It’s a little cold lately, here in Minnesota in general, and in my office in particular. I understand that several other parts of the country are also a little chilly +/- snowy. In the interests of spreading thoughts, at least, of warmth, the topic of today’s “Joys of the Public Domain” post is…
(Click on any picture to go to the original full image page.)
Sweaters are useful pieces of clothing in many contexts. We (humanity in general) have apparently been knitting for at least three thousand years. (That link goes to the Wikipedia article on knitting. The one on sweaters cites no sources at all, though some of its unsubstantiated information is interesting or amusing.)
It’s amazing how far back some photos go:
The Swedish fishing family in the picture at left was photographed in 1863. The fisherman at right, in a sweater with a fairly intricate knit texture, posed for his portrait around 1900.
Fisherman family, Grundsund, Sweden; Swedish National Heritage Board; ‘A Fisherman At Home’ by P.H. Emerson. National Media Museum (U.K.)
Maggie Jones, at left, was playing baseball in Cleveland in 1911 – a detailed texture is visible in her sweater in the full image. Russ Ford, at right, played for the New York Yankees in 1911. His team sweater has the letters “N” and “Y” knit right in.
Maggie Jones of Cleveland, LoC.; Russ Ford, New York, AL, LoC.
I thought the following images were interesting comparisons of activities of kids of similar ages. The children at left are in school in Virginia in 1958; the children at right are working in Oregon – time unspecified, but (I’m guessing) probably in the 1910s-1930s. And all in interesting sweaters!
Some folks’ sweaters are an expression of personal style. The woman at left was photographed dancing in 1976. The man at right was photographed on a picnic at an unspecified time – I’d guess 1940s or 1950s from the car in the larger photo.
2nd Ave + 86 st. by James Jowers, George Eastman House Collection; Cape Verdean Picnic, Nantucket Historical Association.
Lots of folks think there are no recent works in the public domain; color photos can be a bit of a surprise. Here are some full-color photos of sweater-wearers in 1939, 1944, 1973, and 1974!
Girl with doll standing by fence, 1939, LoC; C&NWRR, towerman R.W. Mayberry of Elmhurst, Ill., at the Proviso yard, 1944, LoC; Neighborhood Children of the Neptune Road-Lovell Street Area, the Residential Community Closest to Logan Airport, 1973, U.S. Nat’l Archives; Two Youths and a Dog in Paterson, New Jersey, 1974, U.S. Nat’l Archives.
Possibly the complete apotheosis of sweater-ness is apparently 1950s Canadian curling teams.
I have immense respect for these women, whose (probably hand-made) sweaters feature curling stone intarsia (knit patterns/pictures.)
Curling Women’s Champs, March 3, 1954, Galt Museum & Archives; Women’s Curling Champs, February 29, 1956, Galt Museum & Archives.
Several entire curling teams of the era rocked amazingly awesome sweaters. Check ’em out:
Elks Curling Champs, March 17, 1957, Women’s Curling Alberta Champs, January 26, 1955, Women’s Curling Bonspiel Champs, March 2, 1955. All from Galt Museum & Archives.
I just don’t think we could top that. Must be done!
“Joys of the Public Domain” is a recurring feature on this blog, celebrating works in the public domain that I have found and enjoyed. I hope that featuring them here will help expand folks’ ideas about the works in which we all share ownership!