The Psychogenealogist Pic of the Week (#81) - A Rainy Day for Kurt Knuth (1925)

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 photo was printed on an Azo Real Photo Vintage Postcard that was typically used from about 1922 until 1926.

It features a bespectacled, handsomely dressed and hatted man sitting in a dark leather chair on a geometrically patterned floor. He stares, without smile, towards the camera. The photo appears posed, with faux background, perhaps a garden scene, behind him.


Written on the back, in the top right corner is the name: Kurt Knuth. It appears to be written at a different time (with a different pen and handwriting) than the main contents of the postcard which reads:

Taken out at Luna Park.
Sunday, May 10, 1925
the nite I came from Toledo
It rained.
081_Pic_of_Week_ Back.jpg

With a little imagination it reads like a mysteriously simple haiku-like poem.

More likely, however, is that it is merely descriptive. The date of 1925 matches what we already now about the paper the photo was printed on. 

The research questions are as follows:

  • Is Kurt Knuth the person in the photograph?
  • Is the man from Toledo?
  • Who was the photo given to?
  • Where is Luna Park?
  • Why mention "It rained"?
  • My best guess is that the man is between 30 and 40. What do you think?
  • What do you think about wonder and feel as you look at the photo?
  • Is there a relative of this man alive today who might like to have this photograph?

Here is some of the research that I did:

Luna Park describes the name "shared by dozens of currently operating and defunct amusement parks. They are named after, and partly based on, the first Luna Park, which opened in 1903 in the heyday of large Coney Island, New York parks." (Wikipedia)

Though it is hard to know for sure, it seems likely that this photograph refers to one of those parks. If you check the link you will notice that there was a Luna Park, Detroit that was in operation during this time (1906-1928). It was also referred to as Electric Park.

Given that this photo was obtained from a book store in downtown Detroit, and that the postcard refers to coming "up" from Toledo (to Detroit's south) it seems like a good chance this is the location.

There are dozens of entries in for "Kurt Knuth" in different parts of the country. It is hard to know, without more details, which one, if any, this gentleman might be. 

If it was Detroit, we do know that it rained that day. The front page of the Detroit Free Press for May 10, 1925 indicated, simply, that the weather was "Showers".

FREEP May 10 1925.png

There is a lot more that could be investigated here. If you feel the urge please have at it and let me know what you discover.