This collection of the "Strangers In The Box" photographs date from circa 1870 to circa 1915.
STRANGERS IN THE BOX
Come, look with me inside this drawer,
In this box Iíve often seen,
At the pictures, black and white,
Faces proud, still, serene.
I wish I knew the people,
These strangers in the box,
Their names and all their memories,
Are lost among my socks.
I wonder what their lives were like,
How did they spend their days?
What about their special times?
Iíll never know their ways.
If only someone had taken time
To tell who, what, where, or when,
These faces of my heritage
Would come to life again.
Could this become the fact
Of the pictures we take today?
The faces and the memories
Someday to be passed away?
Make time to save your stories,
Seize the opportunity when it knocks,
Or someday you and yours could be
The strangers in the box.
Pamela A. Harazim
The collection now contains 38 unidentified photographs taken in Brooklyn and New York City, and 49 photographs taken in Munich and vicinity. The Munich photographs are probably the Wallner and Brunner family or friends. There are just too many to put on this site at one time, so I'll try to change the selection regularly!
The Munich collection of photos are assumed to have belonged to Elisabeth Brunner Wallner, which she brought with her to America. None of these photos are labeled. This collection does not contain any photos of young children or young adults taken by the same photographer that might be her daughter Johanna, and sons Josef, Ludwig and Otto.
18 photographs from the Munich collection can be viewed at
Strangers In The Box 2
(link at the top of this page).
Some of the strangers originally in the box became "family" and were identified when other labeled photographs of them were located. These photographs were spread out on the dining room table for months, arranged by photographer and location - and then by resemblance. Family and visitors were all invited to play the game of the "Strangers In The Box". Do any of these people have the same eyes, ears, nose, chin, hair... look for the Brunner curly hair! Do you see any family resemblances?
Is this Josef Louis Wallner?
Is this Elfrieda Huch Wallner?
Is this the daughter of one of the Brunners who married Zoellers?
Are these Wallners? Or Brunners? And what is the significance of the boxes?
There are two copies of this photograph in the family collection.
Photograph dated 1909. There are 3 different photographs of this unidentified woman - one is her wedding portrait.
Another unidentified Munich couple - Wallners?
Is this Elisabeth (Brunner) and Josef Wallner?
And another couple - or are they the same as above?
The woman in this photo appears to be the same woman photographed in front of the Wallner home in Pastetten ca 1890, holding a child in her arms. With her is another woman of about the same age, also holding a child. With them are two young girls. If this couple are the same as above, and she is the same woman in the photo at Pastetten, then she is too young to be Elisabeth (Brunner) Wallner. But she has the Brunner curly hair!
Three Sisters and a brother?
Would love to know who these next two people are! Josef Wallner or
Elisabeth Brunner's parents?