February 24, 2016

Five Days of Family Photo Stories: 5 Sisters in Hats

My friend and fellow blogger Gail Dever wrote about a very cool idea on her blog. Her post is called Writing about your life — and your ancestors’ lives — in five photos

She inspired me to follow suit in a blog meme called Five Days of Family Photo Stories.

Just choose 5 photos that you love from your collection of shoeboxes and albums. Feature one each day on your blog or in your personal journal. Tell the story of the photo - where was it taken, who is in it, who took it, what year was it taken, what emotion does it invoke when you look at it, etc.

Here is my photo and story for today:

Cabinet Card taken ca 1905 St. Mary's Ontario Canada

This photograph is of four Purdue sisters - Margaret born 1875, Louise born 1881, Nellie born 1882 and Carolyn 1877. The sisters were milliners in Toronto Ontario, and these wonderful hats are their own creations.

I love the variations they created with two very flamboyant hats in the back, one on the right front much more restrained, and on the left front, one very simple hat. I've often wondered - do the different styles reflect their different personalities or was it simply due to inexperience versus experience in hat making! 

All in all this is one of my favorite photos. 

The gal standing on the right strikes a casual yet cocky pose with her arm resting on the chair and her head tilted slightly. She seems to be saying "Okay world, here I am. What are you going to do with me!" I find it significant that her hat is the most flamboyant. I suspect she was a very confident young lady. 

By contrast the sister seated on the left seems to almost disappear. She is rigid, her body seems so very tiny and insignificant. That simple and tiny hat on her head also adds to the idea that she may have been shy and timid.


Carol said...

Great old photo!

Colleen G. Brown Pasquale said...

Those are wonderful hats. It certainly does make you wonder about the personalities of the ladies based on the styles. I also wonder how well those flamboyant styles stayed on when the winds blew. I can see why you selected that photograph to share!

Nancy Vest said...

The hats, the turned up collars, the buttoned up coats...they all look grand! What a treasured photo to have. Thanks for sharing it.