I bought these nine photographs online, attracted to their small size, the era, and the woman’s varied outfits.Taken in 1932 and 1935, they look more like a young woman playing dress-up than snapshots of her everyday life. The photographs have been removed from an album with the black paper and photo corners still attached to some, and there is no writing on the back. Usually when I buy vintage and antique photos, I look for ones that have some information. As someone who works in archives and has an interest in genealogy, part of the joy in collecting vernacular photography is researching all I can about the image and the people in them. When I purchased this set, I asked the seller if they had any information about the woman, and kindly she sent a letter along with the photo. Though she could not offer much, it gave me enough to find a little more information.
The woman in the photographs is Violette Adrian. Despite the fact that she looks so young in the 1932 photos, she was 22 at the time. Listed as “Vivian” in the 1930 United States Census, she was already married to John Geiger at that time these photos were taken. The seller was a friend of Violette’s daughter Patricia, born in 1936 but unfortunately passed away in 2008. Relying on her memory she told me that Violette grew up somewhere in upstate New York where her family had a large successful farm. I have not yet been able to find Violette’s birth or death records and I am still looking for more information.