September 1872, Oberhemer
This is Levi Löwenhardt, one of Salomon Löwenhardt’s three sons. Levi was born in Oberhemer on 7 July 1840. He was conscripted into the Prussian army on 15 October 1863 and fought at the battles of Münchengräz (28 June 1866) and Königgräz (Sadowa, 3 July 1866) during the Austro-Prussian war. His army pass-book has been preserved in the Löwenhardt Archive. The pass-book shows that on relegation to the reserve on 26 September 1866 he received the “E.K. 66R” or Erinnerungskreuz 1866 which was awarded to everyone who fought in these battles.
In September 1872 Levi married Pauline Lennhoff from Plettenberg. Together they set up a butcher’s business in his home town Oberhemer in Sauerland, just east of Iserlohn. And here, Pauline and Levi had twelve children – three of whom were girls. The first child – born in 1873 – was named after his grandfather, the twelfth and last child, Herman, was born in in 1892.
Dating this photo is problematic. There are no written clues whatsoever on the original. The same goes for the second photo which is identical in terms of technique, form and printing. Both photos were passed on from generation to generation within the Löwenhardt photo collection and are currently in the family archive.
The second photo certainly shows Levi’s wife, Pauline. This strongly suggest that both photos were taken in 1872 on the occasion of the wedding, or shortly afterwards: both have the same shape, Levi is wearing the medal awarded to him six years earlier – an he appears to be around 30 (he was 32 on his wedding day). Unfortunately, internet information around the development of photography gives no clues on whether a print such as this could have been made in 1872.