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Gwen Tuinman

Novelist Speaker Advocate

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Vintage Photography

More to the Picture

Before cameras became widely accessible, an adult might have had their photo taken once over the course of their lifetime. They had one chance to leave a visual image through which future generations would interpret who they’d been, to dress in a manner that communicated their accomplishments … or to produce a smile that would forever define them.

A dear cousin recently shared this photo taken in Paris, 1919, by Lewis Hine. It’s more than a photo of a cherub face and curly hair. There’s trepidation in child’s eyes and the set of his mouth that’s concerning. What’s the story? Continue reading “More to the Picture”

Essie

Essie was born in 1884. She was my great grandmother and a source of fascination for me as a child.

When visited her home as a young girl, I marvelled at the glass prisms lining her windows and the rainbows cast along her walls. Essie served sultanas and pink marshmallow cookies sprinkled with coconut. She’d sit patiently, eyes closed behind her wire-rimmed glasses, while I brushed her hair. I was nine years old and she was ninety. Continue reading “Essie”

Early 1900’s Garden Photographs

(A Four Photo Series)

Photo 1: In garden of 54 Main St. (James Ballantyne’s house) looking toward the house with Lizzie Graham in distance; July 24, 1900; Photo credit: James Ballantyne/Library and Archives Canada / Photo 2: Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Mammel with their children in the family’s vegetable garden, Hanna, Alberta; 1928; Library and Archives Canada / Photo 3: Gardening; location and year unknown; Topley Studio / Library and Archives Canada / Photo 4: Students standing beside a garden, All Saints Indian Residential School (also known as Anglican Mission School), Lac La Ronge, Saskatchewan, unknown date; Geological Survey of Canada collection / Library and Archives Canada

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