15 Vintage Thanksgiving Memories

We love Thanksgiving, and we love trying to track down old photos of Thanksgiving-Past.  Surprisingly, they are somewhat hard to find from before 1930, despite there being plenty of Christmas photos.  Nevertheless, here are some of the favorites we've come across...

old thanksgiving photos, vintage thanksgiving
1910

During traditional turkey drives to Boston, children of Vermont farmers typically walked with the turkeys.  Hit Next Page for more photos...

old thanksgiving photos, vintage thanksgiving

Three men head home with their raffle-won turkeys around 1910.  Can you imagine the look on their family's faces when they showed up with these?!

 

old thanksgiving photos, vintage thanksgiving

Another proud raffle winner!

old thanksgiving photos, vintage thanksgiving

For those that didn't get so lucky in the raffle, there was always the local butcher who was fully stocked with hundreds of turkeys to choose from. 

 

old thanksgiving photos, vintage thanksgiving
1904
Pennel Collection - KU

Men Gathered at the 20th Battery Dining Hall, Fort Riley, for Thanksgiving Dinner, 1904

old thanksgiving photos, vintage thanksgiving
1903
West Orange, New Jersey
Vanderbilt Cup

In the early 1900's, people didn't flock to New York for parades, but they did head out to West Orange, New Jersey to watch the annual hill-climb moto races.  Here we see William K. Vanderbilt race to the top of the hill in record-breaking time, 1903.  This continued a long tradition of sporting events and outdoor activities on Thanksgiving morning. 

old thanksgiving photos, vintage thanksgiving
1910
Nebraska Historical Society

Ella Kinscella at her kitchen stove in Lincoln, Nebraska about 1910.  This is what many families had in their homes and they cooked their fully dinner on these early stoves.  Talk about a full day of work!

old thanksgiving photos, vintage thanksgiving
1927
Bettman

A young flapper buys a turkey from a local farmer, 1927.

old thanksgiving photos, vintage thanksgiving
1940
Ledyard Center, Connecticut

Cars outside the Crouch Family Thanksgiving in Ledyard, CT in 1940. 

 

old thanksgiving photos, vintage thanksgiving
1940
Ledyard Center, Connecticut

Ms. Crouch pours water over the almost-done turkey before the big feast.  They whole family was there and they went through this 20-pound turkey right away!

old thanksgiving photos, vintage thanksgiving
1940
Ledyard Center, Connecticut

Another look inside the Crouch Family thanksgiving, 1940.