Fr Browne's photo of an elderly couple

  • Thread starter Ben Thomas Sebastian Holme
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Ben Thomas Sebastian Holme

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Hi everyone,
I have 20 titanic books. About half feature a picture taken by Fr. Browne on the brief trip from Cherbourg to Queenstown. It features an elderly couple standing aft of the Verandah cafe. He has a light grey beard. My guess is Mr and Mrs Warren. Does anyone agree or have alternative suggestions
Ben
 

Mike Poirier

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Dec 31, 2004
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Some others have theorized that they were not a couple at all. Either just two friends walking the deck or two passengers who Brown got them to pose together.
 
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Edmund Turner

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I was only recently thinking that the lady in the photo bears a passing resemblance to Mrs Mary Holverson thats my theory anyway !!!
Edmund
 
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Ben Thomas Sebastian Holme

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Mike,
of the books I can locate at the moment:
P.41 in Peter Thresh's "Titanic" and P.76 of Leo Marriott's "Titanic". I will post you with more when i find them.

Michael,
Do you have a theory about who they are if they are not a couple? i.e provided a possible identity for the two friends.

Edmund,
You're right!! She has the same small features. Although I'm sure Alex would have been with her. Is there any evidence of the Holversons forming acquaintances with an elderly man. Not much is known about the Holversons and their actions on board.
 
Apr 26, 2005
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I always thought that picture represented two members of the Oddell party. You know, it could be Richard May (or Stanley. I don't recall the one that had a beard) and Mrs. Oddell.
 

Mike Herbold

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Feb 13, 2001
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Ben:
Here's what E.E. O'Donnell says in "The Last Days of the Titanic," (page 65) which is a collection of all the Father Browne photos:

"Stepping forward a few feet, and turning to the left (from the double doors leading into the starboard Verandah and Palm Court), Frank Browne has encountered an unidentified couple taking an early stroll. The port cargo crane is much more visible here than than the starboard one was in the previous photograph (page 77 bottom of the Marriott book and page 64 of the O'Donnell book). Overhead, deck-chairs are stacked against the railing of the second class promenade. The absence of clearly defined shadows shows that it was overcast this morning. An unusual facet of this photograph is that it is a double exposure. Barely visible is the wicker furniture of the starboard private promenade, part of a suite occupied by Mrs. Charlotte Drake Martinez Cardeza, a Philadelphia millionairess and big game hunter who had boarded at Cherbourg the previous evening. Flowers, possibly wishing her bon voyage, grace one of the tables. The door leading from this promenade into the first-class enterance-way must have been open for Frank Browne to have this image as he surely did not know Mrs. Cardeza."

An earlier part of the O'Donnell book shows the same pictures as they appeared in Father Browne's album. The only caption below the picture you mentioned says 'First Class'. The other picture I mentioned says 'Second Class'.

This probably doesn't help you much, but the double exposure note is interesting.
 

Pat Cook

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Apr 27, 2000
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Just for grins, I decided to take a crack at this and the first name that I thought of, for the gentleman, was W. T. Stead. The photo on E T shows a more luxurious beard on Mr. Stead but other photos of the man ("The Story of the Wreck of the Titanic", page 161, also the newspapers books) show his beard cut in the same manner as the man in the photo. Also, when I remembered Browne's photo of Jacques Futrelle, it occurred to me he (Browne) may have wanted another 'celebrity' shot.

Just an opinion - take it for what it's worth.

Best regards,
Cook
 

Dan Cherry

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Mar 3, 2000
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The other picture in E.E. O'Donnell's book that always puzzled me is the photo of the A-deck promenade under the bridge. It has Jack Odell peering over the forward rail, and in the background, port side, the gentleman in the cap and long overcoat is ID'd as Archie Butt. The next page shows a man in cap and long overcoat walking aft on the port side of A-deck. It has long been identified as believed to be Capt. Smith. Some 'common sense' thinkers debunked that, saying Smith would have been on the bridge when the pictures were taken. I personally think it may be Archie Butt walking away from Fr. Browne's camera shot.

