Past Calling: this is a phrase—not so much used anymore—to describe a former occupation that one had. It is also going to be the name of a new monthly feature brought to you jointly by LebTown and the Lebanon County Historical Society.

In each installment of this feature the Society will share a different historic photo, document, or object from its collection. We welcome you, the reader, to examine, investigate, and share anything you know or discover about the object or document in question.

Here’s our very first artifact:

A photograph of a man in formal clothing with several objects. The text below the picture reads “[…] Ritter” and “LEBANON, PA.” The torn-off corner in full likely reads “M. G. Ritter.” The other side of the photograph has the name “Henry Miller.” (Full resolution)

The objects this man took with him into the photographer’s studio might suggest his calling. What do you think he was trying to say about himself?

What the Society knows about the photograph and the individual pictured will be shared, of course – in the next installment. For now, we will only tell you that the name “Henry Miller” is written on the back of the photo. Keep on the lookout for the next installment, where we will reveal all we know about the picture along with the next calling from the past.

While the Society reserves the right to each image presented, it also reserves the right to interest, inform, challenge, and even learn from you through your skills of observation, knowledge, and—if you feel so called—some independent sleuthing on your own.

Contact us!

If you have information or comments on this document/artifact, please send an email to with a subject line beginning with “Past Calling.” We will review the responses and include some of the most interesting ones when we publish the next installment. You may also use the contact form below and your message will be forwarded along to our team.

Until then, any and all comments are welcome, and we look forward to bringing pieces of Lebanon’s history back into public knowledge.


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