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Lil Swingers: 1905

Lil Swingers: 1905

Detroit circa 1905. "Children's Day, Belle Isle Park." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.


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Waiting for a turn

I think the reason for all the grumpy faces is because there is only one swing and those lucky kids who are already on it are monopolizing the ride and will not get off. I think the others are feeling cheated while the privileged few on there are exerting their power and plan to stay put. I remember as a kid not having the chutzpah to fight my way onto the flying horses on carousels, so I'd either have to sit on the moving bench with the grandmas or wait and wait and wait. My mom would be frustrated and I'd be mortified. Good times.


I love the little girl in the front of the swing, in the middy blouse.
She looks like a lot of fun, and I'm betting she's a red-head.
It's interesting that the boys' clothing is so much heavier.
I wonder if they knew that a photographer would be there, so everyone dressed up.

Upper class kids

As the boy and girl to the right show, these are well dressed kids. Edwardian sensibilities were very class conscious; more than the Victorians. These youngsters would be expected to act and dress as their parents, and according to their station in life. Nice to see them having fun though. BTW, I think the "unhappiness" is due more to the intrusive camera than to the swing.


I love how it states on the side of the ride, "Children Only". I'll bet that wasn't the case when the sun went down.

Half those kids look miserable!

I wouldn't be to happy either if I had to dress like that to play.

I wonder how many of them got their teeth knocked out by that swinging gondola?

Big shoes to fill.

The young girl on the right, with the flowered hat, looks like she might be wearing big sister's shoes. Just don't look into her eyes for too long!

From Venice, but not blinds

These are Venetian swings, something I saw and rode on in a long forgotten human powered amusement park in Pennsylvania. They give a terrific ride.

Some antiques are still in use at the Crossroads Village Carousel Park in Flint, Michigan.


All I can think is how scratchy those dresses were and how hurty the shoes are. Not much fun to play in those.


Can you imagine the lawsuits if kids played on this today?


Wow, look at all the litter in the park. Things have certainly improved on that front.

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