Category Archives: 1930s

Hair Raising Stories

A curly headed friend of mine recently posted a picture of herself as a young teen when she was trying to approximate the Vidal Sassoon-inspired geometric hairstyles of the era.  Although her hair looked fairly straight in the picture, she … Continue reading

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Dots and Dashes, 1935

Well, this much we know about Mrs. A. T. Hermann—she liked jewelry.  I count one choker, two necklaces, and one pin.  She must have dressed up for the photo.  I imagine that the trim on her exuberant bow is made … Continue reading

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Color Coding, 1930s

These snapshots from the 1930s show a common color pattern for the period: older women in dark-colored dresses, with younger women in lighter ones.  In photos from the era, the women’s clothes are often color coded in this way. You … Continue reading

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Learning from the Facebook Group “Mid Century in Color”

Sometimes I wonder just who Facebook thinks I am, sending me links to sites about farms and baby animals.  But recently the mysterious algorithm provided something I treasure—a link to the wonderful resource Mid Century in Color: Amateur Photographic Slides … Continue reading

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Unruly Seamstresses in the 1930s

The Works Project Administration (or WPA) is best known for funding murals and highways in the Great Depression. However, it also started programs aimed specifically at women. One was the WPA sewing project, which employed thousands women creating garments for … Continue reading

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Portrait of a Woman with Butterfly

In honor of Black History Month, I’ve been searching for collections of photographs of African Americans that might include older women.  One rich source I discovered is the private collection of Mike Cochran, given to the Portal of Texas History.  … Continue reading

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Sewing for the Works Progress Administration, 1936

In the US, most of us have probably come across a bridge or a trail that was built by the Works Progress Administration (WPA), the Depression Era government sponsored employment agency.  Not only did the program build bridges and sponsor … Continue reading

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Sewing Baseballs, 1938

Of course I know that baseball covers have stitches, but until I saw this photo I didn’t realize that the covers were stitched together by hand.  Even today most covers are hand stitched, although the process is done in a … Continue reading

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The Fourth of July in South Carolina, 1939

The Library of Congress has a series of photographs of an African American Fourth of July celebration on St. Helena Island off of South Carolina in 1939.  They were taken by Marian Post Wolcott, a photographer working for the Farm … Continue reading

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Cat Lady with Sandals, 1930s

These days, wearing socks and sandals is often considered a fashion faux pas for women, but this wasn’t always the case.  The older woman above is happily wearing the combination while playing with (or torturing?) her cat.  Using the wisdom … Continue reading

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