I love this picture! I love the hair on these girls, and their mother. I’ve always admired the Gibson Girl look– popular at the turn of the century.
If my Grandfather looks somber in this picture, maybe it’s because he has four girls, and no sons, at this point in his marriage to my Grandmother.
This picture was taken in era when the value of women had very different understanding . It was an agrarian society, for the most part, and a man wanted son’s to help with the hard work on the farm, and to carry on his bloodline–lineage if you will, for future generations.
It was said, that when my grandfather came into the house after the birth of his fourth daughter, he took one look, turned right-around without saying a word, and went about his chores. If I had been my Grandmother I probably would have felt like throwing the afterbirth at him! What they didn’t know back then was, it was the man who determined the sex of a child! That knowledge would have saved many a woman from despair and even death!
I do know, after the birth of this fourth girl, three sons were born to my grandparents plus one more girl. Eight in all.
Childbirth was an in-home experience and all of grandma’s brood were born at home, with the assistance of women who helped each other when their time came.
My Grandmother was a strong woman not only in the physical sense, but in constitution as well. She had to be! She not only cared for her own, but took in her grandchildren, when the need was there.
She was, a one-woman factory. Seamstress, chef, gardener, housekeeper, nurse, milkmaid, lover, and mother.
I can’t, for the life of me, see how she managed to sew those beautiful dresses, and fix all that hair!