We're All Mad Here...

Alice in Wonderland has always been my favorite fairy tale. ❤️ When I was a kid I was obsessed with the TV movie. 

I'd play dress up in one of my old Christmas dresses, a red & white polka dot dress, similar to the one TV Alice wore, and when my Mom was in the kitchen I'd jump off the stairs onto the sofa below, pretending I was Alice falling down the rabbit hole, my dress puffing out like a parachute. 😂 

(Photo of me in my red dress from 1988.)

I've been looking for an antique copy of Alice in Wonderland and was lucky enough to find a 1920 copy from a shop in the UK for $16! 

The dodo bird illustration was always one of my favorites. I was terrified of the Cheshire Cat as a kid, but I love him now. 

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CDV: (1895-1897) Girl with her Bicycle

I apologize, this photograph has been sitting in my draft posts for about a year. It is of a teenage girl around late 1800's. I love her puffed sleeves, it gives me Anne of Green Gables vibes. (Anne so wanted a dress with puffed sleeves!)

Speaking of which, did anyone see the Netflix series Anne with an E? I'm super disappointed it was canceled in Season 3, it was such a good show with great actors! The girl who played Anne, (Amybeth Mcnulty) was the entire essence of who Anne of Green Gables was! It was a Anne for this century covering multiple issues: bullying, abuse, racism, feminism, LGBT+, etc. I'm a sucker for any historical drama and I'm really sad it was canceled. (Maybe, sign the petition fans have created to bring the show back!)

I purchased this CDV off eBay from a seller in England. There was no info on the back, but her clothing suggests late 1800's, possibly 1895-1897. Her outfit is actually made for cycling! I recently obtained a reprint of the 1897 Sears, Roebuck & Co catalog and I've scanned a few pages from that (below) showing all the bicycle equipment you could buy in 1897. 

Outfits for cycling. Gentlemen had their own outfits, with knicker shorts. The bicycle suit for ladies had a skirt that was shorter than the dresses they would wear every day.

A few of the ladies bicycles for sale in the 1897 Sears, Roebuck & Co catalog. 

The lamp on the bicycle in the photograph is a carbide lamp. You can see some similar ones for sale in the 1897 catalog, it was fueled with acetylene gas. A few models (above) in the Sears catalog were fueled by kerosene. 
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RPPC: Pets in the early 1900's.

Please see my previous post Pets in the 19th Century for even more photographs!

These are both antique photo postcards (RPPC) from around the early to mid 1900's that were each purchased at separate times. Both postcards were blank on the back so I have no way of properly identifying the people in them. It's lovely to see pets were cherished members of the family even 100 years ago. 

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1911 Postcard: Lorraine Venus Austwick

Long time, no post. I hope everyone is holding up during the whirlwind of a year 2020 has been so far.
This is another antique photo postcard (RPPC) I purchased on eBay recently, of a little girl dressed up as leaves for a school program. The postcard says:

Jan 29, 1911
Dear friend Laura, I send this card for Lorraine, she was in a (intramural? instrumental?) and had to play just as the leaves came down, and she wanted you to have one but they are not very good.
Say, Mrs Tompson told me you sent for us to come visit there, but I moved and so did she and neither one got the letter or card in time. I am 2745 Gladys Ave near California, Van Buren so come and see me if you come to the city. Minnie A.

I love when there's just enough info on antique postcards or photographs that you're able to identify the people on them. I did some research online and was able to figure out Minnie A, the author of the postcard was Minnie Austwick, and her daughter was Lorraine Venus Austwick. They lived in Chicago at the time the postcard was written and Lorraine would have been around 7-8 years old in 1911.

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9/11 #neverforget

*I originally published this blog in 2009. I've decided to update it for the 18th anniversary.

I can't believe it's been 18 years since 9/11. I was saying to my husband the other day, that we can't believe all the children born in 2001 after 9/11 are now 18 years old. We have a whole new generation that never experienced the fear of that morning 18 years ago. I'll never forget watching all of the coverage on the news... I would sit up late at night watching live CNN coverage of Ground Zero, crying.

