Sunday, February 8, 2009

10th Edition Smile For The Camera - A Carnival Of Images

The word prompt for the 10th Edition of Smile For The Camera is Costume? No, not as in Halloween. Costume as in dress in general; especially the distinctive style of dress of a people, class, or period. Show us that picture that you found with your family collection or purchased that shows the costumes of the rich to the not so rich, from the civil war to the psychedelic sixties. I know you have them, so share. Admission is free with every photograph!

This is a picture of my maternal grandfather, John Peter Pemberton, taken while he was in the Air Force stationed in Japan as an automotive mechanic second echelon. This must have been taken around 1947-1949. According to his military separation record, he joined the Air Force in Sep 1946 and spent two months in basic training and two months in school in Colorado learning how to be a mechanic. Then he spent 24 months in Japan [1]. My grandmother said he got a kick out of the smaller clothes in Japan, so he purchased this jacket and took a picture to send it to her back in the States. What I also find interesting about this picture is the girls hanging up on the wall in the background!

This is another photo of John Peter Pemberton, probably taken in the 1950s, when he worked for the Grand Trunk Railroad in Port Huron, Michigan. He is the one in the window of the train. I thought this was a perfect picture to show the working uniforms of the railroad workers. I'm not sure who the other two co-workers are, but if anyone is able to identify them, please feel free. My grandmother told me that the young boy was a son of one of the co-workers, though she did not know his name.

This is one of the few pictures I have of John "Jack" Vital Pemberton. He was my great-grandfather, the father of John Peter Pemberton. This is him in a bathing suit. I just thought it was a good representation of what men's bathing suits used to look like. This must have been taken around 1935 because John Peter was born in 1928 [2], and he is the little boy in the back window of the car.

This is a picture of my great-grandfather, Archibald Currie, the father of my maternal grandmother, Violet Mae Currie. He was a farmer in Sanilac County, Michigan, and I thought this was a good representation of a farmer's "uniform." Considering Archibald was born in 1889 [3], this was probably taken in the 1940s on his farm outside Marlette, Michigan.

This is a picture of my mother and her siblings all dressed up for their Aunt Betty's wedding in 1964 [4]. My mother is the 4th from the left on the front row. She was actually the flower girl. My mom's twin brother, Mark, who is the second from the left on the front row, was the ring bearer. My mother and Mark were 4 1/2 years old in this picture. Betty, who is not in the picture, is the younger sister of the children's father, John Peter Pemberton.

Okay, I know we said that costume did not necessarily mean Halloween costume, but I couldn't resist. This is my first cousin once removed, Travis, dressed up as John McCain for Halloween 2008. Who would have ever thought of that as a Halloween costume?


[1] Military separation qualification record, serial no. AF16 193 223, Sargeant, U.S. Army, John P. Pemberton, discharged 1949, Pemberton/Currie/Drouillard Family Papers; supplied by Violet (Currie) Pemberton Drouillard, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE,] Vinton, Louisiana. Violet was the wife of John.

[2] St. Clair County, Michigan, birth certificate no. 14-142 (1928), John Peter Pemberton; County Clerk, Port Huron.

[3] Sanilac County, Michigan, birth certificate no. 687 (1889), Archie Currey; County Clerk, Sandusky.

[4] St. Clair County, Michigan, Marriage Book 10: 544, Hackett-Pemberton; County Clerk, Port Huron.


  1. Jennifer,
    I absolutely LOVED your pictures! What fun this has been. Good job.

  2. Very nice post Jennifer, I enjoyed all of the pictures and explanations!