A Very Mysterious Photograph

Among the surviving papers of John V. Baltadonis, prominent First Fan of the Philadelphia persuasion, is this odd little photograph.

From the collection of Steve Baltadonis

I say “little” because the print is perhaps 1″ x 2″.

We’d love to uncover the what, why, when and where of this image. Recent spelunking revealed an appearance in the Program Book for the Fifth World Science Fiction Convention, held from August 30 through September 1, 1947, in Philadelphia (“The PhilCon”).

The photo was found next to other snapshots that appear to date from 1939 or 1940. An additional clue on the date is that the robot appears to be astride the cover of an issue of Charles D. Hornig’s Science Fiction, which ran from March 1939 through September 1941.

Please let us know if you have an insight that can further identify this peculiar piece of fan ephemera.

Also, just for fun, here’s an early William Rotsler cartoon from the same PhilCon Program Book, which found its way to us via Dave Kurzman and John L. Coker III.