Contemplating.

Contemplating.
Wayzata, Minnesota

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Sepia Saturday 73: 7 May 2011

So it's Sepia Saturday once again in Minnesota....and Alan has served a photo of a fascinating couple, Mr. and Mrs. Samuelsson, of Stigasa, Smaland, Sweden who are both tightly holding on to the other's hand...as a pledge of their love and as sturdy as their warm woolen clothes.....they are husband and wife......  So in honor of this lovely couple and Mother's Day (tomorrow) I'm going to follow the themers ....a bit this week and will introduce a few other engaging women......and of course.....their other half....

If you want to travel along the Sepia Saturday themes or post other sepia related photos then why not do it here http://sepiasaturday.blogspot.com/2011/05/sepia-saturday-73-saturday-7th-may-2011.html

Before they were married...their life styles may have been sometimes peculiar, or off-color....

This silly posed lady says, "When a girl puts on a man's hat it's a sign she wants to kiss him."  This post card was mailed in 1909 (by someone with good humor)


here is the other side of it:
I actually got this postcard for free at a local shop.


...and while the ladies were out being stylish, or shopping...the men were often building new houses for their bride to be...before they popped the big question...as Andrew Peterson pictured here in 1898.  Isn't his log home just a masterpiece?  He built this log cabin in the 1850's for his new family.
(Note, actually women back in those days did work very hard, and more often sewed their own clothes ...)

 Perhaps Andrew Peterson knew the Samuelssons....since he was born in Sweden in 1818 and came to the United States in about 1850.  Peterson kept diaries until he died in 1898.  Swedish author Vilhelm Moberg based a series of novels beginning with "The Emmigrants," from those diaries...and later the series were made into movies.  Back in those days you helped your fellow neighbor and together with each other's help, they made it through thick and thin....

"In the morning I did a bit of everything, also did an errand at Lundsten. In the afternoon I cut more hay."

Here is a part of an interesting newspaper article from 1880 in the Minneapolis Tribune of life as a Swede in Minnesota...."The drinking water here is very poor, and to all good luck the population here is mostly Norwegians, Swedes and Germans, and they will of course not drink water, but whisky and beer, so they do not notice the need of good water very much as sober people might do.  I am lodging here in a saloon that is owned by a Swede whose name is Solberg.  They drank and played very good but this did not give me any pleasure..."

When I read these tidbits about life in the early days of Minnesota I have to wonder what is a true Minnesotan?  I wasn't born here, but two of my children were, and they have great-grandparents that were born in Norway and Sweden....hmmm.
Moving right along into the wedding section....and slightly out of the ordinary changes......to the traditional wedding dresses....

There are many thoughts about why a woman back then would decide on a black wedding dress, although they make many beautiful black dresses yet today....Yet, I'm sure a bride would not pick black for these past reasons.  Some say it was wise to spend money on a dress that would be suitable to wear more often then the frilly white dress, left to hang.  Or, that the bride was marrying a widower, (although in this photo he appears quite young to be a widower.)  Other countries outside of the United States wore them as a traditional dress.....for what ever reason, this bride wore black with a white veil...and what about his interesting cross shaped decoration..... is it made of paper (perhaps their marriage certificate or a prayer) and are there flowers there too?  Whatever he's wearing it's often found in wedding photos....someone please explain more about this if you know...I find it a mystery.
and then we have Mr. and Mrs. Prestige......or so they seem....
Doesn't he seem to have the look of really holding in his breath?  I do hope their life together after this day was filled with more pleasure then this!  Don't you?  We must notice that no cost was spared on this fashionable statement of wedding dresses....maybe the flower (weathered) like attachments had special meaning other than looking so out of place....maybe they were scraps from other wedding dresses of loved ones for good luck....sometimes you just never know....people can do the strangest things at weddings.  Something old, something borrowed, and something blue.....you know.

15 comments:

barbara and nancy said...

Oh if that groom let out his breath - what would happen - a giant explosion?
Love the differences in these wedding photos.
Thanks for reminding me about the emigrants books. I've always meant to read that series.
Nancy
Ladies of the grove

www.dakotaboo.com said...

I think maybe the groom is actually trying to stand up tall so that he does not appear smaller than his bride in the photo.

Little Nell said...

Perhaps the dress wasn't actually black, just a practical shade which, as you suggest, could be used again. They both look very young.

darlin said...

I love reading your tidbits of history and seeing the old photos Karen. The bottom photo looks like they come from, or have, plenty of money to spend whereas the upper photo seems to me that they don't have much but they at least have a love they hope to share for a lifetime. Black makes no sense other than it could be worn to the funeral if the husband irritated the wife to the point of murder! lol Just kidding naturally! It is practical and without heaps of money to "waste" on a dress it shows just how resourceful young people were back in the day. I won't even get started on what it's like today, I don't want to bore you and I have things to get to. Have a great day and thank you for the insight into the "good old days".

Bob Scotney said...

Fascinating collection of pictures Karen. That log cabin doesn't look very secure. I wish I could hold my breath like that.

Isabel said...

looks like the only one having fun is the single gal. she does have a great sense of humor.

Rosie said...

Loved all your postcards, the couple in the first wedding picture seems sooooooo young!!

~Tracie~ said...

What a great post Karen, I love the first photo it made me think of my nana, she would have been one to pose for a post card just like that...she had a whacky sense of humor indeed.

JJ said...

Great photos! My wife is part Swedish, and I have seen similar family pictures in the past. Very cool stuff!

Howard said...

I love the postcard!

Kristin said...

The dress could be any color since the photo is black and white. maybe it's red.

Alan Burnett said...

Yes the pictures are wonderful - but the true delight is the way you string them together, the way you link them, the way you tell the story.

Postcardy said...

I never heard that about the Minnesota water.

The man in the last photo looks like he is rather short and is trying to stand up as tall as possible.

Christine H. said...

What a wonderful variety. In the last one, the bride resembles a wedding cake.
As for the Minnesota water, that's news to me too. Do you agree with it?

MuseSwings said...

The white wedding dress came into fashion with Queen Victoria's wedding. At first only wealthy women wore white dresses - a large expense for for something that she'd probably not wear again. I like that she wore that pretty veil. The stance of the groom in the other picture is seen often in Victorian photos. Kind of a blustery king of the world kind of thing.