Thursday, July 29, 2010

Atlantic City 1924

It's always nice when things are dated, and all three of these images are dated, "Aug. 16, 1924." In addition, the one with the adult woman and child is labeled, "Mrs. Kravitz and Albert." Little Albert seems to be wearing a dress of some kind. The one with the girls sitting on the sand, "Gus and Jen Atlantic City." And the two girls standing, "Dot and Jen Atlantic City." Dot and Jen have their initials on their swim suits. Click on Atlantic City in the labels section, to bring up another old boardwalk photo.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Pasadena Portrait

Found in a paper folder, written in light pencil along the right border, "Bennett" along the bottom, "Pasadena." From the twenties.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Los Angeles After the War

I've written enough about my distress when dealers break up photo albums, that I'm happy to finally put up one of the albums I own, complete. It's a small collection. While the album itself has around fifty or so pages, these few pictures were placed on only five of those pages. (The album owner used photo corners. A few of them are missing and have left small, triangular bits of crystallized glue behind, that are not to be found on any of the blank pages, which has led to my conclusion that the owner of this album gave up adding new images.) One of the things I've always found fascinating about old American photographs is the documentation of movement; the movement from one part of the country to another. One of the things my father told me was that the depression and World war 2 were good for the United States because it forced people to uproot and move on from their established lives. My father had to drop out of the tenth grade, he went on the road, worked for both the C.C.C. and the W.P.A. and then ended up spending four years in Europe during, and right after the war. I found this album in Rosamond, California, and at first thought that it must have been owned by one of the families that went to the high desert as support workers for Muroc, latter Edwards Air Force Base, but on closer examination I realized that the ridge line seen in the background runs from just north of downtown Los Angeles to Pasadena. For Anglenos, think Mt. Washington. More than likely, these images were taken in Glassell Park, a real estate development aimed towards defense workers. A lot of those old houses are still there, and with a bit of work, I could probably find this street. Of course, Los Angeles is the city that it is, because of twentieth century population shifts. The depression saw the uprooting of people from the great plains, Texas, Oklahoma, the Ozarks, and lots of them headed for southern and central California. And then the war, and the growth of the defence industry, especially aircraft in the L.A. area, brought even more people west, looking for high paid jobs. Since these photos are held in the album with photo corners and are not glued to the pages, I have been able to, carefully, remove them and then replace them back in the album. A few of the pictures have hand written captions on the back. The first picture of the older man in overalls being embraced by the woman in slacks, "Feb-9-1946 Quite a paunch you have there pop." The younger man and woman wearing a skirt, holding a plant in her hands, "Feb-9-1946. Smile Mac, it's not." The older man in overalls, with his arm on the older woman's shoulder, "The couple." Mac, standing alone, cigarette in hand, "Feb-9-1946 Look at the birdiee please." The two younger women standing side by side, "A Blonde & A Brunette OH OH!" The woman laying on the ground, "Feb-9-1946 Uh Uh! What a form!?" Mac, his arm around the waist of the woman in the cowboy hat and boots, "Hold on tight so IT won't Blow Away. (The hat of course.)" 1946 was a good year. The soldiers were back, the economy was booming, and everyone had a job.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

A White Wedding

I have no idea what the bride wore, but I do have this shot of a wedding guest in his white shoes and suit. The lady he's standing with seems to be a member of the wedding party. Stamped on the back, "ALBERT PHOTO SERVICE Candid Photography 5106 W. 22nd Place-CICERO, ILL. REORDER BY NUMBER."

Friday, July 23, 2010

A Chicago Society Lady

I'm always hoping that someone will leave a comment that reads, "Hey, that's me when I was young, or that's my mother or grandfather." Stamped on the back of this 20's/30's era photo, "CHICAGO TRIBUNE PHOTO." If she's not the grandmother of someone, she might be a Chicago society lady or debutante and recognizable by the blogosphere.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Green Bay Business College- Family and Farm

