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Family Getaway: 1915

Family Getaway: 1915

Queens County, New York, circa 1915. "At Broad Channel, in the living room." A cottage in the Jamaica Bay island colony, where the fish are biting and the sweaters need mending. 5x7 glass negative, Bain New Service. View full size.


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The Shoes

From stories that my grandmother told me - she was born in 1906 - you didn't throw anything away back then. No matter how much money you had. They did not have the casual "it's worn a little bit, let's throw it away" attitude that today's consumers have. If these are vacationers as one commenter suggested, and were on the water to have a good time, I'm sure that Mom would have commanded the kids to wear their "old" shoes. Why ruin the good Sunday best shoes while out fishing while on holiday?

Play clothes

I think the kids have on their "play" shoes. I remember having to change my good shoes after school or church into my play clothes & shoes. Seems like these kids did too!

Happy Family Special

I'm not judging, but these appear to be very humble people considering their feed sack dresses, worn shoes, dust caps, etc. Still, there is a look of genuine contentment and serenity on every face. All are engaged in doing something, be it designing a fishing line, repairing old clothes, reading about the Broad Channel Yacht Club she cannot join or playing with gremlins (or whatever they are) like the little girl bookends. Gotta wonder if Dad was taking the picture. Some of the adult happiness may have been induced by the almost-gone bottle of liquor on the top shelf. I really like these people and their attitude. Thanks Shorpy.

[The photo was taken by Bain News Service. These were people who could afford a second home, or to rent a cottage on the water. - Dave]

Old Shoes

I find it fascinating to look at the shoes in these old photographs. The child on the left, and the woman darning both have nice shoes. The other three? I should think even the least fastidious of modern folk would throw them away, and certainly not wear them in the house - not even a beach house.

I realise that hand-made shoes were quite expensive, but other than the shoes these women and children are relatively well dressed, their clothing is clean and so are there surroundings. I just find it jarring to see those worn-out shoes, particularly those of the child in the middle and the woman to the right.

Different Priorities

The sweaters may be attended to, but the rug is certainly threadbare.

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