I love antique photos. You can learn so much about how things have changed, and again how little has. We inherited 3 trunks of photos from the late 1800's to the 1940s and 50's. Most came from an enigmatic, extremely hard working but photo-loving woman named Lena, an ancestor of my husband, born in 1879. She had more contacts, more postcards (several hundreds) and more photos of herself taken than anyone who is not a well know celebrity. She seems to have collected antique photos from all around her. She unfortunately didn't identify many, only writing "Lena" on many given to her. I think she assumed she would remember, and of course after that it wouldn't matter!

We are still sorting through all the stuff trying to piece together Lena's fascinating and sometimes tragic life. Meanwhile, here are a variety of photos, including some of the highest (and lowest!) fashion.

I have also included the very old family photos I have from my mom's side of the family.

I hope you enjoy, and thank you for visiting my blog.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Lena had the unfortunate tendency to not label her photos except with the name "Lena". We inherited loads of photos  from her through her sister Leta, who was my husband's grandmother, but almost none have dates or list names if there are other people in the photos. As you follow along on this blog, you will note we are trying to figure out time frames, and match pictures to general periods of Lena's interesting life.  This is frequently difficult due to the lack of information.We also have a lot of letters and postcards (with some neat photos--you'll see!) to and from Lena but frequently the postmark isn't visible or the letter is without an envelope and is not dated. Oh well, if any of you reading this blog can offer a better interpretation or more information, it would be very welcome.

As far as I can tell, this picture is from before her marriage; she was married when she was 21 and usually wore black in pictures from then on until she was around her 40's. I realize that the picture from the previous post shows her in black, but to us she looks quite a bit younger in that photo.

We do know that Lena left home before she was married; her parents split up and her mother moved to California.  Lena went out to visit her mother before her marriage, but continued to live and work in Missouri. I don't know what type of work, but she and the other women wore white dresses, as you can see in the photos. At one point Lena was out sick and a coworker wrote that she was concerned that their wages would be cut.

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