Thursday, January 20, 2022

steel workers

Every picture tells a story No. 21

Ernst Leopold Kosmowsky from East Prussia (son of Auguste the missing granny, brother of Friedrich with the fiddle) moved to the rapidly growing industrial city of Hamborn in October 1922 to find work there. He worked in mining at first, but from August 1938 he was employed as a Brenner (burner?) at the steelcast factory Friedrich-Wilhelms-Hütte at nearby Mülheim.

The photo shows him (top row, marked with a cross) with his colleagues around 1941. It strikes me that he and some of the others are looking quite cheerful - suppose at that point being an essential worker in the steel industry was preferable to being cannon fodder at the front.

Ernst Leopold and Auguste from the East Prussian patchwork family moved to Hamborn in the same month and got married the following year, so we assume that this was a coordinated project, but we don't have any explicit information on that. Their shared migration background was wiped from the collective memory fairly swiftly.

This photo is also on flickr.

Every picture tells a story series so far:

  1. string quartet Wuppertal Elberfeld 1927
  2. greetings from Adamsweiler
  3. Gastwirthschaft Ferd. Weirich
  4. quartet times three
  5. Neumühl 1923
  6. Tangermünde railway station 1889
  7. a singing lesson
  8. bei Wilhelm Geppert
  9. a bakery at Lorsch 1900
  10. Consumgeschäft von Julius Düsselmann
  11. Hanna and Ruth
  12. a young chemist
  13. school's out at Reichenstein, 1886
  14. a patchwork family in East Prussia
  15. the case of the missing grandmother
  16. checkpoint Glaner Brücke 1929(ish)
  17. finding Mimi
  18. five sisters, five decades
  19. happy at home
  20. gone milking
  21. steel workers

Alternatively, you can use this twitter thread as an illustrated table of contents. If that twitter link isn't working, try this one (while I try to figure out what happened).

In a somewhat roundabout way, this series relates to my research for the family history music memoir I have now completed in a first version.

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

saxophone playlist

As I mentioned in my year review, my Plague Year Bach Project has been paused by a shoulder injury, so instead of the daily cello practice I'm spending more time with my tenor saxophone, which happens to be compatible with the injury, due to its rather brilliantly ergonomic design.

So what can I play on that? I went through our collection of flute music and also raided a few charity shops for saxophone books - there must be an amazing number of people who try and give up the saxophone, judging by the amount of discarded sheet music I found everywhere! Then I had a look at youtube and found a few players whose choices I liked, so now I almost have something I could call a repertoire, including covers of pop, rock, chanson, latin, some jazz-y things, as well as the odd classical piece.

Rather than sorting by genres, however, I will list pieces under the reason why I picked them (and the reasons obviously evolve over time, so they start with because it's easy and end with because it's hard). In brackets I give the key signature and first note (as I finger it, so it will sound a tone lower, and the same fingering on an alto will sound a fifth lower). Oh, and I'm also throwing in links to relevant videos in my YouTube playlist.

fun and easy tunes

The bare necessities (#, D)

Mamma mia (b, D)

Rasputin (-, A) - inspired by the string duo adaptation of the Ayoub sisters

tunes with interesting chromatic passages

When I’m sixty-four (#, E)

Les copains d’abord (#, G) - Yo Jazz Band (I discovered this version long after I learned to play it myself, so my version is more shaped by Brassens himself and by the brilliant recent cover from Pomplamoose).

How high the moon (#, D) - backing track (a tone up compared to my version, so ###. Hang on, probably my ancient sheet music is for C instruments, so I probably should use the ### version!)

Take five (b, A) - again playing from a flute score here, so should take it up a tone.

emotional tunes / power ballads

Yesterday - Alexandra Ilieva

La vie en rose - Alexandra Ilieva

Killing me softly - Alexandra Ilieva and Graziatto

Everything I do (bb, D)

tunes jumping around with big intervals

Dragostea din tei - Daniele Vitale

Bad romance - Alexandra Ilieva

Champs Élysées (Waterloo Road) - (#, D)

lively latin tunes eg bossa nova

Girl from Ipanema (bb; C) - backing track; 30 mins video explaining how weird and wonderful this tune is

Blame it on the bossa nova (##, A)

Señorita - Alexandra Ilieva and Nick Kaiafas

Sway (quien sera) - backing track to play along with

something challenging

The swan (included in Saxophone solos, vol 1, Chester Music, Ed. Paul Harvey) At first I thought it was a crazy idea to adapt this for the sax, but then I realised it's an interesting challenge to produce the smooth sound required for the piece - you don't want to sound like a demented duck!

Thursday, January 13, 2022

gone milking

Every picture tells a story No. 20

Hedwig, the little girl with the Pippi Longstocking vibe outside Wilhelm Geppert's bakery, grew up and started working on farms, milking cows, killing and plucking geese, that sort of thing. She started working as a nanny aged 14, then from age 15 worked as a farm helper in places like Zadel and Hedwigswalde, with just one short stint as a domestic servant in between.

Here she is apparently on her way to do some milking:

except that the photo appears to be part of a series (watch out for the sieve leaning against the wall to correlate the images), which at one point was invaded by a horse:

This photo is also on flickr.

Every picture tells a story series so far:

  1. string quartet Wuppertal Elberfeld 1927
  2. greetings from Adamsweiler
  3. Gastwirthschaft Ferd. Weirich
  4. quartet times three
  5. Neumühl 1923
  6. Tangermünde railway station 1889
  7. a singing lesson
  8. bei Wilhelm Geppert
  9. a bakery at Lorsch 1900
  10. Consumgeschäft von Julius Düsselmann
  11. Hanna and Ruth
  12. a young chemist
  13. school's out at Reichenstein, 1886
  14. a patchwork family in East Prussia
  15. the case of the missing grandmother
  16. checkpoint Glaner Brücke 1929(ish)
  17. finding Mimi
  18. five sisters, five decades
  19. happy at home
  20. gone milking

Alternatively, you can use this twitter thread as an illustrated table of contents.

In a somewhat roundabout way, this series relates to my research for the family history music memoir I'm writing.

Monday, January 10, 2022

here be dragons

I like to start the new year with a feature on the theme of "fantastic species and where to find them". This year's instalment is on dragons - various reptile species that look like mythical beasts and/or are named after them. (Not including leafy sea dragons though, as I covered them in the original fantastic species feature.) Essentially, although (European) myths and legends tell us dragons need to be slayed (Chinese dragons are getting a bit more respect), the message here is that some of them may need saving:

Dragons in danger

Current Biology Volume 32, Issue 1, 10 January 2022, Pages R1-R3

Restricted access to full text and PDF download
(will become open access again one year after publication)

Magic link for free access
(first seven weeks only)

The Komodo dragon (V. komodoensis) has had its Red List status upgraded recently, as climate change is bound to shrink its surviving populations. (Photo: David Clode/Unsplash.)

PS As I write this, fossil dragons are in the news, too. Maybe keep those for the next dragon feature.

service announcement: a new twitter thread to connect this year's CB features starts here.

Thursday, January 06, 2022

happy at home

Every picture tells a story, No. 19

This photo of Karl Düsselmann (1841-1927) and his wife Elisabeth Imig (1851-1924) strikes me as unusual as it appears to have been taken informally at their home, almost as a snapshot, without the slightest worry about the cluttered background. Did they perhaps know an early amateur photographer?

(this version now improved with a little magic from a helpful twitter friend
compare and contrast versions in my tweet and the replies to it)

Funnily enough, we still have a couple of frames looking a lot like those two on either side of the clock. At the time of Karl's death, his peripatetic son Julius happened to be geographically close, so he may well have inherited those and passed them down to us. It's a shame we can't see who or what's in those frames and the images below, with better quality, this might have been a chance to glimpse at earlier generations of whom we have no photos at all.

