This wedding took place on Staten Island (part of New York
City). Kathleen is a site visitor and the photograph is one in Kathleen's
collection. 1912 is loosely known as very late Edwardian, but in
recent years especially since the major nineties film of the name, this period has gained the name
'The Titanic fashion era'. The
Titanic sank off Newfoundland in 1912 and the name Titanic era captures the more slender fashion styles of the
years to 1914.
wrote to tell me more about this old wedding photo and the formal group
picture:- The flower girl is my aunt by marriage. I have estimated the date to be
1912 because the flower girl was born in 1906 and her brother, the ring
bearer, in 1908. I found the leaves on the bridesmaids’ hats to be an
interesting decoration. I don’t know who the bride and groom were and the
only date on the back is 'October 15th'.
A possible near known date is useful in making any picture more
meaningful. Some factors within the
picture also confirm this photo as between 1909 and 1913.
Whilst the yoked dress of the bride may seem to belong to a date nearer
1900-1905, her veil shown far right is in tune with veils of 1912/13.
This fashion plate image right and which can be seen in full in my
plate section is very similar in style.
In fact this mob cap style of bridal head dress stayed was acceptable for
some 20 years.
The dresses of the bridesmaids are empire in line and the skirts have some
width, but much less flow or trailing fabric of earlier Edwardian hemlines. The
actual bridesmaid's skirt far left is more evident of styles around 1910 or
1911, note the tail end of wider skirts.
The tiered effect and the layered sleeve styles also pay homage to dresses at the beginning of the Titanic fashion era. An enlargement of the main photo would
reveal that the pink dress left of 1910 has a very
similar pinafore bodice layered neckline to the bodice the bridesmaids wear.
other most important significant factor is the style of hats. The hats in
this photo are on the wider side and quite firmly late Edwardian hat styles
and they are mainly flatter hats with reduced height, but still abundantly
like this hat on McCall's magazine cover of 1910. The hats in the 1912
photo have a less congested compact look than hats of the nineties or the
early Edwardian era.
small flower girl is clothed in dress fashion which is often used as
the typical theatrical silhouette for a girl wearing Edwardian dress.
These small girls from old magazines wear dresses with
bloused fullness and are dated 1902
(red) and 1908. The dresses girls wore followed the lines of adult
female dress with their pouched over bodices and low slung skirts.
Dresses were often tied with contrast satin sashes in pastel pink,
blue, lemon or mauve. These colours matched the sugar almond
fondant pastels popular for adult dresses. Red or red tartan sashes
were also classic looks of the era as were bold contrasting skating and
sailor looks of red trimmed with black or white, or navy dresses trimmed with white
Joe wrote to tell me of an old Edwardian wedding photo he
owned. He told me it was a 1912 working class wedding party photo. For
evidence of the 'ordinary folk' element, look closely at the heavy footwear
and the overall styling of the female dress.
Before Joe's father passed away he wrote a history of
his heritage and gave Joe some old photos. This encouraged Joe to research
his paternal heritage several generations to a small town on the
In this old photo Joe's grandfather, Youzef, was 24 and he
thinks his grandmother, Ester, looks somewhat younger. Youzef travelled to
the USA in 1904 at the age of 15 on a steamship and Joe found details of
this from the Ellis Island entry records. The couple had 3 children, but two
died in their teens. Within 7 years of this photo being taken, Ester the
bride below died in the Great Flu Plague of 1919.
Note how none of the female dresses in this old wedding
photo truly match, although an
attempt has been made to dress the younger women in similar looks of pastel tones.
None of the dresses are the very latest 1912 fashion and lag a little style wise
with modes of the day. If there was no known date for this wedding it might
be easy to mistake the date, and place the event in a time frame of about 5 years earlier.
The bridal veil and headdress are particularly interesting
as they follow
style lines of earlier Edwardian days, rather than
the newer mobcap styles that were coming into fashion and also
shown in Wedding 1 above.
The bride's dress is very similar to a bridal
dress shown here on the 1910 wedding
page. It is fashionable, but not overly so for the era, and like all
brides she looks serene.
Apart from the bridal gown, which shows some shoulder tucks, the majority of gowns do not have
the slender and high waisted look that gowns in the first wedding at the
top of the page have. The bridal
party in this photo wear gowns with very well defined waists. The dress
shown left is more in tune with fashion styles of 1904/6 and the guest looks
very S-bend corseted.
In reality by 1912 in high fashion circles the waistline was
well above the natural position.
Notice that Ester shown right wears a crucifix and a small
brooch at the neckline. I cannot make out the brooch properly, but it looks
as if it might be made of coloured stones like garnet which would fit well
with the Hungarian connection Joe discovered during his genealogy research.
More fashionable aspects of this lovely old wedding photo are visible
in the hairstyles which are typical of the era, but yet again the more known
dated photos you can compare to your unknown old wedding photos the more
likely you will arrive at a date within a few years of the nuptials.
The Titanic was constructed by the shipbuilding firm of Harland and
Wolff at their Queen’s Island Works in Belfast.
The Titanic ship was 882' 8" long, 92' 6" wide and 104' high with 9
decks (and boiler rooms) and weighed 46,238 tons.
Skilled ship workers employed on it earned £2 a week and unskilled
workers earned £1 a week.
The completed Titanic was a steamship in England's White Star Line.
The Titanic was boasted by its owners as 'unsinkable'.
The maiden voyage started from Southampton, England and was sailing
to New York City.
The ship's captain was called Captain E. J. Smith.
En route to New York The ship's captain received many radio warnings
from other ships about ice sightings
The Titanic ship had 20 life boats designed to accommodate a maximum
rate of 1,178 people.
On board were 1316 passengers, but with staff on board the figure
during the maiden voyage was 2,228 people.
The Titanic was designed to have 32 lifeboats, but owners cut 12
lifeboats to improve aesthetic appearance of the ship in favour of
safety. This was possible as laws had not been updated to cope with
larger vessels. Many of the lifeboats on board leaked.
At 11.40. p.m., on Sunday 14 April 1912 Titanic struck an iceberg.
The Titanic ship took 3 years to construct and less than 3 hours to
The new ship the Titanic sank on its maiden voyage at 2.40. a.m.
1912 on Monday April 15 1912.
705 passengers (a few more or less according to different sources)
survived the sinking of the Titanic ship after a distress call rescue by
seamen of the ship Carpathia. The Carpathia was relatively nearby
with a position 58 miles south east of Titanic.
The Titanic wreck was found 73 years later in 1985 south east of
Newfoundland, Canada. It was 12,000 feet down on the seabed.
Milvina Dean was still alive in 2007 and then aged 95.
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For more information about Wedding Photos click below:-
Old photos can be useful when tracing family members and narrowing down
search dates. These photo pages may help you put an era to your
If you have old wedding photos please send them to me and if suitable I will
add them to this pictorial section of social history.
OLD WEDDING PHOTOS
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