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Mrs. Foote: 1933

1933. "Mrs. Walter A. Foote, portrait with dog." Harris & Ewing. View full size.

1933. "Mrs. Walter A. Foote, portrait with dog." Harris & Ewing. View full size.


On Shorpy:
Today’s Top 5

"Tiresome and Repetitive"

For every comment on a woman's appearance on this site, there must be ten times as many complaining about those comments. And they all sound exactly the same. Talk about tedious.

And I'm sure...

...that you're just beautiful in every way yourself, Bill! Or at least as pretty as Mrs. Foote -- or, indeed, a young Donald Sutherland.

I don't think anyone is taking these comments as a "personal insult." It's just tiresome and repetitive and kind of sad, and not, perhaps, of tremendous interest to others, to know whether a given lady pleases the eye of a particular modern male. Though I can't speak for anyone but myself, naturally.

As you note, the ladies in question have usually lived out their lives -- happily and usefully, we all trust, and in times when gentlemen, whatever they thought of ladies' looks, declined to make crude remarks about them in public forums.

Margaret Foote

Walter Ambrose Foote's obituary (Dec 1, 1954) lists his wife's name as Margaret. She must have been an adventurous soul to travel the world with her husband. I think she looks lovely.

Below is an account of the Footes' escape from Java just in advance of the Japanese invasion:

The wife of "Uncle Billy" Foote, who as a member of our foreign service has a longer career of service in those islands than any of his compatriots, Mrs. Foote left Batavia "just before the last." Leaving from Tjilatjap
where the refugees sat up in a tin shack through a night that never seemed to end, waiting for a ship to sail, Mrs. Foote arrived in Australia after a series of adventures.

From Australia to New Orleans was the next leg of the voyage that was to ultimately bring her to a "duration" home in the Capital. during the two months of her journeying, she had no word of her husband. Like Dr. van der Plas, he wanted to stay on in the indies, but officials convinced him that he could help them more by leaving and carrying on the struggle from "outside."

After receiving word that it would be fatal to tarry and longer in Batavia, where he was Consul General, Mr. Foote got what remained of his staff together. That night they spend tearing up official papers and when morning came, and there would be no danger of it being used as a beacon light by Japanese bombers, a huge bonfire was started. Then came the trek to a port - driving along overgrown jungle roads to avoid the danger of parachutists who were clogging up the main roads. Two months later, his ship put in at San Francisco, and this was the first news either husband or wife had of each other.

Now "Uncle Billy," as he has been affectionately known by officials in the Dutch East Indies for years, is again serving overseas. He will represent this country in dealings with the Netherland's officials in Australia. His wife has been kept busy attending auction sales - where she picked up all the furniture for her attractive apartment at the Dorchester. One does not bring back household goods from an invaded territory.

English-born Mrs. Foote, who worked in New York for the Red Cross in the last war, is filling her hours with war activities. Working with the Dutch unit of the Red Cross as she is in Washington, is nothing new for the soft-spoken Mrs. Foote. For many months, she was a hard worker for numerous women's defense organizations in Batavia who had a chance to prove the effectiveness of their training under fire.

"They were magnificent," accolades Mrs. Foote, as she tells story after story of their "extraordinary calm, cool bravery."

Washington Post, Aug 2, 1942

Shorpy Girls

I have made a few snarky comments about the appearance of some of the women on Shorpy. I really don't mean it as a personal insult to the (long dead) women themselves or as an insult to women in general.

For me, it's the contrast of what women looked like before the modern cosmetics industry, before daily baths became the norm and especially before dentistry evolved to its current level.

Sometimes, Shorpy makes me feel nostalgic for a simpler time. Many of the Shorpy women make me happy to be a modern man.

Oh...And Mrs Foote looks like a young Donald Sutherland in drag.

A diplomat's wife.

I couldn't find anything about Mrs. Walter A Foote, but Google gives up the occasional factoid about Walter A. himself. Follow the leads through the URLs below if you'd like.

Walter A. was born in Greeneville, Texas in 1887, served in the military during WW I and was appointed to the US diplomatic corps in or about 1921. His first job was in Port Said. (He was paid $3000--per year, it looks like.) He rose through the ranks, we can assume, and was eventually appointed Consul General to Indonesia. He was there in 1947, aged 60, when these Life photos

were taken. Notice his hat. Still a Texas boy.

Here are a couple of other references.

Cheers and enjoy!

Hear hear!

Well I'm no "homely broad" just any average Joe and I agree, the number of misogynistic comments on Shorpy is as astounding as it is dull. Makes an otherwise brilliant blog a tad tiresome. And it's not about being politically correct chaps it just shows a lack of imagination. Mrs Foote's dog looks like it has more class than some commentators.

Enjoy the show and leave the petulance on your desktop.

[If only. - Dave]

I get a weird vibe...

that Mrs. Foote would have been an interesting gal to hang out with.

That Dog

OK, that dog had to be some movie actor dog. I think he is just way too cute and perfect. I'd steal him if I could!


The doggie is completely adorable and I happen to think Mrs. Foote is a rather handsome woman. From another homely (old) broad.


So many nasty comments about women on this blog. Too bad -- I love it otherwise.

And, yes, I am rather a homely broad myself. And if 80 years from now people are taking cheap shots at a picture of me on whatever blog equivalent is available by then ... well, actually, I will be dead and won't care. But still.

I assume...

... that Mrs. Foote is the one on the right?

Beautiful shadows.

Mrs. Foote's shadows on the wall are beautifully placed. But where's the dog's Gramophone?

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