Thursday, July 16, 2009

Postcard Friendship Friday

According to Wikipedia, Cabinet Cards were "the style of photograph which was universally adopted for photographic portraiture in 1870. It consisted of a thin photograph that was generally mounted on cards measuring 4 ¼” by 6 ½ inches."

I don't know if these two postcards would be considered true Cabinet cards, but I am going to assume so unless one of you card experts can shed light on their probable origin. I acquired them in a lot of cards that I purchased off Ebay. These are two of my favorites.

There is no postmark or message on the back which would give a clue as to their age. So I'm giving it my best guess and dating them using my superior powers of deductive reasoning and my vast knowledge of costumes and clothing of the 19th and 20th centuries. The one I'm titling "Generations" seems to be from the late 1800. The "Sisters" might have been taken between 1900 and 1910. I read both cards as Midwestern in origin. Maybe Kansas. Maybe Oklahoma. Possibly Wisconsin. These women and girls are strong, determined, forged out of hardship and experts in making do with what is at hand.

The ladies in "Generations" look a bit surprised that anyone would want a photograph of them. The photographer better hurry and get their picture. They can't sit under this tree all day...they've still got tomatoes to can and peas to snap before the sun goes down!

The girls in "Sisters" seem to be used to lounging on their porch steps watching whatever or whoever passes by. They make judgments and giggle behind their hands as they whisper secrets about those who intrude on their privacy.

Lillie and Florence Jacobson

We must not hope to be mowers,
And to gather the ripe gold ears,
Unless we have first been sowers
And watered the furrows with tears.

It is not just as we take it,
This mystical world of ours,
Life's field will yield as we make it
A harvest of thorns or of flowers.

-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

All in all, I think what their faces say to me is that "we will persevere, we will abide and we will abound."


  1. You've done a wondeful job of conjecture! You buy postcards on ebay? Obviously I have a lot to learn!

  2. I think your interest for old postcards (and I guess you collect them as well?) is very appealing. I also like the way you deduce life stories from looking at them, by paying attention to details. I guess it is a bit like looking at paintings; we can never know what the artist truly wanted to say with it or what inspired him/her, but it can still effect us and make us feel things nevertheless.;)
    Have a great Friday.;)

  3. WOW!!! This are fabulous, love the old family photos.

  4. I agree with "PROTEGE", you add words to the pictures and soon we are off exploring another world in our minds and asking questions - who, where, when...
    They look so strong and heroic!

  5. Lovely post. Old photos have such a story to tell.

  6. Fabulous post Stevie! I was swept away thinking about those post cards faces and I loved your commentary about them. I think those little girls grew up to chose flowers for their least I hope so!

  7. Beautiful post. Perserverance is definately what I see in those eyes.

  8. Howdy
    Happy PFF to you.
    I wonder if anyone will still be as curious about these beautiful and delightful postcards in the far off future.
    I do hope so they are often truly thought provoking and entertaining
    as well.
    Thank you for sharing.
    Have a fabulous weekend.
    Happy Trails

  9. Happy Friday my friend! Old photos are such fun, I lurve the first one. Reminds of Anne from Greene Gables, like they could be Marilla's neighbors. ha ha Hope your enjoying your summer!

  10. The ladies in the first card look terribly stern! I wouldn't like to cross them. :)

  11. Interesting post. I haven't thought about pictures like these in a long while. I have always been a fan of these, and around here you come across these at flea markets. My mother-in-law used to collect old photos like this, most of her were flue covers with these kinds of portraits on them. Very unique. Love your blog, hope you don't mind my lurking around.

  12. I like to study the expressions on the faces in old photographs. Why is it that they seem so much more expressive than the faces of today?

  13. Lovely old postcards!

    And I love your new blog look, too. I'm so behind on my blog reading since my move,but I'm trying to catch up:)

  14. Wonderful photos. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

  15. Stevie,
    Haven't been by, because I've been so busy, but so happy to be here.:) I was at PFF at Marie's and saw your name there. Love the vintage photos and agree with the time periods for each of them. I think the sister on the right is beautiful. She has such an expression too. Also love the other posts.

    Hope you've been visiting mine. I have a post about Walter Cronkite on there.

  16. Those are fabulous old post cards! What a lovely post, too! :)

  17. What a gorgeous PFF post! Boy oh boy am I late! My internet is soooo slow here! It's driving me batty!

  18. I love this post..and I love old did a wonderfull job of putting stories to these pics...I always find it so sad to see stacks of old family photos for sale at antique stores or flea markets...


I'm glad you stopped by and I look forward to your comments. As Dr. Fraser Crane would say, "Hello, I'm listening."