29 October 2013

Clues in a Cow-Calf Picture

I posted this picture to my "Genealogy Tip of the Day" page on Facebook to see if they could guess when it was taken. I've seen the picture numerous times--that's me in the background. I know when it was taken. But it still makes a good genealogy photo exercise as there are several clues as to when this picture was taken. Some of those clues will be more apparent to some readers than others.

The car

There is a car in the upper right hand corner of the picture that could be used to aid in dating the picture--or at least knowing the earliest point in time when it was taken. I'm not a car buff, but a Facebook commenter indicated it was a 1972 Monte Carlo.

The caps

Both my brother and I are wearing ball caps (with the Pioneer seed corn logo). These caps were not commonly worn before a certain point in time (don't ask me because I don't remember a time when people did not wear them.). I've got earlier pictures of my Dad with his show cattle and I don't seem to remember him wearing a cap or hat of this type.

The cattle

This is an Angus cow and calf in the picture. There was a point in time when show cattle were short and "low to the ground." This picture was taken after that time had passed and taller cattle were more in vogue. Pictures of my Dad with his show cattle (also Angus) make this cow-calf combination look tall by comparison.

The school

There is a building in the background. The style of architecture suggests it was built in the 1950s or 1960s (probably).

The metal panel

There is a metal panel behind us in the picture, used to create a temporary fence or corral (in this case to help keep escaped animals from getting too far away). This type of panelling has not always been used. I am not certain when it came into vogue, but researchers with an interest could probably do a little digging.

I avoided a discussion of clothes, largely because that's not my "thing" and I personally find jeans, boots and dress shirts had to date.

The actual year? 

This picture was taken in 1977 (probably). I'd have to ask my Mother to be certain. How did I know that? This was my first 4-H project and I started 4-H after I turned eight. I couldn't show that first summer, so it would have been the summer I turned 9.

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