Category Archives: 1940s

For the Love of Books, 1948

Have you missed libraries during the pandemic?  I certainly have.  Through the wonders of the internet, I’ve been well supplied with reading materials.  But for me nothing compares with the adventure of wandering through the stacks, discovering treasures by accident.  … Continue reading

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Bolero Style, Late 1940s

I know better than to comment on women’s style choices, since we are now in the era of “anything goes.”  If I’m honest, however, I think this woman is dressing a little young for her age.  Everything about her outfit … Continue reading

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Summer at Martha’s Vineyard, 1950s

It is the wrong season for this picture, but I couldn’t resist since it contains some of my favorite elements—the many kinds of pants and shorts worn in the 1950s and a stark generational contrast between the old and young. … Continue reading

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Mae Reeves, Queen of Hats

You might know the names of famous black fashion designers—Ann Lowe is having a moment on sewing sites right now.  But how about black milliners?  One the biggest names in that field is Mae Reeves (1912-2016), who ran an extremely … Continue reading

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An NAACP Meeting in Los Angeles, 1949

If we didn’t have the title, “NAACP [National Association for the Advancement of Colored People], Los Angeles, 1949,” it would be hard to guess the context of the photo. This looks to be an organizational event taking place in the … 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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Christmas in Minidoka, 1943

When Japanese Americans were removed from their homes by presidential order in 1942, they were sent to a number of concentration camps for the duration of World War Two.  One was Minidoka, located near the town of Hunt, Idaho.  Taken … Continue reading

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Toasting Thanksgiving, 1947

You wonder what they had to be so thankful for in 1947.  Were they still toasting the end of World War Two, or was it some private milestone?  I know I will be lifting at least a few glasses to … Continue reading

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The Hip Shelf and the Older Woman, 1948

“Great Lakes—David and Mother, 1948” is written in faint ink on the front of this photo.  It evokes a lot of questions.  Why was it taken from the back? Had David been in the Navy during the war, or did … Continue reading

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The Woman Who Stayed In Style

One common assumption about older women is that they are much less likely to keep up with current clothing trends.  I notice this in my own dress.  There are lots of explanations for this phenomenon.  Usually older women have discovered … Continue reading

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