Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Monkey Doll

Click on the photo to get a bigger image, and a monkey doll can be seen nestled in the ladies arm. Normally I wouldn't show a printers mark unless it was particularly decorative, but even with my magnifying glass things looked smeared, so I've scanned it in and posted it. From the twenties.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Father and Son

A father and son bonding over a cigarette. I wonder if dad, through ignorance, pushed his son to a lifetime of nicotine addiction, emphysema, heart disease and cancer. Tobacco use in the United states has always been high, but before the first world war, cigarette smoking was a far second to chewing tobacco. During the war, many cigarette companies sent the troops free smokes. Click on the image to blow it up, and what I think is a Pillsbury Flour advertisement can be made out on the barn. Most likely from the twenties.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Rose Parade, January 1, 1926 Part 5

The fifth and final part, and the only one with a picture of the big game. Known as the "game that changed the south" that ushered in the "age of Dixie." Underdog Alabama, 9-0, was the second choice to face the mighty Washington Huskies. Led by star running back, George Wilson, the Huskies ran up 300 yards of total offence when he was on the field. After he left the game with an injury, Washington was limited to 17 yards of offence. Trailing 12-0, Alabama half back, Johnny Mack Brown led Alabama to 20 points in the third quarter. Final score, Alabama 20, Huskies 19. The Crimson Tide was awarded it's first national championship. It was also the first Rose Bowl to be broadcast on radio. While he was in southern California, Johnny Mack Brown signed a contract with MGM. He would appear in "Our Dancing Daughters" the movie that made Joan Crawford a star, and "A Woman of Affairs" with Greta Garbo. Sound was not good to Brown, and he ended up as the star of a series of B westerns.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Fishing in Stereo

No publishers name, no photo credit, no date. Stereoview cards allowed for a simple yet effective 3-D image of the world. A hand colored picture from a black & white original.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Rose Parade, January 1, 1926 Part 4

This is part 4 of 5. This grouping has my second date clue. The photograph with the marching band wearing fezzes, there is another movie theater marquee. This time, Old Clothes, with Jackie Coogan, released November 9, 1925. And, on the guys in the fezzes...are they Shriners?

Friday, September 17, 2010

Glass Negative of a Garment Factory

This is one of my great regrets. When I was working at the photo lab, I could have made a high quality enlargement of this, instead all I ever got around to was this quick and dirty contact print from a beautiful razor sharp 8 x 10 glass negative.

The Fraziers

I've found a number old carte de visites in my boxes, and here are some more. Written in pencil on the back of these CDVs, "Margret Ellen Frazier," and "Uncle Phil Frazier." Stamped on the back of the Margret Ellen portrait, "LAWYER'S GALLERY 21 Fifth Street, Pittsburgh. Duplicates can be had of this for one year No. 8148 SPECIALTY: Pictures enlarged and colored in Oil." Got to be from the Civil War era. My guess is that the woman is holding a book, maybe a Bible.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


When I first saw this photo, I thought the adult was wearing a hood. Then, I took a closer look and saw that it was a double exposure, and the hood was a small child.

The Rose Parade, January 1, 1926 Part 3

This is part three of five. Just for a bit of variety, I'm going to be putting up some other things for a bit, but check back, because the last two parts should be up by the middle of next week. Stamped on the back of each photo in the set, "NEW PHONE VErmont 4184 AEROGRAPH CO. 1763-5 W. Vernon Ave. LOS ANGELES,-CALIF. No_Price_ Mail Orders Receive Prompt Attention." All of the photos had a punched border, and were bound in a plain card folder. I suspect this might have been a salesman's sample book, marketing to people involved in the parade. Note the Angelus Temple banner. The Angelus Temple was the church founded by sister Aimee Semple McPherson, one of the first major radio evangelists in the United States. She had a national, rather than just a local following.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Rose Parade, January 1, 1926 Part 2

This is part two of five. I often date old photos by comparing things like cars, clothing, and hair styles with other pictures that have written dates. This collection was easy to date. Look at the photo with the theater marquee. I needed a magnifying glass to make it out, but the front of the theater advertises "The Live Wire" with Johnny Hines. The live wire was released on September 20, 1925. The theater is the Bard's Egyptian, which opened in 1925. Pasadena's Colorado Blvd., the route of the Rose Parade still has many building from the era. Note the marchers with the Pasadena Humane Society banner.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Rose Parade, January 1, 1926 Part 1

This is the first part of five, showing images from the January 1, 1926 Rose Parade in Pasadena, California. The Rose Parade was first held in 1890. It's original sponsor was Pasadena's Valley Hunt Club. The membership was heavy on cold whether refugees from the east and mid-west, and they wanted to show off their homes and the mild winters of southern California.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Where Is This?

With the Spanish business signs, it could be from Mexico, Cuba, or the Philippines. The sign on the photographers studio is partly in English, so it was probably a city with a lot of American or British visitation. Does the "THE MARINE STUDIO" indicate U.S. Marines or merchant marines were welcome to come in and have a picture taken. Well, if anyone out there can tell me where it was taken, please leave a comment.
Added 9/14/10. In her comment, Christine H. speculates that this could be Panama. What caught her eye was the streetcar tracks. She noted that Panama, and I assume she's referring to the city on the Pacific side of the canal, had single trolley tracks that were removed in 1941. Coincidentally I had come to the same thought, but for far different reasons. This photo was purchased in the United States, and what Spanish speaking country had more American visitation than Panama. The Canal Zone was a defacto American colony that bisected the country. There were American military bases to defend the zone, American technicians to keep the canal running, American business interests dominated the local economy, and even the Panamanian government had large numbers of Americans in administrative positions. Also, a good explanation for the English photo studio sign. With all those Americans wanting photos to send home...And what got me thinking along these lines. A screening of the John Huston/Humphrey Bogart film Across the Pacific, a 1942 film about a Japanese plot to destroy the Panama canal. Christine H's thoughts are a far more valid explanation than my thoughts, but between us, we may have solved the mystery of just where this photo was taken.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Clouds in the Window

