Sunday, November 1, 2015

Sit in the chair, hold the cat, and I'll take your picture

Happy All Saints' Day, Day of the Dead, Samhain, World Vegan Day and National Bison Day!

Today we have our second straight piece of ephemera that features a young woman holding a cat. Yesterday's post was an illustration. This one is a vintage photograph.

The small photo is mounted on a piece of black cardboard that is 4¼ inches wide and 5¼ inches tall. Written in pencil on the back is "To Marguerite From Edith Pyle."

The photograph itself is just 2⅛ inches wide and the image of the young woman is just three-quarters of an inch wide, so magnification gives us a better look at the overall scene, which features leafless trees, some fencing and sheep.

The cat looks half asleep. I wonder if the original plan was for the subject to have her arm partially in front of her face. (It looks like she might be shading her eyes from the sun.) Or maybe they just went with the moment and got something more natural than a posed look.

Of course, plopping a chair in the middle of the yard and sitting in it for a photo already represents a high degree of "posed."

The other question, of course: Who is this? The inscription states "To Marguerite From Edith Pyle." Maybe Marguerite is the young woman, and she was given the photograph of herself as a gift. Or maybe Edith Pyle is the young woman and she was giving her picture to Marguerite. Or perhaps neither. Edith Pyle could perhaps be the young woman's mother. So many possibilities. So little chance we ever know for sure.


  1. Somehow, I missed out on checking on your blog this entire season. I'm catching up now. It's amazing what detail you could get with these old b&w pictures.

    1. And I could get even better detail from them if I had something better than the standard household scanner. I need one of those scanners like those folks have over at