Wednesday, August 16, 2017
Let's be honest, this is almost certainly a church scene of some kind. When I first looked at it I thought the guy on the right was holding up a bible in front of the old lady. After I scanned it and blew it up, the bible appeared to be either a scroll or a wrapper. And it only looks like it could be a wrapper because there is some sort of metal bowl in front of the lady, and what could be a puff of smoke rising from the bowl. Had the man just emptied some sort of sacred powder into the bowl? What kind of ceremony is this?
Thursday, August 10, 2017
Saturday, August 5, 2017
Written on the back of the second photo, "Detroit River, summer 1938. Momie & Ruth." The third picture, "Detroit River, summer 1938. Ruth & Helen."
The Detroit River connects the not so great Lake Saint Clair, Detroit, and Lake Erie. (The Saint Clair River connects Lake Huron and Lake Saint Clair.) It also separates Detroit and Windsor, Ontario, Canada. In 1938, it was one of the most polluted waterways in North America, so if these three ladies were actually swimming, they risked at least a few weird infections. More likely, they were headed to Lake Erie for a week of sailing.
1938 was near the end of the great depression. In a few years, World War 2 defense spending would make Detroit one of the wealthiest cities in the world. After the war, with no real competition from foreign car makers, Detroit continued getting richer and richer. If this family could afford a sailboat during the depression, they probably were in a position to really cash in during the war and the post war boom.
And yes, who ever wrote the message on the back of the photos did spell it Momie.
Tuesday, August 1, 2017
My mother was English, and she occasionally slipped and referred to laundry detergent as soap chips, and 3.10 has to be three shillings, ten pence. So, this one was taken somewhere in the British Isles. I have a feeling this lad spent his days in front of this store eyeing the passersby.
Friday, July 28, 2017
Of course, there's no way of knowing if this picture was taken at the same time and location as the photos on the other side. Still, Sherry trout fishing near Casper, Wyoming in 1922 is nice to know. Now for an interesting question. Casper, Wyoming was built on the site of Fort Caspar. Who changed the spelling?
The Gang may have been having a good time camping in the Rockies, but it wasn't all fun and games. Take a close look at the second photo, and see that the third man in line is holding a theodolite. These aren't three friends having a back to nature trip, they're surveyors. But what were they surveying? The boundary of a park? How about the boundary of someone's land? A new road into the Rockies? A logging operation or a gold mine? Hopefully these weren't the last people to enjoy this spot before it got fenced off, dug up, or cut down.
Monday, July 24, 2017
Sometime during the wee hours of this morning, The New Found Photography went over 200,000 unique page views. These three photographs started things off. I found the original glass negatives at an antique store in Washington state. The seller had picked up hundreds of negatives from an estate sale in Montana, and decided to sell them off individually. By the time I found these, the collection had been pretty much picked over. I think it's the dream of every photo collector to find a secret cache of photos from an unknown, yet talented photographer. Sadly, with this lot broken up, and sold off, we'll never know what the complete archive had to offer.
Oh, and I hand printed them back when I was still working in a photo lab.