In search of a Father’s Day photo for the Sunday paper, I scoured more than a dozen manila folders in our library last week. The “Father’s Day” folder was a disappointment, packed with staged shots and visual clichés. The most intriguing: A series of 60-year-old photos of new fathers peering through the hospital glass at their newborns. Appealing – but all verticals, and the page designers require that I supply only horizontal photos for Yesterday’s News. Sorry, new dads of 1951!
Then I remembered a Minneapolis Star story about the birth of Minnesota's largest baby, Jacob Schmitz, in 1936. I posted the story and several photos in 2007, along with an interview with one of Jacob's brothers. The Schmitz photo file produced another photo worth republishing. Here it is:
Two important people are not in this photo from July 1936: Veronica Schmitz, 37, and Jacob, the largest baby born in Minnesota. She and her 15-pound, 15.2-ounce newborn were recovering in the Graceville hospital after a difficult birth. Jacob Sr., a farmer in western Minnesota, made sure the other dozen kids finished their chores and cleaned up in time for a visit from a Minneapolis Star photographer. At top, from left: Donald, 13; Vivian, 14; Valeria, 15; Victor, 18; Reinhard, 11; Eugene, 10, and Louise, 8. Below: Katherine, 7; Laura, 6, and Elizabeth, 3. Holding Vernon and Veronica, 16 months, was dear old Dad, 40.