Saturday, March 17, 2012

Sepia Saturday #117 - Scouts - Saluting Grandpa Howard Wilson

Howard M. Wilson ca 1920
In this month celebrating the 100th anniversary of  Girl Scouts what better time for Sepia Saturday to have a weekly theme about "scouts."  In my childhood in Mt. Vernon, IL, I spent a number of years first as a Brownie then as a Girl Scout, but I realized that, sadly, I have no pictures of those wonderful years I spent with my friends in all those great activities that taught us young women many important life lessons.  I don't even have the badges I earned,  I don't know what ever happened to them.  

I do, however,  have this blurry photograph of my paternal grandfather, Howard Mathis Wilson in some type of scout uniform. Grandpa was born  12 Apr 1909 in Bonnie, Jefferson County, IL so I'm guessing this picture would have been taken about 1919-1920.  I don't have any information about Grandpa's scouting experience, but he looks quite serious and is using the proper three finger salute.

Incidentally, my youngest son spent a few years in Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts and enjoyed all the experiences the Scouts offered, but he went on to other activities.  His oldest son who is seven is enjoying his first year of Cub Scouts and my youngest grandson, age four, tags along on many of the activities.  I have saved all of my son's badges in hopes that my grandsons might want them someday.

For more scouting stories and adventures check out this week's Sepia Saturday.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Sentimental Sunday - Women with Hats -

Feeling under the weather this weekend, but found this tin type from probably the 1890's of a young woman and probably her siblings.  The picture is kind of cock-eyed and someone got cut out.  She seems to be wearing a checkered dress with a high neckline and her hat is rounded with what appears to be flowers on the top.  The girl that got cut out of the picture is also holding a hat.  All subjects are unidentified.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Sepia Saturday #116 - A Hair Raising Subject

This week's theme at Sepia Saturday is hair and as I was pouring through my many old photographs I remembered an old album I bought some time ago of people of a Trenton, NJ family.  I bought this album mainly because my husband's ancestors, the Rogers and Hildingers are mostly from this location, although none of the 68 people in this album are his family, at least I don't think so as no one is identified and it would sure be a big coincidence if they were.  I never got around to scanning the photos from this album which date from pre-Civil War to about 1900 so I got it out and started looking through it again and found several great photos I thought would fit this theme.

I realized as I was looking at these pictures how hair, whether on the head or face, has always been such an expression of individuality throughout time no matter what the current fad.  Take a look at these gentlemen:

This good looking guy from Trenton, NJ, late 1880's,  has a beautiful head of hair and he looks quite proud of it.

The distinguished gentlemen from Trenton, from the late 1860's has quite the beard, kind of looks like a giant Brillo pad!


Also from the album, these well-groomed gents, both I believe from the late 1860's, one with a crazy, bushy mustache and one with scary side-burns:



On another note, my grandmother was a hairdresser, or what used to be called a beautician, for many years.  She first had a shop in Mt. Vernon, IL for a number of years (1930's - 50's) then moved to Fort Lauderdale, FL in the 1960's where she worked at her sister's shop the Curl & Swirl.  I spent many hours in both places as a young girl visiting my her so I have many fond memories.  When she died I found this homemade sign from her salon in Illinois which I previously posted on my blog,  I will always treasure this sign as if it were the most valuable heirloom:

To see more great hairy stories check out this week's Sepia Saturday.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Those Places Thursday - Victorian Bathers at the Boardwalk?

This tintype photo  of an unidentified father, son and two daughters shows them wearing what seems to be turn-of-the-century bathing costumes.  I'm assuming this photo was taken at a boardwalk somewhere.  

Tintypes were in usage between 1850's - 1930, most popular during the Civil War when soldiers visited the itinerant photographers who followed the troops.  The soldiers could send these photos home in the mail without worry of damage.  Tintypes weren't actually made of tin but were thin sheets of iron; they most likely got their name because the photographers used tin shears to cut the multiple photos on the sheet.

Between 1875 and 1930 photographer began taking their equipment anywhere people gathered such as carnivals, boardwalks, etc.  Some permanent locations were established in places such as Asbury Park and Atlantic City, NJ and had painted backgrounds that suggested the locale.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Sentimental Sunday - Women with Hats - Girl from Anamosa, IA

This photograph of an unidentified young woman from Anamosa, IA has many great details that make it a favorite of mine.   At first I thought she was wearing a boater hat, but after closer inspection I realize it is made of velvet that matches her dress and is rimmed with some sort of intricate beading.  The top appears to be covered by fabric or ribbons.  Her curly hair is pulled back into a bun at the base of her neck and if  you look very closely (I used a magnifying glass) you can see the netting that covers the bun. Her velvet dress has a lace neck and lace collar with the buttons covered in velvet as well.  She is also wearing pearl-drop earrings.

The cabinet card front is dark green which, although not quite rare, is not seen as much as the other colored cards.  I date this photo around 1885 to no later than 1892.  The photographer was C. E. Littlefield (Charles Ernest) of Anamosa. Charles was born 12 Nov 1853 in Warren County, PA to Enos and Catherine (Durlin) Littlefield.  He lived in Anamosa, IA between 1870 and 1895.  In the 1880 census at age 26 and still living with his parents he listed his occupation as "artist."  In 1881 he married Velina A. (unknown) Littlefield and they had eight children all born in Iowa. By 1900 they were living in Baldwin County, Alabama and in the 1910 census he listed his occupation as "artist and architect."  He died 26 Apr 1918 in Fairhope, AL.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Sepia Saturday #115 - Games - Shuffleboard, Dog Racing & Baseball

For this week's theme at Sepia Saturday, "Games," I really had to dig deep. I couldn't find any old pictures featuring games, but I do have these old postcards and one special baseball card.  Being a transplant in south Florida I really enjoy the old  scenic views.  This first one is from my adopted home town, Fort Lauderdale postmarked 1936.  These people, winter tourists most likely, were playing shuffleboard at the Lauderdale Arms Apartment.  I couldn't find any information on the Lauderdale Arms, I'm sure it is long gone.  However, one interesting and sad note is the postmark.  For nearly 100 years a Fort Lauderdale postmark has been on all mail posted in Broward County, FL.  However, the US Postal Service has recently announced that in an effort to reduce costs they will most likely close the processing center in Fort Lauderdale and all mail will be processed and postmarked out of Miami.  It seems like a minor thing, but it is a blow to the identity and historical presence of Fort Lauderdale and Broward County.  

This second postcard, which is probably technically more a sport than a game, is Greyhound Racing at the West Flagler Kennel Club in Miami, FL and postmarked Valentines Day 1942. The back of the card says, "Nightly thousands of fans gather at Miami's most beautiful dog track, the West Flagler Kennel Club, where the Greyhound is King.  Steam Heated Grandstand." Not sure what that means and why they would need that in Miami!

Now, where the baseball card comes in - baseball is of course, the all American past-time, the game of games.  This card which was put out in 1992 is a republication of a 1925 card for Jack Warner of the Detroit Tigers.  It's relevance to me and my family is that Jack Warner was married to my maternal grandmother's aunt which would make him I guess my great grand uncle.  His full name was John Ralph Warner, he was born on 29 Aug 1903 in Evansville, IN and died 13 Mar 1986 in Mt. Vernon, IL, my hometown, where he is also buried. After his career as a baseball player was over, Jack became a baseball scout for the Chicago Cubs and later a coach for the Los Angeles Angels. If you would like to read more about him you can check out this post on my other blog Teresa's Tangled Roots or see Wikipedia.

Great Grand Uncle John Ralph Warner
Jack Warner Stats

There are more games to be played at Sepia Saturday so check them out.

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