Category Archives: Archival Photos

A Playground Stalwart

Swings have been around forever. They can be a comfort and a thrill. I’ve been planning a post exclusively on swings for months now but just haven’t got out of the gates with it. I do have a working title though – apologies in advance to Milan Kundera – The Unbearable Lightness of Swinging.
Helen Creighton, 1903 – Nova Scotia Archives

I couldn’t wait for the swing piece to be ready before posting this. I wonder how many kids had their own swings at the turn of the last century. The young girl in this photo is Helen Creighton. Working from her Nova Scotia home, she went on to become a celebrated folklorist in Canada, a collector of songs and stories. My own three-year-old – Helen’s age in this shot – loves her clothes and wants some just the same.

Many thanks to Lauren at Nova Scotia Archives for sharing the photo.

The Sling Swing – 1919

Not all designs are created equal. This 1919 photo (click image to enlarge) from Halifax, Nova Scotia is a good illustration of the maxim. The ‘sling swing’ is an innovative design that didn’t have staying power, never became the standard. It was perhaps the precursor of the baby swing as we know it today. Note that it could be adjusted for sitting or reclining positions.

Thanks to the Nova Scotia Archives for this brief blast from the past.

Photo details – This photograph originally belonged to Jane B. Wisdom. This playground and the Central Playground on the Commons were equipped with money from the Massachusetts – Halifax Relief fund, the Rotary Club and other organizations.

Date: 1919

Reference no.: McQueen Family NSARM accession no. 1992-192