Friday, April 26, 2019

Society, charity, and a mystery tea

Gentle readers, why am I so fascinated by vintage photos of women? I don't know, but I just am, and when I saw this photo on the Library of Congress website, I instantly began imagining lives for all of them. The lady seated at front left? She's a cool cucumber, going with the flow, perhaps a bit weary from her week. The austere-looking woman next to her has places to go and people to see and things to do and wishes the photographer would hurry up. The older woman seated at far right? She looks a bit startled, as if she wasn't quite ready for the photo to be taken and perhaps is uncomfortable being photographed.

I could make up stories for the back row too (especially that saucy-looking woman at far left, cutting her eyes at someone or something), but I won't. And with all these furs they're wearing, do you think it's safe to assume this photo was taken in the winter?

The LOC website reveals only that it was taken between 1910 and 1915. And while it's titled "Society at Charity Tea," dare I ask, "Where's the tea?"


  1. I definitely agree it's winter time. I even wondered if they were all widows, with all the black going on.Just dark colors for the season I reckon. The lady on the right in the back row with the veil, sure looks like she could put you in your place in a hurry !!! :)
    Wouldn't you love to have time travel and go back and sit in on that tea !!!

  2. I love the stories you made up. I do wonder "what society?" and "what tea?" :-)

  3. Fascinating photo! Rich society ladies? Wearing fur and carrying fur too? My, my!

  4. It really is fun to wonder about the life of each individual woman in the photo! I'm guessing that they are just about to leave the tea, all wrapped up in their winter furs to brave the cold and snow outside. And we can make a pretty good guess that it's not taking place in the South!

  5. So funny! I love your stories on these ladies. I think the tea is inside, but they had to go out onto the porch to pose for the picture and really they are desperate for tea inside. You know it is cold out there on the porch.

  6. Your picture stories are the best. I’m wondering why two ladies have veils? My first thought was maybe they were widowed.


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