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I have a glossy photo, measuring 2.75"×4.5", that I'm trying to date. Clues are:

  • The toy tricycle.
  • The clothing of the child. (Is this a boy or a girl?)
  • The style of home in the background.
  • The sidewalk construction.

1 Year old child on toy tricycle

I think it is either of a girl born June 1917 or a boy born June 1921 or less likely a boy born March 1933. Location might be within these ranges:

  • 1917-1920 • 525 North Pleasant Street, Independence, Jackson, Missouri
  • 1923 • 2729 North Main Street, Hutchinson, Kansas
  • 1925 • 233 South Vassar Avenue, Wichita, Kansas
  • 1930 • 3620 Watonga, Fort Worth, Tarrant, Texas
  • 1932 • 4108 Modlin Avenue, Fort Worth, Texas

Given all these clues, what year and place does the picture appear to be taken in?

  • I have little expertise in this type of thing, so I will post my gut reaction as a comment instead of a supportable answer, but to me this does not seem very old. Perhaps it is the sidewalk, the shoes, the coat, the quality of the photo? Therefore I would opt for the most recent of your options, 1932. I believe it is a boy. – Canadian Girl Scout May 30 '16 at 2:31
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    I too am no expert in photo dating but my instinct says 1920s-30s is too early, I think it may be more like 1950s. – Harry Vervet May 30 '16 at 9:53
  • Further information would be helpful. The format and type of photographic processing are potential clues. What size is the photo? Is the finish glossy, matt or something else? Are there any markings on the reverse? The photographic paper manufacturer, photographers marks and annotations are further clues. Is the photo mounted? From whom did you obtain the photo? Did they tell you anything about it? Is it part of a collection? – Sue Adams May 31 '16 at 20:02
  • Is this from the same set as your "Pool" question? The corner numbering looks the same, and the "1YR" and "2YRS" writing look similar. Do you know what those notes mean? The kid in this photo doesn't look 1 year old to me. (And is it the same child in both?) Is there any other correlation between the ages of those photos that might help date both? – AndyW Jun 1 '16 at 7:47
  • @AndyW Yes, it is probably from the same set of photos, certainly came from the same person's album. I'm assuming those notes mean the age of the younger child depicted. It is probably same child, but I'm not certain. The child it most likely is was born June 1921. Otherwise, March 1933. Both are male. Most unlikely is girl born June 1917. – WilliamKF Jun 1 '16 at 18:09
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I had a quick look for the tricycle. I found a few similar ones on ebay and such, without any firm date information. The most useful example appears to be this auction for an "Antique Vintage Wooden Kiddie Kart Child's Bike trike Riding Toy Tricycle", which states:

Age: Quite Old - Maybe 60-80 years old???
Marked: Kiddie-Kar (Kart)

The age range isn't terribly helpful, and the design could certainly be older still. The manufacturer/model might be worth following up. There seem to be quite a few different Kiddie Kar(t) tricycle designs though.

Edit: I was reluctant to click on a "tricycle fetish" website but it appears harmless enough. This "1918 H.C. White Kiddie-Kar" page looks about right, but may be too early to help pin down a date. H.C.White Kiddie Kar http://www.tricyclefetish.com/imagemagic.php?img=images/20090818213919-DSCF7016090818.jpg&w=220&h=222&page=prod_info

Edit 2: There's a Flickr page by "Okinawa Soba (Rob)" showing an advert for the Kiddie-Kar and some history of the H.C. White company.

in 1919 ... [White expanded] output to 2 million Kiddie-Kar “automobiles” per year.

and

After more than a decade of tremendous success, the company failed in the Great Depression

So this tricycle, was made between roughly 1918 and 1930. They were hugely popular and some could easily have lasted many years. So if the one in your photo is a Kiddie Kar, it can't be earlier than 1918 but it could be much later.

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Take a look in the lower right corner of the photograph. I see a #27. Maybe 1927?

I checked the street addresses using google maps and based on sidewalk designs it seems to resemble the North Main Street address in Hutchinson Kansas the most. I hope this helps Is there any markings on the back of the photo?

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    I'm pretty sure those are just numbers of the photos, as I have others numbered 22, 23 and don't appear to be 1922 and 1923. – WilliamKF May 30 '16 at 2:28
  • The photo is glued to black construction paper, so I cannot see much of the back, but what I can see is blank. – WilliamKF May 30 '16 at 15:23
  • If that number actually is the year of the photograph. Based on the clothing I could say early (spring)1927. If it the the boy born in June of 1921 he would be 5-1/2 give or take. – Old_Fossil May 30 '16 at 17:39

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