Boy in the Box: 1909. Unlike most old child labor photos, this kid is smiling. Who knows why he’s smiling, but I like to think it’s because he’s playing during his lunch break.
I’ve been giving some thought to how our home is decorated.
In my 6-year-old’s room, in the past couple years, I’ve planted a framed map of the US, a globe and a poster of world flags, which she has taken a liking to based on how we’ve raised her. Geography and awareness of people and events outside our borders are certainly teaching priorities for me. I’m trying to find a place to put a Dymaxion map, the type where the continent sizes aren’t distorted — Africa is big, Greenland is small, and Antarctica makes sense.
I’m now rethinking the walls in the rest of our home and have decided historical photos are a good solution. For one, I love them. And two, my wife and I disagree on virtually everything when it comes to style. So I’ve given her the challenge of generating a list of images she likes from Shorpy’s Blog.
Every day, Shorpy’s Blog presents a few high resolution historical images that have been raised into the public domain. Most can be purchased as prints.
It raises some interesting issues as to what photos we will both find interesting and yet still contain a message for our kids. But that message really only needs to provide a sense of history, of how things used to be and how much they have improved.
A city street scene can show life before cars, dirt roads, very wide wooden sidewalks in a society built around pedestrians, newspaper stands, formal conservative attire, etc. Just a beach scene reveals interesting ideas about old-time modesty.
Just last week, I showed my daughter a photo of a used bookstore we were going to visit, except it was a photo from 1913 when the bookstore was a bank. The expanded view reveals the amazing number of wires that utility poles used to carry, and shows a local movie theater in the process of being renovated for its grand opening (a bunch of debris sits out front). The theater is still in operation today.
Here are a few of my personal favorites:
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