Vintage Photo Friday: Capizzi


This is my father’s maternal grandparents, Mateo and Eleanora Capizzi (Bup–probably for Pop–and Nono). They came to the U.S. from Sicily, possibly in 1912. Mateo was a laborer, maybe at a steel mill (my dad doesn’t remember, but I may call my Grandma later to ask).

More pictures below.

This is Bup with their oldest daughter, Josephine. The kids all called her J–not Aunt J, just J.

And here he is with Joe, sometime in the 40s I’d assume. Later Joe worked at a machine shop, making parts for other machines. Lou (my dad) remembers that it smelled bad because it was near a slaughterhouse. Bup died in the early 50s.

Eleanora with Rose. Aunt Ro is the only one I know (besides my Grandma, who is not in this collection of pictures). She’s quite a character.

He isn’t pictured, but my father tells me there was a brother named Sam, too, who was an executive at Pittsburgh Plate & Glass, which is my favorite buildings in Pittsburgh. He and his family lived in Cuba for a while. This makes a Sam on every branch of the family that I can claim we named Sammy after.

Apologies for the terrible scans. I don’t know who made them, but I’m happy to have even crappy versions of the pictures. More vintage photos here.

7 thoughts on “Vintage Photo Friday: Capizzi

  1. Amanda

    March 13, 2009 at 10:18am

    I love looking at old photos. Sometimes I think we lose something with the proliferation of photos these days. Take it, if you don’t like it, delete it. Photographs used to be rare and precious, and I love to speculate about the occasion on which an old photo was taken.

    Amanda’s last blog post..This Is What We Get For Complaining….

  2. Ellen B.

    March 13, 2009 at 11:29am

    Eleanora was quite a fancy dresser! LOVE her beautiful dress and jewels in the first pic and her awesome shoes in the last pic! Old photos are so interesting…no matter who’s family they depict!

    Ellen B.’s last blog post..Vintage Photo Friday

  3. elaine c

    May 3, 2009 at 2:15pm

    hey there, what a fabulous find… i too have this first pic, because they are my father’s parents! cousin gary also just posted same pic on his facebook page. wow, i suppose your dad lou is my cousin, then. how cool :)
    thanks for the great pics! yes, ro is quite a character. they all were. you have a son named sammy? very very cool. yes, there was also a brother named sam, i’m his daughter. he was amazing. so, so happy to find this thread!

  4. Anita

    May 3, 2009 at 2:38pm

    wow… sister just sent this to me! I have that pic as well! They were my grandparents and Lou or Louie as I remember him being called is my cousin. Your Dad’s uncle Sam was my dad. Thanks for posting those great shots! Hope all the Capizzi/Barranti/Prisby clan can see them!

  5. mark capizzi

    May 3, 2009 at 2:47pm

    Hey Annika, Love your name. Elaine is my sister and sam was my father. He would have been 90 on May 1, and we did indeed live in Cuba. He would be so thrilled to know that a sammy exists. Grampa mateo came to US in 1917 during WW I , possibly one step ahead of the draft in Italy Nono came a year or two later with your great uncle Joe and J. Likely after the war. Mateo worked as a machinist at Mesta Machine Co. in Pittsburgh as did his son Joe. We have a very cool family ! Lots of great stories
    You new found cousin Mark

  6. Mary Barranti

    June 22, 2009 at 6:44am

    Matteo was a machinist at Mesta Machine Company in Homestead, PA. Here’s a bit of history from the WWW:

    “Mesta was largest steel making machine tool company in the world and was located next to U.S Steel’s former Homestead Works. It was even on Nikita Kruschev’s itinerary in his visit to the U.S in 1959.

    Sadly, Mesta like the rest of steel industry in Pittsburgh vanished between 1975-90. It’s assets were acquired by WHEMCO in 1983.”

    WHEMCO isn’t very far from where MeeMaw lives now.

    Here’s the link to the site where I garnered the info about Mesta:

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