It’s Halloween and time for trick or treat. You might have images of this holiday in your family album. These two young girls, c. 1920 are dressed in the style popular for the period. On the right the dots on this girl’s outfit suggest she’s a harlequin. On the left, her companion is in a short dress with the dots.
Department stores advertised that customers could purchase their costumes in the store, then return to have their picture taken in the outfit. Most major stores had a photo studio. You can submit images of your ancestors in costume by using the “How to Submit Your Photo” tips in the left hand column.
I’ve spent the last few years trying to locate images of historic costumes and information on how Halloween was celebrated in the past. This one is from my small collection.
I enjoy browsing the pages of Ancestry.com’s Historic Catalog of the Sears, Roebuck and Co. for costumes. Pick a year and the season and start browsing or use “halloween” as a keyword.
If you want to learn more about Halloween in a particular year, try reading the newspaper using GenealogyBank.com. In the advanced searching tab, enter “Halloween” as a word you want to include and then the date. I suggest using a span of days, since not all papers ran holiday related items on October 31st. Most of the advertisements are in the week before that.
Have fun exploring the past using the printed materials that were part of ancestral lives. It’s like time traveling using your computer.
Solve your family photo mysteries with these books by Maureen A. Taylor: