Saturday, May 3, 2014

Sisters in White Dresses - Sibling Saturday, Sepia Saturday

A moment in time, preserved until the photograph disintegrates or until those with the memory of the moment are gone.  These are three sisters and, probably, two cousins.  The girl back left is my mom, Audrey Meinzen.  The two girls front right are her sisters, Geraldine/Jeree, and "Blondie."  ("Blondie" is still alive so no real name.)

When I look at this photo I wonder . . .
  • Were the sisters' dresses all white?  Did their mom make them? 
  • How old were the girls?  
  • Where was the photo taken?  Who are the other two girls in the photo?  Were the sisters visiting relatives in Steubenville or vice versa in Mineral Ridge?
  • Did their father, a barber, cut their hair?  Aren't those adorable bobs?
  • What was the occasion, if it was an occasion?  Would "Blondie" remember this particular photo and the events surrounding it?  (I'll send it to her and ask her.) 
  • What were they doing before the photo was taken and what did they do after?
  • And, who took the photo and with what kind of camera? 

Photographs preserve only a moment in time and the image seen through the lens of the camera.  But they may preserve a memory for those who experienced the taking of the photograph and they may jolt a memory of those whose images were captured by the photograph.


This is a Sibling Saturday post and a Sepia Saturday post.  I invite you to go to Sepia Saturday 226 where you can see other old photographs and musings about them.

--Nancy.
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36 comments:

  1. I never thought to wonder what the people in photographs were doing before & after the picture was taken. Now - thanks to your thoughts - I will be wondering. :)) And now, also, because of the camera buffs among our group of Sepians, I do sometimes think about the type of camera that might have been used to capture the image. Curiosity & education are good things to have, however!

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    1. We learn so many wonderful things for the participants in Sepia Saturday, don't we?

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  2. Great questions and well done on matching the meme this week !

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    1. Thanks, Alex. I don't enjoy Sepia Saturday so much since there are themes. How much can a person say about 24 different photographs of the same thing?! It used to be so much more fun and interesting when we posted photographs with a variety of topics....

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    2. Maybe we should have some themeless days. I was thinking I would like to post a photo I found on Sepia Saturday but I find myself always trying to match the theme.

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  3. I also appreciated the list of questions and will keep them in mind as I review my own
    family photos. The hair cuts are cute.

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    1. Thanks, Helen. I guess asking the questions helps me put my ancestors in their own time and space. Those bobs were all the rage in the 1920s, weren't they?!

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  4. I often wonder WHY this picture was taken, so I probably do think about what they were doing before. But what they did afterwards is now a new question for me.

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    1. With this photograph in particular, I wonder if the girls were playing, called away for a photo, and then raced back to their game. Or had they just walked home from church, were stopped near the front door, photographed, and then went in to eat. Or perhaps they were playing and were called together for a last photo before getting into the car to drive home. I'll never know, of course, but it's always interesting to wonder.

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  5. How cute! Love the bobs and the thought that their father may have cut their hair. It looks like your mother's dress may be made of the same gingham material as the unidentified girl standing in front of her. I wonder what that may mean about their relationship, or the relationship of whomever made or purchased the dresses?

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    1. You have good eyesight to see the gingham in both dresses, Melanie. Since they are cousins, perhaps mom/aunt made both of them. I suspect that their father didn't cut their hair, only because I was in the position of having to have my grandfather cut my hair and end up with a boy cut -- a very, very, very short boy cut!

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  6. A delightful family photo. It resembles a photo of my grandmother with her two younger sisters who had the same bobbed hair style. I asked the same questions too. My mother speculated that the camera belonged to a visiting cousin as a photo would make a special gift to thank the family.

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    1. Oh, Mike, I had never thought of the photograph being a gift. It would have been a wonderful gift, especially considering that the photo may have been taken after the beginning of the Great Depression. Thanks for suggesting it.

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  7. Perhaps they were demonstrating someone's dressmaking skills, but it's a nice little photo to have in the family album.

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    1. Could be dressmaking skills, but I sort of doubt it: the dresses look worn and comfortable to me. Thanks for visiting.

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    2. You're welcome Nancy. Nice to see you back with us. It's a pity you're not enjoying Sepia Saturday so much these days, but there have been themes long before I joined the group over two years ago and Alan and I always make sure that people are aware that there is absolutely no need to theme, it's just that some people enjoy the extra challenge.

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  8. "Now that I've got you all together I must take a photo" are words I've heard used and often used myself. Now I'll remember to write on the back of the photo what the occasion was, probably won't go as far as writing what interesting exploit I might have interrupted. But thinking about it, it often happens as people are about to leave.

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    1. Yes, I guess that's sort of what I was thinking - photo at the last minute before leaving. I don't take photos nearly often enough these days (except of my grandbabies) -- I'll have to remember "now that I've got you all together" and give it a try. Thanks.

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  9. A thoughtful post on what lies behind a photograph. I like your pondering on what prompted it being taken.

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  10. "A moment in time, preserved until the photograph disintegrates or until those with the memory of the moment are gone." I just love you introduction. I will have to remember it.

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  11. Yes! Love Never Disintegrates,MeThinks!

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    1. You're right, Tony! Thanks for visiting.

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    1. Thank you, Dorene. It is, isn't it?

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  13. I hope Blondie can remember it or that the photo prompts her memory to tell you some other wonderful tales of the cousins.

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    1. Hi, Jackie-- Oh, I hope she can remember, too. She's as sharp as a tack so I think she will! I emailed the link to her but she doesn't check her email too often. I'll be patient for a while. Thanks.

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  14. And now with digital scans the photo itself might disintegrate but we give the image a longer life.

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    1. Oh, yes, isn't that a blessing to be able to scan photos, enlarge them and look in detail, and give them such a great long life. Thanks.

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  15. I hope your aunt remembers something about it. My aunts have gone beyond the remembering photos but it was great when I could ask them.

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    1. My aunt's mind is still really good so I think she will probably know who they are. She is my last resource for identifying people in photos from that side of the family. I'm sorry your aunts don't remember, Kristin.

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  16. You re blessed if you still have someone to ask and especially if that person remembers...I have so many old photos with so may questions that will never be answered, odd I have photos similar to the one you show here. MIL and her sisters. It seems the dresses were either white or so they show in these old Sepisa photos or dark, black?

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    1. Hi, Patricia -- Yes, it is a wonderful blessing that my aunt still remembers her childhood and the people she knew then (who probably also grew to adults with her). Someone else emailed me that he has similar photos to this one, too. It must have been a common way to photograph -- group the children together then snap the photo. I know many of the photos from the late 1800s show the girls and women in dark dresses. Thanks for visiting.

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  17. That haircut is the same one my mother had in the '20s and early '30s. Same with the dress style. I could be looking at my family when I look at this.

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    1. At least 3 others who have looked at this post had said nearly the same thing. I think there must be something iconic about it - the grouping, the haircuts, the pose, the clothing.... Wouldn't it be a fun "theme" for Sepia Saturday?

      Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment.

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