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Ensconced: 1925

Ensconced: 1925

Washington, D.C., circa 1925. "Miss Katherine Kellond." A sofa-size portrait. Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative. View full size.


Army Debutante

Some rummaging around online suggests that this is Miss Katherine Henley Kellond, born in 1905, the second of five children (four girls and one boy) born to Lt. Col. Frederick George Kellond (b. 1878), an officer of the US Army General Staff, and Katherine Henley Selfridge (b. 1884). In 1919, her mother was the official sponsor at the launching in San Francisco of the Clemson-class destroyer USS Selfridge, named for Mrs. Kellond's grandfather, Rear Admiral Thomas O. Selfridge (1804-1902). Mrs. Kellond's father, Thomas O. Selfridge, Jr. (1836-1924) was also a Rear Admiral. Miss Kellond is also listed in the scant genealogical records I found as the mother of two daughters with the surname Taylor. Perhaps another Shorpyite with better access to the Washington newspaper archives will be able to zero in on Miss Kellond and the event for which she modeled this ball gown.

The Haves and Have-Nots

Lest we believe that everyone lived such a gracious and elegant lifestyle in 1925, let us remember that this was apparently an upper crust young lady. My own mom was 15 at that time, daughter of a Pa. coal-miner, who had to leave home at 13 to work full time as a kitchen helper and waitress in her uncle's "free lunch" and beer bar in Brooklyn to help support her younger siblings and send them most of her pay every week. When she passed away in 1996, we found she had still kept in her closet her two vintage waitresses uniforms and the very first new coat she ever bought with her own earnings. Somebody at the Goodwill Thrift Store may have them now not knowing they represented her memories of the 1920's as she lived them.

THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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