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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • WE CAN DO IT! BUT FIRST, COFFEE

Little Sipper: 1942

Little Sipper: 1942

May 1942. "Lancaster County, Nebraska. Mrs. Pierce, wife of FSA borrower, giving her daughter a glass of milk." Photo by John Vachon for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.

 

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Kindchenschema

In 1943, ethologist Konrad Lorenz proposed that "baby schema effect" (Kindchenschema) is an innate releasing mechanism primed by a set of infantile physical features. The large head, protruding forehead, round face, big eyes, small nose and mouth, evoke positive emotions and instinctual behavioral responses in adults with the evolutionary function of enhancing offspring survival.

"Baby Cuteness"- This little girl has it in SPADES!

Hand me a hanky

Looks as though Mrs. Pierce had a hasty session with the curling iron that morning, likely in anticipation of Mr. Vachon's arrival with his lens, but no matter; the photo is all kinds of charming. I love the hands: Mom's hand gently encircling the baby's back, the other patiently holding the glass one wishes could have been a sippy cup (which would not be invented for another forty years). The baby girl's little hands, poised in a remarkably composed way for one her age, and her eyes, looking up in concentration at receiving the refreshing milk, are just sweet, sweet, sweet. One of those tiny moments -- perhaps posed but so what -- of which lives are made. I find it unexpectedly touching.

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