Monday, November 5, 2012

Indian Sewing



This is an intriguing picture from 1904, which shows a Native American woman in camp by the side of a lake, operating a modern sewing machine.  The sewing machine looks so out of place in the picture. You have to wonder what the story behind this scene is.

11 comments:

  1. No comment today.
    I want to, but can't

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    1. It's looking like DADD's comment embargo has entered day two. How long with this insanity last? No domestic update, no comments from DADD! Who will blink first?

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  2. Do you suppose she lugged that thing around with her all the time? Was it a form of income? It is definitely a bizarre photograph!

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  3. The first sewing machines were powered by foot treadle or hand crank.
    These look like traders to me. There's a big cargo canoe, and those bundle are slung for 2 men to carry on their shoulders. Sewing would definitely be a service she could bring from camp to camp.

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  4. An amazing an unusual blend of the old and the new.

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  5. Sue beat me to it. It has to be a treadle machine; I own - and use - one very similar to it. It could be carried from place to place; although they are darned heavy they are practically indestructable. It absolutely would be a source of income for her. I'm more intrigued by the object beside her. A suitcase? A radio? A storage bin? Wondrous strange...

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. The item to her right is the cover for the sewing machine. When you're not using the machine ...you put the decorative cover back on and the whole thing looks nicer than having a sewing machine sitting in your living room....or on your beach.

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  6. Perhaps she wanted inspiration from Nature for her sewing.More likely she is making something form those fabrics close by.

    For some strange reason, she reminds me of the Queen in Rumpelstiltskin- sewing straw into gold with a magic sewing machine.

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  7. A bit more info:


    Details
    The original title of this view was "The New Home", the brand of sewing machine being used by this unidentified Native American woman. Beyond the woman's campsite can be seen two canoes. The whole scene is most likely at the shore of Puget Sound. The faint image of a pier can be seen in detail view 2. The original photo was taken by Seattle photographer Walter P. Miller, at one time the partner of Asahel Curtis, brother of Edward S. Curtis. -- This photo is restored and printed by Old Oregon.
    Additional Information
    Item Number AA0536
    Photographer Walter P. Miller
    Location Washington State
    Subject Native Americans
    Decade 1900s
    Print Maker Old Oregon
    Original Type Copy Negative
    Size of Original 5.8 x 9.2 inches
    Photographer's Number No

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    1. I so appreciate this additional information! Thank you, Bob! Jan

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