In my last post, I discussed how I was puzzled to learn that Lionel Heymann had been a well-regarded photographer, but had listed his occupation as a waiter on the census records for 1930 and 1940. Well, now I have found an explanation.
In the course of looking for a print of one of Lionel’s photographs to purchase (which I’ve not yet been able to locate), I found this bit of information about Lionel online, quoting from the catalog of the Sixteenth Detroit International Salon of Photography, Photographic Society of Detroit, Detroit Institute of Arts, 1947.
“Started photography as a hobby by joining Fort Dearborn Camera Club in Chicago in 1928. Started professionally January 1945, and conducts a portrait studio in Blackstone Hotel. Conducts a weekly photographic class on portrait and paper negative process. Associated professionally with a photographer in Detroit, 1937-38.”
This explains so much. First, it explains what Lionel was doing in Detroit when his brother Walter arrived from Germany. Second, it explains why Lionel did not list photography as his occupation on the 1930 or 1940 census or on his World War II draft registration. He did not become a professional photographer until 1945.