Saturday, March 26, 2011

Round Glasses and The Girl with An Itch

Two things stand out to me in this photograph. First, that two of the girls are wearing almost identical round glasses. Round must havee been the popular style in the late 1920s, at least for girls. I think I've been looking at some of these old photos too much because when I went to choose new glasses last week, the round frames kept calling to me, "Choose us!" I didn't choose the roundest. Perhaps I'll get brave and show you my new frames when they come in.

Second, that the little girl, front left, has an awful itch. You can imagine the photographer looking through the lens seeing smiling children, all nicely posed and standing still, and at that very second before the camera lens clicked open, up went the hand. Poor Betty, being memorialized as the girl with the itch. And such a squinched up face to go with it. She makes me laugh.

These are Meinzen cousins, children of W. C. Robert Meinzen and his sisters, Wilhelmina (Mina) Elizabeth Meinzen Harris and Belle Meinzen Hashman. My mom wrote the names on the border of the photograph (which I cropped to get a larger photo). Strangely, she used childhood surnames for several of the children, married surnames for others, and only initials instead of first names for some.

Front row, left to right: Betty Harris, "Baby Girl" Meinzen, Geraldine (Jeree) Meinzen, and B. H. Probert
Back row, left to right: G. Hashman, Sid Harris, and Audrey Meinzen (my mom)

Betty's and Sid's mom, Mina, raised poodles and we see them in several other photographs from this time period.

This photo was almost definitely taken in Steubenville, Ohio, where the Harrises and Hashmans lived. The distance between Mineral Ridge and Steubenville was a day's travel at the time this photo was taken. Though the cousins enjoyed spending time together, it probably didn't happen as often as they would have liked.

My mom, Audrey Meinzen (back right), was born in June, 1915, and looks to be about 14, so I'm guessing this photo was taken in about 1928 or 1929.

This is a Sepia Saturday post. Aren't you itching to see more old photographs? Click the link and go take a look.


  1. Love this post! You're whole blog is designed so well. Yeah - I'd like to see your new frames.

  2. Love this vintage photo and the girl with the itch!

  3. Poor Betty indeed - I bet the family made fun of this picture!

  4. So many intriguing details -- round glasses, sagging socks, oversize cap, and the dog. "Baby Girl" must have had a name; I wonder if it was forgotten or they called her that.

  5. I love that the dog is in the photo too. you have some of the best old family photos. What a joy.

  6. Aww shoot...I think little Betty is getting a bad rap here.

    I mean, when a girl's got an itch, she has to scratch...

    What a neat post.

  7. Love the round glasses. Maybe Harold Lloyd made them fashionable.My sister always wants to get round ones too. But I told her they make her look like a bug. Maybe that's why you rejected them.
    Ladies of the grove

  8. Your Mum has a lovely bright smile. this is a lovely photo to have ...I am guessing the wee one with the itch had many comments from family and friends!

  9. Oh yes, the round glasses. Two of the kids in my post are wearing those heavy rimmed round glasses. They must have been economical.

    The dog looks like a mini sheep dog or a stuffed animal toy. So cute.

  10. Great family photo! they all look happy

  11. They are all just adorable! And you can tell what hairstyle was popular then, too...along with the glasses frames! :)

    Love the rows of ruffles on the ankle socks!

  12. I feel for the girl with the itch. I was always the girl with the squint.

  13. What a great family photo complete with great story for all! Lovely and funny both...and besides the glasses isn't it funny how dogs in these photos look like a dog right in our own house today! They don't change much at all...guess it's the hair styles and clothes don't you think! Great post!

  14. You always do this to perfection : taking an old image and enticing all the history, all the fascinating details out of it. And that, as always, makes your posts a pleasure to read.

  15. That is an adorable photo. How funny that they names are initals, nick names etc. Itches must be contagious. As I write this I have an itch

  16. I wonder if the boy had borrowed that cap - it looks a big large for him.

  17. Nancy, I have passed on to you the One Lovely Blog Award. You can get your award at:

    Enjoy, and congrats!

  18. Thank you all for visiting and commenting.

    Renee, we'll see about posting my frames.... It's hard to choose frames when you can't see without your old glasses. Maybe the new ones will be awful!

    Postcardy, "Baby Girl" is still alive. I'm trying to protect her identity as much as possible. In one of my earliest posts with her photo I chose that moniker to hide her. I hope it's working.

    Several of you mentioned Sid's cap. I don't know if the cap itself is too large for him - it seems to fit around his head just fine - but the brim and fabric at the top seem to be larger than necessary. Maybe it was the style. I remember Sid as an adult: he was such a tease!

    Nancy, I hadn't thought of the "bug" look! I hope the ones I chose don't look buggy!

    Betsy, not just the hairstyles and frames, but the girls in front are all wearing Mary Janes.

    Greta, you may have been the girl with the squint, but I hope you weren't photographed with an itch, too! Did you need glasses and do you wish you had some of those lovely round frames?

    Karen S., I agree. Dogs don't change that much, though if they wore clothing....

    Alan, you are always so gracious and say such nice things. Thank you.

    Grace, I don't think they were called by the initials when they were children. I think my mother, who knew who everyone was, used initials because she was short of space on the border of the photo. She knew who everyone was, but with initials, now I don't know who everyone is!

    Jenny, thank you for the One Lovely Blog Award. You are very thoughtful and I appreciate it.

  19. Terrific shot, and aren't we modern day people grateful for notations made on photographs?

  20. Hi Nancy, this is a great photo and story. I hope that Betty just had a mosquito bite and not poison oak or something. :>)

    I was a bit behind on getting around to my sepia friends this week myself. Thank you so much for your visit, and have a wonderful week!

    God bless, Nancy ...

    Kathy M.

  21. Fantastic photo! Its a great portrait it its own right but wonderful as a family pic.


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