Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Three Stoic Children

This is one of my favorite pictures of my mom (left) with her sister Helen (right) and brother Sigmund, aka "Ziggie". This picture was taken in 1923 making my mom 5 yrs old, Helen 6.5 years old and Ziggie 2 years old. The short sleeved dresses the girls are wearing, in pastel colors with ruffles, make me think this photo was taken in the spring time, perhaps at Easter.

Whenever I see pictures of stoic children it makes me want to reach out and tickle them ;-) They would have looked so much cuter with grins on their faces but I guess they didn't "smile for the camera" back then. Does anyone know when people/children started smiling in photographs?


  1. I think they had to stay perfectly still so long for the picture to take that it was easier on the subject to just hold a blank look.

  2. What a beautiful photo. It seems that most of the photos back then where either solomn looks or they looked angry. I've never understood why this was. However, the photo is wonderful. I love seeing the attire they work back when.

  3. wonderful picture of your mom, aunt & Uncle! Don't you wish you could actually see the colors of the clothing? At least with the old photos (b/w or sepia) - a family really didn't have to "color" coordinate!

  4. As Terri said they only started to smile once they did not have to sit for long exposures.
    Next time you are near Bradford Jasia you might like to take a look at the photography museum ;-)
    A couple of my favourite family photos were taken very informally when the local photographer caught my mother's family at work on the farm. Well, the parents seemed to be sharing a joke even if the children still mostly looked solemn.

  5. Jasia,
    You might hope not to need to use the equivalent of this as a genealogy resource:

  6. Thanks, everyone, for your kind remarks!

    Bronwyn, thanks for the tip!