I have to wonder whether the cloud reflections in the windows was deliberate, with the photographer standing outside waiting for just the right moment , or was it just an accident. Both photos were printed with the decorative border. Normally I crop out all such borders when scanning in the original, but since the second photo was less interesting, I left it in as an example of a once common practice among commercial photo finishers. Written on the back of the image without the border, "This is Frank's family, all except Frankie, notice the reflection of the rain clouds showing in the room, the sun was out pretty strong in the front of the house, but it rained before the day was over, in fact all of these pictures was taken between down pours, showers, then sunshine." On the print with borders, "This is Franks family in the window, of course you do not want to miss the addition to the family she is some baby."

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Another Carte de Visite

In my last post, I went into the history of the carte de visite, and if interested, scroll back one. No fancy calligraphy on the back, so I won't scan it in, but there is a photographer's mark, LINGO, UNIONTOWN, PENNA." My guess is that these two young boys are either professional entertainers or that they are wearing some sort of ethnic costume.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Carte de Visite, CDV, C.C. Shadle

In the first half of the nineteenth century, it was considered good manners to arrive with a visiting card, made of a heavy stock, with the visitors name printed out in a decorative script. But, that all changed in 1854 when French photographer, Andre Adolphe Disderi patented the carte de visite, an albumen print pasted on a heavy card stock sized to 4.5x6.5 inches. The size was chosen to be that of the visiting card, and it soon became the accepted thing to do to go with a photographic visiting card rather than one with fancy calligraphy. Soon a craze in Europe, by 1860, the first year of the Civil War, it had spread to the United States. With the war and the mass movement of people across the battle field, carte de visites became a way of sending photos home and to receive photos of family and friends in return. Unlike the daguerreotype or the ambrotype, which were printed on glass, the carte de visite could be sent through the mail without danger of breakage. Soon photo studios were selling carte de visites of celebrities. Both Lincoln and prominent actor John Wilkes Booth were big sellers. Since the carte was a standard size, it also became popular as an album photo. Collectors anywhere in the world could put carte de visites of family, friends, and famous in easily purchased albums designed with slots for the carte's standard size. While the carte de visite would remain in use for over two decades, it's popularity would be eclipsed in the early 1870s by the larger cabinet card. Also an albumen print pasted on heavy card stock. These two images are of the same young man, taken at the C. C. Shadle studio in Kittaning, PA.

Betty Jane Easterly

Written on the back, "Betty Jane Easterly." Stamped, "B29." I know that I've written that children are the photo subjects that interest me the least, but the toy car made this one different. Based on the car's style, maybe the late twenties or early thirties. Those square front radiators started to disappear in the thirties. Anyway, the toy cor looks expensive, the house is nice looking, and the bit of the neighbors home that can be seen in the background indicates that these homes were built on fairly large lots. Does that mean that Betty Jane came from a well to do family, or just an indulgent one?

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Gal Pals Along the Road

Two gal pals posing for a photo along a dirt road, very likely from the twenties. Note that the photographers shadow is in the foreground. Too, isn't that a nautical motif in the ladies dresses? Another interesting thing to wonder about. Was this an early example of a road trip with a pair of city couples out for a motor in the country? Or is this a couple of rural gals out for a walk, with their photographer friend? When this photo was taken, the United States was still a country where the majority of people lived in small towns and on farms.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Green Bay Business College- Portraits

Please, please click on Green Bay in the labels section so I don't have to retype all the stuff I've already put up about this collection. In short, I bought a pretty good sized collection of photos that were in some envelopes addressed to Kenneth Bierke of "The Green Bay Business College, 123 S. Washington, Green Bay, Wis." I'm fairly certain that the young guy is Kenneth Bierke himself. Only two more posts in the Green Bay collection, though it could be awhile before I finally finish it up.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Iowa Girls at the Beach

It's always somewhat risky trying to determine personality from a photograph. The tall girl seems like the leader of the group, but she might have that look because she's taller than her friends. The girl to her right, with the sad expression, grasping her friend's arm, is the shy, frightened one, I would think. Stamped on the back, "GEPPERT STUDIOS STAMP OF QUALITY DES MOINES ,IOWA" From the twenties I would think.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Your Niece

A small studio portrait, most likely from the twenties. Written on the back, "Your Niece Mary Allan Age 17."

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Men's Club

I've got lots of photos in folders, but with the exception of the nightclub shots, I rarely publish anything other than the photograph itself. This one's a bit different. There was a fascination with "Orientalism" in the first several decades of the 20th century. The influences of the far east can be seen in the paintings, sculpture, design and architecture of the period. The design of the folder is far more interesting, with it's Chinese pagoda, and vine like frame around the photo, at least to me, than the photograph itself. Having said that, I still like the photo, and even without the paper folder, I would still have wanted to put it in the collection. The man in the glasses is older than the six other men, but he doesn't seem to be old enough to be their father. He may be a college professor with some students, or a clergyman with parishioners. This was the era of the missionary, and I've seen a lot of photos, just like this one, of young men about to go off to convert the non-Christians of the third world, posing with an older, more experienced hand. Or perhaps, the younger men have just joined a fraternal organization like the Elks. A far less interesting supposition, but one more likely.