Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Reminder

Just a heads up on the new blog. Since will be limited to no more than three posts, and often less, per week, and since I'm going to put the weeks worth up all at once, I thought I'd put reminders up here for the first month or so when something new gets posted. It's that time of the week right now.
Too, I don't know why, but Blogger won't let me post comments anymore. What's strange is that others can post comments on any of my blogs while I'm blocked. This is a reply to "Barbiedoll" who left a question on one of my John E. Reed posts. If you see this, I'm sorry but I can't help with your search. I have no connection to the Reed collection. I'm just a collector of old photos. If you feel comfortable doing so, feel free to leave contact information as an additional comment and ask for help. Who knows what information people might have.

The Epworth League Album 32, It Does Rain in Southern California

This is another of my favorite photographs from this album. The first big real estate developers in southern California advertised all over the United States trying to induce people to leave places like Iowa and Pennsylvania and come west. One of the biggest draws was that it was always sunny in the Los Angles area. No snow, hurricanes, and flood causing rains. The reality is that it does rain in southern Cal and before the Army Corp. of Engineers lined the Los Angeles River in concrete, it also flooded fairly often. No matter how optimistic someone is, doubts will arise. Were these two people wondering just what did they get themselves into? As the saying goes, into every life some rain must fall.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Epworth League Album 31, An Epworthian Cross

In my small research into the Epworth League, I discovered a number of cultural references to the organization. From Sherwood Anderson to Ernest Hemingway and even in The Music Man, the League has been painted as a home for middle American dullness. Was this an Epworthian idea of good times? Hiking in the mountains to be photographed next to a cross? I'm a life long atheist, the only one in my family. My mother wasn't much of a church goer, just Easter and Christmas, but she did try and make me over into a believer. She wanted me to follow in my sister's footsteps and spend at least one summer at Jumonville, a Methodist church camp in western Pennsylvania. I'm happy to report that I wriggled out of that one, but I can remember the trips to pick up my sister, with all the campers hiking up to a sixty foot, mountaintop, steel cross. Lots of singing of hymns and holding hands.

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Epworth League Album 30, Wild Creativity

It's my own personal prejudice (with nothing to back it up) that women are far more likely to compile photo albums then men. But who was the photographer? The lady who took the time to choose and then glue in the photos, or someone else? This album has a lot of rather ordinary, just stand there and look at the camera pictures, and also, photos like these. It's not just the way she tore the borders. Who ever took these had a taste for low angles, poses of people looking off who knows where, odd groupings. Click on Epworth League in the labels section, bring up everything and you'll find more than a few interesting choices made by the photographer. I would love to see a lot more from who ever it was that took these pictures. I wonder if the two guys in the cactus garden were getting impatient. "Come on, just take the damn picture." "No, I want to get it just right. And please, tilt that hat just a bit more to the left."

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Epworth League Album 29, A Very Different L.A.

Hard to believe, but that beautiful rural land behind these four people is now covered in houses, schools and shopping centers. I recognize the ridge line as the San Gabriel Mountains, and while I can't be sure of the exact location, I'm pretty sure that the camera is pointed west, looking down the length of the San Gabriel Valley. That would mean Pasadena, Santa Anita and beyond. They look very confident in the future, don't they?

Friday, November 25, 2011

The Epworth League Album 28, Another Parade Picture

This is what I don't get. Sons of veterans? Why not actual veterans? Let's say this album was compiled in 1910, give or take a year or two. The Civil War would have ended about 45 years earlier. There would have been plenty of Civil War veterans still around. The Spanish American war would have been over for about a decade.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Big Announcement!

Well, not that big. I've pushed a bit beyond my all photos or photo based images rule for The New Found Photography a few times. Ephemera that was part of a bigger collection, hand tinted postcards, and I've thrown out doubts on things that look like photos but could have been illustrations. Should I just expand things and start adding non photo postcards, and commercial illustration? It's not like I can start another blog with what little I've got in my collection. There just isn't enough stuff to make it viable.

But I do have another collection that might fit the bill. A digital collection. One of the things about being underemployed is that I've got lots of time to surf the web, and when I find something that I like, it's right click save, and another few bytes of storage space on the hard drive. So that's it. Another blog that combines stuff sitting in my apartment and stuff I've found on line.

