Tuesday, February 10, 2009

What we used to wear

The word prompt for the 10th Edition of Smile For The Camera is Costume? No, not as in Halloween. Costume as in dress in general; especially the distinctive style of dress of a people, class, or period. Show us that picture that you found with your family collection or purchased that shows the costumes of the rich to the not so rich, from the civil war to the psychedelic sixties. I know you have them, so share. Admission is free with every photograph!
I'm going to share two photos. I'm going to start with the psychedelic 60s, and the year of my birth, 1969. Though the representative I am going to choose for that era is a surprising one to even me. My paternal grandfather, Melvin Newmark, who was 57 years old in 1969, according to the writing on the back of a Polaroid, attended a 'Chod Party.' What is Chod? According to Wikipedia:
Chöd (Sanskrit: ccheda-sadhana, Tibetan: gChod sgrub thabs)is a tantric ritual practice primarily found in Tibetan Buddhism. A form of Chod that combined the philosophy of the Prajnaparamita (see also Diamond Sutra), with specific meditation methods and application to the practitioner's daily activities was practiced in India by the Buddhist Mahasiddha, prior to the 10th Century. Chod as it is practiced today belongs to the entwined traditions of certain Indian Tantric sects and the sadhana of Mahasiddha, Bonpo and Tibetan Buddhist Vajrayana lineages.

I think this is an excellent photo of what I will call the "Dedicated Parent" as I suspect he was trying hard to understand the interests of his youngest child, an uncle of mine. Back in August I posted a picture of my grandfather two years later in definite era garb, but without the wig, and sporting some plaid pants.

Next up, we will travel further back in time, and head a little south:

Above is a photo of a second great aunt, Pearl Van Every. Sister to my great grandfather, Melvin Van Every, she was born in 1873, and it's possible she had married Albert Sidney Mooney in 1898 by the time of this picture. It's probably prior to her marriage to George Ward in 1913. But I am only judging by how old she looks. (years retrieved from unsourced Ancestry Family Tree)

Correction: Biographies of Western Photographers, p. 410 states that Bolton & Mitchell was active in San Antonio, Texas from 1894-1897, so that narrows down considerably the date range of the above photo, predating her first marriage, and putting Pearl between 21 and 24 years old.


Anonymous said...

Where did you find the picture of Melvin?? I believe I met my great ???Aunt Pearl in 1948 and she had a sister, Lettie who was alive then, as well?


Brett Payne said...

I would agree that the wide sleeves of the dress worn by this woman suggest a date of the mid-1890s. Thanks for posting the great photographs. Regards, Brett