The Psychogenealogist Pic of the Week (#30)

Every Friday The Psychogenealogist shares a "Pic of the Week." The intent is to encourage thought and imagination about the spaces where psychology, genealogy, and history converge.

This week's photograph is of a young boy sitting barefoot on the porch wearing a helmet of some sort. I obtained the photo from a random lot of vintage photos off of eBay.

"Kaiser Geo. ?? 1921"

The text says "Kaiser Geo." and gives a date of 1921. A last name appears to be included but I can't make it out. Can you?

What I like about this photo is the playful notation. This boy is clearly not a German Emperor. But, he is wearing a helmet in the style of the German "Pickelhaube" spiked helmet during the 1800s and early 1900s (see below).

A reproduction officer’s helmet, circa 1914. (Image source:  )

A reproduction officer’s helmet, circa 1914. (Image source:



  • Who is this boy and what is his story?
  • There appears to be a woman standing, back turned, partially visible, inside the door. Is this his mother?
  • Who is taking the picture?
  • What did this boy know about World War I which presumably ended only a few years, before this photo was taken?
  • How do wars and social factors influence the play and imagination of young children at different points in history?
  • What are some of your favorite "costumed" photos you have of your ancestors?

Do you have an old photograph or a genealogical story that you would like to share? I am happy to consider guest submissions for possible Pic of the Week or other blog posts in the future. Send an email to for more information.

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