January 11, 2023 | Last updated Jan 3, 2023

The Power of Suggestion

Photographer Solomon Butcher was not shy about altering photos if he felt they needed it. He tells the story of this 1886 photo of the Theodore Hohman family of Woods Park in Custer County.

“The power of suggestion,” Butcher writes. “The photographer had bad luck with the negative and knocked a big hole in the roof of the sod house and not wishing to make another trip of 60 miles to make new negative, painted in what might pass for a turkey if not examined too closely. When the picture was delivered Mr. Hohman said, ‘What is that?’ The photographer trembling in his shoes remarked ‘Looks like a turkey.’ Hohman said it couldn’t be as turkeys are not around. Besides they did not have any white ones. His wife spoke and said, ‘Yes Theodore don’t you remember me telling you to drive the turkeys away.’ That settled it. But to this day I expect Hohman wonders where that old white gobler came from.”

(Photo: History Nebraska RG2608-1016)

Posted 1/11/2023

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