‘Watch the Birdie!’ This phrase was said by a photographer to his subject, usually a child. Early photographers would hold a prop above the camera in order to gain a child’s attention, these distractions were sometimes toy birds that would flap their wings or warble. To a child in the early 1900’s these distractions were simply magical, and it was this expression which the photographer wished to capture forever. What the photographer used for the adults we know not.

Cooper and Burroughs captured generations of people from Strabane and beyond; their engagements, weddings, baptisms; their changing looks and fashions. This is part of what makes the Cooper collection so special.

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