Saturday, 8 September 2012

A Flat Cap and Bonnets

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

Charles A Pugh
Here is my father wearing a substantial flat cap.  He has written on the back "about 1924" when he would be 17 or 18.   When he was a lot younger than this there is a link to this week's theme of hats. His first job was delivering hats across the town to the women of  Barrow in Furness for their social occasions.  I never thought to ask him who he worked for or how many he delivered but he visited the full span of social classes.  When he got his orders he was disappointed if the address was in a wealthy area for he said that they were poor tippers, but if his task was to call at one of the terraced house where the girls who  worked  in the factories lived he knew it was likely they would tip generously.  He left the job to work for Cases Brewery but he observed that to do so meant he took a drop in wages but had better prospects.   Perhaps his job with the hat shop influenced him for he was never seen without a hat throughout his life, although his preference was for a trilby rather than a cap.  A three piece suit was a constant too.
 
The photograph was taken at Hawcoat Quarry on the highest part of the town, a wood and views may have made it a pleasant walk. The red sandstone blocks taken from this quarry built most of the Victorian public buildings in the town.
 
Going further back in time
is a carte de visite of two of my maternal ancestors, names unknown 
Peering at the mother's straw hat I am wondering if the bow on the top was an added embellishment for the photograph, but the child's smile is perfect for the all encompassing bonnet and wonderfully frilly dress.  The woman looks towards the camera but the baby sees something to smile at to its left and out of the picture
 
The all important mirror to look in to see the hat is on right.  I've never had this carte de visite out of the album so it was a surprise to see Albert Gorton's pretty advert on the reverse. 

17 comments:

Wendy said...

These are lovely pictures. Your father looks more mature than 17, but that seems typical of that generation. I have a picture of my mother at 14 but she looks 25 at least. Your father's experience with tipping seems to be a universal one, even today.

Queen Bee said...

Enjoyed seeing your family photos. Your father looks smart in his suit & hat. The baby in the second photo is adorable.

barbara and nancy said...

Your father was a handsome man. that's such a nice shot with him against the rock wall.
And the womans hat is just wonderful. Love it.
Nancy

Michael J. McCann said...

Hi there, new follower. I have to admit, my favorite hat is the one the baby's wearing! Thanks!

The Overnight Bestseller
http://michaeljmccannsblog.blogspot.ca/

Peter said...

It seems your father is looking at his pocket watch as if he wants to say: c'mon, hurry up, I've got more to do! Great picture. Maybe he should have stayed with the hat company. Eventually he might have made it to the position of head hat delivery ;)

Gill Edwards said...

I love the way he is looking at his pocket watch, you could almost believe he is checking his tweets and texts if they had been invented then.

ScotSue said...

I enjoyed reading the profile of your father and what a great link to the "hats" theme. My favourite, though, has to be the baby with a lovely face beaming out of the voluminous clothes.

Karen S. said...

Oh my your father was quite the catch wasn't he. Very handsome. All these hats are just powerful in each photo!

Little Nell said...

Lovely picture of your father in such a mature pose. He would have fitted in nicely with my pocket watch theme last week! That CDV is attractive too;I wonder why the photographer chose fairies for the design.

Prenter said...

My favourite is the hat of the lady. Thanks for sharing!

Jana Last said...

Lovely photo and story about your father. And that little baby is so adorable.

Kristin said...

I'm not surprised that he got good tips from the poor girls, he is looking very dapper. Outfit perfect.

The mother is looking so proud with her beribboned hat and her bundled up, bonneted little baby. I hope it was a cool day!. The baby smiling makes the photo.

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy said...

Great pictures! I enjoyed hearing about your Dad. Somebody worked awfully hard on that baby's dress.

Thanks,

Kathy M.

Tattered and Lost said...

What a fascinating hat she wears. It makes me think she has some sort of cake on her head. The baby is joyously decked out.

Mike Brubaker said...

Really great photos, and thanks for sharing the back stamp with Mr. Gorton's fairy motif. One of the benefits of Sepia Saturday is discovering treasures we didn't know we had.

Bob Scotney said...

I've seen that pose before with many a man waiting for a lady; he's thinking she's late.

Dave said...

Wonderful old photos Joy. Thanks for sharing them - Dave