Mystery On A Blackboard

Above are two beautiful young ladies, most probably sisters, posing on a day out with an unseen grown-up. If the collars are anything to go by, they look to be wearing the same style of white shirt. The younger child, in front, is wearing a hand knitted cardigan over the untucked shirt and her sister is wearing what looks to be a velvet jacket with a very fine line of nice shiny buttons.

Below, on a different day the elder girl again poses in a photobooth. This time she is holding up a sign. I love the slightly quizzical look on her face as she looks directly at the camera, with a slight downward tilt of her head. I am looking for help from my German speaking readers, as I have no idea what is written on the chalk slate she is holding. Maybe the language isn’t German at all? It could be a school photo but with no date on it, I doubt it. Or could it be commemorating a first day at school? If so, and if this is indeed a German photo, I would have expected her to be holding a schultüte (school cone). You can see a schultüte and read about what they are at this link.

So to my German friends, I would be very grateful if you could tell me whatever you can about these pictures.

All the photos date to around the 1930s.

43 comments
    • Thanks Ashley. I agree. She looks like she would’ve been a young lady who knew her mind!

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  1. Not that I would really know for sure but it looks more like cursive Cyrillic script…maybe Russian or Ukrainian or something like that?
    I don’t think German uses the breve (the little swoop over the ‘u’ in the bottom word).

    Liked by 2 people

    • I think swoop is a version of ü. It turns out it is German (I bought it from a German seller, but it might’ve come from anywhere) but I do see the similarities with the script in the link you posted. Thanks for your interest and going to the trouble of looking that up!

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  2. Plus if you found this in the US, there were certainly lots of immigrants from that part of the world in the US at the time.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lovely find as usual Kate!
    A propos, I was looking for a way to send you an article that it might interest you. It’s about a homeless artist named Lee Godie and her extraordinary photobooth photos. Maybe you already know about her… But I’ll give you the link to the article here:

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    • Wow, pelly, if Kate hasn’t seen her, she will freak out. What a find. Actually, she has nothing on our dear Kate, the Queen of the Photobooth. Thanks for the link from me.

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      • Great find pelly, I hadn’t previously seen Lee Godie, but wow, what a ‘sight’ to behold, as for the link to the man, I’ve seen that before, I believe K actually either linked to him or has him on here somewhere, but he’s generic(only many times over) compared to Lee… lol Thanks for sharing those links. Seems you’ve created a ‘tribe’ in us K, …. & you are our Queen! 🙂 Hugz

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        • You are all adorable! Thanks for the links, Pelly and the comments Vin and Ted! Lee Godie appears in at least one of my books on photobooth photos but I’ve never seen as many of her images as this! I was very excited to see them all. The man who appears in hundreds of photomatic photos has been mentioned here (great memory Vin!) and my theory is that he was the owner of the booth who kept his tester photos over many years. I vaguely recall reading that he has been identified. . .

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          • K, maybe you’ll believe us now when we say how much we love you and what you bring to ‘the table’ here. It’s not that I have such a wonderful memory….lol… it’s that you do things in such a way, it makes them UNFORGETTABLE!! I love love love your Photobooth Journal, the tidbits of info, the fun and giggles you incorporate, the realness of you that comes across in them……I adore you, I think you are the “bee’s knees” (assuming bees HAVE knees). 🙂 Carry on woman, you have the rest of us to educate and entertain… the world is your stage and we are all watching. BIG Hugz!!

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            • I’m speechless, Vin! Thank you, thank you! (As she bows theatrically.) I’ve never imagined anyone felt that way about my hobby! PRESSURE! Eeeeek! I hope I can keep up with your expectations.

              Big hugs back to you. I’m so touched. 💖😃

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              • LOL… ok, enough of the theatrics… NONE of us have time for that, ok, maybe just a bit then.. :-)) but there SHOULD be no pressure…. you’re sharing with us something you love, so just continue to do that and… !VOILA!… no pressure! Piece a’ cake! 🙂

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  4. An interesting little girl would be fun to see her in later life. Hope someone can translate.

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    • Thanks Ted. For some reason I see her wearing that same sharp fringe into adulthood. I’d 💖 to see her in later life!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. The text says “mein erster Schultag” and this means “my first day at school. The script is called ” sütterlin script” and was taught in germany until the mid thirties if I’m not mistaken…

    Liked by 4 people

    • Brilliant Peter! Thank you so much. Not only do we now know what the sign says, but we have a confirmation of the date. Sorry it took me so long to reply.

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    • Hmm, interesting Peter. So would that change mean that it was the first day she walked to school on her own? Is that something that would have been commemorated by the school community? I’m a tad confused. . .

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    • Thanks!! Any idea what that signifies. My first day at school makes sense but the correct reading is less clear. . .

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  6. The writing looks Cyrillic to my mind which is used by quite a few languages in Eastern Europe, including Yugoslavia The Cyrillic alphabet varies slightly from country to country. A wild guess would lead me to suggest that these two little girls are Bulgarian.

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    • Yes, it does have that look about it, Bryan but it turns out that it is German and written in a script that is no longer taught in school. This has been an exciting mystery that we are still getting to the bottom of. (See other comments). Sorry it took so long to get back to you. I’m still trying to get back to your blog to read your article that has “Sex Pistol” in the title. It caught my 👁 but I’m easily distracted. ☹️

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  7. I tried to find the languages, doesn’t look German to me, but I came up with 3 other possibilities: Arabic, Esperanto or Lithuanian (which is the one I think most likely). So…..

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Thanks lostfunzone for the translation…..and hungarianphotomaton for the confirmation!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. borniet said:

    Wow, love these old pictures! I still have some glass negatives from my grandfather, dating from around ‘38 or something… You have just convinced me to scan them 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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