While photographing this old house I wondered about its backstory. Was it intended as a family home in the country or perhaps just a small country cottage/bungalow? After doing a little research online, the size of this home, approximately 500 square feet, could have been influenced by several trends.
- Decline in average size of family. According to the US census bureau, there has been an average loss of one person per family during the first 100 years of our country (5.7 in 1790), followed by an additional person in the next 50 years (3.8 in 1949).
- Decrease in domestic production. With the rise of the industrial revolution, the space required to facilitate domestic goods production & services such as clothing & linens, food production and food storage (e.g. canning) became unnecessary as families became “consumers”.
- Cost of modern amenities. Homes in the early twentieth century usually had reduced space to compensate for the increased expense of plumbing, heating and other technological improvements.
Since the mid twentieth century however, average home sizes in the US have increased between 400 & 500 square feet every 20 years.
The color image above is a composite of a several versions of the color original. The first layer is a emulation of a vintage Kodak Kodachrome 25 film stock. The second layer is a oil painterly effect applied to a copy of the first, and the final layer is a high contrast black & white with some additional processing. You can click on each image to see a higher resolution image from my portfolio site.