Two photos of my great-grandfather Václav Šimánek from our family albums – the rather dashing one on the left taken about 1894 in New York and the one on the right later in life back home in Czechoslovakia.
We believe he took a trip from Czechoslovakia (then called Bohemia) to visit some previously emigrated family in Baltimore, Maryland then returned home.
While scanning our family photos I did find a clue that we may not have the whole story – I noticed that the back of the first photo (aka a “cabinet card”) has a photographer logo of Rud Bachmann and address of 6 East 14th Street in New York, so apparently Vaclav took a side trip before returning home.
The family story goes that he was impressed with the set up of fire departments in the United States and when he returned home to Předmíř he used what he learned to create a better fire department there.
Needless to say I now have a very strong urge to add some handlebars to my own moustache.