A surprise communication through Facebook from a distant relative, the exchange of a few emails confirming the who's-who of it all, and the offer to send along photos discovered in an attic that were taken by W.S. Edwards, my great grandfather, in the first quarter of the 20th century.
What a delight to find that the box delivered this afternoon included a stereopticon viewer along with a stack of more than 25 stereo view photo cards. The subjects of many of the photos include family members: my grandfather as a robust teenager, his wan and serious sister, their dignified (perhaps a little careworn) parents, and views of the Colorado landscape near their home in Paonia.
The last photo in the stack is the one pictured here. My great grandparents enjoying tea in the garden. But wait! That's the teapot I inherited from my dad's Aunt Beatrice that sits neglected at the back of my china cabinet. I often say that objects, especially everyday objects, have the power to forge links to history. Today I have looked at photographs taken by my great grandfather through the same stereopticon viewer that he, my great grandmother, and my grandfather viewed them. Remarkable in itself, but when I get home this evening that little black English teapot will come out of the cupboard and back into the light.