11/1/13

Status SYMBOL


A home has always been a status symbol. It says you're able to provide for yourself and others. It allows a person to put down roots and to lay claim to the idea that they belong somewhere. We've gone through a horrendous period where the status symbol had to be larger than you'd ever need. Who'd have ever thought that a fast food joint would become a term used for a home? McMansions...it even sounds ugly and they generally are. There's a pretentiousness to them that I believe in the past was reserved for the extremely wealthy. Will the tacky neighborhoods comprised of McMansions ever be torn down and replaced with modest and useful homes? Once they're built what the heck do you do with them? Fill them with stuff!






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As a collector of vintage snapshots I'm always interested in the shots of people standing/sitting in front of their homes. They make a statement that they have "arrived." I don't know if people still hire photographers to take posed shots in front of their homes. I'm guessing a lot of people that live in McMansions do have shots like this taken, but now it's done to try and rub their "wealth" in the faces of someone else. We have really come off the rails in this country. If you don't believe me just tune into one of those "Housewives of..." somewhere shows where everything that is tacky is celebrated. McMansions of tacky grandeur filled with equally tacky people. Of course, it's also possible that all of the people shown below were tacky in their own time.





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This is my submission for this week to Sepia Saturday.

20 comments:

  1. I love these shots -- the people are definitely pleased with their homes...as all should be. Love the porches, and the trio sitting on the step!

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  2. So true! It is ridiculous that people tear down perfectly good homes to build these monster homes as we sometimes call them.
    We all grea up sharing bedrooms but now young families "need" more space, even though no one is there during the day.in thes bedroom communities.
    I just finished reading Bruno Ticklebear's post about the homeless.

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  3. Great photos and contrasting houses/homes. When I first saw the second photo in its small size, I thought the hat was on the head of a person standing in a deep ditch! So thankful for "click to enlarge."

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  4. To me, photos like these wonderful examples are a celebration of "home". I don't think they were intended for the people posing before their house, but instead the photos were for the absent ones - the people who could not be there. An aged mother back East; a brother off to war; a sister off at teachers college. The best ones are worn and dogeared and have holes for the pushpins that held them up above the dresser.

    They hold much more emotional content than any color brochure of a "legacy" mansion. (that's a new, and to my mind, offensive real estate term used around the gated developments in our region )

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    1. Legacy mansions. That is really awful. There's always something so phony about them.

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  5. What a fine presentation of people and the houses they are proud of and call home. Those McMansions you mentioned are popping up in so many older neighborhoods around me, and they stick out like a sore thumb, if you ask me. Do we need such large houses on smaller lots, to block the views of others? Well there are an entire class of folks that believe so.

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  6. Great photos, Tattered and Lost. These homes seem pretty modest to me and look lived in, cared for, and loved. Homes ... not just buildings to hold their possessions. It's hard to imagine living in the tiny home in the first photo. It can't be much larger than 12' x 18'. Of course, many people didn't have so many possessions a hundred years ago.

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  7. I like that type of photo. I bought some photo postcards last week similar to your photos. I was originally planning to use them for Sepia Saturday this week.

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  8. The first photo is a gem. Thanks for sharing.

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  9. I certainly agree about the "Legacy mansions". I know of some people who had one, they sold it and bought a modest bungalow and are quite content in the coziness it renders.

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  10. Those photos feel like "home" as opposed to the McMansions. While I do enjoy touring new homes that have been built and decorated to showcase the latest products in the industry, I usually come away thinking, "Hrmph, wonder what that black granite sink will look like with dried toothpaste in it."

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  11. I am always struck by the enormity of many modern homes built in the USA - especially those built on golf courses. Three fine photos.

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  12. Great photos. So poignant! Gave me goose bumps. I harkened back to my gggrandfather's diary and the pride he had in "my house" which for the first winter had no chimney, a dirt floor, and the thatch roof blew off --- but it was "my house" he said with pride.

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  13. One thing about the lovely old homes in your photos, there were people living in them all day, every day. They were fully used. In any given street today how may of the houses are emply all day while everyone is at work.. Great photos.

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  14. There is definitely a proprietorial stance in the photographs in front of houses, isn't there? These are great examples of that "arrival", as you have described it.

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  15. A fine category and collection! And I think you are spot on with the commentary.

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  16. Well of course a house makes a great backdrop to a photo and, as MIke says, if they’re intended for someone else why wouldn’t the subjects be proudly standing in front of their homes?

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  17. These look like American photos to me, am I right? I don't think posing in front of houses is all that common here in Aus. I definitely agree about the McMansions !

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    1. Yes, US houses. I think the last one was in Ohio. I have no info about any of them. I would also guess that the first one might be Nebraska.

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