Karl Düsselmann (sometimes also appearing as Carl and/or Düselmann) came from the Krefeld clan, which had prospered in the textile industry of that town. He was one of the 13 children that were divided into teams by confession: all six boys grew up protestants (like their dad) and all seven girls became catholics (like their mum). This confessional split even applied to Karl and his twin sister, Maria (1841-1932). Maria married a Heinrich Wilhelm Schürenberg and had five children - about whom we know nothing because they were on the other side of the divide.

After his military service (likely to have been 1861-64, followed by three years as a reservist) and likely involvement in several wars (see below), Karl was a Werkmeister (foreman).

Elisabeth came from the Imig clan in Simmern. Several of her brothers had moved to the lower Rhine area (earlier generations of Imigs had been involved in a failed attempt to emigrate to the New World which ended up in a new settlement on the lower Rhine, not sure if these two moves have a causal connection). Some of the brothers were quite successful there, so I am guessing Elisabeth may have used them to move to the area and find herself a husband there.

Their descendants are listed here. Briefly, Karl had one son (also called Karl) from an earlier marriage, who emigrated to the US in 1892 and had two sons there who were both born in New York. Karl and Elisabeth then had six children, but we have no photos of them with any of their children. Five of them got married and we do have photos of each one with their spouse. The oldest daughter married a Dutchman and ended up in the Netherlands, and one of the sons emigrated to the US with his family in 1924. Overall, our happy couple had 15 grandchildren.

Here's a later (and clearer) portrait of the couple:

It looks like Karl got some military medals to show off. As he was born in 1841, he could have been involved in Prussia's short wars against Denmark (1864) and Austria (1866), which both fell into his three year period as a reservist, and possibly also in the one against France in 1870/71. Don't have the resolution to get any more info from the medals, they appear to be 5 of them, from left to right: big round, small round, cross, big round, flat/wavy.

Thinking of those 5 medals and forgotten military exploits in the wider context of the Krefeld clan, I'm getting the impression that the Düsselmann Y chromosome appears to be linked to a taste for risk taking (slightly surprising in a town and family thriving on spinning and weaving), see also: Julius's rollercoaster of a career; Karl's brother August was the founding director of the Krefeld fire brigade on it becoming a professional force in 1890; August's son Walter smuggled arms for Ireland's Easter Uprising, survived the sinking of the Volturno and disappeared during WW2; and August's son Wilhelm was also a seafarer and died in a road accident. Might explain that, inspite of numerous male offspring over several generations, there aren't all that many carriers of the name around today. Then again, who knows what descendents in the US have done to the name to make it pronouncable in American English.

This photo is also on flickr.

Every picture tells a story series so far:

  1. string quartet Wuppertal Elberfeld 1927
  2. greetings from Adamsweiler
  3. Gastwirthschaft Ferd. Weirich
  4. quartet times three
  5. Neumühl 1923
  6. Tangermünde railway station 1889
  7. a singing lesson
  8. bei Wilhelm Geppert
  9. a bakery at Lorsch 1900
  10. Consumgeschäft von Julius Düsselmann
  11. Hanna and Ruth
  12. a young chemist
  13. school's out at Reichenstein, 1886
  14. a patchwork family in East Prussia
  15. the case of the missing grandmother
  16. checkpoint Glaner Brücke 1929(ish)
  17. finding Mimi
  18. five sisters, five decades
  19. happy at home

Alternatively, you can use this twitter thread as an illustrated table of contents.

In a somewhat roundabout way, this series relates to my research for the family history music memoir I've now completed..

Friday, December 31, 2021

20 ... 21 ... 22

As we continue to live in interesting times, here are some of my highlights of 2021. Most of them I have raved about already, so I'll just do a list with links.

