Theodor Schweim (1857-1926)

An undated CdV photo shows Johann Theodor Schweim who was born in 1857 and got married on 30th June 1889. © Mark Zanzig/ Alb. Giesler

The story behind the image

This is my great-grandfather Theodor Schweim, photographed by one of the photographic pioneers in Northern Germany, Albert Giesler. Giesler was born in May 1862 in Eutin in Germany and pursued a career in the (then) new sector of photography after graduating from school. He got his training at various photographers in Northern Germany and finally opened his photo studio in his hometown of Eutin in 1886. His first jobs were landscape photos, but he constantly evaluated new and promising technologies like stereographic photos or portrait photography as art. His works quickly became popular and many customers started to collect his photos as art. He even was appointed the official photographer of the Oldenburg court. Even today, his work is outstanding both from a technical and a content point of view.

Today, I am very proud that this photograph is in our collection as one of the oldest photographs. It was probably taken in Giesler’s studio in Eutin in 1889 or 1890. The fact that there is a matching photo that shows my great-grandmother, Dorothea Grebien, suggests that this could have been a wedding gift.

Theodor and Dorothea got married legally on the 30th June 1889 in Malkwitz, Germany, and on 5th July in the church of Neukirchen/Malente. Their (German) entry to the church registrar reads:

Malkwitz, 5. Juli 1889. Der Landmann Johann Theodor Schweim, ehel. Sohn des Landmannes Johannes Theodor Schweim und der Anna Dorothea geb. Junge, geboren am 8. September 1857 zu Havekost, wohnhaft daselbst, und die Wirthshausmamsell Dorothea Christine Grebien, ehel. Tochter des Gastwirths Johann Hinrich Grebien und der Sophie Christine Dorothea geb. Schlüter, geboren am 21. September 1857 zu Malkwitz, wohnhaft zu Bruhnskoppel, beide evangelisch, ledigen Standes. Werden wohnen zu Kiel.

Quelle: Landeskirchliches Archiv der Evang.-Luth. Kirche Norddeutschland, Kirchenkreis Ostholstein, Neukirchen bei Malente, Trauungen 1877-1908 (online, via, transcribed by Mark Zanzig)

And here is a photo of them, probably taken around 1915.

The high resolution image

Capture Dateunknown, probably around 1890
PhotographerAlb. Giesler
LocationEutin, Germany
Image Source6 x 9 cm CdV
Digital Image SourceEPSON Perfection 4870 Photo
Digital Image Source FormatTIFF, 48 bits/pixel, AdobeRGB
Edited Image FormatJPEG, 24 bits/pixel, sRGB
Edited Image Dimensions2467 x 3700 Pixels
Copyright© by Mark Zanzig/

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