Saturday, January 14, 2012

Sepia Saturday Theme - Hats

My friend Liz Stratton at Attics and Old Lace was excited to see that the suggested theme for Sepia Saturday was hats.  After reading her post, which incorporated music, I recalled that I had some pretty unique hats in my collection, too.  My grandmother, Virginia Vonderheide Ryan, was a  milliner or hatmaker before she married.  It was one of a few occupations including seamstress that was acceptable for young women to have.

I do not know, but cannot help but believe that my grandmother assisted in the design of her wedding finery and that of her bridesmaid.

Roy Ryan, Virginia VDH Ryan, Val Vonderheide and Florence Ryan

My maternal Great-Grandmother, Anna Moser Vonderheide, was pictured with this beautiful hat. I imagine that this picture was taken around 1898 when she married. Although I have no reference point for the one at the right, I imagine it was about the same time period. Pictured below is a fabulous hat worn by my paternal grandmother, Norine Jones.

Norine Jones, Paternal Grandmother
Fast forward to the 1960s and my mother is pictured with other members of the P.T.A. promoting a variety of hats.  I imagine that this was in conjunction with a fashion-show fund-raising event.  My mother, Virginia (Ginny) Jones, is pictured in the upper left.

One of my favorite pictures is one picturing my Great-Uncle, James Ryan.  He died aboard the U.S.S. Virginia of diphtheria while the ship was docked in Boston.  I'm sure his parents cherished this picture of their eldest son who died at such a young age.

James Ryan
Thanks Sepia Saturday for such a wonderful prompt.


  1. One of my favorite memories was when I was a little girl my GI GI bought me a beautiful hat with a net in the front. While walking to Bingo one afternoon it began to downpour!! My hat was ruined, to say the least I was devasted !! To this day I don't understand why it couldn't be salvaged ?????? Haven't worn hats a lot since. Patty Scardina Volz

    1. Patty,
      What a great memory! I have other pictures of her wearing hats, too. One of them was when she arrived with Pop down in Florida to visit the Hodges. One of the others was recently featured in a collage I made as her sons went off to WWII. She certainly had talent!

  2. Milliner was a pretty big occupation back when ladies wore hats all the time.

  3. Wow, you have a great collection of photographs with people wearing hats. What treasures they are.

  4. These are beautiful pictures. I would love to have been a guest at the wedding.

  5. Just love hats! Thanks for joining in Kathy. There are some beautiful hats on display here!

  6. I don't know of the existence of millinery shops these days, not that I have any reason to visit one. Beautiful pictures of hats including James Ryan's.

  7. One of the most enterprising shops in my home town was the millinery shop. Miss Effie's Hats. Her show window was so tempting. I would take my simple hat in and she would redecorate it for any occasion. I particularly remember a black pillbox with an orange ribbon. WooHoo.

  8. These pictures are all wonderful. The wedding group is beautiful, so carefully posed, and best of all the bride is smiling and obviously happy. Even the groom can’t resist a little twitch of the lips! You had some very pretty and smiley ladies in your family.

  9. Beautiful pictures indeed! The 60s picture looks like a Mad Men still, and the last picture is very stylish. I'm sorry to hear he died so young.

  10. Love the wedding photograph. I wonder if my future daughter in law would consider that look for the upcoming wedding. hmmm

  11. It is a pleasure to provide a prompt which brings forth such wonderful old images as these. There is something about a hat - the more exotic the better - which just completes a vintage photograph.

  12. Beautiful hats and photos.... the last Ryan certainly looks like the bridegroom in the first photo...imagine where they kept all those marvelous big hats, in beautiful hatboxes....Millinery a forgotten art....

  13. A very nice collection that demonstrates the creativity that went into hats.


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