Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Baby It's Cold Inside

  As I've noted in other posts, I sometimes buy envelopes of photos.  If the price is low enough, I'm willing to purchase an envelope for one or two prints.  As the price goes up, I have to want at least half of the images.  As such, I do end up with a lot of snapshots that aren't necessarily bad, but are far less interesting than I'd like.  In a nut shell, I've got a lot of photos, sitting on my desk, that have been there awhile, and it's time to publish some of them.  For the next few posts I'm going to concentrate on the largest single category, women in singles and groups.

This one's dated, "Jan 22, 1942" and it reminds me of home.  No, I didn't grow up in a house with three girls, but I did grow up in a house that was cold during the winter.  When I was born, in 1955, our home was heated by coal, but by the time I was four, we had transitioned to natural gas.  A year latter, my parents split up, the household was a lot poorer, and in order to save money, my mother turned down the winter heat to 50 degrees.  Anything lower than that, and the pipes in the basement would burst.  To keep warm, I'd sit on the floor register, and let the warmish air blow over me.

In 1942, the war had started, and rationing had become the new normal.  Coal was a strategic material, and since most homes were heated by coal, winter became a chilly time for Americans.  Since this photo has the classic steam register, I suspect it was taken in a big city apartment.  The poor super would have to get up in the middle of the night to shovel more coal into the boiler, while his chilled tenants would huddle near the register to stay warm.  Oh for the end of the war so the "sup" could shovel on the cold and make things nice and toasty.

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