Saturday, December 31, 2011

Getting Tight

When these photos were taken, one didn't get bombed, fried, wasted or hammered. One got tight. What is the power of language? If drinking is about getting tight, does that imply a level of self control no matter how much is alcohol is consumed? When one gets wasted, does that imply drinking to insensibility? Stamped on the back, "VOC PHOTO SCHOOL" I assume that VOC means vocational.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Original Romanos Truppe

I think I'm going to pass on my usual habit of typing out every single word on the back of a photo with this image. The circus is identified as "Original Romanos Truppe" followed by an address for their next performance. Too, "Mme. Lydia Ritzen," followed by an address, and a telephone number for Hamburg, Germany. She is listed as "agentur." My German is pretty limited, but even I know that means she's the agent. Some German words are just too long, my excuse for laziness.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Worrisome Child

Pa, Ma, the sensible daughter, and the one who caused trouble. But did she have fun?

The Last Fair Use Alert

This is it. The last time I'll post about Fair Use,, my new blog where I publish non photographic images from my collection as well as things of interest I've found on line. After this, people will have to find it on there own.

Once again, I've put up three images, my self imposed weekly limit. A bookplate by German artist Michel Fingesten. He's not very well know, but in my opinion, worth a look. A book by Richard Halliburton, once a best selling author of travel books, now almost out of print. And finally a still from a German silent movie starring Marlene Dietrich. When I was in high school our library had an encyclopedia that listed T.S. Elliot, born in the United States but a naturalised British citizen as a British author. The same encyclopedia listed W. H. Auden, born in England but a naturalised American as a British author. I always wondered about that. Anyway, Dietrich became an American citizen in 1939, so that's how I identified her.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Doris McClelland, 1946

It's a good thing it's another full year to Christmas, because this is it, the last of my holiday themed photos. Written on the back, "Doris McClelland age 16, 1946, 506 Bank, St." Standing beside Max's Grocery, shopping for a Christmas tree. Doris if you're still alive, 81 years old, do you remember Max's, or has it all faded?

Friday, December 23, 2011

The German American Collection, The Ones With the Children

Click on German American in the labels section to bring up the rest of the lot and save me from doing another explanation of the group. Only one print is labeled, the last one in the column. "Can you believe it?" Can you believe what?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

New Toys

Same publisher as yesterday's post but not so sad and pathetic. Close, but not quite. I'll give this image one bit of praise, I was born about fifity or so years after this photo was taken, (I'm guessing it was taken about 1900 to 1910 going by yesterday's image), and when I was a kid, I would have loved to play with the toy streetcar.

Fair Use Alert

This week's Fair Use posts are up. A portrait of actress and show girl Olive Thomas. Commissioned by producer Flo Ziegfeld after her death in 1920, it shows Olive as he remembered her. Olive Thomas was born into poverty in Charleroi, PA, she ended up in New York as one of Ziegfeld's show girls, and possibly a mistress as well. Eventually she moved on to Hollywood, became quite successful in silent movies and then died young of an accidental poisoning. Also Tenzing Norgay on Mt. Everest, one of the first two men to summit. Edmund Hillary has always been given credit as the first man on top, but both Hillary and Tenzing always said that they did it together and declined to name the actual first. And finally a bit of mid (20th) century modernist architecture. The promise of which, high quality homes made form prefabricated parts, sold for affordable prices, was never realized.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Under the Mistletoe

I don't have many Christmas themed images in my collection and this one is just sad and pathetic. Titled Under the Mistletoe, it could just as easily by Valentine's Day or Violating the Maid. It's no wonder that the publisher didn't put his mark on the card.