  • The third edition of Astrobiology came out in August, it is no longer a brief introduction, just an introduction. This reflects the fact that the book now has more than 400 pages.
  • I've completed a 60k words draft of the biography of Heinrich our family cello, which is also a family history of sorts, and a memoir, and a rant about various issues from education through to plague policies.
  • In the course of my research for the musical memoir, I have had a closer look at some of the old photos I have and started turning them into a blog series called "Every picture tells a story." The 18th instalment went live yesterday, another seven are currently in the queue for publication. This twitter thread offers a table of contents for quick access to specific episodes. I was amazed to discover how much more I can find out about these pictures if I don't just look at the faces and go "ok, this is Aunt Such and Uncle So", but think about what makes it special and why it might be interesting for people who don't even know the persons in the picture. Some of the stories the pictures tell were new to me even though I had known the photos for many years. For the time being, I am limiting the series to photos that are older than me - maybe in its second year it will move on to those taken in my lifetime.
  • My Plague Year Bach Project (trying to play the cello suites) started in March 2020 carried on until June this year (interim report). Then I paused it for the summer, because there were now many opportunities to play with other people outside, and by the autumn I was struggling with a frozen shoulder, meaning I could just about maintain orchestra participation, but wouldn't be able to keep up the one hour daily practices for the Bach. Maybe next year.
  • Playing outside at the Florence Park bandstand has been a major success. In addition to the monthly slow sessions, we also played lots of informal sessions on the Sundays in between. On Wednesday evenings, members of Cowley Orchestra played chamber music (see my lists of duets, trios, quartets).
  • A major revelation on one of those Wednedays in the park was playing Dvorak's American quartet with a mixed bag of instruments including clarinet, oboe, flute, violin and cello, making it sound a lot more like the New World symphony. Afterwards, I discovered that the idea wasn't completely new, there is a brilliant arrangement for wind quintet. YouTube has live videos from the Amsterdam Wind Quintet (fourth and first movement) as well as sound-only recordings from the Royal Flemish Philharmonic (complete) and Meliora Winds.
  • As the weather turned autumnal and the orchestral and folkie activities moved back indoors (although Covid stats remained high), two of us carried on playing at the bandstand. Smaller ensembles need louder instruments to get heard, so it's mostly saxophone duos you can hear on a Sunday afternoon these days. Nothing like blasting out an ironic version of Sound of silence on the saxes. Seriously, though, a playlist of tunes that I am playing or trying to play is here. Note also that the tenor sax is ergonomically compatible with my shoulder problem, so for the time being, it is taking up much of the time I dedicated to the cello until the summer.
  • Plague Year Day Trips this year led us to Romsey, Bournemouth and Winchester (again).
  • Just one trip abroad this year, visiting Düsseldorf, Minden and Tangermünde. The latter two for reasons linked to the Heinrich biography. Photos from this trip are in this flickr album.
  • I completed the Lost cities series I started in late 2020. And managed to visit two of the lost cities, see the point above.
  • I managed to read a few interesting books.
  • After the blissful time without haircuts ended, I grew some more around my chin, enjoying the fact that I now have a fur pattern.

Overall, as getting things done, books read, and music played makes me happy, it's been a happy year for me in spite of all the rage at the death eaters, climate catastrophe, and all the rest of it.

Trying something new during lockdowns.

Thursday, December 30, 2021

five sisters, five decades

Every picture tells a story, No. 18

The five daughters of the station master of Adamsweiler all lived to a respectable age and had a tendency to regroup on family occasions so we have portraits of the quintet spanning half a century.

This one is the most recent I have, dated 1950, so presumably from Auguste's golden wedding celebrations. The place is Bad Münster am Stein, where Auguste lived with her husband who had worked at the post office.

