Saturday, October 17, 2015

Sepia Saturday: Time

It's late. Or is it early?

The lady is just arriving home and it appears to be five o'clock in the morning. The milkman has started his rounds.

This postcard is in an album with a number of other printed postcards and real photo postcards that appear to have been received by one lady living in Melbourne, Australia in the early 1900s. This one is dated 3/6/1909.

I wonder if the card was chosen because the sender and the receiver had both been to balls and may have arrived home in the wee hours. The postcard has a caption "Just by way of a change" but the meaning of that defeats me.

Postcard
Postcard reverse
C/0 Mrs H Clarices[?]
Wallace St, Germanton
Dear Violet
Just a line to let you know I have not forgotten you. I will write you a long letter as soon as I can & send you a postal note for things you have gotten for me & for the opera cloak I think it is very cheap I went to a ball last night & had a grand time I was wishing you were here I can waltz all right now we went in evening dress pale pink & everyone said we were dressed the nicest don't [know] who was belle yet but as soon as the paper comes out I will send it to you don't forget to send me the photo of the ball you were at. I was surprised to hear you are such a flirt. I have another boy he as[sic] only one hand he is very nice & got plenty of money, the one that give me the gloves is off I had three after me to take me to the ball so I picked the one armed bloke he is so nice looking. give my love to all at home
Edie xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Edie hasn't named the "one-armed bloke" but apparently the fact that he has money is important. I hope he had the sense to see Edie's real character. And I'd like to know the background to her comment about Violet being a flirt.

This post is in response to the Sepia Saturday theme photo that includes a clock. You can see other responses here.


Saturday, October 10, 2015

Sepia Saturday: Discarded studio photo

Unknown couple with child
Once upon a time this image was important to someone. The couple, and a child (their child or a grandchild?), dressed in their best clothes and went to Bardwell's Studio studio in the city of Melbourne, Victoria. Did they walk, take a train or tram, or did they travel by horse and cab?

The photographer instructed the man to take off his hat and place it on the pedestal, told them how and where to stand, and took some images. I wonder why the child is looking directly at the camera but the adults are looking at something or someone to one side?

The photo was developed and printed and eventually collected by the subjects. Money changed hands. Maybe the photo was placed in a frame and placed on the mantlepiece. Maybe it was added to an album. They knew who they were so there was no need to write names on the back of the photo. Maybe extra copies were ordered and given to other members of the family.

Time passed, people died, the photo was bundled in with others and eventually discarded. By chance it was rescued and donated to a library.

Who are these people? No one knows but it has value as a historical record of clothing styles, hair styles, beard styles, studio portraiture and photographers.

This post is in response to the theme photo for Sepia Saturday's 300th anniversary, a photo of an unknown people, that was also rescued.


Friday, October 2, 2015

Sepia Saturday: The best medicine

In September 1918 Roy Phelan was on the front line in France when he was badly injured, hit on the head by shrapnel. Somehow, in the middle of all the noise and mayhem, Roy was stretchered out and taken to a Field Hospital at Abbeville behind the lines, and then across the channel to England. He spent months in hospitals in England recuperating and was still very ill when he returned to Australia but recovered and lived a long and happy life.

His family back in Australia were informed that he was seriously ill and the first few letters they received from Roy after he was injured were written by a nurse. This one was written to Ann Sims who was later to become his wife.

29th Sept 18
Dear Miss Sims
3782 Pte R.J. Phelan, 46th Btn, asked me to write to you to let you know he was admitted to this Hospital, the Third Australian General, on the 18th inst.
He has a nasty wound in his head but has shown a slight improvement the last couple of days. He is quite cheerful again.
He asked me to explain to you that he will be unable to write to you for some little time yet.
He sends you his best love.
With best wishes
I remain
Yours faithfully
P. Murdock
(Aust. Red Cross)


Amazingly, I found a photo of Miss Murdock and the other nurses who served at the 3rd Australian Hospital on the Australian War Memorial's website.

Miss Murdock is second from the right in the back row.
Roy gradually recovered his health and his good humour and wrote home about some of the concert skits and social occasions he had been involved in and made light of his health problems. But some of his treatment must have been truly awful and he would have seen his fellow inmates going through some tough times as well. He sent home these two postcards. Maybe laughter is the best medicine.

Watching someone else being "done"!
Being "done" oneself!
This blog was in response to the Sepia Saturday theme image below, a cutout bookmark advertising medicine. I can't imagine what medicine Roy would have had to take but you can see what others have written on the same theme here.