Joel Pahl Dardis, from 1921 to 1948


This blog post was only possible with the support of Liz Schuler, providing a number of childhood photos of Joel himself. I had a few, Liz provided the rest.

And I’m almost sure more will come out of the woodwork.

Joel was born June 6, 1921 and he graduates COP in 1948. It’s high time to put this evolution in perspective with some photographs of the man himself.

Joel Dardis and his father Thomas Lawrence Dardic, 1921, Stockton

Although the image above looks old, it is a modern inkjet print on HP photo paper of the original. There’s a signature of the photographer on the original in the lower right corner, just not enough information to figure out who the photographer is.

This is incidentally the only image so far I have of father Dardis.

Next two images are little Joel in the yard, it is 1923.

Joel with fruit box and metal bucket, circa 1923, Stockton
Joel, already training dog on fruit box and metal bucket, circa 1923, Stockton

The next photograph is Joel around age 4 with a number of his Pahl relatives around 1925.

The Pahl Boys, 1925

From left to right, adults first:

Rudolph Pahl (1908-1992), Harry Pahl (1884-1973), Pauline Pahl-Dietrich (1858-1939), August Julius Pahl (1882-1957), Jack Pahl (1911-1984).

Front row, left to right:

Joel Pahl Dardis (1921-2021), Emil Pahl (1915-1968) and Warne Pahl (1918-1995)

Pauline Pahl was the matriarch at that time, her husband Emil Max Pahl passed away in 1913.

Next portrait is Joel in middle school or high school, mostly likely around age 15.

Joel Pahl Dardis, middle school or high school, circa 1936, Stockton

This was quickly followed by his St-Mary’s High School graduation picture in May 1940.

Joel Pahl Dardis, high school graduation, May 1940, St-Mary’s, Stockton

Showing again the April 1942 image of Joel with his camera, he’s a student at Stockton Junior College. This is a year prior to his WWII military service.

May 1942, Joel With Press Camera and light meter.

A very recent addition to the collection is this tintype taken in St-Louis, Louisiana during Joel’s training.

There unfortunately a lot of damage due to poor varnish process.

Tintype, July 1943, St-Louis, Louisiana

The rear gives us some more information.

Rear of tintype, glued to a piece of paper with provenance.

WIth some digital processing, I was able to pull Joel, and his date, out of the noise.

Joel Pahl Dardis and his date, July 1943, St Louis, Louisiana.

Joel and his date, Bettye Miller, are both carrying a camera. This is the first image we come across showing one of Joel’s “miniature format” camera.

There’s insufficient information in the above image to identify the cameras at this point in time. Joel’s camera appears to be a rangefinder. It doesn’t appear to be an Argus, a very common, very decent camera at the time. To be determined at a later date.

Last image of the day is Joel’s graduation picture from College of the Pacific in 1948. This mid 1948 date sort of brings us current with all the other images we’ve seen so far.

Joel Pahl Dardis, graduation COP 1948, Robert E. Burns at right.

We’ll post more portrait style images of Joel over the course of this continued discovery.

Cheers !

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