Viewmate 1385 #general


Paul Silverstone
 

Hello,

About the picture of my grandmother with two little kids
(Viewmate 1385). We have decided it was taken about 1890 in Poland
and shows my two oldest aunts. I tracked down the source of the
picture and found the picture had been clipped so the photographer's
information at the bottom had been removed. The back was obscured by
glue but my cousin could make out the letters ""K Bujalska"
My cousins also thought the older child looked like my older aunt,
Selma. I thought the costumes show a sophistication I would not have
associated with a small town in Poland at that time, although someone
said they looked old-fashioned for the 1890s.
Thanks for all the help
Paul Silverstone


Ava Cohn <avatom@...>
 

Paul Silverstone has written, "...I thought the costumes show a sophistication
I would not have associated with a small town in Poland at that time..."

I wish to clear up a misconception that our ancestors were not fashionably
up-to-date. Yes, some were not. However, what they wore depended more on
the particular person, economic status and proximity to a large city.
In analyzing and dating photographs of our Jewish ancestors, I have noticed
that those >from the larger cities did wear more up-to-date fashions and
even those >from smaller towns made an effort to look stylish (at least
for their photographs).

As a personal note, my grandmother came >from a shtetl in Belarus. She was
a seamstress who earned her passage to the U.S. by designing and sewing
Parisian-style dresses for the wealthier women of her town. Women have
always been interested in fashion. Fashion magazines did exist at the time
and women did subscribe to them. Because women were the ones making
clothes for the most part for their children, their interest in style or
lack of it, helped determine what their children wore also.

Best to all,
Ava Cohn
Long Grove, IL


Paul Silverstone
 

Thank you for this analysis. I expect that this misconception is
rooted in what I heard or understood >from biased sources, especially in
regard to smaller towns. I am glad to read this.

Paul Silverstone

Ava Cohn wrote:
I wish to clear up a misconception that our ancestors were not fashionably
up-to-date.
snip....


Ian Singer <iansinger@...>
 

Ava Cohn wrote:
I wish to clear up a misconception that our ancestors were not fashionably
up-to-date. Yes, some were not. However, what they wore depended more on
the particular person, economic status and proximity to a large city.
But if you look on my website where it shows movies I have been in it
shows me formally dressed in a jacket and a hat similar to a bowler with
my twin. Well it was posed and I do not have a twin unless they are my
doppelganger. I also have pictures of women that look like they are
formally dressed and in fact it was just a wrap. AND we have all seen
pictures of someone in stocks.

Sometimes what you see just is not real.

Ian Singer


Joseph Fibel <jfibel@...>
 

Re what people are wearing in pictures.

Certainly people dressed in their very best clothes when they went to have
their pictures taken. Sometimes they wore jewelry or an article of clothing
that still exists. My wife has a pocket watch on a chain that her
grandmother wore in a photo taken in Europe.

Also, many photographers' studios had stock items to lend to their
clients so that a series of photos of unrelated clients all appear
dressed similarly.

Joe Fibel

snip..I wish to clear up a misconception that our ancestors were not
fashionably up-to-date.


Ava Cohn <avatom@...>
 

Ian has written, "Sometimes what you see just is not real."

Ian is correct. Thanks for bringing up this point. Many times people
were posed for photos and our ancestors also liked to occasionally play
jokes with their photos. Photographers in the last century sometimes
used pen and ink to do what we now call photoshop. They altered photos
to make them look like something else, as in the case of twins Ian stated.
That's why it is so important to have someone look at your photos who
is both knowledgeable about changes in clothing styles and has a trained
eye to be able to see what is real and what is merely theatrical
costumes and ancient photoshopping. As an example, I examined a photo
where a man was shaking hands with an older relative. He was dressed as
a typical American of the time and the older man was dressed straight
out of the shtetl. But on closer inspection, it turned out that the
photo had been altered to make it look like the two were in the same
location when actually they weren't.

Best,
Ava Cohn
Long Grove, IL