This photo is on some kind of thick cardboard paper. As you can see, someone wrote on it. The writing on the top is in Portuguese. According to my mom, who speaks Portuguese, the basic translation is as follows –
"A French family built this. With imitation steam, but a horse makes the wheel in the back move in order to navigate the boat."Well, that's interesting! It sounds like the third boat in this photo, the larger one on the far left with people standing on the top deck, is an imitation steam paddlewheel boat that was actually drawn by a horse on the shore. Although, I can't imagine that only one horse would have pulled this boat.
I'm glad whoever wrote on this photo decided to include the location and dates. It looks like these boats were docked at Lake Charles, Louisiana. And it's dated 1896 – 1902.
F. E. Webster was my maternal great-grandfather, Frederick Emory Webster, also known as "The Traveling Dentist" here on my blog. My regular readers have likely heard of him before. He was born on 14 February 1864 in Coolville, Athens, Ohio. He was the third of six children born to Ebenezer Perry Carlisle Webster and Cynthia Maria Waterman. If you read last week's 52 Ancestors post, you may remember Ebenezer Perry Carlisle Webster's photo album that I shared here on my blog.
Frederick was actually named Watson Emory Webster at birth, but later changed his name to Frederick Emory Webster. I've written a post theorizing about why he changed his name. You can read about that HERE.
|Watson (Frederick) Emory Webster|
Frederick graduated from the Western Dental College on April 2, 1896. Frederick's Doctor of Dental Surgery Diploma was found inside a metal tube tucked inside one of my grandfather Debs Webster's suitcases. I shared this exciting find on my blog. If you'd like to take a look at this amazing document, click HERE.
Frederick was also an inventor! Yep! That's right! He received a patent and everything. He made improvements to a dental handpiece. I shared a copy of his patent here on my blog too. If you'd like to see it, click HERE.
Frederick was an interesting person. He certainly traveled quite a bit during his life. That's why I refer to him as "The Traveling Dentist" here on my blog. He married my great-grandmother, Esther Matus Villatoro, in Mexico. This is a picture of Frederick and Esther with their two oldest children, Carlota and Edna.
Sometime after the birth of their first child, Carlota, who was born in 1910, Frederick and Esther and their daughter moved to Brazil. Frederick and Esther continued to travel after moving to Brazil, including trips to the United States and Mexico.
I've been able to trace many of Frederick and Esther's travels through documents and photos.
I'm grateful that the photo of Frederick's dental and photo boats included information about where and when they were docked.
I thought it would be interesting to crop and enlarge Frederick's dental and photo boats so we could get a closer view of them.
In this close-up of the F. E. Webster Dental Boat, I think I found Frederick. See those three men standing there under the dental boat sign? I think Frederick is the one on the far left. I don't know who all of the women and children are in this photo.
And here we have the F. E. Webster Photo Boat. I think it's awesome that Frederick was also a photographer.
Of course I have some questions.
- How long did Frederick have his dental and photo boats?
- How did he acquire them?
- Where did he travel in these boats?
- Did he have a large clientele for his dental practice and photography studio?
- Did he advertise his floating dental practice and photo studio?
- Did the dental boat rock at all while dental work was being done? (Scary thought, right?)
- Who took the photo of these dental and photo boats?
I'm very grateful to my grandfather, Debs Webster, for keeping this photo, as well as all of the other family photos he kept for his descendants to enjoy.
Thanks for stopping by!
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