A few decades earlier, the five of them with their mother on her 80th birthday in 1927 (the station master had died in 1909):

And then the classic 1900 family portrait outside the Adamsweiler station (which I've used in the master post on railway families):

In this one we have from left to right: Helene, Kätha, Johanna, Auguste, Anna. Good luck working out who's who in the other two. Their descendants are listed in the entry about the Kauer clan. (Quick cross-references to my branch of the tree: Helene married her cousin Julius, their first child was Ruth. I will have to reconnect with Johanna later in the series because she built the house that has preserved the bulk of our memorabilia.)

So much sh*t happened in the first half of the 20th century, thinking of the 250 years of life experience accrued between the first photo and the last just boggles my mind. Note also that their parents' magical recipe for long life did not work for boys: both their brothers died before reaching school age.

This photo is also on flickr.

Every picture tells a story series so far:

  1. string quartet Wuppertal Elberfeld 1927
  2. greetings from Adamsweiler
  3. Gastwirthschaft Ferd. Weirich
  4. quartet times three
  5. Neumühl 1923
  6. Tangermünde railway station 1889
  7. a singing lesson
  8. bei Wilhelm Geppert
  9. a bakery at Lorsch 1900
  10. Consumgeschäft von Julius Düsselmann
  11. Hanna and Ruth
  12. a young chemist
  13. school's out at Reichenstein, 1886
  14. a patchwork family in East Prussia
  15. the case of the missing grandmother
  16. checkpoint Glaner Brücke 1929(ish)
  17. finding Mimi
  18. five sisters, five decades

Twitter thread

In a somewhat roundabout way, this series relates to my research for the family history music memoir I'm writing.

Sunday, December 26, 2021

new from Simone de Beauvoir

I read all of Simone de Beauvoir's novels and some of her autobiographical writing at a young and impressionable age when sitting in a Paris cafe writing books was my idea of a sensible career path. (Now, of course, after the rather strict lockdowns they had in France, I realise that writing from where I'm sitting right now is much more sensible.)

Seriously, though, having been imprinted on Beauvoir as an intellectual role model, I was thrilled to see she's got a new book out, at the age of 110 plus. I only found out this year, when the English translation was published, but the original came out in 2020.

Les inséparables is a fictionalised account of her childhood friendship with and crush on school friend Elisabeth Lacoin, called Zaza, who died in 1929 aged 21. The account written in 1954 was deemed to be too emotionally sensitive to be published in her lifetime. A more distanced version was include four years later in Mémoires d'une jeune fille rangée.

In a detailed preface to this belated publication, Beauvoir's adopted daughter Sylvie Le Bon de Beauvoir explains the complex relations between the real life story, the short novel, and the memoir, which I found really helpful. It also comes with 18 pages of photos and copies of letters between Simone and Zaza.

I may be biased for imprinting reasons cited above, but I found the novel very moving and relatable (as we've only started saying long after it was written), and I'm very grateful that it came out at last. At 150 pages, the text is much more accessible than the memoir (which I bought 38 years ago but I'm not sure if I actually read it!), and I guess it might help to introduce new generations to the emotional and sensitive side of the great philosopher and feminist.

My editions of both books, own photo. I was too impatient to wait for a folio paperback to match my collection of Beauvoir's other works.

PS: My grandmother Ruth, shown here with a friend in her student days, was born the same year as Simone de Beauvoir, which makes the story even more relatable.

Thursday, December 23, 2021

finding Mimi

Every picture tells a story No. 17

Shortly after Peter the customs officer and Frieda the pianist had moved to Gronau, Frieda's mother, Luise, died from a tooth infection, aged only 48. Luise's mother died just two weeks after her, aged 75, for unknown reasons. In letters written around mother's day many years later, Frieda revealed that she never quite got over this early loss of her loving mother. Frieda was 25 at the time and had only recently moved out of the parental house by the railway tracks.

