family-in-italyThis cabinet card features an Italian family posing for a photographer at the turn of the century in Paola, Italy. Father and mother are seen posing with their four daughters and one son. Dad appears to be holding a cigar and the family is flanked by a flowering plant on one side and a rocking horse on the other side (next to the boy).

Published in: on May 3, 2009 at 9:39 pm  Comments (5)  
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5 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Hard to believe that we have ‘turned another century’ and mean something different from the younger set when we say ‘turn of the century.’ We think 1899-1901 and they think 1999-2001.

    Photos like this are also a bit difficult to look at when you think the adorable little boy on the left was probably of military age in WWI, and the the kids probably all had to face WWII as well.

  2. You are absolutely correct. My use of the term “turn of the century” does reveal my age. Your comments disclose that you look at the photographs in a similar manner as I do. You appreciate them as windows through which we see history. In regard to your noting that the subjects of this photo were facing a very traumatic future, I wanted to let you know that comments on the reverse of the photo indicate that at least some of these family members did immigrate to the United States. Thanks for your comment.

  3. The length and style of dresses seem to indicate that this photo was taken much later, closer to 1914-1920.

  4. I agree with cjeffery – I have old photos of my italian family and the hairstyle and dress especially of the females appear much different than in this photo. Dresses were more at ankle length and depending on season, likely would have worn longer sleeves for the family photo. A woman’s hair was worn up in a lose bun or swept back at crown and slightly draped and twisted through the sides. Most little girls would have been wearing a shorter cut with a small hair decoration while a more elderly woman might have a severe bun. The family in this photo appears to be of very modest means from around 1918. The styles in women’s dress (especially)changed dramatically those first 20 years.

  5. Notice how the father is quite well dressed: quite common in immigrant Italian families. – The father set the social tone. I agree with the above comment r/t time placement. Wonderful cultural snapshot in time.

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