Sunday, September 24, 2006

R. C. Holmes Studio, Dover Delaware


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Here is an old photo taken by Russel C. Holmes and preserved in its original paper frame. The young lady in the photo may be a Jenkins family member. Folded behind the photo was a letter to Mrs. Jenkins of Woodside Delaware from the Viola Y.P.S.C.E. (Young People's Society for Christian Endeavor), H. P. Killen President. Found also behind the photo, 4 pages of charms, potions, and ways to predict just who a young woman would be marrying. The first charm is titled "The Nine Keys", and here is my translation... the writing is a little difficult to read:

Get nine small keys; they must all be your own by begging or purchase (borrowing will do), nor must you tell what your want them for; plant a three pl???ed band of your own hair, and tie them together fastening the ends with nine knots; fasten them with one of your garters to your left wrist on going to bed and bind the other garter around your head; then say St. Peter, take it not amiss, To try your favor I've done this; You are the ruler of the keys; favor one then if you please let me then your influence prove and see my dream and wedded love. This must be done on the eve of St. Peter and is an old charm used by the maidens of Rome in ancient times, who put great faith in it.

Now here is a potion for predicting your future mate:

Take a walnut, a hazelnut and a nutmeg; grate them together, and mix them with butter and sugar and make them up into small pills, of which exactly nine must be taken on going to bed, and according to your dreams, so will be the state of the person you will marry. If a gentleman your dream will be of riches, if a clergyman, of white linen; if a lawyer, of a darkness; if a tradesman, of odd noise and ?????; if a soldier or sailor, of thunder and lightning; if a servant, of rain.

(I'm not making-up that part about the lawyer)

There is also a potion for sleeping in a strange bed and one to know if a woman shall have the man she wishes. Hey don't start hollering at me, I'm as PC as the next guy. This is just old superstition....right?

The photographer, Russell C. Holmes, was a photographer here in Dover Delaware for nearly 50 years, opening his business way back in 1877 (after moving from Milford). Mr. Holmes studied under famed civil war photographer Mathew Brady.

If you can identfy this woman, please leave a comment.

For more Dover photos, click here............ and here .

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