A lesson from my granddaughters about the Recolor App

I have this wonderful photograph of my grandmother’s garden, circa 1949. I’ve been told that neighbors referred to her yard as “The Dalin Park”. But you’d never know it from this picture.


I remember my grandmother’s yard and have many fond memories of playing there with all my cousins. But in my mind’s eye, I remember it a bit differently than this black and white photo.

As luck would have it, my 9-year-old granddaughters were visiting last week and they just happened to share with me their newest favorite app, Recolor. Thinking of all the information I’ve seen recently about recoloring old black and white photos, I asked one of the girls if I could use the app on my own imported photos . . . and she confidently said, “Sure you can, Noni!” And then proceeded to show me all the steps.

Here’s my first attempt . . .

What do you think? I’d be interested to see how others might use this app to colorize some of their own cherished family photos.

Disclaimer: I don’t think the house was yellow and I have no idea if the flower colors are right. But it more closely matches my memory of her yard than the black and white photo above. And more importantly, the little girl in me loves this photo. And I think my grandmother would love it, too.

As Time Goes By

Inspired by an article entitled “Then and Now Photos Show People as Young Adults and at 100 Years Old”, I took a look at some of the family photos in my own collection to see if I could assemble a similar group.

The results were somewhat surprising. Most noteworthy . . .

  • In many cases, I found pictures where the poses were quite similar, even though many years had passed in between.
  • And of course it was fun to see how some facial features never change!

Here’s my collection . . . Continue reading

Calling all family history bloggers!

Here’s a really great resource for family history bloggers – “no permission required” images, courtesy of the New York Public Library.

According to this article, which explains these out-of-copyright images, “No permission required, no hoops to jump through: just go forth and reuse!”


Included among the collections are . . .

  • Farm Security Administration photographs
  • Sheet music for popular American songs at the turn of the 20th century
  • WPA-era lithographs, etchings and pastels by African American artists
  • More than 40,000 stereoscopic views documenting all regions of the United States

Or you can just click here to begin your search. Be sure to click on the SEARCH ONLY PUBLIC DOMAIN MATERIALS button under the search box.

For example, I searched for materials in the public domain using the search terms “Butte Montana”. There are a total of nine images, including this one for the Speculator Mine. The worst hard-rock mining disaster in U.S. history occurred at this site on June 8, 1917.  Although it’s difficult to tell whether the handwriting at the bottom of the image includes a date, this image is of interest to me because my great grandfather Joseph Kieron was a miner in Butte at the time of this disaster.

The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. (1898 – 1931). Speculator Mine, Butte, Mont. Retrieved from http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47d9-a60a-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

I also used this image in my “sister” blog, An Upbuilding Life, to accompany a letter my great grandfather George Schenk wrote to my great grandmother Mary Gertrude Rumping in 1897 – wherein he referenced this lovely tune.

Music Division, The New York Public Library. (1895 – 1895). Only one girl in the world for me Retrieved from http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47de-1622-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

Click here to read that blog post.

And then I also came across this wonderful image. I don’t imagine I’ll ever have a chance to use this in a blog post – but isn’t it great?!

The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. (1701 – 1800). Pazzi amanti… Retrieved from http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/f93ef390-e6d6-0132-e020-58d385a7bbd0.001