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Trunks, Hinges, Flowers & A Drum


New Member

Attached is a photo which shows the employees of a metalworking factory where many of my ancestors worked and lived. Indeed, several of my ancestors are probably in this photo but I don't know who and probably never will. It was taken on Hanley Street in Birmingham and the company was called Ames, Stokes & Stevens, makers of hinges, brackets, spoons and all things metal. Attached is one of the company's ads from 1897.

In studying this photo, three questions come to mind and I hoping that someone could take a look and let me know their thoughts.

1. When would this photo have been taken? 1900s? 1910s? 1890s? 1880s? Earlier?

2. I notice that most of the women are wearing flowers either in their hair or attached to their dresses. Many of the men are also sporting flowers. Coincidence? Fashion of the time(s)? Or did it signify something (in the same way that we wear poppies in November) specific?

3. What is the significance of the drum which is being held/'played' by the lady front and center? What would this represent? BTW, I believe that the presence of a trunk/suitcase is due to the fact that the company manufactured hinges for trunks. This makes sense. But a drum? Why a drum?

Thanks in advance and if anyone has additional observations I may have missed, please share.



  • Possible Hanley Street & Ames, Stokes, Stevens - Reduced.jpg
    Possible Hanley Street & Ames, Stokes, Stevens - Reduced.jpg
    88.7 KB · Views: 29
  • Ames Stokes 1896.jpg
    Ames Stokes 1896.jpg
    109.6 KB · Views: 32


master brummie
Alexandra Rose Day began in 1912. The idea was to sell and wear artificial (e.g. paper) wild roses in order to raise funds for London Hospitals. Queen Alexandra was the consort of King Edward VII. He died in 1910. Not sure that 1912 fits in with your photograph. The women look about right for this period but the men look as if they belong to a slightly earlier time. Dave.