Margaret Before Marriage
I came across several more images of my beautiful great-grandmother Margaret from the years before she married my great-grandfather Leo. I plan to focus more on Leo — and Margaret’s extraordinary world-traveling life with Leo — in the coming weeks, so this seemed like a good time to share Margaret’s girlhood pictures.
I’ve been pleasantly struck by how many early-1900s-era photographs exist of this (until recently unknown to me) part of my family, so I decided to do a little research to find out how common or uncommon the volume of images might be. I learned that Kodak introduced the inexpensive Brownie camera in 1900, and that it was the device responsible for putting photography within reach of the middle class. I don’t know if that’s the device the Spielmanns used for their personal photography, but it makes sense that it might be. I own a similar camera that I found in a thrift store, and I even did some experimental shooting with it in my salad days at college; results were hit or miss — focus was not its strong suit.
But I digress. Back to the lovely Margaret in the years before Leo swept her off her feet.
The back of the photograph says, “Margaret and Erwin, Aug 7,” but the year and photographer are unknown. This is such a sweet picture. of Margaret and her youngest brother.
The back of the photograph says, “Great Kills, June 29, 1913.” Margaret on the right. Photographer unknown.
Margaret, Tootsie the dog, and a mischievous little brother who is either Walter or Gilbert. Date and photographer unknown. Maybe the trend of little boys ruining pictures with “rabbit ears” hadn’t quite taken off yet?
Margaret in the middle. I’m loving those Gibson Girl hairdos. The back of this photo says “Loretta, Margie, and May Mc.” Date and photographer unknown.
Margaret at the well. I don’t recognize the children. Maybe she was babysitting? Date and photographer unknown.
“Grand View House” is written on the shoes, Margaret far left. Date and photographer unknown.
More fun at Grand View House. Same crew, and Margaret is fifth from the left. Date and photographer unknown.
More Grand View House crew. Margaret is in the center of the back row. Date and photographer unknown.
Young Margaret in a rustic setting. Date and photographer unknown.
The back of this photo says “Margie and Martin, Rockaway, June 27, 1910.” This series suggests that there might have been someone special before Leo. Photographer unknown.
On the back of the photograph: “Martin and Myself, Bellwood Park, June 30, 1912.” Photographer unknown.
Back of the photograph: “Martin, Myself, and Court at Bellwood Park, June 30, 1912.” Photographer unknown.
One more in the Martin series. The back of photo says, “Martin, Myself, George, Bellwood Park, June 30, 1912.” Photographer unknown.
Here’s a sample of Margaret’s lovely handwriting. According to my research, her formal schooling did not extend beyond the 8th grade, but it’s not hard to surmise that penmanship was emphasized during that short tenure.
A studio portrait of Margaret. I adore everything about this outfit, from the decoration on the hat, to the tailored coat, to the clean white gloves. Date and photographer unknown.
Margaret with some happy children I can’t identify. Date and photographer unknown. The girl had style; check out the choker beads.
The back of the photo says, “Bethel Conn, August 1912.” The young woman with Margaret appears to be the same young woman that Ernst is carrying here, but I don’t know her name or relationship to the family. Photographer unknown.
Here’s another image with the same woman. The back of the photograph says, “Bethel, Conn. August 1912.” Photographer unknown.
A smiling Margaret wearing a fur stole of some kind. Odd, because the rest of the outfit does not look particularly wintry. Date and photographer unknown.
Great-great-grandmother Fanny, great-grand-aunt Leonor, and great-grandmother Margaret. Date and photographer unknown.
Margaret and an unknown friend. I have a sneaking suspicion this might be an early meeting with one of Leo’s sisters, possibly Wally, but I’m not 100% sure. Date and photographer unknown.
If Margaret’s photographic record is any indicator, she loved dogs, something she and I have in common. Leonor is on the left, and a laughing Lillian is behind. Date and photographer unknown.
Farewell until next time, good People. In the meantime, do your descendants a favor and label, label, label.