Washing the dog

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What it is:

Photo measuring 2.5 x 3.5 inches.

What I know about it:

Nothing!  Undated an unidentified.


It always amazes me how small some of these old photos are.  How did they see all the detail?  This image has such an old-timey, rustic feel to it that I was worried it was a photo of reenactors, but I’ve decided to trust that we’re looking at the real deal.  Is this their home?  It looks like water has to be hand-pumped from the pump in the back ground, so maybe after doing two lines of laundry, they decided to toss in the dog, too.  It’s not the prettiest photo, but I think it’s an interesting slice-of-life look at a different time.  And, of course, the dog is cute.

8 comments on “Washing the dog”

  1. Love the dog’s expression – “Ah, the things I have to put up with to keep these humans happy!”

  2. My absolute favorite photo to date. The hats and the dog are too adorable.

  3. I LOVE this pic!

    I would also guess the person taking the picture is a dabbler trying out something new and is experimenting on his family. This is too casual a photo, they don’t seem to have lots of money based on the small house (I’m guessing it is the house because the wash is drying and that commonly occurred close to the house) and processing pictures was quite expensive.

    • I’m glad you love it! I’m thinking it might be the house, too, because the chimney suggests there’s a stove inside, though it could also be some sort of workshop or something. It’s hard to say. I like your idea that it’s just somebody dabbling with photography. I wonder if that huge area of dirt in the foreground was intended to be included in the frame. If it’s somebody documenting rural poverty, it might have been deliberate, but if it’s just a family member having fun with a camera, it might have been accidental, or they see it as something like the edge of their freshly turned garden where we just see a lot of dirt.

  4. It seems like the focus is on the people in the picture and that everything else was accidental. I just love it when you do something and it unintentionally got way better than you expected.

    I have candid pictures from the 1930s and these have a familiarity to this one. I think washing the dog was too perfect not to capture on film.

    • I agree. The photo may not have turned out the best from their perspective, but from our perspective it’s great because it gives an unvarnished look at their lives with greater detail than we might have had otherwise.

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