Family Road Trip

Found photo

In honor of summer holidays, I give you this photo of what I’m guessing was a family road trip.  It could just be a Sunday outing, but only the son with his tie looks dressed up enough to have come from church.  There is no date or writing on the photo. 

Where was it taken?  The dry hillside, which might have a fuzzy outline of a palm tree in the background, could indicate somewhere like Southern California.  However, palm trees grow in a lot of places.  Does anyone recognize the cutout design on the bridge?

The date also requires some guessing.  The daughter’s outfit—cropped white pants and a slightly midriff-baring top—might date from the late forties or early fifties.  Note also her open-toed shoes.  I found an almost identical pair of peek-toe sandals in a 1950 Sears catalog.

Fashionable Clothing from the Sears Catalog, Early 1950s

The mother’s shirtwaist dress is harder to date, since the shirtwaist was staple of older women’s clothing for decades.  Even basic styles reflect their era, though. Given the length, we can assume that it was bought or made after the 1947 realignment of fashion known as the New Look, when designers turned against the fashion restrictions of the war years.  The not-too-full skirt was common in the early fifties.  A 1952 Sears catalog offers a similar silhouette. It is a very plain dress, but she has dressed it up with something the neckline. Flowers? Pompoms? What’s your best guess?

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