The assignment read, in part, "The professions of our ancestors are almost as interesting as the people themselves. Some of our ancestors worked very hard; they took in laundry, worked the land, raised many children, or went to school and became professionals. Photographs of them working are called occupational photographs and are rather hard to find."
I was immediately interested because I have a copy of this really great photo of my grandfather Trumbo working in his foundry.
However, it was determined that there was a bit of a problem with this photo, COPYRIGHT!!
I originally found the photo in the work, "Rockingham County", a part of the Images of America series, Authors: Scott Hamilton Suter and Cheryl Lyon, Published by Arcadia, Charleston SC, 2004. I was thumbing through the book at the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne Indiana, and just about jumped out of my seat when I saw it.
I next found it at the Library of Congress, it was part of the Office of War Information collection. I discovered it was taken by John Vachon. (I spent the next hour or so surfing the net, learning about John Vachon, great reading, ya sure learn interesting stuff in this sport.)
I decided to see if John's heirs would grant permission for me to use this photo and 4 more that John Vachon took of my grandfather's business, and they graciously have granted me that permission.
Here is the photo, with much appreciation. It was taken in May of 1941.
My grandfather, Leonard Homan Trumbo, is the man on the left. This is the Foundry in Broadway, Rockingham County, Virginia. We do not know who the other man is. This foundry was being run by Leonard's father, Charles, by 1920. My grandfather worked in the building, which was later called Broadway Garage, until his death in 1961. My mother has a lot of memories of the foundry and garage. Even I remember spending time in there as a child when we would visit.
There is much that can be told about this foundry, but for today, here is just a bit of what my mother told me about it:
"Back behind the stove and close to the window are boxes which were forms to use for making stove parts or whatever they were making at the time. The entire floor was dirt based and then covered with molding sand which was a dark grey color and very fine."
In recent years the foundary building and land was purchased from my grandmother by the city and has been used as some sort of workshop.
It may not look like much of a photo to many, but to me, just looking at it evokes strong memories, it is almost like stepping back through time and being there again, I can almost smell the oil from the garage.
*Before receiving permission to use this photo by the heirs of John Vachon, I prepared another post for the Carnival, They Worked Hard for the Family. I will post it tomorrow. Have no idea if they will take two entries, I shall find out.
**This blog became as much about obtaining permission to use the photo as the photo and its story, I would like to thank the organizers of the Carnival, it was the stimuli to my getting that permission, and I sure learned some interesting stuff along the way.