For Better, For Worse- We're On Our Way Back, Who Knew?

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JPK Huson 1863

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Forum Host
Feb 14, 2012
Central Pennsylvania
soldier wedding.jpg

Between Ebay, LoC and NYPL we have endless old treasures like this image illustrative of who we were. Because divorce was rare ( for quite a few reason ) it's extremely probable this couple fulfilled the part in their wedding vows reading ' Til death parts us '. BUT get this- we're getting back to where you may be able to make the same prediction for more and more nameless photos created in 2019.

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Adopted the term ' blue ' wedding for a lot of these- Victoria ushered in the foaming white extravaganzas that are big, huge business in 2019. You just got married wearing your best frock- from what I hear ' kids ' are once again trending towards a wedding photo like this. Cool stuff.

Why post this in ' Period Photos And Examinations '? Because these photos deserve serious examination as a reflection of who we were and maybe who we could be again. Besides, I like them.

Around the time of the ACW the divorce rate in this country was .3 per thousand citizens. That would be good and bad, a famous divorce at the time finally allowing an abused wife to shed her abuser. That she got a lot of support when the story of her marriage hit the press tells it's own story. I have no way of knowing as fact it's true but seems to me our ancestors tended to stay glued for a reasons we only give lip service to today. If at all..

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Isn't this wonderful? Tough to tell considering women didn't pitch dresses the moment fashion changed- they're probably slightly pre-war.

Rate went up during the rest of the 1800's, still low by later standards at .7 per 1,000 Americans. From what I can find, by 1900 1 in 1,000 climbed to 1.7 by the 1920's and dipped during the Great Depression. Read there's a theory a couple's common struggle glued them more closely together although as with anything it's impossible to use such a broad brush.

This couple ' feels' Southern, maybe because her hair with all the pretty fussiness can be found in images we know were Southern. Read a great account from a student in a Northern female seminary where girls compared notes on fashion differences. Southern girls ( according to this era account ) made use of more cosmetics, lace, jewelry and general frou frou.
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Jumping ahead, we'd ding-donged back and forth although a slow increase suddenly rocketed us to 3.2, predictably in the 1960's. Get this- we topped out at 5.0 by the 80's- and a steady decline has been in experienced over the past few decades. By 2017 we were back down, 2.7, nearly half what it was. Sure, myriad factors were involved through the steady increases as well as the slow decline into today. But. Maybe ' kids today ' mirror ancestors of whom most are unaware more than they know.

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Someone's great great great grand children may be leaping ' backwards ' to this couple, and sticking around. That's awfully good progress. Dozens more images like these, all more delightful thinking we have more in common 150 years later than you'd think.

Thank @John Hartwell for this trip down matrimonial lane in our country and @diane . Discussion in Belle's thread about that old dog Sherm resulted in this search. I was in fact surprised and in a good way discovering what may be a disinclination to marry without serious consideration and maybe pitch the whole thing, same. Please don't imagine I'm smug- did my own best to contribute as stats rose.
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