Skip to main content


June 2023
1min read

Joseph Belka, a photographer in north St. Louis, knew just the way to lure his young customers in the fall of 1928. As our reader John M. Stevens explains it, “One afternoon my sister Peggy was walking home from her first-grade class. As she passed Mr. Belka’s studio she paused to look at the small model of Charles Lindbergh’s plane standing outside, and Mr. Belka promptly materialized to ask if she would like to climb into the cockpit and have her picture taken. He did not have to ask twice. An hour or so later Mr. Belka walked over to the house with the finished photo and sold it to my mother.”

We continue to ask our readers to send unusual and unpublished old photographs to Carla Davidson at American Heritage, Forbes Building, 60 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10011. Please send a copy of any irreplaceable materials, include return postage, and do not mail glass negatives. We will pay fifty dollars for each one that is run.

We hope you enjoy our work.

Please support this 72-year tradition of trusted historical writing and the volunteers that sustain it with a donation to American Heritage.