Throw WAY WAY Back Thursday

Sometimes I do #ThrowbackThursday where you’re just supposed to put an old picture up on the internet but today I’m going a step further.  I’ve been doing some research into my family history but it’s filled with dead ends and few pictures because my father’s family are all Bohemian immigrants who didn’t believe in selfies, apparently.  But I went looking for pictures of people living in the Czech same town at the same time as my relatives and this guy popped up and I’m pretty sure we must be related.


Also, I just want to point out that this guy may or may not be my great-great-something-or-another, but he is almost certainly the first hipster God ever made.  Stylish facial hair, glasses, hat, jaunty pose, some sort of unicycle with training wheels.  Also, lots of hipsters wear their granddad’s clothes and this guy is more likely to be wearing my great-great-great-granddad’s clothes.  He’s like a hipster to the third power.   (I was going to say “a cubed hipster” but that sounds less mathematical and more like something unsanitary you’d put in a casserole.)

Anyway, this is very nice because I always feel inferior to super-cool hipsters and so now instead of feeling defensive and shy I can just be like “Yeah, my ancestors were hipsters before it was cool.  Like, before toilet paper was even invented.  It was fun but we’ve moved on since then.  Nice unicycle, though.”

118 replies. read them below or add one

  1. All he lacks is a large ceramic mug for his fair trade soy latte

    thetattootourist recently posted Tree Sloths and King Pins – Witch Dr’s, Wine Coolers and Woe.

  2. That is awesome!
    My younger daughter (age 13) just read last night that the term hipster originated in the 40s and I laughed and said “So there hipsters! Your hipsterness is not new!”

  3. Look at all that sass he’s projecting. He’s totally related to you.

    Jess recently posted BSC #39: Poor Mallory!.

  4. I’ll bet his name is Joaquin. Or Cyrus. Damn hipsters.

  5. He is the long lost King of the hipsters! Respect to that guy!

    Also, ‘cubed hipster’ made me giggle.

    Eleanorjane recently posted Style AND comfort?.

  6. 7

    HYSTERICAL – “All he lacks is a large ceramic mug for his fair trade soy latte”…That sentence right there is why I ALWAYS read ALL of the comments!!!

    Such swag (like the pinterest thing with Paul Ruud and Seth Rogan in lederhosen….leederhosen….um leather short things).

  7. I’ve done my family tree. I didn’t find any hipsters, but turns out my great grandparents on my mother’s side were related. So yeah, there’s that…..

  8. You certainly want to cube the hipster…if you put it into your casserole whole it just takes FAR too long to cook

  9. That guy totally lives in Brooklyn.

    Sarah recently posted the foods..

  10. I need whatever he has hanging from his belt loop. I was going to guess a watch, but that’s too cliche. I bet all the kids carried watches. So it’s probably a magnifying glass or perhaps a tablespoon. I’m guessing a tablespoon. If you asked what it was for he would just scoff and ride away quickly on his uni-tri-cycle.

  11. BTW, it’s called a “penny-farthing” bicycle. Love your column!

  12. What a cool dude! Do you have an approzimate date for this photo?

    (Mid 1800’s I think. ~ Jenny)

  13. Maybe he was a hepcat

  14. 15
    Erika Whitney

    Okay, I had to look it up. Toilet paper was invented in 1857. (In the US, anyway. Evidently Chinese emperors were ordering 2′ x 3′ sheets of it back in the 14th century.

  15. That is not any sort of unicycle, it is a high wheel or penny farthing bike.
    and hanging from his belt is, I believe, a chatelaine watch fob.
    I am pretty sure he is a long lost relative of yours, Jenny, how could he not be?

  16. That unicycle thing is actually called a Penny Farthing ( That totally sounds like some crap a hipster came up with, right?!

  17. 18

    It’s a velocipede Jenny.

  18. That picture totally looks like it could’ve been taken yesterday. In Brooklyn.

    Janice recently posted Passwords.

  19. 20

    Those things are called “penny farthings.” It’s interesting to note that when they were replaced by modern bicycles, the new inventions were called “safety cycles.” I think that tells you everything you need to know about them.