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Football Banquet

The high school season is over, the bowl season is just getting under way, and the pros are closing out the season. Take a look at the decorations. These five ladies are standing in front of a stage with a football themed graphic. Before school boy sports gained it's cult like status; before parents hired personal coaches to prepare their children for college and, with a bit of luck, a pro sports career, they would get all dressed up, and hold a pot luck diner at the local VFW hall and pledge money for uniforms, balls, and maybe a couple of new pieces of training equipment.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Nurses In Action

Take a close look at the woman on the right. It took my best magnifying glass to make out the Caduceus and words, "National Nurses" behind her. But National Nurses what? I typed National Nurses A.U. into Google and up came articles about nursing in Australia. Not very helpful. My best guess would be Ambulance Unit, and while that's just a guess, it's one that makes sense. Nurses have always been on the front lines of wars and national disasters. In many cases beating doctors into the fray. Today, nurses are at the forefront for patient's rights and leading the fight for national health care. Perhaps we need a Nurse General rather than a Surgeon General.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Up On the Roof

The roof is a place to escape the mundane aspects of our lives. This picture has been cut form a larger print. Written on the back, "...ent it...on't lose this...f you have one...March 21-3-3..." And of course, those little dots represent the parts of the message that have either been torn off or cut off.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Epworth League Album 37, The End

Another low level, staring off into space, precursor of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, photo. Not the image I would have chosen to end this album, but appropriate, nevertheless. There is no excuse now. Time to click on Epworth League in the labels section to view the entire collection, in order.

Fair Use Notice

This week's posts for Fair Use,, my new blog of non photographic bits and pieces form my collection as well as things I've found online that I find fascinating, are up and ready to view. There is a photograph of white,emancipated slaves. For those who don't get the significance of that, I'd suggest reading Puddin' Head Wilson by Mark Twain. A depression era painting from Los Angles, and my first repeat, a second painting form German artist, Max Beckmann. Click on his name in the labels section, and they can be seen together.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Epworth League Album 35, What A Tree

Two more pages, two more single photos, two more to go and then it's bye bye to the Epworth League. I'll bet both of these images got sent back home. Yes Virginia, we do have really, really tall palm trees, and cactus gardens too. Of course, Iowa has the Mississippi River and L. A.'s river is just a tiny little thing. Can't have everything.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Epworth League Album 34, To The Parapets

I don't know if the same person took all the photos in this album, but I do know that this last batch of photos all have a similar style. Low angles, somewhat off compositions, and that whole thing were some of the subjects look at the camera while others stare off into space. This buildings look like it's made of stone, increasing the chances that it's still standing. I don't recognize it, but if anyone out there does, please leave a comment.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Epworth League Album 33, The Final Push

It's time to finish up the Epworth League photo album. I'm not quite sure how I'm going to break down the last few pages, but it won't be more than four more posts, maybe three. I just don't know yet. Hey, does anyone out there recognize the train station in the first photo? It's killing me because I'm certain I've seen a similar photo of an old station, located somewhere in southern California. Why didn't the owner of this album use captions?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Fair Use

I'm only going to put up notices about until the end of the year. After that, you're on your own. This weeks posts include a bit of classic American industrial design (A camera, no surprise there.), a fashion photo from the 1950s and a novelty postcard from my own collection.

American Surrealism

I can't imagine that either the photographer or printer intended that these photos should look like this. But if they did, all I can say is bravo! These two photographic misadventures are fascinating images.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Shadows and Suits

When I was in college, I wanted access to the university darkrooms. To get that access, I was required to take an introduction to photography course. My teacher stressed that anyone who took a picture with the sun behind them, flunked. I rather like it when the photographer's shadow stretches into the frame.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Earl Darling, Number 2796

Just think. Before modern computers, digital finger print analysis, and the whole lot of modern crime fighting tools, this is how we looked for criminals. A postcard sized mugshot would be sent to local police departments on the off chance that someone would recognize Darling, Earl, escapee from the state pen. I'll bet this guy got picked up at least once on a vagrancy charge and was released before anyone at the local jail had seen this card.

Friday, December 2, 2011

David Cooper, Number 4483

Call me a bleeding heart liberal, but I hope that David Cooper got away. With luck, he found a nice, secure place to hole up, a way to make an honest buck, and some friends to fill his life.