Sepia Saturday

Sepia Saturday

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Grandma Brooks.....revisited

July, 1913
As a footnote to my last weeks Sepia Saturday,  I really had little time to describe very much about the wedding photo.  It is actually one of those oval photos that has been pressed into a curved glass and placed in an oval frame.  I squared it up to help make the appearance to be more acceptable. The problem with the oval photo is that it is hard to have their faces in focus from that kind of picture. They are distorted because of the contour shape.


This is the back view of the whole photo. You can almost see the concave shape of this photo.

This is the front view of it. I have carefully taken it out of the frame as the curved convex glass is very rare and it gave off too much reflection.  The original photo was a black and white with very delicate hand painting on the faces and gold paint on bracelet and the locket hanging from her neck.


My Grandmother Mable Zella Wheeler Brown Brooks was a very hard working woman who would never complain about anything.  She was in the hospital with colon cancer, and her bed needed to be readjusted.  It was an old fashioned one that nurses had to hand crank to adjust it at the foot of the bed.  She would get out of bed and crank her own bed to where she wanted it rather than ask for help.

I remember seeing her sitting at her treadle sewing machine making aprons.  I remember her making fruit cake and placing the batter into wax paper lined coffee cans for baking. I remember the joy she had when I painted her house for free as a college kid, and she bought some bright yellow paint for the kitchen and it made her the happiest person alive.   I would stay with her in the winter while my parents vacationed and I was still in high school.  In them middle of winter, she would shut her fuel oil heater off for the entire night and sleep under an electric blanket as she didn't have a lot of money for fuel.

The dress she is wearing at the age of 16 is still in existence.  I actually have the whole wedding outfit except for the gold locket.  My mother gave it to her oldest granddaughter.  The bracelet is gold and I have it also but it is in disrepair. 
I know this is not your family tree type blog today, but it is a sideline blog of the curiosity of this photo.  I don't know where they had taken the picture, but I suspect it was in Winterset, Iowa. The town near all the Madison County covered bridges.  It was the home area for both of them at the time and they did stay in the area after they married for quite a few years.

Not intending to confuse anyone, but I have created a separate blog for Sepia Saturday.  I may go back and bring all the other Saturday postings to this site but for now this will be it's first.

Check out all of the other blogs that are participating in Sepia Saturday by click HERE. 

19 comments:

Evelyn Yvonne Theriault said...

This is such a meticulously detailed family history post. I really enjoyed the anecdotes - but also your analysis of the photograph. I had not realized that photographs were ever preapred in this type of curved glass. It's not something I've ever personally seen.

Pat transplanted to MN said...

And that is just why I cannot scan the big oil photo of my grandparents, it is under oval glass....you went to extra work on this. I love the big bow in her hair! It seems to be a shared trait that the people of that era did not complain, no matter what their heritage or ethnicity! How unlike today! You are so ambitious to set up your separate blog; I've thought of it but no time....

Rhonda in OK said...

that is a beautiful picture and I am just amazed that you still have her wedding outfit

Betsy said...

It's a beautiful picture! How wonderful that you have her wedding dress. I love what she has on her head!

Martin H. said...

Thanks for taking the time and trouble with the detail here Larry. I've also learned something today, regarding photographs that have been pressed into convex glasses.

To have your grandma's wedding dress is extra special.

Vicki Lane said...

Your grandmother sounds quite wonderful! How nice that you had so much time with her! (I, too, have my grandmother's wedding dress!)

Southwest Arkie said...

That was a lovely post about your grandmother. I can tell she was a very special person in your life and that you have precious memories of her. It is a wonderful photograph!

steviewren said...

Your grandmother sounds like a lovely person. I liked reading how you painted her house and imagining her happiness at having that freshly painted yellow kitchen. Wonderful!

Christine H. said...

Your grandmother sounds wonderful. I also think it was very sweet of you to paint her house for her. Thanks for taking the time to tell us more about the picture. How fabulous that the dress still exists.

Meri said...

Her hat is divine!

C Hummel Kornell a/k/a C Hummel Wilson said...

Wonderful post. So much information. Weren't our ancestors strong people? My Mother married at 16 as well. Can you imagine a 16 year old today taking on the responsibilities of a home and family?

willow said...

The first thing I thought, when I saw the wonderful photo, was "I wonder if he still has the locket?" So, nice that it was preserved in the family.

Barbara said...

Besides all the other wonderful things- still having the dress, etc. I love that the gold was painted on the photo.
What a nice thing for a teen-age boy to do. How many of them these days would paint their grandmother's house. I suppose there are a few nice ones like you.

The Silver Fox said...

Fascinating story behind the photo itself. Wish I had something of its kind for any of my own family members.

kylie said...

the rich detail in this post is just a joy!
i hope to catch you again for sepia saturday

Barry said...

Amazing that outfit is still in existence. Having the wedding dress really helps bring back the reality of your grandmother as a young woman.

Far Side of Fifty said...

Great post and a great blog Larry..good job it will help you keep all your family info in one spot! I love yellow..so I can imagine your grandmothers delight at a freshly painted yellow kitchen:)

Alan Burnett said...

The technical background is quite fascination (but I would expect nothing less from you Larry). Congratulations on the dedicated SS Blog - it is an idea that a good few others are adopting too.

Nancy said...

I'm new to Sepia Saturday -- just wanted to say that I really enjoyed your post with information about your grandmother and about the photograph itself. How wonderful for you to get that big batch of photographs and papers to help you with your family history. I hope you get your computer problem sorted out soon.