I just wanted to take a moment to blog and share my personal experience.

In November of 2001. My churches youth group went up to New York for volunteer work. It was my very first trip to New York. We spent the whole afternoon putting bags together of supplies for NYC firefighters families.

(I was tearing my closest apart trying to find the laminated name tags we wore on that day as volunteers. I was hoping to scan it and add it to this blog. I have an awful habit of putting small memory items in odd places. It could be in a wallet, the back of a photo album, a box. I really wanted to find it, but I couldn't locate it. I'm sure when I'm not looking for it, I'll come across it).

Later in the evening we went to Ground Zero. Actually standing there looking at the wreckage and devastation. I'll never forget the jagged metal, the foggy air, the fenced off memorial wall that stretched for blocks & blocks. It was different from seeing it on the television. It was real. It was very humbling and like nothing I had ever experienced. I'll never forget it.

 (Similar to what I saw that night standing there. This is burned in my memory. Source.)

It was a life changing experience for all Americans. Especially for the younger generations. To feel that our freedom & security was violated. Our innocence taken away. We will never forget.

Arrow indicates where I am in the photo. (With my eyes closed, lol.) In Times Square with my youth group in 2001 heading towards Ground Zero. Photo courtesy of: Nina Krych.

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CDV Photographs: Pets in the 19th Century

In some of the more rare carte de visite photographs, owners posed with their pets. These are a few CDV & cabinet cards with animals that I've collected. 
 CDV photo circa 1870-1880. Posing with their pet pony/horse. 
CDV Photo circa 1870. Posing with her little dog. 
CDV Photo circa 1880. Mummy & Fluffy is written on the back,
the other writing is hard to make out.

CDV Photo circa 1880. A photo anomaly: the dog moved in her lap as the photo was taken
and his head appears to be missing!
Cabinet Card. Photo circa 1870-1880. Posing with her dog. 
If you were ever curious of the size difference between a Cabinet Card and a Carte de Visite, you can see here how much larger the Cabinet Card is next to the CDV. 
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CDV Photograph: Pince Nez Glasses 1870-1880

While looking for CDV (carte de visite) photographs, I noticed all the wacky antique glasses people used to wear. I made it my mission to try and obtain one for my CDV album and my patience paid off recently when I was able to get this photograph.

The photo is circa 1870-1880, and the studious girl from Massachusetts is wearing a pair Pince Nez glasses. There would have been a chain and a clip to secure to her dress and the glasses stayed on by pinching the bridge of her nose. While they definitely don't look very stylish today, I'm sure they were popular back in the day.

Here's an example of antique Pince Nez Glasses from Pinterest:

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Post Mortem CDV: Nevada G Estes & Baby John 1880

I'm still collecting carte de visite photographs, otherwise known as CDVs. There's certain subjects I've especially been trying to collect, including a post mortem.

Post-Mortem photography
was very common back in the 19th century and while it may seem distasteful or creepy to us nowadays, it was quite normal in the 1800's. Photography was rare and often expensive. Back then the only photograph you owned would most likely have been your wedding portrait; s
o often, a post mortem was the only photograph of a loved one that a family may have had to remember them by, if they passed away.  

I was intrigued by this particular photograph because of the name scrawled on the back:

I did some digging on Ancestry.com and discovered Nevada G Estes (born 1851), was married to John W Estes. In the 1880 Missouri census, they had a little baby, John Estes who was 7 1/2 months old at the time and is listed as being born October 1879. 

Unfortunately there were no records for the 1890 census, as the records were destroyed in a fire. 

The next census that showed Nevada and her husband was in 1900. (Their surname was misspelled on the census, which is quite common when you start looking into census records). Little John Estes is no longer listed in the household. Instead James H Estes, who was born in 1886 is listed as their living son. James, passed away in 1929.

From looking at other records, it appears Nevada had 7 children over her lifetime
, but only 3 lived. Only James Henry is listed on findagrave.com, but I was finally able to link little baby John Estes to his mother's memorial page. His grave is unknown.

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