My older brother, just a toddler, had a jumper chair back in 1946. We have the picture of him looking quite happy being able to bounce up-and-down and kick his feet in this device. He is outside in the yard and his eyes are fixed upon either mom or dad. It’s likely that one is trying to hold his attention while the other parent takes the picture.
It must be summer as he is dressed in lightweight clothing but on his feet are the sturdy baby shoes of the era. Mom had labeled the photo “1946 – Owen in his jumper chair.” Since he was born in February 1946, he would be about 6-months-old in August of that year. Does this look like a 6-month-old or would it be from the next year? In June 1947, he would be 16-months-old.
I was curious about the chair and found an advertisement for it in a 1946 newspaper.
New, Springy Teeterbabe
The modern jumper chair for any baby 3 months and up. Ideal for home, auto or anywhere, so mother can be relieved. Positively safe. Convenient foot rest and play beads.
This looks identical to the chair that Owen is sitting in. Just imagine putting this in your auto today to take your toddler for a ride. “Positively safe,” the ad says, but we know better now.
I found a later advertisement for it and it touted the benefits of the child getting natural exercise and not bothered by constipation. Baby will be happy and contented and can be placed in the yard to get sunshine.
Mom used to make ham salad for a sandwich spread back in the 1960s. It’s what they call Poor Man’s Ham Salad because it used a chunk of bologna, not ham, that was ground up for the spread. We called it baloney, and looked forward to those tasty sandwiches in our school lunch boxes. It was much cheaper, but tasted exactly like ham spread.
Here’s the recipe:
an unsliced roll of Bologna
Miracle Whip (or salad dressing of your choice
Sweet Gherkins (or pickle relish)
The amount of each isn’t crucial. You needed a meat grinder. Ours fastened onto the kitchen counter. Grind up the hunk of Bologna in the meat grinder and the sweet pickles too. Mix enough salad dressing in to make it spread easily on the sandwiches. Done!
We never put boiled eggs in it but other people did. The boiled eggs were used another day for egg salad sandwiches. Our bread back then was often Rainbow brand or Sunbeam.
A Lunchbox Like Dad Had
Fixing the School Lunches
With six children, packing the lunch boxes on a school day took teamwork. Someone would get the cookies and wrap them for each box. Another child would get the fruit (a banana, an apple, or some raisins). Someone else assembled the sandwiches, then cut them in half.
I was good at wrapping the sandwiches with the wax paper. Mom had taught me how to make the double fold where the edges came together, just like the butcher would wrap meat at the supermarket. Then I’d make a triangle at each end and fold that to the back.
We had those metal lunch boxes with colorful designs of our favorite television shows. I browsed around on Etsy which is a good place to find vintage items. Wow, some of these are for sale for over $100. I should have saved mine.
The beach pictures in our family album are few and far between. Kansas was a shallow sea back 85 million years ago but no photos of our family go back that far. The Martins, Joys, Kennedys, Vinings, and McGhees were later arrivals from 1850s onward. By that time, it was all prairie and some rolling hills.
Below is the challenge photo that started me looking for beach pictures.
My parents, Gail and Clyde Martin, were awed by Lake Erie when then visited me in the mid-1970s in Ohio. It looks like in this photo that Dad is about to get his shoes wet.
Another time, they visited us when we lived in South Texas. Our outing to South Padre Island resulted in more beach pictures. Mom was quick to shed her shoes and start hunting for shells. This would be in the early 1990s.
Here are other members of the family at the ocean, lake, or even a creek.
It’s Sepia Saturday time again so I’m rummaging out some vintage photos. The inspiration photo is 1950s, people celebrating Christmas, kissing, and soldiers in uniform. Hmm, what do I have to match that assortment of themes?
Here’s a 1957 photo of my dad, Clyde Martin, and his brother, Howard. Earlier, Howard had been in the Army during the Korean War era.
They are playing cards and usually their wives would be seated at the table also. Two packs of cigarettes sit on the table and a mysterious bowl. I’d assume it was snacks so perhaps that’s a potato chip bag in the bowl. Someone is in the kitchen, probably Mom getting some lemonade for everyone.
Mom never smoked, but Dad did for years. I’m thinking he smoked Kools. When he was hospitalized after a car wreck, he gave it up since he couldn’t smoke in the hospital.
While the grown-ups played cards, the cousins played until we were worn out and fell asleep on the bed. That was budget entertainment in those days for young couples and no babysitter needed. At the end of the evening, Howard and Margie would gather up their four children, still half-asleep, and put them in the car to head home.
In an earlier post, I gave the history of this round oak table. Here is a photo of Howard’s time in the U.S. Army.
My mother’s aunt, Bertha McGhee taught in New Mexico back in 1929 – 1930. She and some friends had some time away which they spent camping out in a small cabin and cooking over an open fire.
We don’t know the location or who the other women are. It’s likely that they are also teachers or staff from the Navajo Indian School.
Here’s one more photo that must be from this same camping trip.
This post was inspired by the Sepia Saturday weekly photo challenge. Here is their photo of two ladies making tea over a fire in Australian in 1915. Take a look at some of the other bloggers to see how they responded to the challenge.
