Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Tuesday's Treasures & Things

Welcome Kent Island Red, Deborah, Joe and Farmchick and thank you so much for signing up to follow my blog.

NB: I'm having problems uploading the old edited pictures from my computer, so I had to use unedited versions. I have to connect my scanner too. Anyway, that's why the quality is so bad, the original photos are great. Very clear after all these years.

I love this photo of my father's family on an outing, circa 1914. These old photos and my grandfather's world history book will be the treasures for today. My father is in the bow of the boat and my grandfather is second from right.

My grandfather lived to be almost 90. He was probably the kindest, sweetest man I have ever known. Interestingly and sort of sadly, he was married to my grandmother, she of the dimpled chin, or as Louise said in an earlier comment: "Dimple in chin, devil within." I believe my grandmother was a good woman, but she had to take care of a slew of younger siblings when her own mother died young, so she developed a very domineering personality that affected her sons and daughter-in-laws, perhaps more than my grandfather. He just tuned her out, I believe.

This is my grandfather later in life, celebrating one of his many big birthdays.

My grandfather's world history book is very thin, indeed. Only 62 pages survive and I don't think there were many more when it was new. It is a world history book for maybe junior high school equivalent back then.
Published in 1884, my grandfather wrote his name, the level of his class, and the year 1892 on the inside of the cover. My grandfather was then 14 years old.  I looked through it just now and it covers a lot, but very briefly.

It begins with the Egyptians. And continues with the Greeks, their country, religion, some Greeks of prominence and some major battles.

Then on to the Romans. This is the Emperor Augustus. In a few short paragraphs, it covers Romulus and the founding of Rome; Hannibal and the march across the Alps; many battles, and then moves on to Julius Caesar, Augustus and Constantine.
The book explains how the religion of Islam was born. And the importance of the city of Mecca. It covers the crusades, Wilhelm Tell, Joan of Arc, Gutenberg, Columbus and others.

And someone important to religion in Sweden, Martin Luther. The Lutheran Church used to be the State Church of Sweden, supported by taxes. A foreign concept to my fellow Americans, I know. That support has ended, I learned when I was there last.

Queen Elizabeth of England. No need for the number I after her name as her namesake, Elizabeth the II, had not yet been born. Not much was said about England. There was a drawing of Louis XIV of France. But not much said about France either. There is a short paragraph about Peter the Great of Russia and somewhat more about Fredrik II of Prussia.

About one page of text and a drawing of George Washington. The text covers the war of independence from the British.

The final drawing in the book is of this guy, Napoleon Bonaparte. He actually gets one more page than George Washington, but then we are in Europe where Napoleon was a very busy man, so that's understandable. The book ends with the Russian-Turkish war of 1877-78, a war I have forgotten about, if I ever even knew about it.

When my grandfather was in his 80s, he was interviewed by the largest Stockholm newspaper and gave a marvelous interview about the old days and how it was growing up in Stockholm then. It's interesting that both my paternal grandparents were actually born and grew up in Stockholm. At that time it was still a small town with the influx of people from the countryside coming later, in the 20th century.

In 1892, the young people of my grandfather's generation were literally standing on the threshold, not only of a new century, but of a whole new world and a whole new way of life. My grandfather was born in 1878 and lived through so many changes, so many inventions, and so many discoveries that it boggles the mind. Imagine living from 1878 to 1967 through everything that happened: Electricity, radio, cars, movies, airplanes, space travel, telephones, TV, two world wars, the atomic bomb, all the medical discoveries, and so much more. I'm thinking indoor plumbing and the invention of the W.C., as it was called, the indoor toilet, was perhaps most significant to the common man. I don't know if any other generation ever did, or ever will, experience as much basic change as my grandfather's.

Here the boaters have embarked for a picnic. My grandfather is behind my dad to the right; my grandmother is to the left with my uncle, a cute baby, who grew up to be a very handsome man. And, as an aside, neither he nor my dad inherited the dimple in the chin from my grandmother. I, on the other hand, got my Swedish nose from my grandfather. Not the prettiest thing in the world, but I'm proud of it.

And I will never forget what a kind and thoughtful human being my grandfather was.


  1. Definite treasures! Love those old family pictures, when you know who they are! That old history book - no wonder the kids now have so much to learn, there is so much more history! Looks like a treasure to keep!

  2. This is a delightful post! I, too, have considered with wonder the rapid inventions and discoveries during that time frame. Makes me want to stay alive longer just to see what else new will appear. Last several years it seems to be mostly gadgets of electronical nature. They make me think about how long we lived quite happily without them, and how powerful is marketing and (shivers) propaganda.

  3. Loved looking at your pictures ~ your Grandfather sounded like a wonderful man ~ Ally x

  4. Åh vad härligt att läsa om allt du skrivit. Underbara bilder, jag och Thomas har även vi bilder från gamla tider som vi upptäckte att pappa hade. Åh vad jag önskar han fanns.
    Kram Petra

  5. You know so much about your family. And, your history stretches so far back. That, plus all of the wonderful pictures and mementos that you have make you a very lucky person.

    I have the stories, and, maybe sometime I'll tell them. Trouble is that I don't have the pictures to go along with them.

  6. I like the camping picture. I think camping used to be a classier activity than it is now. Maybe a bit more refined.

  7. Talk about treasures....I love old photos and the history book....so amazing to see what was world history back then. I know about Martin Luther and also church taxes.

  8. Sharon: It is great to know who these people were and I feel lucky that so many lived to be so old that I had a chance to get to know them well as a young adult, not just a kid.

    Ally: Thank you, and yes, he was a great guy.

    Petra: Jag saknar din pappa sa mycket med.

    Louise: As I said to Sharon, I was lucky they lived such long lives so I got to know them well. And there must have been a lot of photographers in Stockhom back then. These pictures were actually made into postcards. I turned them over and there were the address lines and a square for the stamp.

    Farmchick: Yes, I noticed how all the ladies wore nice hats while in the boat.

  9. That was a nice post about your Grandfather. I never heard that saying about the dimple in the chin... that is funny! LOL Lucky for me, I don't have a dimple!
    Have a good night!

  10. Thanks for sharing your family photos. I have a lot of old family photos myself and it's just unbelieveable how far we've come in the last 100 years. My dad is 83 now and some of the stories he tells about his childhood during the Depression and then his early teens are almost unbelieveable. A lot of hardship, but also great encouraging stories, too.

  11. What a great book to have. And the picture is invaluable. You have such good memories and experiences about your family.

  12. Now this is a history lesson...tks for this.
    PS..Sophie tks you for your kind words re: Top 100 dog blogs.

  13. My grandparents raised me and I had a very special relationship with them. How lucky you are to have such a treasure in these pictures and your grandfather's book.

  14. Your family photos are indeed treasures. It's charming to see how nicely dressed they were, even for outdoor fun.
    What are they doing for your fingers. Inger? I feel confident that my shoulder will be better in time, but I'm concerned about my fingers.

  15. Thanks for sharing your family photos. I have great empathy for you Grandmother, she obviously lost her childhood and much of the joy in her life with such a heavy responsibility so young. Having observed my husband's family, I think quite a few Swedish women inherited that "controling" gene ;-) But all were wonderful capable talented women!


Thanks for leaving a comment.. ~~ Inger


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