The following pictures of Holland were taken from a book written in Dutch called De Aarde en haar volken (“The Earth and Its People”) written in 1906. The photos show daily life in various parts of the world and offers a glimpse into a world far different than our own: a world were telephones, motor cars, electricity, antibiotics and most of the conveniences we now take for granted did not exist. Later articles will focus on different parts of the world as depicted in the book.
The original Dutch caption reads “Een mager oudje” which Google Translate says means “A Skinny Old Woman”. I am not sure if the picture is labeled correctly because this person does not look like a woman to me. The sign on the building in the background translates as Edek Music and Art Trade.
Above is a picture of a young peasant girl taken in 1906. Although she is a member of the working class, the girl is well dressed in a traditional Dutch costume. Her head is covered by a bonnet and she is carrying a large woven basket which is tied to what looks like a halter around her neck, presumably to help her carry the heavy load more easily. The basket is empty so it is difficult to tell what she would normally have carried, but she likely would have used the basket to carry goods to market or to bring food home.
In this picture several Dutch men and women wait while a draw bridge is raised to allow a sailing ship to travel down a canal. It is interesting to note that the road appears to be made of cobblestone and that the people waiting are all pedestrians. There are no cars or carriages waiting to cross the draw bridge.
In this picture a married couple is chatting with an old man on a rain soaked cobblestone street. The original caption for this photograph reads “Conferentie over de dikte van de bieten.” which Google translates as “Conference over the thickness of the beat.” I am assuming that this is some sort of Dutch figure of speech for gossiping.
Two men are riding in a horse drawn cart down a cobblestone street in Holland.
I think that this picture is of a man and a woman standing next to a train carriage.
A Dutch grandfather and his grandson walk down a cobblestone street. They look very stylish – the man is wearing a top hat and has a walking stick; the boy is wearing a suit. I wonder where they were going that day in 1906.
A bridge master, whose job it was to raise and lower the draw bridge to let ships and traffic pass through the canal, keeps watch.
The innkeeper’s daughters gossiping with a neighbor girl over the fence.
A cart full of hay is being drawn by two strong work horses. Note the extremely narrow lane.
A Dutch man stands by the seashore looking out to sea. Note the traditional wooden clog shoes that he is wearing.
In this picture a Dutch shepherd and his sheepdog are grazing a flock of sheep on the banks of canal. Notice the stereotypical Dutch windmill in the background.
A pipe smoking man stands next to his horse. The man is wearing clog shoes which probably are not the best suited for riding.
A large windmill in Holland, located on the Wemeldinge dike.
This brings us to the end of our journey back in time to 1906 Holland.
This article about life in Holland in 1906 was last updated on May 1, 2021.