Thursday, January 21, 2010

An Afternoon on the Balcony

I have been looking at this picture off and on for a couple of weeks. This image, part of the Samuel Newton Weare collection which we have recently digitized at the O'Dell House Museum, has for some reason captivated my interest. For all intents and purposes it is a fairly standard turn of the twentieth century image. The two young ladies look like they are having a pleasant afternoon on the balcony. Both are fashionably yet conservatively attired. With their high necks, long sleeves and floor length skirts there was little chance of either getting a sunburn. They really do not look like the sort who would be making cat calls at people walking by. What is it about this image which makes me think that there may be something untold?

Well, if you look on the floor of the balcony in front of the lady on the left you will see three beer bottles. While this image was taken before prohibition, the temperance movement would still have had a strong role in Nova Scotia at the turn of the twentieth century. Beer drinking by young ladies would not have been banned but it would have been frowned upon in proper circles. It is these bottles which make me wonder what other stories this picture has to tell. While I will probably never know, I do enjoy the possibility of a good story.

All for now,
RGS

2 comments:

  1. Ryan, can you tell us where this picture was taken in Annapolis Royal?? I can see the hills in the background but cannot figure out where they are in the town.
    Brenda T.

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  2. The archival version we make of digital photographs has much more resolution than the version I post on the web. I have been able to enlarge this image as well as another image in the collection which was taken in the same location. Based on the other photograph it is clear that the fence across the street is the cast iron fence in front of the Garrison Graveyard. The courthouse and tombstones are clearly visible in the other image.
    RGS

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