Autumn - the word reminds me of wood smoke on a crisp morning, multi-colored leaves fluttering through the air, and the taste of pumpkin pie. At least, those are the sensations I experience when I see or hear the word. As usual, an image search revealed a lot more than I imagined.
This 1874 print of autumn leaves with the phrase, Walk in Love, came in under the heading of Prang's Floral Mottoes. Included information also called it an emblem picture. I would have loved to find one in cross-stitch or crewel work, and at 28 x 43.3 cm would have been perfect for seasonal wall decor.
[Prang's floral mottoes, no. 18?]. Walk in love. L. Prang & Co. Boston, . Source: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C.
In 1887, this print of two women enjoying themselves on a plaza suggests the day to be quite warm according to their wardrobe, however, the scattering of colored leaves by their feet prove the seasonal change to autumn has begun.
Happy Autumn Hours, c1887 Jan. 13. Source: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C.
Another fashion image showing autumn is this delightful American poster by Penrhyn Stanlaws, artist, showing a woman "...wearing a long yellow coat and matching hat, walking pass (sp) trees as the wind blows leaves all around her." The color combinations in this poster, as well as the artistic use of the archaic spelling of the word, AVTVMN, draw my gaze when placed among other autumn images.
|Autumn Hours, Signed: Penrhyn Stanlaws, 1907. Source: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C.
In the early 20th century, stereographs were commonly found displaying social life. This one from 1903 shows five women gathering leaves - still a favorite fall activity - and comes under the title, A Golden Autumn Day.
A Golden Autumn Day, c1903. Source: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C.
Although this 1906 Vancouver, British Columbia, street scene doesn't look like autumn, the caption on the back reads, "Granville Street, near Pender. Looking North. A foggy day in the autumn. One auto, tram cars on the left hand side, the hand cart, Rand Bros. office, Old Style sign of 'Semi-Ready.' The corner before the Rogers building was built." Do you know what caught my eye in this photograph other than the fashion and the tram? The Semi-Ready sign. My imagination ran away wondering what was sold as semi-ready in this era (ie clothing, baking, food, shoes?) until I spotted the title.
Granville Street near Pender Street, looking north, showing sign for Semi-Ready Tailoring, ca 1906. Source: City of Vancouver Archives
Of course, I can't show autumn images without some type of vegetable display and here we have a 1912 photograph showing harvest treasures from Edmonton, Alberta.
Autumn Harvest Vegetable Display, Edmonton, Alberta. 1912. Source: Glenbow Archives, Calgary, Alberta
And because I like showing fashion via real photographs, this 1912 image from Milton, Ontario is from Bessie Murray's photograph album showing the closing exercises of the W.L.C. in 1912. No scattering of leaves, but entitled, Seven Women Dressed in Autumn Clothing.
|Seven Women Dressed in Autumn Clothing, 1912. Source: Milton Historical Society
Of course, what would autumn be without a cattle roundup...This 1904 Montana stereograph shows, "2 cowboys on horseback, one rolling cigarette; the other lighting cigarette; herd of cattle in background." I wonder if this was used in a cigarette ad? I seem to recall several such ads with cowboys and cattle while growing up.
|Cowboys on the range - an autumn beef roundup, Montana, c1904. Source: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C.
Since many social events of autumn ended in a hay ride, I found this image entitled, Vacation Days in Autumn on the Farm, which was published in both photographic prints and stereographs from 1900-1910. The summary information reads, "Women enjoy hayride on cart pulled by two cows." Note that these cows are female oxen, not milking or beef cows as commonly known.
Vacation days in autumn on the farm. 1900-1910. Source: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C.
Do you remember the smells of burning leaves? Here's a 1940 color slide from Connecticut showing something not often seen these days...leaf burning in the streets.
Burning the autumn leaves in Norwich, Connecticut, 1940 Nov. Source: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C.
The scenes of autumn are varied and ever-changing, depending on where you live, but full of color and the expectation of new things to come - like Christmas.
What comes to mind when you think of Autumn?
|Whooping Crane, Canada Post 5c stamp, 1955. Courtesy of National Archives of Canada
To bring awareness of their plight, I included a dancing crane scene in my published novella, Sweet Love Grows. (see below)
Anita Mae Draper's historical romances are written under the western skies of the Saskatchewan prairie where her love of research and genealogy yield fascinating truths that layer her stories with rich historical details. Anita's short story, Here We Come A-Wassailing, was a finalist for the Word Guild's 2015 Word Awards. Her novellas are included in Austen in Austin Volume 1, The American Heiress Brides Collection, and The Secret Admirer Romance Collection. Readers can check out Anita's Pinterest boards for a visual idea of her stories to enrich their reading experience. Discover more at: