Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Motor Frolics

I am not a car person and have no stories of adventures, shenanigans or derring-dos worthy (or fit) for Jasia's 104th Carnival of Genealogy topic of Cars As Stars of Our Family History II. But I do have my Sawyer aunts' photo albums to mine and mine I have! I leave it to those with more expertise than I to identify makes and models. The dates I have assigned are only guesses and could be very, very wrong.

Aunt Selma's album includes photographs that appear to be from around 1920. Many of the photographs include girls and young women in a uniform. Here some of the girls are on an outing. The tree appears to be bloom so it was probably early spring.

Schoolgirl Outing c. 1920. East Tennessee.

Aunt Mary Kathryn's album is something of a hodgepodge. It covers a wider time period and was assembled long after the photographs were taken. Mary Kathryn, an advocate of frolics at all times, kept photographs of family picnics, outings with friends and general horseplay. Her photographs include the requisite poses made iconic to my generation by Bonnie and Clyde though without the guns and cigars. Mary Kathryn's hemline seems quite short for the late '30s, but she looks older than she would have been during the flapper era. Perhaps fashion trends arrived late along the banks of the Nolichucky.

Winter Outing, c. 1935. East Tennessee

Mary Kathryn on a summer outing, c. 1938. East Tennessee.

This photograph is the easiest to date because my grandfather took it while living in Oregon from 1925 to 1928. He and some friends would drive into the mountains on their days off, hike and picnic. He sent photos of their outings home to his family in Tennessee. He shot this one looking back down the mountain to the car they left parked on the side of the road.

Oregon, c. 1926

This final is my favorite  - Mary Kathryn certainly knew the best use of a car! It was taken in Jefferson City, TN when she worked at Carson-Newman College. It may have been homecoming. Whatever the event, she and her hat rode in style. She reminds me a bit of the Queen Mother.

Mary Kathryn McKenzie, date unknown. Jefferson City, TN


  1. Very nice collection of car photos. I don't have any car stories either. Well, I do but they aren't that interesting!

  2. Classic old car photos.....LOVE! I have some pix of my grand uncle's car from the early 1920's period...so cool with those running boards, etc.

  3. Love this post. I love photos of old cars, even if I know nothing at all about what make and model I'm looking at.

  4. What a great collection of old car photos! Thanks for sharing and thanks for participating in the COG. :-)

  5. Well those are certainly the oldest old car photos I've seen yet! What a great collecton of pics!

  6. Wow, great photos! I especially love the car covered in flowers.

  7. Every single photo is a classic - and recalls an era of motoring. The school girl outing must have been especially exciting in the "latest mobile device" of the era. Don't you love relatives who save stuff?


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