Story: Families: a history

Bathing the baby, 1889

Bathing the baby, 1889

In this domestic scene Edith Emily Fell (née Atkinson) is bathing her baby daughter, Phyllis, with her older daughter, Sylvia, looking on. Their father, Charles Yates Fell, took this photograph and titled it 'Saturday night, Wellington'. Saturdays were often bath days when the whole family would bathe before wearing their best clothes to church the next morning. This scene encapsulates an idealised version of domestic life, which depended on women lovingly performing the sort of practical tasks in which Edith is engaged.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library, Fell Collection
Reference: PA1-q-075-28-1
Photograph by Charles Yates Fell

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Ian Pool and Rosemary Du Plessis, 'Families: a history - Late 19th and early 20th century families', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/photograph/30202/bathing-the-baby-1889 (accessed 12 April 2021)

Story by Ian Pool and Rosemary Du Plessis, published 5 May 2011, updated 1 Jul 2017