Archive: Dett and Milligan Family Photographs, Baltimore Maryland, African-American

By: (Joshua Dett Family)

Price: $300.00

Quantity: 1 available


This small photographic archive consists of 11 B&W photographs from the family of Irvin Dett (specifically) and of Joshua Dett (more generally). The Dett family lived in the Baltimore community of Reistertown from the time of the Civil War. In the 1920's Joshua Dett opened a shoe repair business that was taken over by his son, Andrew, and then by a grandson, Andrew Jr. The business closed in 1997. These photographs seem to have come from Irvin Dett, probably a brother of the elder Andrew. The photos begin with two, probably 19th century tintypes. One is labelled on the back, "Uncle John Milligan," and the other "Henry Milligan." The Milligan and Dett families had intermarried -- Joshua Dett's daughter Annie had married a Milligan. A small cabinet card shows an African-American woman in a kitchen. Written on the back is, "Hack's Kitchen" with something that I cannot read written under that. This photo looks to be late 19th century. A similar cabinet card of a young girl is not labelled. An 8X10, ca. 1950 photo shows two men in suits. This photo is labelled, "Wyatt Madden, George Milligan, Day of Mr. Henry Madden's Funeral." The Madden's were another family that Dett's had married into. Next is an 8X10 of a graduating class, labelled "Irvin Dett Commencement." This seems to be an all-African-American school from the late 1940's or early 1950's. Another 8X10 shows a group of African-American soldiers. Labelled on the bottom of the front, it identifies Irvin Dett as 3rd Row, 5th. Next is an 8X10 of an all black baseball team labelled "1950" and "Team Played" followed by a name I cannot read. There is also and 8X10 image of the inside of the Dett Bros. shoe shop that is labelled on the back, "Robert Dett Irvin Dett work in Dett Shoe Shop" followed by an address. The one other photograph is a 1950's era 8X10 of a young girl who is not identified. All in all this group makes a remarkably revealing montage of the life of this family in Baltimore. Of some interest is the possibility that famed African-American musician and composer, Nathaniel Dett may have been related to this family. Nathaniel Dett's father moved to Canada from Reistertown Maryland. The connection to Reistertown is difficult to deny. These photos all show wear and use in varying degrees. The one of the baseball team has a child's crayon markings on the abck and has been wadded up, probably by the same child. Overall, the photos range from good to very good. The images in some of the 19th century photos are faded but all are still clear enough to be studued. Please look at my scans.; B&W Photographs; 11 pages

Title: Archive: Dett and Milligan Family Photographs, Baltimore Maryland, African-American

Author Name: (Joshua Dett Family)

Categories: African - American,

Publisher: Baltimore, (Irvin Dett): 1890 - 1960

Binding: Photograph

Seller ID: 16647

Keywords: African - American Black Negro Baltimore Photography Ephemera Archive