My grandfather, Clarence McGhee, stands tall with his younger siblings in this photo. In looking for photos of men in hats, this one caught my attention. Fortunately, my mother had neatly labeled the back of the postcard. Clarence would have been 15 or 16 in this picture. The littlest one, Elmer, would just have been a year old. Two more children were born after this date.
The McGhee children in Tyro, KS in 1911 Back (L to R) – Clarence, Jesse, Roy Front (L to R) – Bertha, Lealon, Loren, Elmer
I hadn’t examined the details of the photo before. My guess would be that it’s Sunday and they are ready to walk the few blocks to church. Several of the boys have a pin on their lapel which might be a Sunday School pin. Bertha has a flower pinned on her dress, so maybe it isn’t merely a Sunday. Maybe it is a special occasion such as the wedding of someone the family knew.
Three of the boys are old enough for long pants, but two are still in knickers. Jesse looks like he’s still growing into his jacket, but Roy’s coat has sleeves that are too short for him. Lealon and Loren have the loose ties popularized by the Little Lord Fauntleroy book but were spared the wide lace collar and the fancy cap. Elmer is still young enough to be in a dress.
No one looks very enthused about the photo session but perhaps they were inhibited by admonitions not to move. Unfortunately, the two youngest boys did move and so are preserved forever in blurred form.
Bertha has her hair in braids that are coiled or pinned up with bows for the occasion.
My mother had a glass chain that her father, Clarence McGhee, made while working at the glass factory in Tyro, Kansas. The workers made glass chimneys for oil lamps back in the early part of the 1900s. At the end of the day, when some molten glass was left, they made whimsies for themselves.
Each of the daughters (Melba, Gail, and C.J.) received a section of the chain and kept it as a family treasure. By now, the chain is over 100 years old.
The workers at the Tyro Glass Plant about 1910. Clarence McGhee is the young man standing on the pallet.
Here’s another photo of the glass plant workers.
Photo courtesy of my cousin, Bob Harlan
What made me think of these pictures was an inspiration photo from the Sepia Saturday Blog Challenge. Their picture of workers and a chain is quite different. To see what other bloggers wrote about the challenge, just click on the link.
As you know, I try to match the topic each Saturday with the challenge photo on the Sepia Saturday blog. This week just about defeated me. The photo showed train tracks and a trestle with houses on steep hillsides. How would I find anything like that in our family photo albums?
I settled on a vintage photo of my grandmother’s brother, Lester Vining. It was taken in Taney County, Missouri. That location may sound familiar to some, as it is where Branson, Missouri is. Long before the area became a tourist destination, the people in the Ozarks made a living as best they could.
This sentence from Settlers in the Ozarks explains what Luther is doing. It was a hard way to make a living with a crosscut saw, an ax, and a team of horses.
The first sustained boom to the area’s economy resulted from the harvesting of local timber when the nation’s expanding rail system created demand for a seemingly endless supply of cross ties.
I’m guessing that the photo is around 1912 as I have a companion photo of Luther with his horses. The photo is from Melba McGhee Harlan’s collection (Luther was her uncle). Note that Luther has the same hat on in both photos. He would have been 23-years-old in 1912.
Here’s the Sepia Saturday photo that set the theme for my family story. It’s interesting to see what other bloggers post on the theme.
Time for another photo match-up. Actually, the example photo showing a vintage street scene is in color, not the usual sepia ones that Sepia Saturday shares. That gives me more options to find a similar scene in our family photo stash. Let’s see what I find.
Sepia Saturday Theme Image, Lincoln, Nebraska, in Colour
First I found an old grocery store in Tyro, Kansas. My Vining and McGhee branches of the family lived there, as did some of the Babcocks and the Towers. This photo was kindly lent to me by Jack Irwin who is related to some of the founders of Tyro. His great-grandfather, Joseph Lenhart ran this store.
1907 – Inside the store in Tyro, Kansas.
My next find was the Moore Brothers Grocery in Teterville, Kansas. You can read more about this store and my mother’s memories of it in Just Shopping and Teterville Chat. This photo is at the history museum in Eureka, Kansas where they have quite a nice exhibit about Teterville.
Photo from the Eureka Museum of the Moore’s Store in Teterville, Kansas
I have one more story to share, but sadly, no photo of this grocery store. My grandfather, Ren Martin, had a grocery store in Reading, Kansas, after he retired.
The inspiration photo for this Saturday features a vintage bicycle with a sidecar. The lady riding in that sidecar was wisely hanging onto her hat as they zipped along. Now, I’ve already shared my photo of my grandmother on a motorcycle and one showing my great-uncle and my grandfather with bicycles, so I don’t have any more of those in the family album.
I could find some photos of the family in hats over the years, but not that many ladies with hats. In Kansas with the wind blowing across the prairies, you needed to hang onto your hat even when you weren’t zipping along in a bike with a sidecar.
Our Family Hats Over the Years
Scrounging a bit further in the family photos, I did find 2 bicycle pictures that you probably haven’t seen.