Saturday, 26 May 2012

Round Em Up

An entry to Sepia Saturday "using old images as prompts for new reflections"

As soon as I saw those cows on the Sepia Saturday prompt I knew which picture I would use:
All the young cattle are on the move surrounding the still centre of my Grandmother, Winifred Swindlehurst.  One of them looks to have a white band so I'm hoping its a Belted Galloway just because I think they are such pretty cows with their broad white stripe.  But whatever they are they are rushing forward with lots of curiosity.   I don't know what age she would be here but she was born in 1891 so possibly could be about 20?  The cow on the right looks to be gazing into her eyes meanwhile she is laughing at the unknown photographer at the curious position she is in.  Moving from the enclosed fields of Lancashire to the prairies of Canada    
a tinted postcard of the early 20th Century "Young Cow Punchers, Calgary".  My Grandmother's two sisters emigrated to Canada, she was supposed to go with them but changed her mind at the last minute but they and their families sent postcards from Canada, always enclosed with letters, so unfortunately no handy date stamps.  
The reverse of the divided back card indicates a date from 1903-1914 so at the time she was in the field with cows, say 1911, they write "This is the way they catch the cattle on the Prairie when they want to brand them".  (The cards often explained life in Canada). Whichever side of the Atlantic the families were on they could both have gone to the cinema in 1916 to watch the film directed and starring Tom Mix called "The Cowpunchers Peril". there always seemed to be lots of peril in silent films whether dramatic or comedic but they certainly produced them at a rate. I couldn't resist a filmography of Tom Mix especially with cowboy songs from a luscious voiced, but uncredited, singer.

12 comments:

barbara and nancy said...

Your grandmother was a good sport. Good thing those cows were friendly.
Nancy

Karen S. said...

it is....I remember thinking how all cows were just adorable and would love to be cuddled....until my grandfather set me right! :)

Brett Payne said...

Having raised numerous calves, I think your grandmother was probably the one who brought them their milk each day when they were younger. What a great image to have in the family collection - thanks for sharing it.

Sharon said...

What a great photo to have of your grandmother. She looks so happy. Also love the stone fence in the background, which is so much different to the fences in my pictures.

Teresa Wilson Rogers said...

I just love this photograph of your grandmother with those cows! And she does look quite happy and comfortable being among them. When I was a child my grandfather's cows terrified me!

Wendy said...

Sending postcards in a letter might explain why so many people have postcards with messages that appear to have gone unmailed. I imagine postcards were plentiful while photography might have been too expensive for individuals. Very interesting post and a wonderful photo of your grandmother.

Little Nell said...

Two very interesting photographs. It must have been wonderful to get those cards from Canada, but the first picture is a gem.

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy said...

Your Grandma is so pretty, it is awesome to see her happy smile. I have found that the more you like your photographer the better your picture will turn out. Those calves must have been cracking her up too.

I enjoyed your post!

Kathy M.

Bob Scotney said...

I'm sure the cows must have been fed by your grandmother, Beautiful photo. When I have been travelling I have never found cards showing how people lived and worked in other countries - somehow cards like those from Canada tell us much more that 'sterile' views.

Colleen G. Brown Pasquale said...

That's quite a unique photo of your grandmother! That's a treasure.

Postcardy said...

I wonder whether the young cow punchers really did that normally or if the scene was just set up for the photo to be used on a postcard.

Queen Bee said...

I wonder if your grandmother had some food in her hand which caused the cows to swarm to her? If she fed them regularly, they knew her and probably anticipated being fed.