We don't have testimony from Frieda's widowed father, Heinrich (the station master at Minden Stadt), but just under two years after his loss he married Wilhelmine (Mimi) who was also widowed and I recently learned that she also lost children, not sure about the details. Her full name was Sophie Friederike Wilhelmine Franke (verw. Poggenklaas), so Franke was her birth name and Poggenklaas that of her first husband. Mimi was universally popular with all Heinrich's grandchildren and great-grandchildren and survived into the early 1970s. I don't have any data about her, but Frieda mentioned in a letter, using Mimi as a reference age, that Helene Kauer was about Mimi's age, and Helene was born September 1885. That would make Mimi around six years younger than Heinrich, and at the time of their marriage she would have been 45.

In line with the all round good-hearted personality attributed to Mimi, Heinrich and Mimi always look kind of quietly contented on their portraits, several of which were taken over the years at the railway properties Fischerallee 13 and later Fischerallee 11A.

The photo was marked as ca. 1950, which is also the time when they moved from No. 13 to No. 11A, so I'm not sure which garden this is. I've shared photos of both properties here.

I inherited the bible with which Heinrich and Mimi got married, which is a very beautiful one, but also got used, as she did leave various leaves from a day-by-day desk calendar between the pages, presumably looking up the context of whatever biblical wisdom the calendar makers had presented her with on that day. At the moment I can only find three of them, with the most recent dating from 1.3.1973. The date and place of the wedding in church marked in the bible is Uchte, 4.4.1930.

Sample page of the bible and sample calendar leaf.

This photo is also on flickr.

Every picture tells a story series so far:

  1. string quartet Wuppertal Elberfeld 1927
  2. greetings from Adamsweiler
  3. Gastwirthschaft Ferd. Weirich
  4. quartet times three
  5. Neumühl 1923
  6. Tangermünde railway station 1889
  7. a singing lesson
  8. bei Wilhelm Geppert
  9. a bakery at Lorsch 1900
  10. Consumgeschäft von Julius Düsselmann
  11. Hanna and Ruth
  12. a young chemist
  13. school's out at Reichenstein, 1886
  14. a patchwork family in East Prussia
  15. the case of the missing grandmother
  16. checkpoint Glaner Brücke 1929(ish)
  17. finding Mimi

Twitter thread

In a somewhat roundabout way, this series relates to my research for the family history music memoir I'm writing.

Monday, December 20, 2021

make antibiotics evolution-proof

My first article about the dangers of antibiotics resistance came out in September 1994, so I am getting a little bit frustrated that this problem hasn't been fixed in the last 27 years. We are now reaching a point where a post-antibiotic age, meaning widespread incurable bacterial infections wiping years off our life expectancy, is a very real possibility. While I was writing this feature, I needed a course of antibiotics myself, which very nicely focused my mind on what a post-antibiotic world might be like.

The only thing that cheered me up was finding that all the recent work I discussed is based on the premise that we need to find a fundamental new way out of the race we've been running against the evolution and spread of resistance genes. Basically, bacteria have been dealing with fungal antibiotics for hundreds of millions of years. Thus, thinking that we might overcome them with slightly different antibiotics was always naive. So if we want to win this, we need to find evolution-proof recipes.

My feature on the latest advances in this quest is out now:

How to avoid a post-antibiotic age

Current Biology Volume 31, Issue 24, 20 December 2021, Pages R1549-R1552

Restricted access to full text and PDF download
(will become open access again one year after publication)

Magic link for free access
(first seven weeks only)

Drugs specifically suppressing virulence factors instead of eradicating the bacteria have been tried on Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium, among other pathogens. Here, Salmonella cells (yellow) invade a human gut epithelial cell (blue). (Photo: NIAID/Flickr (CC BY 2.0).)

Friday, December 17, 2021

just take carbon

In my school days, pure carbon came in two allotropes, graphite and diamond. By now there are dozens of them, or maybe even an infinite number as you could stitch together any number of fullerenes and polyynes to produce a new molecule consisting only of carbon.

