Have you ever sat down and really looked at an old photo and felt completely mesmerized by not the only subject matter, but by all of the curious objects contained within the background? If so, you are not alone! Much can be learned about the past by simply taking a few minutes to look at old photos. Maybe..that is why they are so very popular and tend to sell as soon as the are put on the shelves at antique malls.
If you have a much beloved photo and are unsure as to the date in which it was taken, examine the background for clues. Is there an old car? What are the people wearing? Are they smiling or have a stone expression? What sort of hairstyles and clothing styles are they wearing? These are definite clues that can help you to date your photo.
For example, this photo, taken in front of an old firehouse was probably taken in the mid 1920’s based on the bobbed hairstyles of the women and their attire. Its just the “bees Knees” to borrow an expression from the time. As to where the fire station is, I am not sure. It is probably within rural Fairfield County..
Old photographs are simply still life time capsules. So, the next time that you see one in an antique shop, buy it, take it home and spend a bit of time milling about the background. Its a chance to closely examine a different age and its more than entertaining. Do you have a favorite old photo?