So what sort of imagery can be found at ? Well, my interests run from demolition derby to German expressionism; Silent moves, to fifties sci-fi, to Stan Brakhage; vintage watches, travel trailers, ocean liners, and cameras. Lots of stuff. And because I'm a history buff, I've also saved a few pretty repulsive images as well, and since I think it's better to look, rather than look away, well, be forewarned.

I've started with ten images. Unlike The New Found Photography, I'm not going to add any commentary. As Joe Friday used to say, "Just the facts, Ma'am." I'm also going to limit the number of posts I put up. I'll try and do at least one a week, but no more than three. And why Fair Use? Well, it's only a matter of time before I violate a copyright. With luck the fair use principal will shield me from law suits. And if not, so sue me. I'm broke so you won't get anything anyway. And did I mention that it would be nice if I'm not just doing this for my own amusement. Once again, it's

Running In the Snow

I think it's the same little girl. In any case I found them together. Judging by the cars it looks like these are from the mid to late thirties. It makes one wonder how this girl and her family did during the depression. A lot of people ended up loosing everything in that decade, but many others survived with their lives barely changed. And after those years, a world war. Perhaps her father or an older brother fought, and perhaps died.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Lady Hobos

Yes, I know. They're not actually hobos. The Erie Railroad was chartered in 1832 as the New York & Erie Railroad to build a line from New York City to Dunkirk, NY, on Lake Erie. Construction began in 1836 and finally reached Lake Erie in 1851. The line would change it's name to the New York, Erie and Western Railroad as it built lines that would eventually reach as far west as Chicago. In 1895 it, once again, was renamed as the Lake Erie Railroad. In 1960 it merged with the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad and became the Erie & Lackawanna Railroad. So we can know that this picture was taken after 1895. Hey, it's something. More info can be found on the often unreliable Wikipedia.

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Golden Gate Casino

I take a look at a half dozen or so other blogs on a fairly regular basis. A week or so ago, in the comments section of one of those blogs, the question was asked, "What do people see in Vegas?" Since I was blocked from weighing in with my own comment, I thought I'd answer that question here.

We go to Vegas to sin in safety. There aren't many communities in the United States were you can't find a card game, and if you get mixed up with the wrong people, get in trouble. Unable to pay off a bet in some back room and you might get your knee caps broken. In Las Vegas, you buy chips up front, either in cash or on a credit card, and that's it. If you can't pay Visa, you might get sued and your spouse may kick you out of the house, but you won't see the inside of a hospital room. Want to get drunk? In Las Vegas, the helpful casino staff will help you back to your room and clean up the mess. And as long as you don't get violent or try and drive, the LVPD are more likely to call you a cab than take you to the drunk tank. Want to get laid? Well, there are plenty of other people looking for a hook-up wandering the casino floor, and if that doesn't work, prostitution is against the law in Clark County, but out call services are common and as long as she (or he) doesn't stay past check-out, it will be over looked. Still worried about breaking the law? Well there's always the shuttle to Nye County and a legal bordello. And if you should run into a friend, family member, boss or employee, they're probably doing the same thing you are. We go to Las Vegas because it's the Disneyland of mischief.

This postcard was mailed from Canoga Park, California on April 5, 1967. It was addressed to Mr. Loppy Clark, Rich Hill, MO, 64799. And the message, "Hi, I'm Broke. Will be home in a few days. Marion."

The Epworth League Album 27, Our New Home

This is one of my favorite photographs in this album and the reason I'm convinced that it isn't a collection about a trip to California, but about a new home on the west coast. There aren't many of these houses left, built before World War 1, and part of one of the first big building booms in the Los Angeles area, but some survive and if this one does, I'd love to find it.