But even fundamentally new types of carbon materials keep popping up, so I wrote a feature on the latest patterns which is out now:

Carbon rapture

Chemistry & Industry Volume 85, Issue 12, December 2021, Pages 22-25

access via:

Wiley Online Library (paywalled)

SCI (coming soon)

I'm loving the design of the first double page spread (although I'm not sure about the title).

In the same issue, on page 39, there's my long essay review of the book

Ethics of chemistry

by Joachim Schummer, Tom Børsen, eds.

which is much better than the previous book on chemical ethics that I reviewed. (I may have forgotten to publicise that review, as the book was really not worth promoting.)

Thursday, December 16, 2021

checkpoint Glaner Brücke 1929(ish)

Every picture tells a story, No. 16

Frieda the pianist from episode 7 met a violinist called Paul during her studies at Bückeburg, but somehow that didn't work out. Instead she found love closer to home. Her parents (Heinrich the station master and Luise the railway worker's daughter) had taken up a lodger in their flat overhanging the narrow gauge railway line at the station Minden Stadt. That lodger was a budding customs officer, and he introduced Frieda to his colleague, Peter Eberle (son of the baker Adam Eberle).

Peter and Frieda married in 1924, but still stayed with her parents in the flat overhanging the tracks (I do love that house!), had their first daughter the next year, then their own flat in 1926, but soon moved on to Peter's first proper customs role on an actual border, namely on the Dutch border at Gronau, where they stayed until the end of 1932 and had their second daughter.

I'm going on about this, because it dates the photo shown below, about which I wouldn't have known anything otherwise. You can see a car with the "NL" plate, so it must have been on the Dutch border, ie between 1927(ish) and 1932. The checkpoint was called Glaner Brücke, referring to a very small bridge across a brook which marks the border. Altes Zollhaus (old customs office) was where they lived, except for a period when they were moved to the Dutch side of the border, a move immortalised in the fact that, in December 1929, their second daughter was born at Lonneker (just north of Enschede, with which it was merged in 1934).

Peter is the second guy from the left, the only one not wearing a hat, for whatever reason. I have no idea who the other guys are and I'm no good at reading their clothes, so all hints appreciated.

This was as much as I knew until I started preparing this entry. Then I felt obliged to google the name of the border post and it turns out there is a flickr account that has an album with 114 photos of this border crossing from 1900 to this century (mostly from the Dutch side, where it's called glanerbrug). I'm still recovering from the shock.

The building we see in the background of our group photo, with the characteristic white stripes running both horizontally and also vertically on either sides of the windows, is recognisable in this lovely postcard from 1950:

Grensovergang 1950~, Gronau. Glaner-Brücke

as well as in several modern photos from the account holder, including this one from 2005 and this one from 2003.

The photos from the 1920s show trams as well as dense rows of mature trees lining both sides of the narrower road. In most views the buildings are obscured by the trees. Then the cars came and ate both the trams and the trees. In the most recent photos you mainly see cars.

After Gronau came a move to Hamm as well as, obviously, the Nazi takeover, but we'll get to that some other time.

This photo is also on flickr.

Every picture tells a story series so far:

  1. string quartet Wuppertal Elberfeld 1927
  2. greetings from Adamsweiler
  3. Gastwirthschaft Ferd. Weirich
  4. quartet times three
  5. Neumühl 1923
  6. Tangermünde railway station 1889
  7. a singing lesson
  8. bei Wilhelm Geppert
  9. a bakery at Lorsch 1900
  10. Consumgeschäft von Julius Düsselmann
  11. Hanna and Ruth
  12. a young chemist
  13. school's out at Reichenstein, 1886
  14. a patchwork family in East Prussia
  15. the case of the missing grandmother
  16. checkpoint Glaner Brücke 1929(ish)

Twitter thread

In a somewhat roundabout way, this series relates to my research for the family history music memoir I'm writing.

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