Cabinet photograph of Ariel Lowe Varges, who was born 11 June 1890 in Chicago, Illinois, the son of Adolph Charles Vargas (3rd image) and his wife Anna Katherine Wagner. The identification on reverse is very faint, but it reads" "Ariel infant".
Ariel Lowe Varges became a famous still and video photographer of conflicts and hardship around the globe. Can't you just tell from his wide-eyed expression that he would grow up to be a curious fellow?
Here's a link to a newspaper article in the Miami News of August 18, 1929 in which Varges vividly recounts the strife for control of China in the late 1920s. The article seems to be the same one that appeared in the North American Review, entitled "Under the Wall of Chochow".
The Miami News article contains some of Varges' photographs and a couple of the photographer himself, in addition to a brief bio of Varges for the reader's benefit, a bit of a sensationalist one; in fact, the headlines throughout the article, not the author's own, seem equally sensationalist.
Judge for yourself: http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=2206&dat=19290818&id=YVctAAAAIBAJ&sjid=VdgFAAAAIBAJ&pg=3683,6287263
At the beginning of the article, Varges recounts he is riding on a train with General Tsur's army when he hears a woman screaming. Once General Tsur finds out that a soldier has attacked her, he condemns the soldier to death on the spot - beheading, by way of an implement that cuts straw - though he is allowed a cigarette, some Chinese wine and a chance to write a letter to his parents.
Searching for Ariel L. Varges or A. L. Varges online will point you to some of his famous and unsettling images, in far-flung places such as China, Russia, Serbia and Iraq. In the credits for one of the photographs, he is identified as Capt. Ariel Varges. I haven't been able to find out if he served in the US military in World War I or after. There's a record online of his World War II draft registration card.
Ariel Lowe Varges died in Norwich, Connecticut in 1972. His Connecticut death record notes that he was married; his widow's name was shown as Jess; other sources show her as Jessica. Her maiden name is unknown to me as yet. She was born in 1896 and died in Plainfield, Connecticut in 1989. I found a New York passenger record showing her name as Varges in 1948 when she and Ariel sailed together from Bermuda to New York.
Hopefully these two photographs will have some meaning for you. If you have any insights into the Varges, Wagner or Bartram families, I would most appreciate hearing from you!
Thanks for stopping by!