So’s Your Blue Nosed Grandma

Vaudeville Troupe

One of the most frustrating things as an archivist is happening across an incredibly interesting or unusual object with absolutely no context.  Hiding within a box labeled as containing circus photos was a series of pictures of old theater troupes from the vaudeville and burlesque days.  We’ve seen many such establishments in the backgrounds of old street scenes, including the Avenue Theater at Jefferson and Woodward, or Wonderland Burlesque in the old Opera House which once stood in Campus Martius.  Perhaps one of these locales was home to this unusual assortment of performers.  In addition to the three groups of similarly costumed dancers, and the pair of mugging comedians, we also see a quartet of identically clad men in suits and hats, whom I’ll wager are a band.  Thanks to the pair of flappers, we can presume this is the 1920s. My favorite member of the troupe is the rather serious looking gentleman in the kilt and Glengarry bonnet.  Was he another comic character or would he stir the crowd with a solemn tune on a pair of bagpipes?

So's Your Blue Nosed GrandmaThe biggest puzzle however is on the back (or verso, in archivist parlance) of the photo—painted in large blue letters, “So’s Your Blue Nosed Grandma.”  Was it a beloved catch phrase of one of the comedians, or a cue-card style prompt to help one of them not forget their punch line?  Does anyone have a ny other theories?  With luck we might find another piece to this puzzle…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s