Grumpy old fart!!!

"If you talk to God you're religious. If God talks to you, you're psychotic."

Pauline Garon


Pauline Garon (September 9, 1900 – August 30, 1965) was a Canadian-born American silent film, feature film and stage actress.

This still shows her in the role of a “cheeky” maid

January 31, 2010 Posted by | Maid, Servants, Social History | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Not a happy soul


Unlike the usual photographic portraits poor Margie Marr doesn’t look very happy at the prospect of having her face immortalised in print. The pout looks more in keeping with a child or teenager pressed into the annual family portrait rather than that of a young woman.

The portrait taken in 1890, Lancaster County may be of an Amish, Mennonite or Quaker woman and there may be the answer, the Amish and Mennonite were and still are reluctant to have their pictures taken. Or perhaps she just didn’t have a “sunny” disposition.

January 31, 2010 Posted by | Amish, Maid, Servants, Social History | , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Emily’s Maid



Emily’s Maid was a departure from the chocolate box images of Victorian children bathing to a slightly “naughty” image, perhaps appealing to the male audience rather than mothers.


“When the door bell rings it should be answered promptly by a trim maid with a low voice and quiet courteous manner”

 The Project Gutenberg EBook of Etiquette, by Emily Post

January 28, 2010 Posted by | Maid, Servants, Social History | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Maids take a break

Different groups of maids and those in domestic service taking a short break.

January 28, 2010 Posted by | Deltiology, Maid, Maids, Servants, Social History | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Maggie and Ivy

Maggie and Ivy both sent these pictures home to their loved ones

January 28, 2010 Posted by | Deltiology, Maid, Maids, Servants, Social History | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Maids’ finishing school


This group of hopeful maids appears to have either just commenced or finished their training. Their faces show the hopes of many such groups through the ages. Their mentor taking centre stage, trying to look impassive but there is a glimmer of pride, that she has helped mould another group of individuals who will provide a high standard of service to their future employer.

January 28, 2010 Posted by | Deltiology, Maid, Maids, Servants, Social History | , , , , , | Leave a comment

A picture paints a thousand words

Simply put a picture will be more descriptive than words can ever be, but how true is this, if a picture enables us to gain entry to another time, another world, will, like the view from a different window, even in the same house provide a different image.

These images allow a glimpse into another time, another era; but what proceeded or followed this image? As the individuals were positioned and posed like an artist’s model is what we see truly reflective or like the slightly softened image of an aging beauty a less that truthful representation?

I am reminded of a documentary I watched several years ago regarding the returning troops from the front during the First World War. The camera images show a broken, demoralised sea of humanity, young men who having seen sights that most of us hope never to witness have lost that sparkle; that zest which only youth has. But bring on the news camera and that battered returning group came to life, the smiles returned and even though muddied and bloodied their heads and bodies became erect, their arms swung in time and they demonstrated a swagger that spoke of courage and determination; an image that gave hope to the viewer.

It seems to me that even in the early days of photography all was not what it appeared and now in the advancing digital age a picture may paint a thousand words but will it be factual or fiction?

January 21, 2010 Posted by | Deltiology, Maid, Maids, Nun, Servants, Social History | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Social History

Collecting old postcard and pictures enables the viewer to glimpse a brief moment from that individual’s life; often far removed from their own either by the passage of time or social class.  Often described as “history from below” they show everyday people, their social structure and the interaction of different groups. Like the wealthy and politicians these people helped shape and maintain society and so shape history.



Examining the images one can’t help but wonder how the individuals lived, were their lives hard compared with today and were they happy. Often the images come with little or no information that can answer these questions, one can only imagine.

With each image saved and seen by others so that moment, that person is kept alive, our understanding is increased and so our lives are enriched.

January 20, 2010 Posted by | Deltiology, Maid, Maids, Servants, Social History | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A Star in the East

A little over 2,000 years ago a lone star in the Eastern sky guided rich and poor to the birth of an infant who would later bring the hope of forgiveness and salvation to a waiting world.

The star of hope later became a symbol that divided and segregated the world; its yellow colour brought together rich and poor, young and old, men, women and children until it turned red and later charred with the blood and fire as a madman strove for the extermination of a nation.

Out of the ashes of the Holocaust rose another star, another symbol of hope, of a new beginning. The blue and white star that proudly and defiantly shone over the new Israel soon became tarnished and blooded as another nation was burned and destroyed in their quest for survival. Another nation disposed and banished becoming a new Diaspora whilst the world again looks on in apathy and impotence.

Christmas 2008 in Gaza saw that blue and white symbol fluttering over the corpses of 1,400 Palestinians in Israel’s quest, not unlike another nation to exterminate a people. Again the world sat back and although mouthed a few platitudes imposed no sanctions and offered no redress. The star that once offered hope of salvation and a new beginning has now become a symbol of death and apathy.

January 6, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment