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 from polka dot fabric of her blouse, but it looks like dashes to me.  Perhaps there is a Morse Code message hidden here.

The photo comes from the YWCA of Silicon Valley Collection. Of course in Mrs. Hermann’s day no one knew that the largely agricultural area would become an economic power house.

Can someone illuminate me on the origin and purpose of the velvet choker around the neck?  It looks terribly uncomfortable.

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5 Responses to Dots and Dashes, 1935

  1. Marilise says:

    Perhaps she was fond of the clasp (jeweled?) that held the choker in place. If the ribbon was velvet it probably was comfortable enough to wear–at least for as long as it took to take the photo.

  2. Planet Queen says:

    Chokers were fashionable in the early 1930s, but that’s as far as my knowledge goes.

  3. Libby says:

    The ribbon may be hiding a scar from goiter removal, a surgery necessitated by a lifetime iodine deficiency that affected the thyroid gland. Before iodized salt, goiter surgery was common in people living inland who didn’t eat seafood. My grandmother always wore a choker of pearls to cover her scar.

  4. Norah says:

    I remember chokers being fashionable in about 1971 when I first started high school, at least around where I lived in Michigan. Then I also remember seeing some young people wearing them more recently, some time this century or perhaps the late 1990s, though I can’t remember exactly when.

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