My own 2 cents, use what you want, lose the rest.

Dan
 
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Ben Thomas Sebastian Holme

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They could have be passengers whose photo(s) do not appear on the ET biographies. They could be the Spencers or the Silveys, for example.
Ben
 
Apr 16, 2001
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Hi Ben,

The couple could have been the Silveys though I have pictures of both from the Duluth newspapers and they do not look them at all. Mr. Silvey was younger than the older gentleman in the photo and did not have a beard.

The same applies to the Spencers. I have a photograph of Mr. Spencer but I have never seen one of his wife. The man in the Fr. Browne picture does not look anything like William Augustus Spencer.

I have always wondered about this particular photo and cannot for sure determine whether or not the two passengers were in fact husband and wife. I've always had a suspicion that they may have been Mr. and Mrs. Henry Sleeper Harper. Unfortunately, they are two of the very few first-class passengers I have never seen a photograph of.

Michael Findlay
 
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Edmund Turner

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I thought the Lady could also be Miss Annie Isham there is a slight resemblance and she could well of had a "protector" while on board, like so many women did.
Edmund
 
Apr 26, 2005
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Wow, Dan, I like your point of view. I haven't got the chance to read through E.E. O'Donnell's book, but it seems to fit. Butt was certainly the military type.

BTW, I think I can remember that there was an elederly gentleman in the little group behind Jack Oddell's shoulder. Could this man be Frank Millet?
 

Phillip Gowan

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Apr 10, 2001
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I've never seen a photo of Myra Harper, but I do have a good photo of Henry Sleeper Harper whose appearance was very distinctive. He is not the man in the photo in question.

Phillip
 

Mike Poirier

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Dec 31, 2004
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Didn't Henry Harper stay in his cabin due to illness the whole voyage? The man in the picture doesn't look like he is in pain.
 

Mike Poirier

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The picture is definitely not of Isham. Ann isham was a very heavy set woman and the lady in the pictures is not. Comparing pics of Ann from 1911 to that pic, I see almost no resemblance.
Over the years I thought the couple could have been the Taussig's or possibly the Goldenberg's.
But looking at a pic of Fred Sutton- he and the gentleman do resemble one another.
 

Phillip Gowan

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Apr 10, 2001
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I can't rule out the Taussigs but it is not the Goldenbergs--old Sam was another very distinctive looking man and a bit cross-eyed.
 

Mike Herbold

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Feb 13, 2001
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I momentarily agreed with Mr. Cook (who also looks like the unidentified man but is much bigger) until I saw W.T. Stead's bioscope pictures here on ET. These were taken shortly before the Titanic trip and show his beard to be much longer and much lighter, especially the moustache.

Now I'm casting my dimpled ballot for Charles and Clara Hays. There are many pictures of Mr. Hays in the Larry Lowenthal "Titanic Railroad" book. On pages 23 and 58 he is shown wearing the same type of hat. (What do you call that kind of hat: Kangol, Gatsby, or what?) The page 23 picture shows the same deep vertical wrinkle lines. And the picture on page 86 of the statue of Hays at the city hall in Prince Rupert, British Columbia is identical to the unidentified man.

Also, the picture of Mrs. Hays here on ET seems to match the unidentified lady.
 
Apr 16, 2001
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To all,

Some additional thoughts --

Mike P. and Phil G. -

I guess we can rule out the Harpers. If Gowan has a picture of Henry then we know it can't be him.

Henry Sleeper Harper did not say that he was in his cabin for the entire voyage - like Mrs. White. However, judging from the way he described his condition, it is unlikely that he was on deck very often. When I look at the picture again, I believe the genleman was actually older looking than what Harper was.

To Phil G. - I have a picture of Mr. and Mrs. Taussig. It's not them. It is not the Goldenbergs either.

To Mike H. - I thought about the possibility of Charles Hays and possibly his daughter, Orian.
I leave this thought to Gavin Murphy.

Any thoughts, Gavin?

Regards,

Mike Findlay
 

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