Women & Children


The following photos were purchased at City Antiques in Winter Park, FL.  The “2/1” marking on the back represents the price (2 for 1 dollar).  Though they were all purchased from the same booth, I am not positive they share an origin. I did at first think the baby and the woman with the shadow pictures were related (since the handwriting seems similar) but my half-hearted Google investigations could determine no connection.

"Ranier trip with Jareds"

This obviously refers to Mt. Ranier National Park.  The composition of this picture is gorgeous. Love the contrast between the natural beauty of the surroundings and the uncomfortable expression and awkward posture of the woman.

Age 3 months, weight 17lbs

Transcription:

Front:  “Robert Cleavland, Sharon. Age 3 months, weight 17lbs. 192?”

Back:  “3 month ? lb Robert Cleavland”

Scrawl on the back is in pencil, same as the price marking; leading me to believe that the script on the back is unrelated to the original picture or the child’s family.  I think the front date is 1929 or 1924, but there is no way to be sure. Google searches reveal “Cleavland” to be an unusual spelling of the surname, but I didn’t see any genealogy charts that had a “Robert Cleavland” and a “Sharon” or “Shanon” (the name of the mother or father?) listed.

These old “take a picture of the baby looking abandoned” or “take a picture of the best assets we have, our house and our progeny” pictures are always a little creepy to me.

Poudre Canon, July 1923

I love this photograph. I love how, even though I’m sure the shadow is from the photographer and not representing anything ominous, there is still something vaguely threatening in this picture.  I love to look at it and create different relationships between the shadow and the girl: her father, her boyfriend, a demon, a god, a stranger, a stack of sentient rocks riding on the back of a dwarf and carrying a boa constrictor.  The expression on the girl’s face is wonderfully open to interpretation, even though she’s probably just squinting into the sun.

“Poudre Canon” is probably Poudre Canyon, which is near the Rocky Mountains in Larimer, CO.  It looks like an extremely remote area, favorable for camping. I wonder if in days-gone-by it was more of an attraction or if the road was just

Out of curiosity, I mapped the distance between the two identifiable locations from this group of images.  In the 1920s, of course, the highways pictured would not have been available.  In fact, it was in this decade that road construction for what would become Poudre Canyon Highway 14 began.  It would almost 40 years before construction on the two major highways this map refers to (I-80 and I-84) would even begin, much less be traversable to the casual American tourist.

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