Friday, July 31, 2009

Fete Eve, A Lesbian Wedding

France in the twenties? Life without men? This is a great snapshot of a group of women, some dressed as men, at a wedding ceremony.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Photographs By Zoltan S. Farkas, Inc.

Women are far more interesting photographic subjects then men. There aren't many men who can, or would, present such a variety of looks. These photos, probably from the fifties, are credited to Zoltan S. Farkas, almost certainly a commercial photographer doing advertising photos for a department store or fashion house. I couldn't find anything about him on the web.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Nude on a Tractor

OK, I know it's not a tractor, but it's some sort of farm equipment. Part of the fun in collecting old photographs, is trying to figure out context. I can't be sure, but I think this might have been from a camera club outing. I don't know whether they still exist or not, but there was a time when guys got together, formed photography clubs, rented studio space or locations, hired nude models and took pictures.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


I run across these from time to time, small collections of old, unrelated, snapshots put together by a seller. Usually, there are a couple of interesting prints, and a couple of not so interesting ones. This grouping is no exception. The least interesting of the lot is the only one with any written information written on the back. The lady sitting on the porch, probably from the twenties, judging by the cloche hat, "Mrs. Gerrard, 1111 W. Kings Highway, San Antonio, Texas." The photo of the kids in the toy canoe is fun, but it's not something I would have gone out of my way to buy. I also like the women with the string of fish, though again, it's not a must have image. It's the three oldest that are really the ones to have. All three appear to be on the border line of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The three people posing in the corn field, the woman with the great hat, I think, sitting in the prow of a small boat, and the trio with the road sign. When I saw it, I wondered, if automobiles and motorcycles are forbidden, does that mean that horse drawn wagons and bicycles are allowed?

Friday, July 24, 2009

Lubbock, Texas

This is one of the treasures of my collection. This image is a an 8x10 contact print, mounted in a cardboard frame labelled, "Daniel, Lubbock." Daniel is the name of the photographer, not the subject. What a great image from the dust bowl era, made by a professional photographer. I'm taken by the young woman who looks away from the camera. An interesting composition.

Aloha Cafe, Tijuana, Mexico

One of the first things I did when I came west, back in 1980, was to go to Tijuana. There were still old guys with box cameras taking pictures of tourists sitting on donkeys. I've never been able to figure out why the donkeys were painted to look like zebras. Anyway, this picture was in another one of the photo souvenir folders sold by restaurants and bars. There is a date, 1946 in the background of the photo. Printed on the inside front cover, "IF YOU DON'T LIKE THE PICTURE, BLAME THE ASS." On the same page as the photo, "PICTURES BY GAETAN ARE SECOND TO NONE." There is also a spot for autographs and the name of the folder's owner. For other photo souvenir folder posts, go to the archives and go to 7/1/09, and 6/15/09.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Crazy Dancing Teenager From the 1950s

No names, no dates, no nothing! Just a couple of great 8x10's of a crazy, dancing teenager from the 1950's. This young lady is probably still alive. If anyone out there recognizes her, please leave a comment.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Male Bride, Female Groom

When a couple decides to cross dress, and they are not the same size, it's not a spur of the moment lark, it's something planned. This farm couple, way back in the 1920s 0r 30s, at some point, decided to take some wedding photos as the opposite sex. On the horizontal image, it looks like they've got a child joining in on the fun.

The Ladies of Zeta Tau Alpha

The Zeta Tau Alpha sorority was founded on October 15, 1898 at the State Female Normal School in Farmville, VA, now Longwood University. It's motto is "Seek the Noblest." The figures I found were that there are now 240 chapters with 187,000 active members. Famous Zetas include presidential daughters, Susan Ford, and Lynda Johnson, Marine Brigadier General Margaret Brewster, broadcaster Faith Daniels, and actress, dancer Betty Buckley. Written on the back of the photo signed, "Oodles of love, Lois," "Lois Agnes Burger, Light hair, grey eyes, height-almost 5 ft. weight-105 lbs. Freshman at Ohio U. Athens, Ohio. 1020 McCarter Ave., Erie, Pennsylvania." The picture of the man came with the other photos, and even though he's not a sorority sister, I've kept it with the others. Written on the back, "Which one is the dog? Taken in front of our house. October 21, 1934." It's the only date listed on any of the photos, but it's impossible to tell if it was taken when the Zeta photos were taken, or if the house referenced is the sorority house or a private home.

Monday, July 20, 2009

An Androgynous Looking Lady

I'm sure this woman doesn't' look all that androgynous to anyone else but me. When I found this image, I was surprised to see a certain physical resemblance to myself. This woman has the same shaped face, and same forehead, and nose as I do. My jaw line is somewhat more square, but other than that.
This is a real photo postcard. At one time, most labs, and most home darkrooms had printable post cards. Print your own picture, write your own message. Printed on Votghlander paper, so it's probably from Germany.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Girl Friends

I've always thought it both silly and shallow when people try and read sexuality into old photos. Just because two people, whether of the opposite, or same sex, are pictured together it doesn't follow that there is some sort of relationship between the two. With these pictures, however, it's difficult to ignore the obvious affection that these two women have for each other. If it wasn't for all the hand holding, I might have guessed sisters, but all things considered, it's not unreasonable to think of these two ladies as a couple, back when that could get you sent to prison.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Bicycle Touring

These photos have to come from either a commercial studio, perhaps for an advertisement, or a newspaper, maybe a story about a ladies bicycle touring club. Stamped on the back of the photos, "KLOSS PHOTO." Sorry about the weird formatting, but I've tried typing this in five times now, and the web site keeps breaking up words. What a stupid way to run a business.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Keepsake Photographs From World War 2

The seller of these photos told me that her father had been in the U.S. Navy during World War 2, and that these were keepsake photos, given to her father, by girlfriends. It seems that the sellers mother found these after her father's death, and that the mother was really angry that he had kept them. The photograph of the woman with bangs (?), was a rival of the mother, and she tried to rip it up when she found it.

John E. Reed Hollywood Glamour

Young actresses, desperate to make it in the movies, have been commissioning glamour photos, to show how sexy they are to casting directors, since the silent era.
John E. Reed was a Hollywood photographer who specialized in this type of photography. While a fair number of the famous walked through his studio doors, plenty of hopefuls, like this young lady, also had their pictures taken by Reed. It looks like, from the hair styles, that these were taken in the 1940s. The war era, would be my best guess. The last photo of the lot wasn't taken by Reed, but it came with the others, so I've included it. In that image, taken in a night club, the woman looks a little tired, whether from a late night, or a career that wasn't going anywhere...hard to tell.
If anyone out there can identify this woman, please leave a comment.