This post is chock full of good tidbits. I probably should have written two separate posts but think of it as a bonus double Sepia Saturday post.
The first post card is of a group of "clam shanties or shacks." The City of Newburyport was once famous for the clams harvested from Joppa Flats which are just to the right in the postcard image. The flats are exposed at low tide. Because the flats produced thousands of bushels of clams per season they needed to have "clam shuckers" to process them. The shuckers worked out of these shacks. You can see a few of these crusty old salts in the second postcard.
To shuck a clam the shucker would insert a knife blade into the clam to cut the muscle the clam uses to hold the shell closed. They would then open the shell and scoop out the contents which they then dropped into a pail. They did this over and over and did it with speed and accuracy. I can't imagine how they could do it so fast. I tried to shuck some clams once. I e…
Well last Sepia - Saturday's photo was on the serious side and not to be out done by Kat, I have a donkey entry. I thought I would hit you all with a crazy one this time.
I found this in a bunch of emails my brother-in-law forwards over to me. It was part of a power point slide presentation. I have no clue what that presentation was for but it has some very erie music played on a tin whistle, and begins with a photo of the Russian Army, the last Zsar of Russia, his wife, and son. There must be 50 old photos in the presentation so you all are in for some more from that collection. The photos are from around the early 1900's to the 1940's.
This photo looks like it is a soldier walking through a field. It seems there are two other soldiers in the background, one with a gun. But why is this soldier carrying this donkey? Shouldn't it be the other way around? At the very least that donkey should be carrying some of those soldiers supplies.
Well, one thing is for sure, donke…
First off, you don't see any working women in these photos as is the Sepia Saturday prompt do you? Maybe if you look closely you can see some women crossing the streets.
What makes this a working women photo is the essentially this place, especially in the upper photo taken in the 1940's. The area here was known as Boston's Scollay Square which was loaded with burlesque theaters. Thus, "working" women. Sailors disembarking their ships on shore liberty from Charlestown Navy Yard mostly headed here.
In the 1960's the area was slated for urban renewal cleanup and the burlesque houses were torn down. Government Center was born. The large brutalist architecture concrete building to the left of the lower photo is Boston's "new" city hall built in 1967. Everyone says it's an ugly eyesore of an upside down pyramid and should be torn down even now. I have a sweet spot for the "old gal" as I attended a brand new high school in the brutalist…