How the Collection Came About

My mother, Mary Gwinn Bowe (1901-1979) acquired many family pictures from her father, Richard Gwinn, Jr. She herself took many more family pictures during and after her marriage in 1928 to my namesake father William John Bowe, Sr. I followed her picture taking bent and began taking my own family photographs in the 1950s using a Kodak Brownie Hawkeye.

By the 1960s, taking pictures had become a hobby and in college I had switched to a more grown up Nikon and began accumulating vast numbers of slides. Color slides fit my slim student’s budget better at the time compared with color prints. Long time friend Steve Heineman took this picture of my mother and me appearing to talk shop about pictures in the early 1970s.

After my mother’s death in 1979, I inherited all of her family photos. She had carefully pasted