    Soy latte mug = excellent!

  20. 21
    Doug in Oakland

    Are hipster cubes anything like wombat cubes? If so I recommend leaving them out of the casserole.

  21. Totally a hipster!

  22. This man needs the Czech version of PBR and he’ll be set. And why do all of our ancestors just look way cooler than we do?

    skullwoman recently posted The Eighty Four Dollar Club.

  23. This guy is screaming to have a comic book origin story made about him. Adventures of Velocipede Boy! He was into bicycles before bicycles were invented.

  24. Last time I was looking through the family tree I found 2 Nimrods in it. Like, I have a great-great uncle and a great-great-great-grandfather whose name was Nimrod. So now I have them literally and figuratively in my family.

  25. I love this photo! If I saw it in an antique store, I’d totally buy it and put it on my wall of adopted dead relatives, with a plaque that said “The Geronycicle and Grand-Great-Uncle Therolomew …The Fourteenth” P.S. I almost infected us all with an ancestral plague-by-typo. Comment disaster averted. Thank you Spellcheck!

  26. I’m a bit tired right now, so when I got midway through the second sentence, my mind read it as “dead people” instead of “dead ends”. I should probably go to bed now.

  27. That guy is fabulous!

  28. Who wouldn’t want to claim relations to this natty fellow! Always hard to know what you’ll get when you shake the family tree a bit.

    random elouise recently posted LIEBSTER AWARD NOMINATION.

  29. That dude is cute. I would totally do him. I might ask him to bathe first.

  30. Whoa, you should carry this picture around and whip it out to hipsters that you meet. Without any explanation. They’ll get it.

    Jane @ The Blue Morpho recently posted See you in June.

  31. He’s like the James Bond of that era, all cool, smooth, and with a nice ride.

    Sandy the Fearless Scribe recently posted When it comes to shoes, I'm no Carrie Bradshaw.

  32. He looks like a person some guy on Project Runway would describe as “fabulous” or “fierce”.

    Kristine N. recently posted Once Upon a Time – “Kansas” (Spoilers).

  33. Cube-ster?

  34. Haha! Reading this post followed by the comments has made my day.

    I need more friends that will make fun of hipsters with me …

    Heather recently posted WIAW #6 Doggie Eats.

  35. That dude only rides the unicycle ironically. His Pabst Blue Ribbon is straight absinth because hipsters back then were total bad asses who eventually went batshit crazy.

  36. 37
    TC Perret

    Maybe we’re related because that looks exactly like my Uncle John looked in the mid 1960’s.

  37. That man has some serious confidence in his giant bicycle.

    Emelie recently posted It’s not an unhealthy relationship, I swear..

  38. Compensating for something? Not to diss on your ancestors, but he might be. Just sayin’

    Emelie recently posted It’s not an unhealthy relationship, I swear..

  39. Quite the saucy little popped hip, there. You MUST be related.

    Manicmom recently posted Take this job ….

  40. Actually, in the snob bike circles I try not to hang with, that’s called a High Wheeler. And they are great fun to ride

  41. I have the feeling my great grandmother dated him. also, I like the watch (?) at his waist.

  42. squint The (watch?) thing on his pants totally looks like he’s wearing some kind of measuring tape perpendicular to his crotch.

    Maybe to show he wasn’t overcompensating for something. (Or that he was. Could go both ways.)

  43. The hand on his hip puts the “HIP” in sashaying Hipster.

    The Dorky Missus recently posted Gluten-free and Soy-free Garam Masala.

  44. I think I was married to him once.

    Michelle recently posted What’s The First Rule Of Gong Ball?.

  45. If he was hipster before it was cool, was he being ironic about it? That seems to make all the difference with that group.

    Moni Barrette recently posted The shooting gallery.

  46. You slay me, every time. Anyone even possibly related to that dude should never feel shy and defensive.

  47. That thar is an old-school Velocipede, and I have to say…he is totally OWNING it.

    I’m also willing to bet that the little doohickey on his belt is some sort of grappling hook. I can totally see him barreling down the cobblestones, whipping that thing over his head, in hot pursuit of some sort of large mustachio’d felon, yelling, “Pause, you ruffian, and return that chamber pot at ONCE!”

