Having a large family is quickly becoming a thing of the past. With an inflated cost of living, there is just no way families of today can afford to provide for countless children. Back in the day that wasn’t the case. People didn’t need as many material things. They made do with what they could afford. Laws were not as strict regarding seat belts and car seats, so a larger family could pile in to one car to get to their destination. One Boston family was chronicled by photographer Leslie Jones of the Boston Herald- Traveler. The mother and father managed to raise 13 children in the 1920s and transport everyone with just one car.
Even back in the 1920s most families only had 2.3 children, about the same average as still today. This family was definitely in the minority. Jones paid a visit to them at their home to see just what it took to raise such a large brood. Jones only took pictures, so other than photos, to this day there is no other information of the family.
Lined up, all in similar dress, we see the children from youngest to oldest, mother holding an infant with father standing alongside her. All-in-all there is 10 girls and two boys. The baby is unidentified which makes it hard to distinguish if it is a boy or girl. The youngest girl looks to be around three or four, and the eldest daughter appears to be in her late teens.
Most of the children are smiling and all seem to be behaving very well for the photographer. In one of the photos we see their mother tidying up one of the girls with a comb.
A shot of the family from behind lets us see that the girls all have pretty dresses tied with bows in the back. The boys are sporting shirts and shorts. The clothes look quite similar which could indicate that their mother was able to sew and make many of their outfits. If only we had that luxury now of not worrying about having the latest and greatest of everything, think of how much money we would all save.
Mother and father appear together in one photo holding the infant. Father is smiling and looks happy with his family.
Another photo depicts a large wood board held up by two chairs. On it sits about 15 pairs of shoes, all different sizes. Father is demonstrating how they efficiently polish and clean shoes for such a large family.
If that wasn’t something to be proud off, next the family shows how all 15 of them can pile into just one car. Of course, there are no seat belts or car seats, but they were definitely resourceful. Today we know how dangerous that was, but at least they had each other to hold on to. Back then having even one car to a family was a luxury, so they had to make it work.
They certainly did not have the technology of today that would have made their lives a little easier. But living their life, in their time seems to work for them just fine.