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Frank J & Anne Strathman


Posted By: Cheryl Strathman Anderson (email)
Date: 8/28/2006 at 14:49:11

In 1922, Frank John Strathman went out on his own and moved his family from Seneca Kansas to Pocahontas, Iowa to pursue his photographic career.

Frank and his wife, Anne bought the Sullivan Studio housed at that time on the second floor, next to Drobneyís Poolhall at 16 3rd Avenue. (The building has been torn down.)
In 1927 the business was moved across the street to the first floor of the State Bank. In 1939 they purchased the Kaiser Building at 306 Main and moved the studio there.
Frank worked on fluorescent lighting possibilities for General Electric in the early years. He had heard GE was doing research and wrote to them for information. Using phosphorus flash was going by the wayside. Having enough natural light wasnít always possible. GE sent him all the equipment necessary to build a lighting unit in return for his experience and findings. Frankís paperwork was destroyed from lack of preservation foresight.

Anne Strathman became the colorist, tinting the black and white prints to resemble color photos. She was their best sales person for over 40 years. Annís presence alone brought in many customers who were drawn in by her winning personality. She worked at the Studio from the time they took over in 1922 till around 1960. Ann trained her daughter-in-law, Annette to take over the coloration. She was very involved in the hospital committee that brought about the building of the Pocahontas Hospital.
All the Strathman children helped out at the studio. Frank, Jerry, Kathryn, Donna, Grace, Tike & Betty all had vivid memories of washing the photos when they were young. The water was ice cold they all said.

Frank was often hired to photograph crime and accident scenes for the police and insurance companies, being the nearest professional photographer to the county seat.

He served as the chairman of the lighting committee when Main Street was first lighted for evening hours. Working with the town council, Frank arranged for uniform night lighting for all the businesses. Frank was a member of the Lazymenís Club of Pocahontas in the 1940ís. Frank and Anne were original members of the Pocahontas Golf Club.

He trained two of his sons, Frank and Tike, to also become professional photographers. He practiced for 50 years carrying on the tradition for excellence before selling to his son "Tike" (Eugene) in 1957.

Anne Strathman died in June 1967. Frank Strathman died in 1973.


Pocahontas Biographies maintained by Karen De Groote.
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