The Shelby Museum Of History
Recorders of Shelby Pictorial History

Early Shelby Photographers and their Photographs
Allwine Studio Shelby, Ohio
Ralph Edward Allwine Photography (1922 - 1950+)
Allwine / Allwein Family
Ralph Edward Allwine was born March 15, 1896 in Upper Sandusky, Wyandot County, Ohio to Stephen Lewis and Mary Elizabeth Ries Allwine. Stephen was the youngest child of John Felix and Mary Teresa Brooks Allwine. John Felix was named for his parents, John A. (born 1779) and Elizabeth Felix (born 1753) Allwine. It was at about this time that the family name was changed from that which his grandfather, Hans Jacob Allwein (born 1719) brought with him when he immigrated from the Alsace-Lorraine area in France.
The Allwein/Allwine family history indicates that Hans Jacob Allwein (who was a shoemaker) at age 22, traveled down the Rhine River to Rotterdam and took passage on the ship St. Andrew to Philadelphia and arrived on September 2, 1741. Jacob settled in the Berks County area of Pennsylvania and almost immediately married. With his new wife Katrina they began their family with a daughter Maria Elizabeth born in 1742. They were to have at least 8 children, one of which was Conrad (born 1753) who married Anna Catherine Weibel (born 1753) and was the father of John A. Allwine mentioned above.

 Descendants of Hans Jacob Allwein / Allwine

1 Hans Jacob Allwein Allwine b: 16 Apr 1719
.. +Katrina ? ? ? ? ........................................
...... 2 Conrad Allwein Allwine b: 23 May 1753
.......... +Anna Catherine Weibel b: 25 Apr 1753
............. 3 John A. Allwine Allwein b: 22 Nov 1779
....... +Elizabeth Felix b: July 18, 1779
..................... 4 John Felix Allwine b: 09 May 1805
....................... + Mary Teresa Brooks b: 28 Jul 1807
......................... 5 Stephen Lewis Allwine b: 25 Sep 1851
............................. +Mary Elizabeth Ries b: 23 Apr 1856
.................................. 6 Ralph Edward Allwine b: 15 Mar 1896
............................................. +Anna Emily Mary Spangler b: 25 Nov 1899
The John Felix Allwine family (12 children) moved from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania to Seneca County, Ohio in the 1850s. Stephen Allwine and Mary Elizabeth Ries were married in 1875 in Tiffin, Ohio. John Felix Allwine had passed away in 1878.
Mary's mother, Wilhelmina passed away in 1879 and so in the 1880 census, Stephen and Mary Elizabeth and their first 3 children (Albert, Leo, and Paul) were living with Stephen's father in law (Peter Franz Ries) in Tiffin. Peter Franz Ries passed away in 1891 and by 1896 Stephen Allwine's family was living in Wyandot County where Ralph Edward Allwine was born in Upper Sandusky. When Ralph was only two months old the family decided it was time to move on from Upper Sandusky.
The 1900 census finds the Stephen Allwine family living at 55 Auburn Avenue. in Shelby, Ohio. He was the proprietor of the "Allwine and Sons Barber Shop" at 71 West Main Street. Stephen's name was listed as "Allwein" in the census and the three oldest surviving (Albert died in 1891) sons, Leo, Paul, and Gerald, were listed as "barbers". By the 1910 census, the family was still at 55 Auburn Street and the "S. L. Allwine and Sons" barber shop was now located at 78 West Main Street. At age 14 Ralph was already cutting hair. He once said that he learned the barber trade starting at age 9.

One of hundreds of "Sally's Post Cards" on display and for sale at the Shelby Museum.
When this photo was taken in 1913, Ralph (center, left) at age 17 was shaving a customer (unknown) while his father Stephen (left) and older brother Paul (right) are awaiting their next customer. The "S. L. Allwine Barber Shop" was then located at 80 West Main Street. The location became home to "Horners" and now currently "Johnny's Lunch".
According to the sign on the wall, a haircut cost 25 cents, a shave was 15 cents, a tonic 10 cents, and a beard trim 10 cents. Also there is an O. L. Sharrick ad for "Glasses, Watches & Jewelry". Another ad for "Horner's Steam Laundry - Leave Your Laundry Here".


photo courtesy of Mrs. Paul (Kathleen Allwine) Straka
Ralph attended the University of Toledo, Ohio and became involved in the Student's Army Training Corps. Called to active duty in the U S Army, he enlisted in July 13, 1918. He was honorably discharged December 17, 1918.

photo courtesy of Mrs. Paul (Kathleen Allwine) Straka
Ralph Allwine married Anna Mary "Emily" Spangler, daughter of Henry E. and Catherine M. Schust Spangler on September 8th 1919. Their first child John Joseph Allwine was born September 5, 1921 in Shelby, Ohio.

It was sometime in the early 1920s that Ralph began experimenting with photography. It's not known exactly when he began to take his first pictures professionally, but he was certainly recording his families's growth with his camera during this period. It was a joy that would continue throughout his life.

