May 31, 2012 in Washington Voices

Don’t forget to jot down names

By The Spokesman-Review

At left, a Spokane nursing student wears a pin on her uniform, but it’s too tiny to tell whether she earned her degree at Sacred Heart or Deaconess nursing school. Her hair is styled in a “finger wave” popular in the 1920s and 1930s. Both hospitals had schools in those decades.
(Full-size photo)(All photos)

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This is the time of year when milestone photographs arrive in your regular mail and in your email inbox. The senior photos. The engagement pictures, the wedding shots.

You likely place these photos in a box, a drawer, an album – or store them on your computer. If no name or date is on the photo, you may think no big deal, because you will never forget the handsome face of your godson or the smiling faces of your niece and her fiancé.

But please, think ahead.

Those who inherit your photos may have no clue to the identity of these people. This is the case with dozens of photos found in the King Collection in The Spokesman-Review archives. The collection includes photos, letters and other memorabilia that once belonged to the extended King family who thrived here in the early 20th century.

The three photos published here had not strayed from their photo “jackets,” and upon those jackets some information was printed, but not enough to ever identify the people in the photos.

No name or date is written on the photo of the prim and pretty nurse. The photo was taken by Nu Art, a photo studio in downtown Spokane that was open for business from the early 1920s to the early 1990s.

There is a date on the photo of the woman in the cap and gown: 1912. The name written on the photo jacket – Millford B. Martin – was apparently the owner of the photo studio in downtown Spokane where the portrait was taken.

And finally, the couple’s photo was taken by Lake’s, a Spokane photo studio in business from 1925 through 1946, according to Polk’s Spokane City Directory.

Speculation, speculation, speculation. That’s all we are left with.

Date your photos. Name the people in them. A hundred years from now, your heirs will appreciate the gesture.

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