How Will My Story Be Told?


How are your family members and descendants going to look back at this unique period of time in our lives?

Fresno’s Past Meets Fresno’s Present

Here’s one Fresno family’s story about the 1918 pandemic.
The Cooper Children - guess the year?
Horn Photo received this photo restoration project from our long-time customer, Stan Cooper.  If you have lived in Fresno for many decades,you will recognize the name.  Stan was the owner of Cooper’s Department Store in downtown Fresno.
Pictured are his father, John Cooper age seven, his Aunt Betty and his Uncle Tom.  The Cooper children were getting ready to go to the theater.  They were excited, because many of the businesses in Fresno, including the theater, had been closed due to the Spanish Flu.  Fresno Mayor Toomey had just allowed the theater to re-open, but only if everyone followed the mandate to wear masks.  Theater goers were more than willing to abide at that time, because they did not want to risk the theater closing again.    
This picture got us thinking.  The Cooper Family has this particular memory documented in photographs. It was talked about long after the Spanish Influenza was a distant thing of the past.   
It sure seems like we’ve been dealing with the challenges of COVID19 for a very long time.  But it will pass.  
What interesting pictures are you taking right now that will be talked about for generations?
Here are a couple of interesting pictures.  What year do you think they were taken?
When, not sure?

1910?  1915? 1920?  Hard to say.  Sometime in the first quarter of the 1900s.

What about these pictures?  What year were they taken?

Easy to know when

Yep.  1918. It was a very different year in our history.  

Now for a modern picture:  What year was this portrait taken?
2010?  2015? 2020?  Hard to say.  Sometime in the first quarter of the 2000s. 
How about this picture?  What year was it taken?
More recent?
Yep. 2020.  This picture tells a story.

Let’s have some fun.  Here’s a look at then and now.


Check out this 1918 family portrait closely.  Even the cat is wearing a mask!
1918 Family

Are there surprises in old photos that you have?  Find out!  Click here to find out about our photo restoration services.

You see the similarities, and the differences.  One major difference between 1918 and 2020; the quality of photographs is a whole lot better, and EVERYONE can take pictures.
1908 AND 2020 are not that different!
Professional Prints from our Lab
Have you taken some unusual pictures this year?  Turn them into prints and put them into an album for future generations. Horn Photo makes it easy to have prints made, right off of your phone…from your home! Click here to see our print services. ORDER PRINTS NOW
Or create a photo book! CLICK HERE NOW

Thanks for reading!  

BUT WAIT……THERE’S MORE! Here’s a fascinating look at our past:
Watch this brief video describing the conditions in Fresno and the City’s reaction to the pandemic:

The following information was taken from the video above as well as the articles by Professor Ethan J. Kytle.   A link to the articles are at the end of this blog.
Fresno was a city of 45,000 people back then.  The epidemic hit in three waves.  The first wave struck in early October of 1918, and sickened about 10% of the population.The local government acted quickly. People were required to wear masks in public, schools and many businesses were closed or limited to certain hours, and social gatherings were prohibited. Four temporary hospitals in addition to the county hospital were full of influenza patients.
By the end of November the virus had crested, and things were getting better.  There were fewer cases, and hospital beds became available once again.  The local government opened schools, theaters and businesses back up.  Almost as soon as the local government opened things back up, the second wave of the virus hits Fresno in the middle of December 1918. The government closes back up again towards the end of December, but this time, there was a lot of push back from the residents and business owners.  Some business owners and residents refused to follow the restrictions, others even filed law suits against the city.  This led to a dispute between the City Trustees and the Fresno Board of Health. The health authorities reluctantly gave up the struggle and rescinded the safety orders they had tried to implement. Following that action, everyone of them resigned in protest, leaving Fresno without a Board of Health during the thick of a pandemic. During that time, thousands more Fresnans got sick and dozens more died from the virus.
Ultimately, a total of 258 people were known to have died from the virus.
To see a full account of life in Fresno during the last major pandemic, read the eye-opening 18 part series of articles: Dispatches from Fresno, 1918-19: Following the ‘Spanish’ Flu Pandemic in Real Time by Fresno State History Professor, Ethan J. Kytle. It chronicles our local history during 1918 and 1919 through the words of our own local newspapers.   It will enlighten you to the past, and help you better understand our current situation.

Cover your nose when you sneeze