    Total badass.

  48. Fuck yes you are related to this man! You are too cool for words. He is too cool for words. Ergo, you must be his descendant.

    nancytex2013 recently posted when is enough enough? (TBT edition).

  49. That pose has some serious sass.

    Courtney recently posted The diet that isn’t..

  50. 51

    1880s to 1900 by the style, which is totally and absolutely stylin’!! I want him for an ancestor!

  51. Awesome sauce.

    Laurie Free recently posted Free Your Mind.

  52. Grampa Dalek! (Dalek is a Czech name meaning distant battle. Apparently.)

  53. 54
    Kay Simpson

    Nice boots!

  54. Don’t feel inferior to modern day hipsters.
    Just get a bone shaker and bring it back into style – so much cooler than a unicycle anyway.

    Psychobabble recently posted Welcome to 5am.

  55. Why does he seem to have a breast coming out of his knee?

    (That was all the rage then. All the cool kids carried their breasts on their knees. ~ Jenny)

  56. I found a photo of my great grandmother and her (female) best friend, dressed in mens suits, kissing for the camera. Are we sure the internet didn’t exist in the past?

  57. 58
    Doug in Oakland

    Maybe hipster to the fourth power: That’s no damn unicycle, it’s the great granddaddy of all fixies, and everybody knows that hipsters ride fixies.

  58. 59

    I’m just sitting here laughing and laughing. But not in an ironic way, so , yeah, I know I’m not hip to any degree.

  59. Let me know if you ever want ancestry help. I seem to have a knack for it, misspellings and all. Great pic. That guy is way out of my league, but he could date my daughter.

  60. My daughter has those boots.

    Kathleen recently posted Make Way for Mothers.

  61. I feel like you just win now. Like hipsters lose and you win. They can’t even argue with that evidence.

    kellml289 recently posted What You’ve Missed.

  62. 63
    Jennifer Albinus

    The bike is also known as the “bone shaker” because it was a rough ride. We have some people who will be riding them in our neighborhood in Ohio during our Historic Home tour in a few days.

  63. 64

    There’s a lot of “dead ends” in my ancestry too… Their asses are so, so dead. ;)

  64. That man has just inspired my next Christmas card.

  65. I totally love his vogue pose. Maybe you are related. You vogue, in hot rollers, with a cat on your head. Total Vogue. I got the Madonna song in my head now.

  66. 67

    Google/ the crap out of Portland, OR, Jenny. When you know, you just know…

  67. Never mind the ceramic mug; he’d need a Mason jar w/a Cuppow (a device that some modern-day hipster invented in my city fairly recently to turn Mason jars into travel mugs); then again, considering that I’m seeing plastic Mason jars w/lids & straws for easy drinking in craft stores and Family Dollar, I think it’s safe to say that drinking out of Mason jars is no longer hip…now they’re probably using empty Campbell’s Soup cans w/a plastic can cover (I’m thinking pet food can cover from Petco) that has a hole cut in it for a straw. (Note: if someone actually starts doing that, I’m claiming copyright on the idea, damn it.)

    Anyway, Jenny, he might well be an ancestor, or at least a relation, so you can always say you came by your hipster cred naturally, right? ;-)

  68. haha :) LOVE. Was Hemingway a hipster?

  69. That’s totally a Penny Farthing.

  70. Where did you find the photos? My ancestors were from Bohemia too.

    (I just googled the name of the region and looked through old google images. This one popped up first. ~ Jenny)

  71. OMIGOSH, did we just become best friends (possibly distant relatives)? My family were Bohemian immigrants too! Squee! I knew there was a reason I liked you so much (besides the obvious reasons). We’re totally connected.

