Subject: who, where, when ???
Hang on, there is a party.
click on image for enlargement
I think that the man in the centre to the left of the dog is Johnny Pappenberger. The lady in the dark dress to his left (with obscured face) might be his wife Mary Anne (ne Pielle).
Probably the reason for the closed eyes and other squints of various types, is because of the bright lights that the photographer is using. Don't know if it was just a flash, but I think so, at least partly. He could have other bright lights because of the crowd needing to be included in the photo.
My guess would be, it was a Christmas dance (trees for decoration in the hall/school) held at the Burgoyne School early 1900's. Notice the man at the extreme right, just his arm showing, it appears he is clutching a bottle, a beverage, maybe beer! The man, upper right, with hat on looks like an Akerman.
Then in the late 1880s it was discovered that magnesium powder, if mixed with an oxidising agent such as potassium chlorate, would ignite with very little persuasion. This led to the introduction of flash powder. It would be spread on a metal dish the flash powder would be set of by percussion - sparks from a flint wheel, electrical fuse or just by applying a taper. However the explosive flashpowder could be quite dangerous if misused. This was not really superseded until the invention of the flashbulb in the late 1920s.
Early flash photography was not synchronised. This meant that one had to put a camera on a tripod, open the shutter, trigger the flash, and close the shutter again - a technique known as open flash.
Certainly early flash photography could be a hazardous business. It is said, for example, that Riis, working during this period, twice managed to set the places he was photographing on fire!
In fact, the "open flash" technique, with flash powder, was still being used by some photographers until the 1950s. This was particularly so when, for example, a large building was being photographed; with someone operating the shutter for multiple exposures, it was possible to use the flash at different places, to provide more even illumination.
By varying the amount of grammes of flash-powder, the distance covered could also be varied. To give some idea, using a panchromatic film of about 25ASA and open flash technique, at f8, a measure of 0.1 grammes of flash would permit the flash-subject idstance to be about 8 feet, whilst 2.0 grammes would permit an exposure 30 feet away. The earliest known flash bulb was described in 1883. It consisted of a two pint stoppered bottle which had white paper stuck on it to act as a reflector. To set the flash off, a spiral of ten or so inches of magnesium on a wire skewer was pre-lighted and plunged into the oxygen.
My guess would be, it was a Christmas dance (trees for decoration in the hall/school) held at the Burgoyne School early 1900's. Notice the man at the extreme right, just his arm showing, it appears he is clutching a bottle, a beverage, maybe beer! The man, upper right,(correction: left) with hat on looks like an Akerman.
Leon was born in 1878 and he looks like about 15, so it could place the photo to about 1893???
I am trying to create a police lineup with suspect in a possible age group, but I need more expertise, time or help for that.