Postcard from Eunice, 1911

What it is:

Real Photo Post Card measuring a little less than 3.25 x 5 inches.  (The edges have been trimmed, possibly to fit a frame.)  Mailed.  Postage stamp has been removed.

What I know about:

Addressed to Mrs. T. F. Canfield, Locust S[treet], Walla W[alla, Washington].   Postmarked December 19, 1911, from an illegible city in Oregon.  Text reads:  I wish you a marry [sic] [illegible] Happy New Year.  I am well and hope you are the same.  [illegible, possibly Mama] has had the toothache all week but is better now.  I am going to be in the xmas exercise next Sat.  Come over and see us some time.  When we come to W. W. we will come and see you.  Send my love to Christine.  Write soon, love, Eunice W.


Since the edges are trimmed, I’m not sure how much of the address or salutation I am missing.  I have to admit her outfit confuses me a little.  Sort of an Asiatic style dress, but are those epaulettes?   And that big bow in her hair, and boots made for stomping?  No one piece seems wrong, it just seems like an odd mishmash to me.  It has a kind of homemade look to it, so I almost wonder if this isn’t something for the Christmas recital mentioned in her message.  In any case, it was nice of her to keep in touch with Mrs. Canfield, and I am honored to own her correspondence now.

6 comments on “Postcard from Eunice, 1911”

  1. I do not know about the rest of the outfit. However, large hair bows might have simply been the style. Granted, I was not around in 1911. Yet there are too many pictures in existence of me with monstrous bows in my hair. Unfortunately I was not in costume for those photos. That was the style for a young girl, at least in my mother’s opinion.

    • Yes, the bows were a fashion then. I have plenty of pictures of girls and young women with enormous bows in their hair. It just looks a little odd to me in combination with, say, the boots.

  2. I love your commentary on these. I haven’t seen so many of these outfits, but something does seem off to me. The dress is unusual to my eye. But then, a lot of things would be. 🙂 Thanks so much for safeguarding these things. It would be a tragedy to lose them.

    • Thanks for the compliment. And yes, it would be a shame to lose these, which is part of my motivation for digitizing them for others to see. I’m glad you’re enjoying them!

  3. I like this photo, too. The only thing unusual about the girl’s dress, to me, is the fact that it’s so plain — almost no trim! The shape of it, the sleeves, etc. are very much in the fashion of the early 1910s. The trim suggesting the overlap of a kimono at the front of the dress is not unusual for the time period (the “exotic” was a big style inspiration for fabric and trim, and kimono sleeves were widely used), but that line of trim being almost the only decoration on the dress is less common. When I’ve seen photos of other dresses from the same period in similar style, they’ve been made of fancier fabrics (reminiscent of Japanese/Asian silks) and/or had bands of trim at the V-neckline, sleeve and skirt hems, worn with Asian-style accessories like jade bracelets or earrings, decorative brooches, long hair pins, etc.

    Big hair bows were definitely the thing for little girls, and even older girls. I have what I think is a wedding photo from the early 1900s where the bride and groom look really young (maybe 18 or 19), but they’re not wearing their wedding clothes. The young woman has a dress with a floor length hem (like an adult woman), but she has this huge bow sticking out from her neck at either side of her head. It could be attached to the back of her collar, I suppose, but it sure looks like this girl’s hair bow!

    • I have a photo of a young woman, maybe late teens or early twenties, wearing one of those giant bows. I’ll post it sometime. My modern sensibilities make me think it’s a look more appropriate for the younger girls, which is why I have to remember to keep an open mind when looking at these old pictures.

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