  72. 73

    i sort of hate hipsters….. i’m not really sure why. They’re just a bit self-obsessed. This is in the same vein as my dislike of pinterest mums. They might be the next life stage hipsters morph into when they break out of their trendy plaid cocoons. My sister had a baby recently, and her baby shower was like a pinterest explosion– bunting (all in co-ordinating lime-green), old style lolly shop jars, cupcakes and petit-fours on fine bone china, lace everywhere, old books and birdcages on tables… yeah, ugh. (No mason jars, but i don’t think we have those in Australia.) I mean, I love cupcakes. I even love my sister. But….. what’s wrong with the good old days when we just had nerds and goths? Nerds have always been kind of lovable, but hipsters don’t really put out the ‘hug me’ vibe.

    However, your great-great-great whatever does actually look awesome. Largely because he did it first.

  73. please please please dress like him for halloween

  74. Love the lollipop lightsaber.

  75. Jaunty. Now THAT is a good word.

    I’m already figuring out how to slip that into a conversation today.

    You totally got your cool-factor from this dude. Imagine the stories he could tell and that you could write and we could gawk over.

    Jaunty. Yep. Jaunty.

    ASassyRedhead recently posted Mom, I might be sounding all thankful and crap but I still want your gumbo pot..

  76. Jaunty is the PERFECT word! Love the picture:)

    brokenhallelujahbook recently posted Ah, Weekend (with pug:).

  77. Jenny, since your great-great-great-grandfather is the original hipster, can I blame HIM for skinny jeans?

    Shelley J recently posted Noisy neighbors are the poor girl's HBO..

  78. Nothing says douche like a Penny Farthing.

    jaclynschoknecht recently posted Where’s That Damn Noah When You Need Him?.

  79. The only thing missing is Copernicus.

    Cassandra recently posted Sperm Bank Blue Light Special.

  80. He was probably drinking loose leaf tea before tea time too!

  81. Grammar. The difference between Hipster cubed and cubed hipster. Which I must say Mrs. Lawson, how do you know you won’t like it if you won’t try if first? I’m sure if you cooked it thoroughly….delicious.

  82. I love this place! Cool pics, I find I’m not the only one with a wall of ancestors that aren’t really mine, laughs,….gathering at my house. 6:00 p.m. BYOA. (Bring Your Own Absinthe) :-)

  83. I like his stance…it makes me all tingly.

    Michelle recently posted When Your Eyeballs Roll So Hard, You Time Travel.

  84. His stash is a little too small to fully qualify. Needs a full beard!

  85. I’m seeing a little of you in the striking of the pose–the rakish tilt to the hips. No? :)

    candidkay recently posted The perfectly imperfect mother.

  86. His fixed gaze. It’s like he knows something. I’m scared. Somebody hug me.

    That Nerdy Girl recently posted Requiem for The Aftermath.

  87. Wow, a Bohemian Boho. Can it get any hipper? Although I don’t know much about this thing called a “hipster” except what I’ve read, because here in Kathmandu, the hip thing is a t-shirt with the Gangnam Style guy or maybe a shirt that says OOK ME BOOK TV. But maybe Nepal could finally get rich by selling those shirts to Brooklyn to hipsters who could wear them ironically. (Which they are not. We haven’t heard of irony yet.) BTW, Jenny, I found this blog cuz your book got left by someone on a flight to Bahrain, and I picked it out of the seat pocket and then never read it, but my teenager took it to a week’s stay in a Himalayan village with giant spiders because he thought he’d be bored (since he didn’t know yet about the spiders, which kind of made boredom impossible), and he said it was the funniest thing EVER and he completely relates to your dad. He just recommended it to his English teacher. So you may very shortly be on a reading list in Nepal.

    Monsoon Rose recently posted How Nepal Beats America For Women. Really..

  88. OMG Monsoon Rose. Knowing you would be like knowing something about the whole world. You are a totally cool chick.

  89. I feel like this is Jon Hamm doing something ironic.

  90. Why are you putting unsanitary things (of any shape) in your casseroles? Stop it this instant, young lady!

  91. Totally not related to today’s post, but I saw this on FB and thought you’d appreciate it. Happy Mother’s Day!!

  92. I’m pretty sure I can already see the ghost of an iPhone outline in his pocket.

  93. I bet he owned a pitchfork before there was ever a website.

  94. How do you suppose this fipster (first + hipster) actually mounted his mega-trike? Those pants are a strange blend of dad jeans and skinny jeans, and I cannot fathom how the high-waist-y-ness would allow for him to use the trike as intended. Unless maybe he’s just from the patent office?

