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Edith and Pat: 19xx

Edith and Pat: 19xx

"Edith & Patricia on sofa - Houston." Another colorful slide from the Linda Kodachromes. Who can guess the year? [UPDATE: It's 1953.] View full size.

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Dresses and Dressers

I love the dress on the right! One could get away with that one (actually, either of them) though obviously in a "I'm dressing vintage" way.

The blonde wood furniture is neat too. I recently inherited a dresser from a bedroom set my grandparents bought when they were first married (1953). Though that would never be my first choice of finish, I love that it so accurately reflects that era and that I have the first piece of furniture they ever bought together. Much sturdier construction than what I'd buy at Target or IKEA too!

Nice gals!

But I'd kill for those drapes! "Pooled" or not!

Looks familiar so many photos of my mom from when she and my dad moved from Beaumont to Houston in 1956. This could have just as easily have been a photo in their album from the same period.

Not the same dress pattern

Edith and Pat may have sewn their own dresses, but they did not use the same sewing pattern. The pink gingham dress on the left has the straps and placket in a single piece, with the bust gathered at the top. The black-and-white striped dress has the bust gathered onto the armhole placket at the sides with no separate placket for the front buttons.

I also don't believe these are circle skirts. In a true circle skirt, the fabric is cut on the bias to give the most width, which means that on striped fabric, the stripes at the sides are perpendicular to the stripes at the front, and the front seam is usually mitered to form a chevron pattern. This striped dress shows the stripes matched and aligned along the front seam, so the skirt is more likely gathered dirndl style. The pink dress also looks like it's all cut on the straight, which is also confirmed by the deep hem. A circle skirt always has a narrow hem because of the curve.

These dresses were cut to be worn over crinolines so the full skirts would stand out. However, crinoline petticoats are not very comfortable. At home on a warm day you'd go without, as these young ladies are.

Suede shoes a clue?

Suede shoes, and these look like suede to me, were popular in the 1953-1955 years.

The answer is:


Check the shoes

Everything in this pic says late 1940's. 1949. Check the heel and rounded toe shape of the shoes especially.


I was born in 1959, but my cultural history radar puts this right in the middle of the decade -- 1952 unlikely/ 1958, probably not, but 1954, 1955, or 1956 -- yes, I think so.

1940's shoes?

The shoes, with their heavy wide heels, are surely 1940's but other factors indicate a much later date. I'm stumped.

I'm guessing..

Around '56. I remember my grandmother having dresses exactly like that

Probably late 50s

I echo late 50's to early 60's. After about 1964 that color of lipstick would not have been fashion forward for such young women. (I have been told that in general, if one is trying to date a photo, the young women are the best clues to pinpoint a year, as they tend to keep up with fashion changes--interestingly in this picture most of the furnishings, except maybe the drapes, are pretty timeless-it could be anytime from 1950-1980!)

Slide Fun!!!

Dave, your acquisition of these old slides is sure providing a lot of fun for a lot of people!

My wife guesses 1963; my guess is 1958. Having lived in that part of the country in those days, I sometimes felt the styles there were a couple of years behind what they might be in other parts of the country.

Doug-Fejer's comment about a possible difference in the Kodachrome of that era is intriguing. I used to think my dad's slides from those days were sharper, but I chalked it up to the fact that he used a rangefinder camera that might have allowed sharper focusing. It was a Kodak Signet 80 that had converging images to achieve a sharp focus.


Gee, if I were there

I would have sat between them.


It appears to be from the late 50's, but one can never be sure. The mid-50's seem to melt together in the photos that I have seen. I am not great at pinpointing anything from that time period.


I would say definitely the earlier part of the 1950's rather than the latter.

The hair is closer to Ethel Mertz than Jackie Kennedy.


I wish these ladies had a current magazine in the picture with a readable cover date, but that is the year I would guess from the hairstyles, clothing and home furnishings.


Linda appears only from 1948 to 1952, but various teens and adults appear through to 1956: the Tedfords' party is 1953, the Lobster Feast is 1955, and the Reluctant Debutantes and Party of Four are 1956. All-new location: Houston. New year: let's go with 1957.

Just a guess

1959? The furniture seems mid-fifties but it also doesn't seem brand new so let's add a few years. The smooth hair & red lipstick also make me think it's 1959. In a couple of years teenagers have their hair ratted & the lipstick pales to ghostly white.


From the looks of the film, and the dresses I'm going to say 1962. It has the look and feel of the chromes my father shot in the early '60s.
Really nice image.

Blond Finish

Those end tables look like bleached oak to me, very popular in the early '50s. My parents had an entire bedroom suite done that way, which they bought when they moved into their new house in 1954, the same year I was born. So, put me down for 1954 as well!


This was definitely solidly in the 1950s. Those are young women, so their clothing and hairstyles should be reflective of the specific time. Their hairstyles, especially, are definitely 50s. Those very feminine, pretty, dresses went out of style in the 60s, unfortunately! I'm guessing 1954, because it's the year I was born, but it could be a year or two in either direction.

Also, the picture of Betty White in 1952, posted the other day, is evidence that this was more likely early-mid 50s.

I don't think these were circle skirts, either. The skirt piece would have been wider on the bottom than the top, but still gathered quite a bit at the waist.

Great fashion

Isn't that what they used to call a "circle skirt"?


I may be way off, but I want to say 47.

It speaks

This says 1954 to me, too.

I was observing things then,

and putting all the style clues (hairstyles, clothing, furnishings) together, I'd say 1954.


The furniture, drapes and pearls combined say '61.

Familiar Curtains

My guess would be about 1962 or so, as I remember we had similar curtains when I was a child.

Chemical Couch

Guessing the material on the couch was like the bulletproof synthetic that my parents put on a couch in the '50s that was reupholstered.

Pearls have been around forever but were clearly made more popular by Jackie Kennedy.

Gosh, the blinds and curtains look like they came right out of my house. So, mid to late 1950s seems like a good guess.

Finally, this Kodachrome just looks similar to shots my dad took in the late '50s. Kodachrome in the '60s strikes me as a little sharper.

Does she have a sister?

Well obviously, she does, since they are both pictured here. Judging from the furniture, drapes, lamp, etc. I would guess 1957 or '58. Also they must have used the same dress pattern but different fabric to make their own dresses as all the females were required to take at least one year of Home Economics and learn to be a domestic goddess in those days, reminiscent of "The Stepford Wives."

50s Chic

I noticed the lovely drapes are pooled on the floor. My mother would have never allowed her drapes to be that long even though it was fashionable. I love every thing about this photo: the drapes, the furniture , the dresses, the hair and especially the shoes.

Great dresses!

Has to be somewhere in the 50's. I remember those dresses! All cotton, cool and comfortable. And, those shoes! My grandma and great aunts had a closet full of them. Makes me so nostalgic!!

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