Man and boy on an ocean cruise

What it is:

Photo measuring 2.75 x 4.5 inches.

What I know about it:

Nothing!  Undated and unidentified.


Shall we assume this is a father and son?  The man looks like he’s having a grand time, nattily attired and getting into the spirit of things by wearing a lei.  The boy, barefoot and cocky, looks like a bit of a spoiled brat, already taking for granted the adventures his father is providing for him.  But, of course, I could be reading this all wrong.  Meanwhile, there’s that lei.  I’m no expert on ocean travel of yore, but I’m guessing they were headed someplace tropical, like Hawaii (which would have been a U.S. territory at that point, but not yet a state).  I’m also guessing that this would be at or near their destination, since I believe the lei would be a gift upon arrival.  If that are headed someplace tropical, I hope the man brought something lighter to wear.  Am I imagining things, or does the man already have a tan line from his hat across his forehead?  (By the way, the white dot over the boy’s eye is just a blemish in the photo.)

7 comments on “Man and boy on an ocean cruise”

  1. I think the man is already in a summer suit–it’s a light color, and looks from here like it’s made of linen. Plus, a straw hat. (Not that those weren’t worn with other things, but it does look extra-summery with a light suit.) I think he might have just had to suffer with that–I don’t think people of a certain class were able to wear short sleeves or go jacketless (except for short periods) at that time. I’m a bit surprised the boy hasn’t been made to put on his stockings, but probably when they disembark. One of those things that really makes me glad I don’t have to follow the clothing rules of those days! Just seeing pictures of people in suits and corsets on beaches always make me feel hot and bad for them (even when the beach is the often-freezing Ocean Beach).

    I’m trying to figure out if the man is wearing spats, or if his shoes are two-tone.

    • Yes, I was thinking his suit looked summery, but I guess my modern sensibilities felt sorry for him wearing all that in the tropics, and hoped he might be able to slip into something a little more comfortable, at least in his leisure time. You’re right, he was probably stuck with that as his best option. By the way, I see what you mean about spats. I was operating under the belief that they were two-toned shoes. They still look like two-toned shoes to me, but now you’ve planted the seed of doubt. 🙂

  2. I agree, the boy does look a bit cocky and spoiled. I am interested in the lei. Today a visitor to Hawaii is greeted with a lei made of orchids or other obviously tropical flowers. Greenery and daisy or sunflower-like flowers seem to form this lei. Have traditions changed or is this not a tropical cruise?? Then again, I really am not certain that flora is not tropical. . . .

    • I know what you mean. To me, the stereotypical lei is the kind made with plumeria flowers, compared to which this one almost looks like a Christmas wreath. But I just looked up leis on the internet, and they come in all sorts of varieties, including ones that are very green, made of ti leaves or other greenery. Apparently there are regional differences, too, although while that might be a way to determine the location of this photo, I don’t know enough to be able to speculate (assuming such regional cultural sensitivities would actually be honored on an old boat like this).

  3. Interesting photo. Two tone shoes, not spats, I’d say. Spats are generally flat on the top (I think I can see a line where the laces have been pulled tightly together) and don’t follow the line of embossing on the shoes, which the white part does in the picture.

  4. (re: spats) Me, too–now that I look at the photo again!

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