  95. Awesome! And the bike is called a “penny farthing.” No, really.

  96. I. LOVE. THIS. I just spent a month doing my stuff, and I found some super cool ancestors, (like, hello–Charlemagne and about every single royal line in Europe). But I’m also related to a whole side that is just solid Polish immigrants who refused to die anywhere but in coal mines. I only wish I could find a picture as totally hipster as yours–mine were all of babushkas in mourning clothes, surrounded by a bunch of sad little kids…which are touching but way less hipster-ish.

    I’d frame that baby and give him a name like Grandpa Piotr.

    stef recently posted BUT I DON'T LIKE BLUE...And Other First World Problems.

  97. That’s one funky Czech…
    And one big ass bike…

  98. I love his jaunty pose! I am stealing it for when someone is being an idiot at work. Also, I want those shoes.

    maurnas recently posted Sunrail Curse.

  99. Fun fact I learned while researching my Bohemian family history: the Czech word for rural house is “chalupa” not to be confused with the Taco Bell chalupa.

  100. just commenting to say ive never met anyone else that was Bohemian before. does this count as meeting? im totally counting it. also, “jaunty” is my new favorite word.

  101. Ha ha, thanks 35JupiterDrive. Tell that to my Teenager, though — the one who we take on a day hike and he goes, “Grrr hrmph not ANOTHER Buddhist monastery.” Totally booooring. Jenny’s book passed muster, though, and now it’s great for me, because I can say, “See, we’re doing you a service. We’re providing you with a ludicrous childhood so that someday you too can write a book and get famous.”

  102. Seriously, I am a huge fan of old pictures and I think your next book should be a bunch of old pictures with your comments added to them……HiLaRioUs stuff! Wit in words on Pics. Love it. T:)

  103. Old pictures represent nice memories!

    Necez recently posted Breaking Benjamin – The Diary of Jane.

  104. I think that kind of bike is a ” penny farthing”. It makes Boho Hipster more so. :) Brava!

  105. This is fantastic. My grandfather was czech as well, and also very stylish…..:)

    Karen Westwood recently posted On kid art, sick time, and mother’s day.

  106. I’ll bet he was posing with someone else’s bike just so he could flash that photo and look cool for the ladies.

    Korinthia Klein recently posted No Helmet.

  107. Is that your pocket watch…or are you just glad to see me?

    It’s Littlefinger from GoT. This is just a publicity stunt to up ratings in Bohemia.

    Seriously, we should form a Bohemian Ancestors Club. But there probably already is one. #Boho4Lyfe!!!!

  108. Your site intimidates me.
    You intimidate me
    You write so well
    Often I want to comment, but, what the hell to say?
    No piercing eloquence here.
    Just this:
    You amaze.
    You simply amaze.

  109. Someone said to me “I read your peeing on water buffaloes story…you should read The Bloggess, I think you two would get along.” And if that isn’t a resounding endorsement, I don’t know what is…so I scurried right over. And after thirty seconds perusing here, I have to admit: she gets me…we’d be friends.

    Lisa recently posted I think it was the jackals that pushed me over the edge.

  110. Back then, the hipsters probably called it a “monocycle” :-) But they said it seriously because “that is the way to which they used to be referred” [take a sip of absinthe]

  111. 114
    Kitty Lapin Agile

    I was very brave and did WAY BACK TO MIDDLE SCHOOL GYM CLASS!! the horror! I thought I’d never throwback to there.

  112. It actually has a back wheel so mostly just a bizarre bicycle…but we still have dudes that ride these here in our ‘hood. I think they thing they are giving some sort of important historic nod or something….I just think about how much farther they are from the ground then the rest of us bicycle riders.

  113. wish we had a “like” feature on some of your followers…great responses

  114. It’s a hipster Big Wheel!

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