver cup in a photographic exhibition in London. He was also involved at the beginning stages (1909) with a Iowa photographers group called Cameracraftsmen. (SOLD)

Published in: on March 15, 2014 at 12:34 pm  Comments (3)  
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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Adorable children! I think the girl is the oldest, her face is a little more mature than the brother to her right. I noticed that the father has a ring on his right hand. I believe that Europeans often wore their wedding band on their right hand. However, the mother is wearing a wedding band on her left hand. She is also adorned with a portrait pin. All very interesting. Thank you for posting the lovely family photo.

  2. I am amazed at the information that you always provide about the photographer (such as the years during which they operated). Is there somewhere that we can find out about old photographers? I have hundreds of old Cabinet photos. Dating them would be infinitely easier if I knew when these photographic studios were in operation.

    William Johnson


    • I utilize many techniques to obtain information about photographers. Using Google Web and Google Books often obtains a great deal of information. Contacting historical societies, libraries and museums in the photographer’s community has yielded information. In addition, joining a genealogical site and using their resources is a great addition to your research arsenal. Good luck with your searches and have fun. It’s truly an adventure. Please feel free to contact me with any questions.

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