Ma and Pa Ingalls Weren’t Always in Technicolor

I grew up reading the Little House on the Prairie books by Laura Ingalls Wilder, and watching the tv show. Today I came across a picture of the real Charles and Caroline Ingalls, and it’s a bit of a shock when you’re used to the 1970s/80s glossier version of Ma and Pa.

The PDA is pretty unusual for the time. Charles’ arm is around his wife and they’re holding hands. It’s very sweet!

I was curious to see what the real Nellie Olson looked like but it turns out that she was a composite of three girls that Laura knew. It’s a little disappointing, but it also makes sense. Nellie Olson wasn’t a child; she was a legend.

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