I'm closing in on the end of the Green Bay Business College collection. To recap, all of these photos came in envelopes addressed to either "Mr. Kenneth Bierke 225 Quinton, Green Bay, Wisconsin," or "Green Bay Business College, 123-S Washington, Green Bay, Wis." There are some really interesting single images in the collection, but as a group, they follow one family from the early twentieth century farm/small town life, through World War 2, and the post war years, through what is probably the Bierke family retirement. I think these images may be from Mrs. Bierke's family. Click on Green Bay in the labels section and pull up the Home front post and you'll see the same lady who is standing on the back of the farm wagon, the first image in this group. Few of these photos are dated or labeled, but there are a few. They three flapper girls, standing on the sidewalk, "Anetta Maichle, Colgate, Wis." The lady with the collie in the paper frame, stamped on the folder, "To Add Beauty and Brilliance insert a piece of cellophane over the picture. GEPPERT STUDIOS, DES MOINES, IOWA." Written in pencil, "Helen A3217, Irene A3509, Marion A3389," then there are two names that have been erased, then "Joe A2617." I'm guessing that those have t0 be early phone numbers. The picture of the little boy standing on the bench is dated, "10-27-44" The family around the Christmas tree, (Note the same lady already noted, though older, sitting in the center of the image.) stamped on the back, "STILLER BLDG., GREEN BAY, WIS." The image of the family, standing beside the tar paper shack, "Mr. & Mrs. Schrader, Mr. and Mrs. Warner, Mr. & Mrs. E. Koepael, Robert Z., Earnest & Mother S., The Wooden Soldier and Ella." The people sitting in front of the log, "Reading from Right to left. My Sis, Feru, Wilfred E., Lee R., Pearl M., Mrs. Ahlgrine, Ora C., Lois C., and Myself. Scene Camp 24."

At The Swimming Hole

In our casual era, it's hard to imagine, but there was a time when ladies dressed to do almost everything. Taking the kids swimming while wearing a dress and heels is not something seen anymore. And of course, it was also common for men to wear ties all of the time, including to factory jobs.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Dancer

Way back when, this young lady would go to her audition, dance away, hand this picture and a resume to the show's producer, and wait for a call-back. I don't recognize her, so she didn't make it in the movies.

What Dealers Do

Because of the damage, I would never have purchased this photo if it had not been part of a collection. This nice 19th century portrait was pulled out of a photo album. The glue and bits of black paper on the back is a dead give away. I've been known to complain about dealers breaking up collections and destroying the context of the photos. What might be a nice image, becomes an historically interesting photo when left with the other pictures in the collection. And, of course, a lot of photos get damaged when the dealer is clumsy when removing photos from albums. Lille could be a name, or it could refer to the city in France. The initials that follow the name are a mystery.

Thursday, July 15, 2010


At first, I thought this was a picture of barbers, but then I saw one of those very old fashioned reflectors that doctors used to wear on their heads, in the hand of the man in the center of the front row. The woman isn't wearing a nurses uniform, but a smock, just like everyone else. This is a pretty old picture, from the twenties or thirties would be my guess, so if she is a doctor, she was a very rare example of a woman doctor from that era.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Rainbow Girls

This was purchased with a group of other, better, totally unrelated images. The throw-ins of my collection sometimes remind me of things long past, and while I still don't find this to be a strong photograph, or historically interesting, it does remind me of the two years that my sister was a Rainbow Girl. Every week, she and her friends, got dressed up in their formals and went to the "secret" meeting. I don't know anything about this image, other than it appears to be from the mid fifties to mid-sixties; I don't know if these young ladies are Rainbow Girls, debutantes, or whatever. The one in the glasses has an I'm in charge, and you better get used to it air about her. So did my sister.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Flagler Garden, Miami

Yet another entry in my growing collection of nightclub, souvenir photo folders. (Click on night clubs in the labels section to bring the others up.) Sometimes I can find a lot of information about these old nightclubs, that once catered to an America that liked to go out, listen to big band music, jazz, and to dance the night away. On Flagler Garden, not so much. After entering every combination of words I could think of into the search engine, I came up with just two references. Flagler Garden Apartments, which may or may not have been built at the same location as the club, and a brief reference on a site devoted to defunct ball rooms. They were defining ball rooms as anything from a small club with a 10 x 10 dance floor to the massive halls with space for hundreds of dancers. As far as the photograph goes, it wasn't fixed or washed well. I spent years in photo labs, I notice these things. An interesting contrasts between the two ladies. The blond seems alert and ready for a much longer night. The brunette (Or redhead?) looks like she's ready for bed. The two soldiers and the hairdos put this image in the early to mid forties, probably World War 2. No dates or names were written anywhere on the cover, and there is no address for ordering more photos.