February 3, 2016

Time travel?

Here's another gem from my grandmother's house. We keep being surprised by pictures and items which passed way down the generations of the family before they even ended up with my grandparents...

Just look at these pictures...

Doesn't that look like a real-life version of The Paradise?

And real-life, it definitely was! One of the gentlemen in these pictures is my great-great-great-grandfather, who was working at the department store Grand Bazar de la Paix as "Chef de Service". 
I'm not sure what that job description actually means but it sort of sound like "customer service manager" to me. It kind of suggests he was in charge of something which is likely considering the fact that he held that position when he was about 40 years old. 
And I don't even know which one he is...

What I do know is the where and when of these pictures. The first one was taken in 1906, on the occasion of the opening of the Grand Bazar, which was the largest department store in the Netherlands at that time. 
The most recent of the pictures is from 1909.

And where was this impressive store? Well, it was literally just around the corner from where I live today! On one of the main shopping streets in the center of The Hague. Just across the road from "de Passage" a shopping passage which is still there now. 
The old building isn't there anymore. There are several buildings along that street (along with the passage) which probably date from around 1900 but on the spot suggested in the information my father found there are much newer buildings. 
I really should try to find out more about it...  


  1. These photos are amazing. Not only do they give us a glimpse of everyday life in the 1900's but knowing that your family member is in the photo makes it all the more special. I love vintage photograph it's so much fun. Thanks for sharing these.

  2. Thanks for sharing the images. They're great! I have a box of photos I need to open that contain photographs that belonged to my grandfather's third (or fourth?) wife who'd been a trapeze artist before she lost an arm; then she was a faith healer. Really.