Thanksgiving Travel, 1951

Special Collections, Doheny Memorial Library, University of Southern California

Special Collections, Doheny Memorial Library, University of Southern California

The caption for this photo reads: “92-year-old great grandmother Mrs. C. C. Adams of Hooker, Oklahoma, reversed the old saying ‘over the hills to grandma’s house’ when she decided to take her first flight via TWA Skycoach to greet part of her large family in Glendale, California for Thanksgiving Day.”

Since this is a publicity photo for TWA, I hope that Mrs. Adams got a free trip. Looking past the staged elements, it is interesting to see what this spry 92 year old is wearing on her first airplane voyage. Following the more formal clothing standards of the time, her outfit includes a hat, a trimmed beret style, and gloves. Her simple hoop earrings go nicely with her round “granny glasses.”

Her light colored wool coat does not follow current styles. Using Jen O’s sewing pattern method of dating, I think this single breasted, wide shouldered silhouette originated in the early 1940s.  Winter coats are a big clothing investment, so it’s not surprising to see them still being worn long after they have gone out of style.  My eye was immediately drawn to the coat’s beautiful details. That’s a bound buttonhole on her coat, a feature that you rarely find on clothes today unless you make them yourself.

During the Great Depression, California experienced a huge influx of people from Oklahoma, the theme of John Steinbeck’s novel, The Grapes of Wrath. Perhaps the relatives she was on her way to visit were the descendants of that migration.

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2 Responses to Thanksgiving Travel, 1951

  1. Lizzie says:

    So much information from one photo. I do wish we could see her shoes!

  2. Jen O says:

    Thanks for the link mention! I think you have hit the right date with this too–and even so, it’s interesting to think that she bought a coat in her early 80s, since often few expensive fashion purchases are made after a person enters their 70’s.

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