As the above card states, "Children's Portraits" Our Specialty, Ralph made the photography studio in his home a room set aside especially for his photography business. It soon became a favorite place for Shelby mothers to bring their children for their latest photo. He enjoyed the opportunity to help make each child's photograph "special" for their family. However Ralph accomplished more for the Shelby community than photographing Shelby's children.

During the early years of WWII, Ralph made a series of photographs that he published as postcards. The subject material that he chose were mostly well known or newly completed Shelby buildings such as the Shelby Memorial Hospital (below).


photo c. 1941 - 1942
This format is fairly typical of the post cards from this series. There is ofter a typeface label at the bottom of the photo and a stamped label "Allwine Studio Shelby, Ohio" placed on the reverse side in the "message" area. Several views of the early Shelby Hospital were produced.

The Marvin Memorial Libray and Shelby High School (completed in September, 1925) postcards (above) have reverse sides identical to the previously pictured Shelby Hospital postcard. The labeling on the High School postcard is free hand and not type face. This Shelby High School photo was probably taken in the early to mid 1940s. Over the years, Ralph would have several views of the Marvin Memorial Library produced in post card form.

The above Shelby High School post card makes use of the original Allwine photo (shown previously) but is produced and slightly colorized by the E. C. Kropp Co., in Milwaukee, Wis. The card was probably made in the mid to late 1940s.



The above post card is another example of an Allwine origianl photo and the card is manufactured by the E. C. Kropp Co., in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.


The above version of Ralph's Shelby Post Office building photo is also produced by the E. C. Kropp Co. and is a colorized "linen" style post card.

The post card series also included the major churches in the Shelby area. The Methodist Church card (below) was produced at the same time and with the same reverse side as the Shelby Memorial Hospital card pictured first (above). Note the type face style used in both.


photo courtesy of Mrs. Paul (Kathleen Allwine) Straka
The above United Church of Christ photo was taken at the corner of Whitney Avenue and Church Street in the late 1940s.
Below is Grant School built in 1897. Located on the corner of Whitney Avenue and Second Street.


photos courtesy of Mrs. Paul (Kathleen Allwine) Straka
The Girl Scout Little House, Shelby, Ohio (above) in the late 1940s.
Note the style of type face used for the label.
Below is a photo postcard of the "new" Shelby Country Club" building. Late 1940s based on the label type face used.


photos courtesy of Mrs. Paul (Kathleen Allwine) Straka
The above photo depicts the building that had once been the "Shelby Lamp Works" and had later housed the Shelby Motor Car Compnay. Artillary shells were built here during WWI and in this picture it is the home of the Shelby Cycle Company. The photo was likely taken in the late 1940s.

photo courtesy of Mrs. Paul (Kathleen Allwine) Straka
The Shelby Municipal Water Works building on North Gamble Street. (c. 1950)
photo courtesy of Mrs. Paul (Kathleen Allwine) Straka
The Shelby Fire Department in the late 1940s with trucks and equipment and the Garrett Building in the background (right)

Ralph Allwine provided the citizens of Shelby with much more than great photos of their children. He did his part in recording the continuing development of our community.

The Movies

Allwine photo courtesy of Mrs. Paul (Kathleen Allwine) Straka
In the early 1940s Ralph's younger brother Arthur who had been a barber (in the 1930 census) decided to move to California and look for work in the Hollywood area. He evenually found employment as an electrician on movie sets. Ralph previously had taken pictures of a blonde girl from Mansfield who was considering the possiblity of a career in the movies. Arthur offered to help her make connections with those who might have just the right role for her. She took along some of her Allwine photos as a part of her publicity package.
The movie "My Friend Flicka" was released in 1943 and Diana Hale with the help of Ralph Allwine's photos and Arthur Allwine's referral (see the message on the above photo) played the role of "Hildy" along with Roddy McDowall as "Ken McLaughlin" and Preston Foster as "Rob McLaughlin". They also had the same parts in the follow up movie "Thunderhead - Son of Flicker". Diane Hale played other roles continuing into the 1970s.

Headlines in the June 19, 1981 issue of the Shelby Daily Globe read:
Smoke takes elderly man's life

Daily Globe June 19, 1981 (photo after the fire at Ralph Allwine's Steele Ave. home)
The photography studio was in the room to the right of the door.
The Shelby Fire Department responded to an early morning house fire on Steele Avenue and found the home engulfed in flames and soon discovered Ralph Allwine had died from smoke inhalation.
His obituary reads in part:
"A professional photographer and barber, Mr. Allwine posed as Santa Claus each Christmas for family, friends and children in area hospitals. He also did volunteer work for the Catholic Missions and St. Mary and Sacred Heart Elementary schools."

photo courtesy of Mrs. Paul (Kathleen Allwine) Straka
In addition to what was written above, Ralph Allwine was a man of many interests. For hobbies and relaxation, he wrote songs (words and music), and having an interest in chemistry, he made cosmetics and fragrances. He was a candy maker, and was skilled as an electrician and plumber.
A man of many talents.
If you have additional Allwine family information or photos you would like to share,
please contact us at the Shelby Museum.
The Shelby of History
% Sally Maier
76 Raymond Ave.
Shelby, Ohio 44875
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