Dave and George Carter


This photo is labeled “Dave” over the man on the left and “George Carter” for the man on the right.  I’m not sure if that means “Dave and George Carter” or if they just didn’t add Dave’s last name (I’m guessing the first one!)

The high, starched detachable collars and the creases at the front of the trousers make me think the photo dates to the 1880s or 1890s.

The instruments provide additional clues:

Mandolin awareness in the United States blossomed in the 1880s, as the instrument became part of a fad that continued into the mid-1920s  Wikipedia

And is the guitar what is known as a parlor guitar?

The parlor guitar was believed to have evolved during the 19th century and early 20th century. It was compact in structure and was usually played in homes.  RoadReadyCases.com

The photo was taken by Swan & Roberts, 18th & California Sts., Denver, Colo.

You can read more about this collection of photos and its provenance here.  You will also find links to all the posts in this series in that post. 

Please leave a comment below if you’re related to any of the people mentioned in this series.  I’d love to hear from you!



Earlier comments on this post: 

Kathy Glascott

Its sad to realize that there are millions of photos like this with no way to identify them.  I see little familial resemblance between these two young men– perhaps they are cousins.  They must have been excited to pose with their mandolinds for this picture!  I’d love to write a story about it.


Feel free to write their story if they inspire you, Kathy! I’d enjoy reading it.

Maybe as I work through these photos, they’ll show up again. I’m hoping I’ll start to see some sort of pattern to the relationships.

Virginia Allain

I’m loving this series of photos and will search each of them on Ancestry dot com to see if might accidentally hit the jackpot.


Hey, thanks for checking them out on Ancestry. I appreciate it!

2 thoughts on “Dave and George Carter

    1. I think they might be, too. There’s something about the way they hold themselves. And it seems odd that they would just put one man’s last name and not the other’s.


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