Reader photo with Diane Keaton
at Brimfield Antique Show
Many New Englanders maintain their roots here. Some people, like me, still even live in the town where they grew up. Old photographs are a window into the past allowing us to see how people lived in our communities in before us.
In our next sale, we will offer photographs from a number of local Massachusetts towns including Southbridge, Webster, Charlton and Rutland along with Putnam, CT.
The photographs are from the late 1800’s. The Second Industrial Revolution began in 1870 and continued until 1890 or into the 1900’s, depending on the source. The era is also referred to as the Technological Revolution and as the Gilded Age.
This was a time of rapid growth with major advances in industry, technology and transportation. The high wages being paid in U.S. factories attracted a wave of immigrants. Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller and other industrialists became multi-millionaires.
Central Massachusetts was also enjoying prosperity. Worcester factories were producing everything from Valentines and corsets to wire and wrenches. Mills throughout the Blackstone Valley were churning out textiles. American Optical, of Southbridge, was thriving as they produced eyeglass frames and spectacles.
During this time more Americans were moving from farming to factory work. Whether they were working in the farm or factory, Americans enjoyed their free time. Blackstone Valley textile mills sponsored baseball teams in a very competitive mill league. A family might spend the day at Green Hill Park or Elm Park or visit the Summit House at Mount Wachusett. They might instead choose to boat or swim at Lake Quinsigamond or Webster Lake.
Putnam, CT railroad depot photo
in our fall auction
We acquired some cabinet photos recently of local scenes that reflect this era. Although older photographs such as daguerreotypes may be more valuable, the image quality of the cabinet photos of this time is much clearer. Photography had greatly improved and outdoor photography was more practical. Subjects didn’t have to pose for long periods of time as was required in the past. This resulted in more images of this era and a greater view of everyday life in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.
The photos in our fall sale include the town centers of Southbridge, Rutland and Putnam, CT. The Lensdale Works of American Optical is pictured. There is also a fire photo from the Alden’s Block of Globe Village in Southbridge. Other photos show how people spent their leisure time depicting a rowboat on Webster Lake, a horsecart and bicycle decorated for parades along with camps in the Fiskdale section of Sturbridge and Mayland Park in Mashapaug, CT. Words won’t accurately describe them so we’ve posted pictures of many of them on our website www.centralmassauctions.com for you to view.
It’s always nice to get emails with your questions and comments. I received a wonderful email after my last column about the Brimfield Antique Flea Market. Anne who reads this column in the Sturbridge Villager said that she saw Lara Spencer filming the Flea Market Flip television show there. Her brush with a star happened, though, while she was scouring the booths looking for that special object that would catch her eye. Like most serious buyers she was scanning across the aisle from booth to booth and didn’t notice a pull cart that was in her way. The owner ran out of the vendor’s tent to check on Anne after she ran into it. It was none other than Diane Keaton! Anne shared the accompanying photo to this great story. It just goes to show that you never know who you’ll run into, or whose cart you will run into at Brimfield!
Contact us at: Central Mass Auctions – Wayne Tuiskula Auctioneer/Appraiser – Estate Specialists: Antique Estate Auctions, Estate Sales and Appraisal Services www.centralmassauctions.com (508-612-6111), firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have any questions about antique auctions and estate sales, call Wayne Tuiskula, Auctioneer/Appraiser at 508-612-6111 or email us today.
Our articles are published in the Webster Times, Spencer New Leader, Auburn Mass Daily, Blackstone Valley Tribune, Charlton Villager, Killingly Villager, Putnam Villager, Sturbridge Villager, Thompson Villager and Woodstock Villager.