Friday, January 16, 2009

Costume Customs - Fern Blanding Bullock photos

The new "10th Edition Smile For The Camera - A Carnival of Images" is taking place, and this is my entry into the carnival to "Show us that picture that you found with your family collection or purchased that shows the costumes of the rich to the not so rich, from the civil war to the psychedelic sixties."

I love the photos of my Great Aunt Fern Edna Blanding. She was born 22 Sep 1889 in Skyberg, Goodhue Co., Minnesota, spent some early years in Madison Lake, Blue Earth Co., Minn, on to Sibley, Georgia by 1900, a couple years around Palm Beach, Florida where her father help construct one of the Breakers Hotels. Then on to Los Angeles, California by about 1905. These photos were taken in Los Angeles around 1910 I would imagine.

These photos are of Aunt Fern. The first in a big feathery hat for a glamor pose. Nicely dressed for the studio photo. The next photo shows her in a Salvation Army uniform. I don't know exactly how long or what she did in the Salvation Army, but last year while visiting a distant cousin in Lake Elsinor, CA, I saw another photo that showed Aunt Fern and her sister, Pearl, both in Salvation Army uniforms.

Aunt Fern never had any children of her own, but she did have four husbands! She was an excellent seamstress. When my mother was a little girl she made 352 dresses for her one year! I remember that nearly every dress I had growing up until about 7th grade, was made for me, by the loving hands of Aunt Fern. She was married in 1928 to Fred George Bullock at Whisky Slough, California. She died 13 April 1962 and is buried at Montecito Memorial Park, Colton, CA.

I think hats were a big part of looking nice in those early days. Another photo of Fern Blanding in a hat. These days a big hat like this is seldom seen, and perhaps only at the Kentucky Derby or on a member of the Red Hat Society. It must be a fun thing to wear such a big hat even though Fern was not cracking a hint of a smile in the photo to the left.


Apple said...

I can sew but I don't think I could match your aunt's speed! I love the hat pictures. I really think hats should make a comeback.

Greta Koehl said...

What a fabulous sense of style your Great Aunt Fern had! She even looks stylish in her Salvation Army uniform.

Judith Richards Shubert said...

What a beautiful lady, Aunt Fern! I like the lace insertion on her blouse in the first photo. I wonder if she made that? Probably did considering the number of pieces you say she made in a year's time!