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.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Bridal Elegance and a hilarious photo

Today I'm featuring some bridal finery, some of it quite unusual. First
the above image.  I believe it's the oldest, though as usual Lena didn't put any dates or other  information on it.  In many, many of the oldest photos the guy is sitting comfortably and the poor woman is standing.   Without any other explanations needed, that shows the status of women at the time.
On the other hand, the bosom and its decorations in this photo look so heavy that she may have needed him to lean on.

In the next picture, these poor young souls look extremely unhappy. I suspect it might be a "shotgun" wedding by the groom's demeanor. The bride is lovely (and has that tiny waist!) but also doesn't look thrilled.
I'd kind of like to know if the young woman behind them is holding a pistol to each of their backs! She looks happy enough.

In the next photo  I do know who the bride is. I thought she was the guys
daughter, she looks so young.  But we have a later picture of them, him in his WWI uniform with his arm around her; she looks about 10 years older in that photo. Talk about robbing the cradle! 

Next is a 1934 bride, in what is, for us, a pretty traditional wedding gown. And she looks more like a happy bride!:

 The next picture isn't a traditional gown, but this type of wedding was seen very often in WWII. My parent's wedding picture are almost identical:

The final picture is just a hilarious rear view that was in with Lena's pictures. No identification, but no caption needed:


  1. yea love all these!!! fabulous finds! my favorite is the stern sullen trio! I can only hope to look as sourpuss with fantastic boots on my wedding day ;)

  2. The photos are wonderful. Actually there is a good reason for the man to be seated. Most of the Women were much shorter than their mates and if the photographer wanted to do a full body portrait (which was the norm in wedding photos - have to show off the dress you know) he would stand the woman so that the entire photo was not so tall. This meant that his focal length could be shorter, he could be closer to his subject, and, therefore, his flash could be more effective.