Yesterday’s Selfies

These days if you’re on social media it can’t have escaped your notice that a lot of photographs look the same, head and shoulders shot taken from the same angle, people wearing the same style of clothes with similar hairstyles. These are called selfies.

Back in the early 1900s there was also a certain unique style, and I have found a couple of examples of this. Looking through some family history magazines I found these photographs that almost perfectly match photographs I have of two of my grand-aunts (my paternal grandmother’s sisters).

Picture from My Heritage, family tree magazine

Picture from My Heritage, family tree magazine

Grace Cleeve 1918

Grace Cleeve 1918












This style of portrait was popular around 1914-17. Typically a plain tailored skirt was worn with a blouse.  Collars became an important feature.

Picture from Discover Your Ancestors, Issue 4

Picture from Discover Your Ancestors, Issue 4

Rose Cleeve 1913

Rose Cleeve 1913












This style of photograph was popular around 1904 – 1909. The date is based on hairstyle and flounced elbow length sleeves. Rose’s photo is dated 1913, so perhaps the design of sleeve had changed slightly and become slimmer fitting. Another similarity is the outdoor pose featuring a chair! The earlier pose choice is to stand alongside the chair, the later pose is a seated one.







About Jackie Dinnis

Welcome to my blog where I am enjoying meeting my family - past and present - one at a time. Join me as I learn who my ancestors were, where they lived, what their occupations were and what everyday life was like for them.
This entry was posted in Grace Cleeve, Rose Cleeve and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Yesterday’s Selfies

  1. Have you read my series on dating one photograph and all the clues one needs to look for? I have also started a weekly fashion post. 🙂

    • Hello, I just visited your blog again to catch up on your series on dating photographs. I really enjoyed it and also your weekly fashion post. This is something I haven’t thought about before, the whole ‘dating’ a photograph and the fashion of the time and I will return to your blog often 🙂

      • Hi Jackie! I am glad you are enjoying the series! I am always willing to take suggestions if you have a question about a particular fashion trend or term.

  2. paulaacton says:

    Now I am not sure where I heard this from but I am pretty sure I read somewhere that the chair was supposed to be significant as in to show either a loved one who had passed was not forgotten or that if a loved one was away that they were being waited for and to show their place was still there, I think it was supposed to tie into the idea of leaving an empty seat at the dinner table for a loved one who was missing especially if that person were away at war. Don’t quote me on it as I cannot recall where I got that idea from I guess I thought it was rather romantic and that is why it stuck in my head

    • Paula that is such a really lovely idea, I want it to be true! I’ll have a little dig around and see what I can come up with. I would never have thought of that, so thank you for telling me 🙂

  3. Mary Cundiff says:

    That’s super interesting!

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