Pinterest grabbed my attention in late 2011. I started a couple of boards, but was uncomfortable with the terms of service contract and worried constantly that I'd unknowingly pin a photo that would bring the copyright police to my door. The stress was too much, so I deleted all my pins and shut down my account.
Luckily, Pinterest changed their terms of service in March 2012 and I felt comfortable enough to dive back in and pin to my heart's content. First I created boards for the 1920s and 1930s, pinning photos of things that might have populated my parents' childhoods and days of youth. My dad liked toy trucks and gangster movies so I cruised the web looking for things he might have seen. I did the same for my mom.
Then I skipped ahead in time and started pinning things from my own childhood in the 1960s. Amazingly, I found photos of nearly everything I remembered from my mom's kitchen—from her pots and pans to her orange Melmac dishes. I found photos of our old toaster, TV trays and spice rack. Well, not "ours" exactly, but ones just like ours that showed up on etsy or eBay.
I now have a board for every decade from the '20s to the '80s. I add things when I can—sometimes a few minutes at a time and sometimes a few hours at a time. (Yikes!) Pinterest has become a memory vault for me and when I'm writing about my own history or my family history, my pins allow me to immerse myself into a different time and place and gain access to details I wouldn't have without them.
Everyone seems to use Pinterest in a slightly different way. Last October, Valerie Elkins wrote a great post on using Pinterest for family history. I love getting ideas from other pinners. Here's a small sampling of my favorite genealogy and family history pinners:
USC Digital Library
Corn and Cotton Genealogy
Treasure Chest of Memories
Family Tree Magazine
And if you're curious, you're welcome to check out my own decade boards, display your family history board, story quotes board and films about life stories, family history and aging board.