This is a blog about music, photography, history, and culture.
These are photographs from my collection that tell a story about lost time and forgotten music.

Mike Brubaker
{ Click on the image to expand the photo }

A Helicon Mess

08 May 2015

A bass horn don't have to sound sweet,

As long as he keeps to the beat.

But there's not much demand

For a man in a band,

Whose head don't connect with his feet.


This lanky helicon player seems to have marched to the beat of a different drummer. His instrument is a variety of tuba, of which the Sousaphone is the more familiar design in modern marching bands. His cap and the fancy embroidery on his uniform resemble those of circus bandsmen, but he could just as easily be a member of a town band. I would date this photograph style to about 1895 to 1905.

The photographer's name has lost its first letters and although it looks like Perkins Studio, the center initials are C_E_G . The location of the studio is Lonaconing,  a small town in Allegany County in western Maryland's panhandle. In 1900 it had a population of 2,181. Today the population is only 1,214.

This is my contribution to Sepia Saturday
where there are never any bad photographs, only good stories.



La Nightingail said...

Fun post! (I also posted a photo with missing legs & feet this week.) Can always count on you for a good one. I'm assuming since there were no quotation marks around the limerick, it's your own? Nicely done, if so.

Kristin said...

I like the way the crack comes and goes there. Those cracks are hard for me to work with because often there is some missing too.

Deb Gould said...

The ornamentation on the front of his jacket looks like the hinge closure on an old photo album...amazing!

Postcardy said...

Clever limerick!

Jo Featherston said...

How do you do the before and after animation?

Bob Scotney said...

I wonder how the crack developed in the first place. With something that old it would be hard to tell.

Helen Bauch McHargue said...

Perfect match. Love the animation and the limerick. You seem to have an endless stream of great ideas and material for the themes. It's a joy to see...

Anonymous said...

You've managed to turn this well-worn photo, including all its scars and tears, into a masterpiece. Great job!

Anonymous said...

I'm glad that you have recorded the present state of the photo as well as the digitalized update. Looks great.

Brett Payne said...

The 1900 Census shows photographer Charles Perkins living in Lonaconing. Great repair job, I must commend you, Mike.

Nancy said...

It's impressive how you made the line appear and disappear as we viewed the post, Mike. Even if it's only a digital repair it's great to see him all together in photograph.

Wendy said...

You are just too smart -- all I can do is echo everyone else's surprise and delight with your animated before and after photos.


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