Friday, May 30, 2014

Sepia Saturday: Hello Bob


Sepia Saturday challenges bloggers to share family history through old photographs.





This week’s Sepia Saturday photo prompt is a lovely girl with Rapunzelesque hair.  Old photos passed along to me are filled with images of women with long hair; unfortunately – at least for addressing this prompt – all that long hair was up in a bun. 

However, my grandaunt Helen Killeen Parker’s photo album provided this charming picture of Newlyweds with the bride’s hair blowing in the breeze at Ocean View in Virginia.

Friends of Helen Killeen Parker Ocean View, Virginia



Helen Killeen Parker and John Holland about 1919

As a child, Helen had long hair too, but it was no competition for that of the Bride.








Helen Killeen Parker











In keeping with the fashion of the times – the 1920s, Helen bobbed her hair.

The hairstyle was quite controversial, scandalous even.  Men divorced their wives over bobbed hair.  Businesses fired employees who had bobbed their hair.  College dress codes forbad bobbed hair.


So I wonder if Helen’s mother (my great-grandmother) approved.  Had local beauticians embraced the Bob by then or did Helen go to a barbershop?  Or did she ask her sister Mae to cut her hair with kitchen shears?  


Let your hair down at Sepia Saturday!


33 comments:

  1. What year was "The Newlyweds" taken, Wendy? It almost looks timeless. I had forgotten about the controversy over bobbed hair. My mom, born in 1915, had short (or relatively short) hair her whole life. In fact, I don't think I have a single photograph of an ancestor with her long hair down. Now I'll have to go look to be sure.

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    1. Based on the few photos that are dated, I think the picture was from sometime between 1918 and 1921.

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  2. I always thought in this picture Helen's hair was rolled up and pinned to look like a bob! ha!

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    1. Who knows -- but it was certainly neatly done, if so.

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  3. Helen's hair does look rolled up and not bobbed. I have photos of my mother with her long hair down but nobody else, although both of my grandmother's also had long hair.

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    1. My grandmothers didn't have long hair, but I bet my great-grandmothers did.

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  4. As I mentioned on ScotSue's post, when my grandmother's father refused to let her cut her long hair in the 20s, she burned it one night by deliberately getting too close to the fire in the fireplace in front of which she was drying it, so it HAD to be cut.

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    1. Wow -- that's one way to have your way.

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  5. Long hair must have been a nuisance on the beach. I suppose back then the women didn't really put their heads in the water.

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    1. I would think too long hair filled with sand and salt water would be gross and hard to clean. Imagine combing that hair in the days before cream rinse.

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  6. When I first saw you post I wondered what I'd done to be headlined here. What a relief to find it wasn't me, but then with all that hair there is no chance of that.

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    1. HA -- funny you should say that because I wrote this post well in advance and scheduled it for publication while I was away on a short vacation. When I went into the dashboard to upload the Sepia prompt image, I didn't recognize the title. I thought, "Hello Bob??? What's that??"

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  7. These are such great photos! Imagine how much time it must have taken for that newlywed to care for her hair.

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    1. Yeah -- and no de-tangler products back then, I bet!

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  8. The first photo makes a super match for the theme. Perhaps one Saturday we will have a theme for Bob too.

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  9. Ah the craze for bobbed hair had a lot to answer for. Those early pictures of Helen are very striking.

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    1. I imagine today it's much harder to fire an employee over their hairstyle.

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  10. The newlywed photo is awesome...it could be a card for Hallmark!
    Funny about hair...when I was little, in the late 60's my dad made me cut my hair so I wouldn't look like a "hippie!." I guess hair has been controversial for ever!

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    1. That Newlyweds photo was probably rather "sexy" with her hair actually down and blowing like that.

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  11. I've always like longer hair, yet I was the only one in my extended family to grow mine. Well, except for my brother during a stint in the 70's which, looking back, doesn't look all that long and scandalous. Bet he wishes for even an inch of it back ;)

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    1. When I was in high school, boys' sideburns were always in question. As controversial as the Beatles' hairstyle was, it's laughable to look back at their early photos and recall what a to-do they caused.

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  12. Don't you just hate the stupidity of fashion and all of its rules? One year it's this, the next year it's that. Of course I can remember in high school boys being sent home if their hair touched their collar. Rules meant to be broken.

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    1. Choose your battles! I had a student with an Afro sooooooooo big that I had to make him sit at the back of the classroom because other students couldn't see the board. Now there's a case when fashion was disruptive. LOL

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  13. I never thought much about the hair of my ancestors but I'm sure going to pay attention now! :-)

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    1. I really don't pay that much attention myself!

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  14. Oh I am so amazed by the long hair in these photos! Reading your post and thinking of how others perceived the bobbed hair during that time, it makes me wonder about Helen and what she was like? Do you know much about her?

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    1. I know LOTS about Helen because I have a couple photo albums passed down to me. I knew her in her "old age" and visited her often as she lived nearby. Sweet and loving lady -- it's fun seeing her as a young girl with lots of friends.

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  15. I adore older photos and the stories entwined with them. I love the newlyweds photo. Great information about the bob cut. I never knew any of that. Ah, now the short hair cuts on women would have people shocked from that era.

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    1. Imagine if women back then shaved part of their head and let the other side grow long!

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  16. The first photo is so...mermaidish!

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