Merry Christmas to You!

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Brewer family Christmas from the 1950s. Center is Katharine “Pat” Brewer and George S Brewer, my grandparents. Surrounding them are family from the Erie, PA area. I just love how Gram is holding a doll and makes it look like she’s just part of the family. That sort of captures Gram’s spirit. This photograph was taken at their home at 1216 West 9th Street and is a Kodak color slide. I scanned the slide using an Epson Perfection 4870 flatbed scanner. Scanning slides can be difficult because of the slide frame and “in the old days” this particular scanner had a great interface to detect and scan slides. Unfortunately, the drivers for this scanner are outdated and don’t work with the latest versions of the Mac OS, so I use the built in interface. It doesn’t have as many features and I can’t scan slides easily. While the scanner is nearly ten years old, it is a workhorse for standard images that can go on the glass, so I’ll keep using it until it quits!

We have certainly had quite a lot of distractions around here this year! I realized I haven’t blogged very much at all except for on my recipe site, and even there I took a month long break. The photos are in my hot little hands, I just haven’t made many opportunities to write and post, but I hope you will stick it out and come back for some really fascinating images. I found some great CdVs of national costumes, some hand painted images, and some that I wonder if they were nuns. Wow!

Until then, I wish you the very best during the holiday season, no matter what you celebrate!

Remember me, Liile


This photo is small, only about 2×3, and thanks to having scanned it we can enlarge the digital version for study. The young woman pictured was probably named Lii’le or Liile, something like that. Liile was an Estonian Girl Scout – or as they are known outside of the US, a Girl Guide. She wears a uniform similar to the early American uniforms, with a neckerchief tied under the collar. You can just see the insignia patch over her shoulder.

On the reverse of the photo is written “M√•lestuseks Liile!” which translates as “Memories” or “Remember me” or the like.

The photo was dated in the European fashion “28 11 37” which to our American minds would be November 28, 1937. Further, it was imprinted “Kunst-Foto Osol, Tallinn, Mundi” meaning Kunst-Foto (loosely translated as artistic photo) in Osol, Tallinn & Mundi. Tallinn is the capitol of Estonia and Mundi is a small village also in Estonia. I can only assume that Osol is also a town or village in the country.

A Girl Scout and her bike

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These three images of an unidentified girl in the 1940s or 1950s feature her Girl Scout uniform and her bicycle. I have no information about where the photographs were taken, but I am assuming they are American.

The uniform looks to be a Cadette uniform, which was the third level of Girl Scouting at this time. First level was Brownie, then Junior, then Cadette or Intermediate, then Senior. Each level had classes, such as first and second class, and these were earned through projects and actions to make the world a better place. In later years, these were changed to various named awards. Second Class was split into two awards in the 1960s and these were Sign of the Arrow and Sign of the Star. First Class was split in the 1980s into Silver Award and Gold Award.

Even though my daughter’s event has passed, I am going to continue this series because I have so many wonderful images! I hope you will check back for more and that you are enjoying them. I know I am!



This undated photo shows a young Girl Scout saluting with a backward three-finger salute. She has a tie, belt, hat and a shawl or coat over one arm. You can just see over her left pocket a round Girl Scout symbol, and in the center of her tie her pin. This uniform looks similar to those worn in the 1919-1927 era, although not exactly like others I have seen from that time. I’m venturing a guess at the 30s. The back of the photo says “Sis just before she left for camp.”

On the way to New York


This photo was dated June 26, 27, 28 1956. The Girl Scouts are preparing to board a train bound from Providence, RI to New York City. Unfortunately their names were not listed. There appear to be three Cadettes in the foreground, possibly three seniors on the left (appearing to be in white) and a woman in between who might have been their leader.

Juniors in the 80s


This particular photo shows Junior Girl Scouts from the 1980s based on the style of uniforms. The blouse and red neck tie seen on one of these girls really gives it away. The blouse was white with the Girl Scout logo in a pinstripe format. This was the first uniform update that really allowed slacks and shorts for girls, in addition to skirts. Previous uniforms did have shorts, but the “formal” uniform always included a skirt…until this one. I hated the neckties because they snapped in the center, and during the day they would twist around until they were really wonky and pointed straight down.

These girls are posed on a diving board and have two dogs with them. Were they the troop mascots? Although two girls are wearing coats, the picture was still staged out of doors, making me wonder what time of year it was.

Mariner Scouts


This vintage press photo is stamped “Miami Herald Staff Photo / by Fred Brent” and is dated November 19, 1949. ¬†Now, take a look at this shot from the 1948 Girl Scout calendar…


While the calendar photo would have been taken probably in 1947, the uniforms are virtually identical. Girls wore saddle shoes, which to our modern sensibilities seems crazy. A non-slip sole is much safer on a potentially wet deck, after all.

The press photo identified Marilyn Grover as sitting and Sue Allen with the sextant. The Girl Scout calendar only indicates that these Mariner Scouts are Senior girls.

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