I have given up on Pinterest many times. After getting recommendations from friends and sewing teachers, I’ve tried to assemble various “collections” of things that inspire me. Each time I have delved into that chaotic bundle of images, I have given up in dismay at the odd mix of advertisements, inaccurate labeling, and outright nonsense. Perhaps because I’m a historian and need to know where images come from, I’m astonished how rarely Pinterest users document the source of their subject material.
But there is treasure among the trash. Recently I gave Pinterest another chance and discovered something truly wonderful—original color pictures from the 1920s. Looking specifically for older women, I found the shot above taken in an azalea garden in Florida. Doesn’t she look elegant, with her pale blue dress, her parasol, her long necklace, and her t-strap shoes?
Links on the pin led me to a blog post that even had information about the photographer, Clifton R. Adams, who worked for the National Geographic from 1920-1934. The magazine was a pioneer in using new Autochrome color film technology beginning in the 1910s. There is still a lot I would like to know, the kind of questions historians ask: When was the picture taken? Was it published in the magazine? And where can I find an archive of Adams’s work? But for now I’m just glad that Pinterest came through for me. Feast your eyes on these wonderful images here (of Britain) and here (of the US).