Anatomy of a Photograph, Part 1

Photo taken in 1909, in front of Raffaele Genetti’s boarding house and saloon in Weston, PA. Group includes members of the following families: Genetti, Zambotti, Marchetti, Dallachiesa, Martini, Springetti, Yannes, Recla.

I’m sure you have heard the old adage: A picture is worth a thousand words. Recently this saying echoed in my brain as I updated a large group photo from the Genetti family of Pennsylvania. So much so, that I decided to write an entire blog series about the people and stories hiding behind the faces that stared back at me.

If you are a frequent visitor to our website, I’m sure you are familiar with the group photo memorializing a double wedding taking place at Raffaele and Lucia Genetti’s boarding house/bar in Weston, Pennsylvania. I received the photo at a family reunion in 2012. It was given to me by Ralph Genetti, the grandson of Raffaele and Lucia; and was the first photo I published on our new website in 2014. Over the years I have received many emails from descendants of those pictured in Ralph’s photograph.

Colorized photo

A few months ago I decided to use a new online tool to “colorize” the original black and white photo. I loved the results and thought it was a nice way to enhance this period image dating from the turn of the century. Taking a closer look at the newly colorized photo, I glanced at our website to check the caption. Immediately I noticed a glaring error! Although the photo had been online for the past six years, no one (including me) had caught the mistake!

The caption has since been corrected. But I was fascinated by the photo’s provenance and how a family story had persisted for over a hundred years, misinterpreting the true date of that day’s event. The following series will examine photo details as I compare dates and people to public records. I will also delve into historical information we have for each person, telling their story through documents, photos and whatever else I can find from other sources.

As you will soon find out, this picture is certainly worth a thousand words – and more!

Stay tuned for Part 2!

  2 comments for “Anatomy of a Photograph, Part 1

  1. Ralph Genetti
    August 5, 2020 at 8:42 am

    Great colorized picture. Thanks for the acknowledgment and looking forward to the blog.

    • L.Roach
      August 5, 2020 at 8:54 am

      You’re welcome Ralph. I’m sure you’ll enjoy this series as it centers around your family. I very much enjoyed researching and writing it. My best to your family.

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