Saturday, January 17, 2009

Will You Have Enough Bed Clothes To Keep You Warm? - 29 Oct 1900

Late October found Charles Logie worried about the warmth and welfare of his daughter, Beatrice in Bingham Canyon, Utah. She had found lodging but in that mining town, the homes weren’t necessarily built with thick walls nor anything other than a wood stove in the kitchen and a fireplace.

Charles and Elizabeth Bennett Drew had stopped by to visit during the week but both had aches and pains.

Again we read of Charles’ descriptive nicknames for other folks. “Old Peggy Hautem” (haughty) was his target this week. She apparently treated her cat much as a child and washed its paws at night. Charles wondered if it would soon be wearing night gowns too.

He complained in a P.S. that Beatrice hadn’t included her new address, hence the letter was addressed to her but not at Mrs. Davis residence in Bingham.

American Fork Oct 29/00 (1900)

To the Lady Beatrice

Your letter received this morning glad to hear from you & all that Mother says about your going to House Keeping. She thinks it is a good denimquilt idea are you close to any neighbors where you live. Mother thinks it would be a good place for you to visit among the parients of your school if you have a little spare time & she will try & send you some fruit this week if she can find someone going out your way about those visitors that you mentioned Mother says she don't know how you are going to entertain more than one friend at a time. but we will be pleased to welcome you at any time & as many friends as the Mantion will accomodate. I am happy to say that Mothers cold is better. we have got a teacher here a Miss Smith. She taught in Bingham last year & she had to go to house Keeping. We got a letter from Nellie they are all well never heared that his mother was going to be married so he had to go to town to see to matters & things. Mother wants to know if you will have enough bed clothes to keep you warm. Don't think of any think else it is pretty cold to day been snowing in the hills last night. Charlie had rheumatics & Liz has the head ache & Lot was running the street all day yesterday & part of the night came here about nine Oclock to borrtow a humberella but dident get it you bet. Old Peggey Hautem is more fussey than ever over that cussed cat she washes its feet nights & I expect she will put night gowns on the thing shortly. She says that she will write to you. I have told you everything that know so will have to quit dayace attend meeting or is your abode too far off. Write again & let us Know how you are geting along we send our Kind love to you &

Remane the Old folks at home

Chas Logie

as you did not send any partecular address I left off the Mrs Davis See

Below is a video showing the stuffing of a feather quilt. It used to be more difficult to do when you had to pull the feathers from birds you raised, clean and collect them and then stuff homemade rag quilts and pillows in days gone by.

Those Wacky Styles

Looking through some old photos of wife and myself today, I laughed out loud a few times.

Wearing striped bell bottoms or Levi's that always look too short seemed to be the order of the day. Why did I wear my Levi's so short? Every photo showed three inches of socks showing between the bottom of my pants and my shoes. Why?

Yeah, they were shink-to-fits but couldn’t I just add enough length when purchasing them? I remember having ‘cheat’ grass sticking in my socks all of the time and grousing about it. Duh!

Why did my father buy his Levi's so long and then roll them up with several folds? Why were John Wayne’s pants so short in every movie of his that I’ve seen lately? No wonder he had to wear cowboy boots or else his legs would have been bare half way up his calf.

I kind of remember the ‘cool’ factor associated with bell bottoms. Mine weren’t too wild but my wife had more ‘flare’ in her taste of the style. Were we sane in the early 60’s? I think we were more sane than the more current “butt” showing styles that are so aberrant when measured against common sense, but wonder what we were thinking at the time.

Looking at old photos of my ancestors, apparently, insanity is a continuing condition in human clothing styles. I don’t know of any woman who would consider wearing the clothing of the 1800’s today. Women seem to always take the worst hit in the extremity of ‘style’.

The cartoon strip ‘Herman’ gets it right all too often. See the comparison below of Herman to the hat worn by my great grandaunt in 1900 Plymouth, Massachusetts. The color in the cartoon seems to be the only difference in the hat ugliness scale.

uglyhat Drew Sally Ann 3

There are some great blogs and websites that will help you place approximate times on your old photos. When I mentioned the ‘60’s styles, you probably all had images of the era come to mind. As we look farther back in time, it is a little more difficult to assign the decade(s) associated with a ‘style’ because they are father away from our reference points.

However, using the style of dress to help establish a timeline for a family member is extremely useful in focusing the year range for our research. Click on this Link to see the Drew home where aunt Sally was standing. I can see her daughters and my 2nd great grandfather sitting on the porch watching the parade of men and ladies strolling by after attending the 4th of July holiday celebration in town.

We see long hot skirts and long sleeves for the women in that photo. Long jackets and a hat on the man. Were these folks nuts? Didn’t they melt as easily as I do on a hot 4th of July now? The styles locked in the period of the photo even without the date written on the back.

I use style comparisons on old photos all of the time when a date isn’t written on the back of the photo. The approximate date really helps in my research, especially if the photographers name and business location is listed at the bottom. With that information I can place my relatives in a general area in a fairly narrow range of years. From that information, I can search all the records in the area and hopefully find them.

There are great sites and blogs available to help us date photos from the dress styles seen in them. Do a quick Google search for terms such as “genealogy dress style dating” and learn from them. I’m sure you’ll find the effort rewarding in your research.