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Epworth League Album 26, Finally The Epworth League

I was intrigued by this album because it seems to show the migration of one family from the mid-west to southern California at a time in history when the Los Angeles area was going through one of it's first major expansions. I was also irritated by it because there is not a single caption of any kind. Well, this image is as close as I'll get to an actual written clue. The badge on the front of the car is the logo of The Epworth League. The league was founded in Cleveland, Ohio in 1889 as an organization within the Methodist Church for members from ages 18 to 35 in order to promote "intelligent and vital piety among the young people of the church." The league is named for Epworth, England, home town of John Wesley, founder of the Methodist Church. But was the owner of this album an Epworthian, (Epworthite? Epworther?) or did they just think it was nice looking float at the Rose Parade.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Before Taking

So what were they taking on Dec. 1st, 1905? I'm assuming that we are looking at five couples, (I've spotted one wedding ring.) who are about to go off on some sort of adventure. Perhaps a trip to a far off city or maybe even Europe. Perhaps they're missionaries headed off to the far east. Maybe it's a trip to one of the health resorts that were quite popular in that era. Maybe they are college students about to take winter finals. Maybe something very simple like a sleigh ride. So many choices, so few clues. Just the way I like it.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The German American Collection, Winter Transportation

Written on the back of the car photograph, "A Bent Fender Feb. 7, 1939." I guess that's why they need the horses.

The German American Collection, A Couple of Older Ones

I started this blog to impose a certain amount of organization on a growing collection. In the past couple of months I've made my bank roll even smaller with the purchase of archival storage materials. One of the first acid free boxes I purchased was for the German-American collection, and because it has been out of sight it's also been a bit out of mind. So, it's time to put up a few more posts. To recap, a dealer had purchased an estate, sold some of the photos separately, then broke up what was left into several lots and put them up for sale on line. I got one of the lots and because it's so broken up, I'm putting them up in a catch as can manner. When I get to it, I get to it. And remember, click on German-American in the labels section to bring up the whole lot.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Have I Got A Broom For You!

"No. 544 Slimline Broom. Designed for a lady by Stanley Home Products, Inc. A new experience in sweeping. Balance and lightness makes sweeping almost effortless. Complete with handle." Who would sell a broom without a handle?

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Epworth League Album 25, The Classic See My Dress Pose

Obviously, it's the second photo on the first album page which is the classic "see my dress" pose. I've seen it soooo many times. It also looks like someone is walking down the street with a Bible in her hands. Also a classic look. Remember, click on Epworth League in the labels section to bring up everything to date. I promise, we're getting near the end.

Friday, November 11, 2011

The Epworth League Album 24, The Exotic East

Now, when we think of China we think of an economic competitor. When these pictures were taken, China was thought of as the exotic east; jade idols, dragon ladies and opium dens. Who thinks of a little girl and kittens? As valid an image as any.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Epworth League Album 23, Horses In Los Angeles

I've always know that, there was a time, when people got around the Los Angeles area by horse. Still, it's nice to see some photographic proof. Note the palm tree in the background, while the two ladies with suitcases could still be back home in the mid-west.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


Woof, Woof! (It's in stereo.)

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Epworth League Album 22, Kids

This one falls under my no editing of albums rule. The first photograph is faded to the point of being almost unrecognizable and the second isn't much better. Though, the second kid does have a great, look at me, I matter, pose. I'm willing to bet that around about the age of thirty, he ran for office. Local school board, county commissioner, or maybe mayor. Wouldn't it be something if we were looking at a future senator, or maybe even a president. Unlikely?

Saturday, November 5, 2011

The Epworth League Album 21, A Mystery?

If I find an old photo album and an image has been torn out, I think someone along the line wanted a photo from the album, but not the who collection itself, or a dealer found a picture that they thought they could sell for a nice price. This album is so complete though, It makes me wonder if the missing picture had a third person (Take a close look at the bit of remaining photo, and it looks like it could be the same location.) that had a falling out with the owner of this album. "That bastard!" rip and a bad memory is gone.

Friday, November 4, 2011

The Epworth League Album 20

The frustrating thing about this album is that there isn't a single label, a single line of text. The nice thing about this album is that there isn't a single label, a single line of text. With nothing more than my best guess, I think that the photos on the first page are from back home, where ever that might be. The second page, the new life in California. But, were they carried west or were they mailed from parents to their children far away. I think the young lady in the first picture looks a little disappointed that she's not off having an adventure.