Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Picture of Harold at 16 in 1945


Harold at 26 (1945)

My brother Brian's notes:

Harold Rosen (1919-2008) (my father) at age 26.

I was hoping to upload this photo on his birthday (June 25th 2012), in his memory, but was thwarted by problems with various scanners when I was trying to scan the print, so I'm a few days late. This is obviously a studio portrait and Harold is in army uniform.

There are no personal notes with the photo and I cannot recall an explanation from Harold, though he no doubt told us at some time or other. Here is what I know or have pieced together. The reverse side of the photo bears the date 14 Aug 1945 and the pencilled number 1830. Different prints of the identical photo, and others in the same set, also bear a stamp which reads "ARMY EXCHANGE SERVICE PHOTOGRAPHIC DIVN., A.P.O. 413, U.S. ARMY". Harold would have recently turned 26. American by birth, he had just been called up to the US Army just a few months after the fall of Berlin (May 2nd 1945) and VE Day (May 8th 1945). As far as I have been able to discover, A.P.O. [= American Post Office, presumably] 413 was in London, so this portrait seems to have been part of an official, professional, but informal set taken at a US Army centre or assembly station for US conscripts in the London area. Harold would have gone there just after being called up. He is in army uniform, and would shortly be posted to Frankfurt/Main and later Berlin, Germany.

I would welcome further information about the US Army Exchange Service Photographic Division around 1945. Please comment or contact me.

My digital scan is from an original high gloss print (76 x 103 mm). The quality is very high and there is little grain even when digitally enlarged here (see 'original size'). It was obviously a professional studio portrait taken on a top camera of the day by an experienced photographer. By scanning it in colour, I have kept the original monochrome shade. I have not cropped it at all and have only edited to remove a few very small blemishes. I have left the almost imperceptible brown patches on the background.

Photographer unknown.
Scanned in colour by Brian Rosen from a print.
Monochrome shade is as original.
Copyright (if applicable and not expired) unknown, possibly 'US Army Exchange Service Photographic Division' or similar.
Uploaded here under Creative Commons.
If you would like to use or refer to this image, please link or attribute to 'Darkroom Daze for Rosen Family Archive'. 
ID: Scan1014 - Version 2