History with its flickering lamp stumbles along the trail of the past, trying to reconstruct its scenes, to revive its echoes, and kindle with pale gleams the passion of former days. ~Winston Churchill

03 April, 2015

Friends Being Ridiculous, 1897

A quick, fun set! I don't have a tremendous amount of context for these photographs, which come from what appear to be two sets, in a collection held by a small Ontario museum. In one set, a bunch of male and female friends play around with bicycles, bonnets, and occasional musical instruments. In the other, a group of five fellows adopt silly poses in swimsuits, some of which are women's suits. All are taken in 1897, in Huron County, Ontario, by a professional photographer. What, exactly, is the story? Who knows, but they're great. 

Huron County Museum

Bicycles, instruments, bonnets... Source

Huron County Museum

Posing on Lake Huron. Source

Huron County Museum

A pile of friends and instruments in the park. Source

Huron County Museum

A relatively normal staged group portrait with bicycles, except for the guy already wearing a bonnet. Source

Huron County Museum

An elabourately stage "bicycle accident." Source

Huron County Museum

The men play on a clay bluff, in bathing suits (still including one or two that are women's...) Source

Huron County Museum

Posing on the beach (showing off the swim dress to full effect!). Source


Historical Ken said...

These photos are fun to look at.
There's so much life in them!

The Greenockian said...

They are certainly having fun!

Lauriana said...

Those are great! It's a pity there's nothing known about the context though. These are the kind of images any group of friends on a wild holiday might be inclined to make but in a time when photography involved large, clumsy cameras, lengthy exposure times and required direct access to a darkroom, they can't have been as spontaneous as that. Was this group of friends so wealthy and in love with their care-free lifestyle that they payed a professional photographer to follow them around and take these pictures? Are they, maybe, a theatre troupe staging more original pictures for a press release? Or are they the photographer's friends, sport enough to help him create a portfolio to set himself up as the nr. 1 chronicler of fun and games?
We'll never know of course, but images like this make it fun to speculate.

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