There are several things to notice in this photograph. Remember those old push lawn mowers? Sometimes they pushed more easily than other times but they always took plenty of effort to get the job done. The look of determination on my sister's face suggests to me that someone may have told her she couldn't mow or wasn't strong enough to push the mower. With her Doyle stubbornness (inherent in all of us siblings) she proved them wrong (though she may have pushed the mower only a short distance). I'm surprised my extremely careful mother let her mow in bare feet. That was an accident waiting to happen!
Notice the building with two doors behind and to her right. Outhouses. My parents owned a duplex and at the time this photo was taken there were not yet indoor bathrooms. There was running water in the kitchens and in the basements for the laundry, but there were no bathrooms.
The buildings lean because the photo was taken at an angle but the buildings did, in fact, lean -- just not that much. Dad eventually tore them down after he installed bathrooms.
Remember deckle borders on paper photographs? They went into, out of, and back into fashion. They seem decorative, almost formal, to me and so present a contract with this very work-a-day image.
As I was writing about the photo above I remembered another photo with a lawnmower -- the one to the right. It's not the clearest photo but if you look at the man standing on the far left you can see that his hand is on a mower. It seems unusual for him to have a mower out during a family gathering. I don't notice anyone else prepared to work.
I was surprised to see a lawnmower in a photo taken in the early 1900s. I had no idea when they were invented by I guessed it was in the early-mid 1900s. In fact, they weren't all that new in 1900. The Old Lawnmower Club tells me that they were invented in 1830! It took a few years for them to evolve into the form we see in these two photos. And aren't we glad they continued to evolve, with gasoline or electric power! I'm thankful for power mowers but with this summer's heat and dryness there hasn't been much need to mow the grass.
This is a post for Sepia Saturday. Work you way over and check the links for old photos others are sharing this week.