Mitzi’s 1920s Photo Album

I’m calling this new-to-me 1920s photo album Mitzi’s Album, because Mitzi the Boston Terrier is the only person identified in the entire book.  Mitzi’s owner, above, is scattered throughout the album, along with several faces that became familiar while taking a deep look at this great book.

Like so many photo albums I’ve studied over the years, this one appears to have started out as a memento of a specific trip – in this case a stay at a fishing camp sometime between 1922 and 1924. But after the vacation photos were all glued in, Mitzi’s owner decided to add some earlier photos, and then some from around 1926. I know this, of course, because of the women’s clothing.

There are lots of photos of the vacationers holding the catch of the day.  I believe these came from an estate in Wisconsin, so that might explain all the warm looking clothes in what appears to be summer or fall. I hope you can see her shoes. They look like Mary Janes to me. Women were just turning to pants for leisure, and the idea of appropriate footwear had not quite caught up with the more “mannish” attire. I see this over and over in 1920s photos.

Here’s the photo album owner again. She is standing in front of what looks to me to be a summer cabin. The middle class had really taken to the idea of a summer place, and many built cabins or cottages on little plots of land on a lake front, beach, or river bank. There are still many of these still existing across the US, especially in the East and Midwest.

I guess we would call her dress a housedress. Can you see why so many women found dressing in the 1920s to be a challenge? Not all women were John Held-ish flappers.

Women were just beginning to boldly wear knickers without a skirt over top of them. The woman on the left looks like she put together an ensemble of knickers and a sweater, but the girl on the right is wearing a matching ensemble that looks to be made of velvet or another piled fabric.

I can see why the girl in the dress from the previous photo opted out of this one. I would refuse to get that close to a snapping turtle myself. And I find myself wondering what’s in the bottle.

If she can wear the pants, he can wear the dress. There were several photos of this mock proposal and courtship.

I’m pretty sure this is the same woman as in the photo above. I want that bathing suit. Badly. Note how the cap has the white stripe trim as well.

Another great bathing suit is worn by the woman who captured the turtle.

What is it about a striped skirt on holiday? These must have been very popular, as I have photos of quite a few women from around 1905 to 1925 wearing them.  And the woman on the right (recognize her as the female suitor?) shows what it took for a woman to look fantastic in the 1920s. One needed to be slim, and have a sense of what worked on her body.

Back in town, we see Mitzi’s owner and the male bride again. I can’t figure out who the young woman on the left is, but her outfit is really nice.

Mitzi’s owner must have had some old photos she didn’t know what to do with, so into the album they went. This one was taken in the 1910s.

After that, things get really random. Again, here’s an excellent illustration of how 1920s fashion favored the slim, and also the tall. See how skirts were creeping toward the knee?

I can’t tell that these two women have any relation to any of the other photos. So, were slacks so unusual that one would ask two women wearing them to pose for a photo?

And finally, I just love this photo of a woman taking a ride in an aeroplane. Her first, perhaps?

I got this from Circantiques, my new favorite etsy store.


Filed under Camping and Hiking, Collecting, Proper Clothing

15 responses to “Mitzi’s 1920s Photo Album

  1. jacq staubs

    Precious stuff! You can have the bathing suit. I want Mitzi and the cabin! I think the other woman on left is daughter? They look alike ? I love the cabins. We had them the entire length of the Potomac / Shenandoah Upper NW DC / Macarthur Boulevard were summer cabins. I lived in one. Same vintage.


  2. lauriebrown54

    The young lady might not be taking a ride; she could be the pilot! Many biplanes had the pilot seat in the back, so the person in front could observe easier and, later, be a gunner. I know nothing about that particular plane, but I like the idea that she’s in charge!.


  3. I wonder if the velvet knicker suit might have been a masquerade or theatrical costume to start with. It’s vaguely Little Lord Fauntleroy, or a “page boy” with that wide white collar. Raised to be thrifty, I can imagine thinking “I might as well wear it out on vacation where no one will see me.” Or for amateur theatricals to amuse other campers. I can also imagine two women dressing in borrowed men’s trousers to tackle a job like painting the porch or climbing ladders to pick fruit, and having a friend say, “Wait! I’ve got to get a picture of this!”
    It’s a delightful album.


  4. ceci

    Great album; your commentary really brings the people and times to life.



  5. Christina

    Third photo up. Woman wearing what looks like a floral printed split-sided tunic. Now that looks really interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. What a treasure! So many interesting patterns. The twenties were really a time for those who loved geometrics.


  7. Susan Maresco

    Thank you, Lizzie, for never once mentioning the obvious of our lives just now!


  8. Oh, this is just so much fun!


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