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Frank Medland

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Frank Medland

Postby mikemedland » Mon Jun 20, 2016 10:14 am

Frank Medland + dog.jpg
Frank Medland + dog.jpg (390.62 KiB) Viewed 1627 times


I know this is a photo of my ancestor Frank Medland (1871-1916) and that he was born the son of a Master Grocer in Lambeth.
He sailed to India in approx. 1893 and remained there the rest of his life, however why the boater hat and the dog on a pedestal, do these items signify any thing or is it just for amusement?
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Re: Frank Medland

Postby AdrianB38 » Mon Jun 20, 2016 12:58 pm

Sometimes a hat is just a hat, and a dog is just a dog.

Certainly the straw boater was used by certain trades as part of their standard dress (Corporal Jones in Dad's Army wore a boater in his butcher's shop, though it's probably unwise to treat this as a historical source!) but give that your chap seems to be wearing normal clothing, it seems unlikely to be trade related. Simply, the boater was a hat used as typical summer wear - the one thing I'm not sure of is when it was introduced, Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boater is as vague as "Boaters were popular as casual summer headgear in the late 19th century and early 20th century" while https://tragicocomedia.com/2011/05/04/loved-and-loathed-the-straw-boater-hat-a-history/ suggests "The popularity of the boater reached its height during the period 1880-1930".

I presume this was a photo taken in England, so pre-approx-1893? I'm not good on most aspects of dating dress, so have no idea whether this is appropriate for then or later (i.e. potentially in India).

As for the dog, well, it could be his, but photographers were prone to have props in their studios so this could equally be the photographer's pet dog used to add interest to the shot.

So I don't think this set-up has any significance but nor is it "for amusement" - it's almost certainly the chap's slightly informal but well-dressed summer wear.

Nice photo, anyway.
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