Sunday, April 28, 2013

Handsome Young Men About Town

I've been having a grand ole time (well, when I don't feel overwhelmed by it all) digging through boxes and paper piles in my dad's office. I always find something interesting.  I don't know when I'll get back to filing this mass of paper, but once in a while, I decide to go on a quest. A couple of months ago, I picked a box to pick through. I was actually looking for something else, but I found this photograph of my paternal grandfather Albert Sidney Pendleton, Sr. taken with some of his friends.

This photo is not the original but a copy that my dad made, and it was tucked into an envelope with my dad's illegible handwriting on the outside as to who these young men are.

Who's Who

Here's a translation of my dad's handwriting as best as I can tell and some information about his friends in the photo: The top left is my paternal grandfather Albert Sidney Pendleton, Sr. Next to him on the right is Kenyon Corner, the brother of Sue Corner who married my granddad's brother Philip Coleman Pendleton. I believe the young man on the bottom left is Tom Stevens. At least it looks like that's what my dad has written. Since I remembered reading about some parties in the Valdosta Times newspapers that my granddad attended, I searched for these as they often listed the guests. Sure enough, listed as one of the guests at these parties is Tom Stevens. On the bottom right is William Edmund Pendleton, my granddad's first cousin and the son of my second great uncle Charles Rittenhouse Pendleton (brother of my great grandfather Alexander Shaw Pendleton). Edmund, as he was called, married my maternal grandmother Leona Roberts' sister Stella. 

I don't know the context of this photo. It was probably taken in the early 1900s. The dates of the articles that I found with the party guest lists run from 1905 to 1911. Were they members of some sort of young men's club? Were they at a party? What was the purpose of the cigars in the photograph? To make them look worldly? Are the cigars lit? It looks like my granddad is about to singe Tom's ear. I chuckled when I noticed that my granddad's bow tie is crooked.

I never thought about it before, but my oldest brother sure looks a lot like our granddad. I love old photos! This one reminds me that my granddad was a young man once upon a time. I also realized when I looked back at my first post about my granddad that the above photo and the photo on that post may have been taken around the same time. He's wearing that same crooked bow tie!



Resource used:
South Georgia Historic Newspaper Archives

Monday, April 15, 2013

Isabelle Redles Applies for a Patent

After watching the YouTube video, Researching Genealogy - How to Find Your Inventor Ancestors by +Kenneth R Marks about using the Google Patents database to look for ancestors, I decided to search for the surname Redles.  It's not a very common surname in my family, so I thought I wouldn't have hundreds to pick through. Lo and behold, I discovered that my maternal great aunt (my grandfather William Liming Redles's sister) Isabelle Redles applied for a patent in 1904 for a pin fastener! 

Isabelle's Pin Fastener Patent

Isabelle was awarded patent number 884,611 on April 14, 1908, for her pin fastener.  Below is a copy of the patent with an illustration and description of her invention (click on each page for a larger view).

What I learned from the patent

Since Isabelle invented a way to easily accessorize women's clothing, I can guess that she was interested in fashion and probably also in convenience and time-savers (or rather, frustration-savers--if you've ever tried to pin a bow on a dress and have it hang straight, you'll know what I mean). I'm all for anything that saves me even just a few seconds!

Had I not already known who she married and when, I would have found out on this patent that her married name was Shill and she married sometime between May 16, 1904 (when she applied for the patent under her maiden name), and April 14, 1908 (when she was awarded the patent under her married name). (She married Frederick Lyndale Shill in 1905.[1])

According to the patent, she lived in Swarthmore, Delaware County, Pennsylvania, when the patent was filed.  I've always assumed she lived in Philadelphia because my grandfather told my grandmother in his letters that's where he would go to visit his sisters.  I looked up Swarthmore to see where it's located and found that it's not that far from Philadelphia--about 10 miles or so (click on the map below for a larger view).  Here's Swarthmore's website about their history

Location of Swarthmore in relation to Philadelphia (aerial from Google Earth)

I emailed the patent to one of Isabelle's grandsons and asked him  if he knew that his grandmother was an inventor!  It was news to him, too.  I wondered if she ever had any of these pin fasteners manufactured, but I guess we'll never know.  It was fun finding out there is a female inventor in my family!


[1] Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Marriage Index, 1885-1951 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2011.