29 February 2016

The Mystery of Two Girls and a Garage

Another charming photo of two young ladies. It must be summertime. They are wearing white or pale dresses with short sleeves. The bob haircuts suit them, I think. I'd love to know about that very grand house in the background. I wonder if it's still standing after all these years.

There are a few more clues below the photo. As always, give me a shout if you know who these people are.

Two girls, arm in arm, standing in front of a garage. Printed by Elizabeth Novelty Co. after 1915.
Two girls, a garage, and a very big house. Do you recognize them?

The photo was peeled off of the page of a photo album. The paper residue is black. There is no writing on the back [naturally!] but the photo is stamped "Printed By Elizabeth Novelty Co." A partial stamped number is visible "79[obscured by paper residue]."

Advertisement for the Elizabeth Novelty Co., Elizabeth, NJ. From the 1917 Elizabeth Directory.
Advertisement from the 1917 Elizabeth City Directory. (1)
This is the first year they that
advertise photo developing and printing.
The Elizabeth Novelty Co., located at 215-217 Broad Street, first advertises developing and printing services in the 1917 edition of the Elizabeth Directory. In 1915 they are selling photographic supplies. So at some point between 1915 and 1917 they began offering printing services. That makes it likely that this photo was printed no earlier than 1915.

I have a few other photos with the same straight line border. You've seen two of them here. Those images bear the stamp of "Elizabeth Photo Service." They are all connected to Wallace B. Dixon.





For Further Research

  • Did Elizabeth Novelty Co. buy out Elizabeth Photo Service, or vice versa? Or was this just a common border at the time?
  • Although all the other photos that I've scanned so far, that have this border, are associated with W.B. Dixon, it can't be assumed that this is one of his photos as well. I'll have to be on the lookout for others. Pinpointing who owned the photo might help me figure out who these girls are.

(1) Elizabeth Directory 1917. Vol. VII. Price & Lee Company, Newark, New Jersey. 1917 Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011. Film image 37.


  1. I don't know who the girls are but the home in the background is a typical Victorian home in Elizabeth and likely dates to the 1870s-1880s. The Second Empire architectural style is characterized by the mansard roof with window dormers, providing bonus living space for large families or live in servants. The bay window on the first floor may have been the parlor, library or dining room. The property is large and on a corner. This may have been on West Grand or West Jersey St. where upscale homes like this were built. Most have been replaced by dull looking apartments.

  2. Thanks for another informative comment Bob! I love old houses, and hate to see them torn down.

    My Dixon great-grandparents lived at 127 E. Jersey St. in 1897. My great-grandmother lived at 159 West Grand Street according to the 1920 census. After 1927, when she married her second husband, they lived at 125 West Grand. My mother described the house at 125 W. Grand as quite fancy. The site of that home is now, as you say, one of those very dull apartment buildings. So sad.

  3. I am trying to identify pictures from my grandmother and they also have the imprint "Printed by Elizabeth Novelty Co". Now I can at least narrow it down to after 1915. Thank you.

    1. You are very welcome! If I may ask, what are the family names you are researching?