The Sunday porch: Valdres, Norway

tonsasen-sanatorium-porch-ca-1890-by-carl-curman-valdres-norway-swedish-heritage-boardWomen on a veranda at Tonsåsen Sanatorium (the woman on the left is wearing a traditional costume similar to the one in this photo), Valdres, Norway, ca. 1890, by Carl Curman, via Swedish National Heritage Board Commons on flickr (all three photos).

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Tonsåsen Sanatorium was established for the treatment of tuberculosis in 1881 — the same year that the bacillus causing the disease* was identified by Robert Koch. Like similar facilities, just about the only treatment it could offer was a combination of nutritious food, rest, and plenty of fresh air. However, it also had thermal baths, and the photographer, Carl Curman, was a physician, specializing in the science of health baths (balneology).

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Even at the better sanatoriums, fifty percent of patients were dying within five years in 1916. It was only after the development of antibiotics after World War II that it was possible to treat and cure TB reliably. Tonsåsen closed in the 1960s.


*TB was proven to be communicable in 1869.

Vintage landscape: allée

wwi-british-trench-nationaal-archief-on-flickrOfficial photo of the recent English progress at the Western Front. A well hidden trench,” between 1914 and 1918, via Nationaal Archief (of the Netherlands) Commons on flickr.

It occurred to me that some, or a lot, of the wattle could have been woven by men who were gardeners before the war.

WWI trenches were not actually straight, but zigzagged to prevent enemy soldiers from firing down the axis. They were normally about 4 m. (12′) deep.

Life in gardens: when the prince has no porch

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. . . a rather awkward arrangement.

“Society at dining table. Frederick I of Baden sits in the middle,” location unknown, ca. 1890 – 1907, by Queen Victoria of Sweden, via Tekniska museet (Sweden) on flickr, under CC license.

Victoria (or Viktoria) of Baden — Queen of Sweden after 1907 — was the daughter of Frederick I. She married Crown Prince Gustaf in 1881, and they had three children, but it was not a happy marriage. From 1882, she spent almost every winter in Egypt and Italy, mostly in Capri. She was a good amateur photographer, as well as a painter and sculptor.

Vintage landscape: riverside

coblence-germany-garden-cropped-on-the-rhine-ca-1920s-bibliotheque-toulouseGardens alongside the Rhine River, Coblence (Rhineland-Palatinate)” via Bibliothèque de Toulouse Commons on flickr (cropped slightly by me).

The Bibliotheque‘s flickr page gives Eugène Trutat as the photographer, but M. Trutat died in 1910, and the women’s dresses seem to be from the 1920s, maybe even the 1930s.

Coblence — now Koblenz — is a German town located where the Rhine and Moselle Rivers come together. The photo may have been taken here, looking over to the Ehrenbreitstein Fortress.