Who is Bow-Tie Man? An Historical missing link.

Walloon, Olentzero, let’s see the pic!

Yeah, let’s see it. I was just curious enough to look around and find birthdates on the five possible names they listed, and had decided Twings was least likely because he was the youngest of the group. He would have been 51 in 1935. The guy in the photo looks older than that. If it’s him, middle age was not particularly kind to him.

Here they are:

Rep. Joshua Twing Brooks (R-Penn.) served on the House Ways & Means Committee that oversaw the Social Security Act.

In each photograph the hairline between gray hair and dark hair is identically shaped and positioned. Note also the same long shape of the face, high forehead, straight line of the mouth, and eyeglasses. Bowtie Man does look more haggard, but Washington can do that to you.

If you click on the “slideshow” you can get enlargements of the photos.

What’s with using ‘an’ with ‘historical’? It’s just, plain wrong.

Good work, Walloon. I think it’s a pretty good match.

Another point re: the fact that “bowtie man” looks considerably more haggard than the picture you have of Brooks is that the newspaper photo of him is not necessarily from 1932 - it could very well be a stock photo from much earlier that was used in the 1932 paper. So he could genuinely have been much younger in the photo in the paper than in the 1935 Social Security picture.

So, Walloon, when are you going to contact the Social Security people, and then report back to us about your prize? :slight_smile:

I e-mailed my results to the SSA’s history editor on July 29.

Dude, how could I have missed this? I thought it was some sort of Creationism thread…

I’ll just wander up there and get some confirmation and citations for Walloon and the United (can’t go look it up in their own damned Library) States tomorrow.

Unless I get a job, that is.

The Library of Congress must have something on the chap, even if some finger of The Man is too indigent to lift itself. (Please insert Social Security joke about not paying off here.)

Ahem. I will post late tomorrow for an update, hopefully with complete citations.

According to the Congressional Biographical Dictionary, Brooks was a Democrat, not a Republican

Walloon, glad you could get the pics up. I didn’t get your e-mail until this morning and threw together a page immediately, but then finding this thread seemed to take longer than it should have.

I agree with the rest of the gang - I think you’ve got it nailed. As for cmkeller’s observation on the use of stock photos, anecdotal evidence from my own family history seems to bear that out. My great-granddad was a bit of a local luminary in western Massachusetts, and when he died at age 59 they ran a photo of him, which clearly showed him to be a lot younger-looking than the photos I have of him in his fifties. Just my 2¢.

The Social Security Administration lists five <a href=“http://www.ssa.gov/history/bowtieman.html” target="_blank"> candidates </a> for Bowtie Man, all of whom served on the House Ways & Means Committee that oversaw the passage of the Social Security Act.

I now have photographs of four of those five men posted <a href=“http://homepage.mac.com/sdhuey/PhotoAlbum1.html” target="_blank">here </a>.
I still haven’t found a photograph of Rep. Isaac Bacharach of New Jersey, who served in the House 1915-1937. If anyone in the Garden State might find one and scan it, I’d be greatful.

Joshua Twing Brooks still looks by far the most likely to be Bowtie Man.

(Thanks, BobT for the correction on Brooks’ party affiliation.)

I am obviously a beginner at HTML coding.

I would be interested to find out why Brooks lost his primary bid for reelection in 1936. It couldn’t have been redistricting. And 1936 was a year when the Dems won just about everything they ran for.

Looks good, Walloon!

Let the Social Security people know. After all they said you would have


Keep us informed!

“Bowtie Man” J.T. Brooks appears to have been utterly forgettable. Volume 5 of Pennsylvania: Political, Governmental, Military and Civil (1933) is devoted to biographies, but somehow overlooks Brooks, who was elected to Congress the previous year. Likewise, vol. 4 of Annals of Southwestern Pennsylvania (1939) is devoted to biography; no Brooks there either, although he left Congress only two years previous.

I want to know why you guys have these pictures of these politicians and the SS people do not.

Good question, ZipperJJ. I got the photographs of Treadway and Woodruff from The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, a commonly found reference work. The photograph of Jenkins came from his New York Times obituary, and that of Brooks from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette two days after his election to Congress. I’m sure the Library of Congress has both newspapers on microfilm.

Walloon, I love the Cyclopedia! I got fairly close relatives in there, and that turned out to be the only source of information for one of 'em, complete with picture. [/aside]

Based on the pictures you got there, I’m definitely convinced Brooks is your man. The other three don’t look anything like Bowtie at all. I bet if someone dug up the Post Gazette on MF from the time of the signing of the Social Security Act, there’d be some mention of the signing and Brook’s presence there.

Ugh. Sorry I didn’t post last night. I cite extenuating circumstances.

First let me apologize to the SSA. I think these chaps actually did some work on this. Yesterday I dropped in on the Photo and Prints Reading Room in the Madison Building of the Library of Congress.

Our boy Twing isn’t there, and is scarcely even mentioned. The Social Security photograph in question isn’t listed, either, as best I can tell. I checked the names of everyone on the short list. Three of them, including Mr. Brooks, do not have photographs easily available, although one of them, Thomas Jenkins, is listed in the catalog part of a group photograph which I did not have time to locate.

Two of them, Allen Towner Treadway and Roy Orchard Woodruff, do have photographs in the record, and guess what? They’re old white boys with receding hairlines and rimless spectacles. However, neither of them seemed to match our mark more closely than Walloon’s photo.

I think that whoever looked those guys up the first time looked where I did. Further, I think the SSA left Treadway and Woodruff on the short list because they could not be positively ruled out due to their superficial resemblence to the mystery man. For my money, though, they were both a little chubbier than Bow-tie Man.

I think Walloon sent this one out of the park, but the Library of Congress isn’t going to be the place that confirms it. I’m going to bed now. We researchers have a hard life, I tell you.

Olentzero, I did check the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette for their reportage on the signing of the Social Security Act. Unfortunately, they just ran a wire service story on August 15, 1935, with no no local interpolation about Brooks being there. And the Post-Gazette did not publish on Sundays, so no rotogravure section with a roundup of the week’s events in photographs. The paper was editorially anti-New Deal; maybe that had something to do with it. The Pittsburgh Sun-Telegraph might have something. Any SDopers have access?