Great Grandparents and an Antique Iron
These pictures are of my mother's maternal grandparents or my great grandparents. Anna Reeling was born in 1889 and Barend Johan van Bruggen was born in 1886. I don't know the story behind how they met but they were married in Holland in 1911. I am told that the picture of Anna and Barend was their engagement picture so that would have been taken in 1910 or 1911. The picture of Anna alone seems to be from around that same time. It must have been taken before Anna had children because my mom remembers her being on the heavy side and having children can certainly do that to you! My grandmother is the third of five children and she was born in 1915. 3 children in 4 years must have been a challenge for Anna as well as a strain on her body! My mom told me that she called her mom's parents "grote oma" and "grote opa" because that means "big grandma" and "big grandpa" as opposed to my grandfather's parents who were petite and she called "klein oma" and "klein opa" or "small grandma" and "small grandpa." All these years, I thought that when my mom referred to her grandparents as "grote oma" and "grote opa" it was because they are my great grandparents. It was only recently that I learned that "grote" or "great" was a reference to their size!
Also featured in this photo is an antique iron. This did not belong to my great grandparents but it is one like they would have used. It has a hinged lid that opens, allowing you to put hot coals inside the iron. This particular iron has a metal handle that would have heated up along with the rest of the iron so you would need a cloth to wrap around the handle to protect your hand. There are holes along the bottom of the iron and a scalloped edge along the lid that allow the steam and smoke from the coals to escape. You can see where the holes are discolored from the heat and smoke over years of use. Judging by the pictures, my great grandmother knew how to use one of these irons as her clothes appear to be perfectly pressed. As I look at these two pictures, I can see where my grandmother got her sense of style. Anna seems to be well dressed with beautifully styled hair and accessories that make a statement. That was my grandmother as well - stylish, well put together, always making a statement! It's amazing how much you can learn from a couple of pictures and an old iron!
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Photo shot with SHOTBOX and my Samsung Galaxy S5 Smartphone.