Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Army Hospital Album 36

Written on the back of the top photo, "ED Murphy, May 63."  The second, "Joan Davidson Age 18, Dec 62."  The third, "Joan Murphy Age-18, May 63."  The last, ED & Joan Murphy, Live at = Apple Tr Courts, Aug 63."

Ah, the mysteries of today's post.  Go back to the actual hospital pictures, and you'll see a younger version of Ed Murphy.  The first thought is that this might be his album, but then why would he have to label his own photo, and why would he need to write down his address?  So, reunion of patients from the hospital?  Could be.

Click on army hospital collection in labels, etc.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The Army Hospital Album 35

Yes, she is sucking her thumb.

Written on the back of the top photo, "She's been doing it all he life, Connie"  And yes, he is how it's written. The two cake photos both have the same inscription, "Juniors: ED Murphy's BirthDay Cake Dec 62"  I've gone through so many photos that weren't labeled in any way, and now that I'm getting near the end, so much information.  It's nice to have, but I'd much rather have had info from the actual hospital photos.

Click on army hospital collection to see the whole collection.

Monday, April 28, 2014

The Army Hospital Album 34

It's time to start the final push on the Army Hospital Album.  Over the next three to five days I should be finishing this collection off.  The top photo is labeled, "John Cain 1962" The bottom, "Mike Cain 1962"  It looks like our army patient has not only returned to civilian life, but started a family.  Is the lady in the middle his wife?  Written on the back, "Virginia Cow Girl I Love You!!"  So yes, I think she must be.  The photos in the last post were all dated 1956.  Makes me wonder what happened in that gap.

As usual, click on army hospital collection in labels to see the lot.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Bad Job

Bad enough that someone paid for this, the also had it framed.  I wonder if Mr. and Mrs Ashton thought it looked like an oil painting?

Saturday, April 26, 2014


Remember Michael Jackson?  No, not that Michael Jackson.  Michael Jackson the liberal, radio talk show host who spent years on KABC radio in Los Angeles.  Anyway, Jackson would often say that the art of talk radio was to sound unnaturally natural.  Well, that's the aim of hand tinted photographs.  On one hand, the only people who have skin tones like the lady above are in caskets.  On the other, this is one of the better tint jobs I've seen, and I'm sure that the lady was well pleased with the final result.

Stamped on the back, "When ordering ADDITIONAL PHOTOGRAPHS please give the number appearing on this photograph. PHOTOGRAPH STUDIO AUERBACH'S SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH."  I did a little digging.  Auerbach's was a department store, no longer in business, at the corner of State St. and 300 South in Salt Lake City.  I found a store directory from the 1950s.  A photo studio wasn't listed, but the camera department was on the street floor.  When I was growing up, every Sears and J.C. Penny had a photo studio.  No appointment necessary, just drop in with the kids while shopping for school clothes.  Do department stores still have portrait photographers on staff?

Back to Michael Jackson.  When the other Michael died, access to his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame was blocked  by a movie premier, so the fans left their tributes at the star of the still living talk show host.  

Friday, April 25, 2014

Farm Kids

And the one room schoolhouse to the right.  From the 1920s, going by the haircuts on the little girls.  Stamped on the back, "SUPERIOR Photo Service, Waterloo, Iowa."

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

How Not To Take A Picture

A young man is receiving some sort of prize.  That prize obscures the bottom half of his face.  The presenter has his face turned away from the camera.  The announcer's face is blocked by the microphone.  At least we can see the trombone players.  Stamped on the back, "FOTO-DOMES EICHSTATT."  Eichstatt is a town in Bavaria, Germany.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Fence Sitter

I'm more impressed that he got up there in bare feet.  It's real hard to date something like this.  The overalls, the hat, the wooden fence post and fence wire could be from the late nineteenth century to the mid fifties.  Quite a range.  Just going by the printing paper, I'm going to make a very uneducated guess that it's from the twenties to  thirties.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

The Bizarro Family

I'm sorry, but there's something a bit off about this family.  Look at the top photo; the lady holding the teddy bear in an iron grip, the child strangling the cat.  Just a bizarre, American Gothic assemblage.  

Friday, April 18, 2014

Nude Dancers

It's not every day that you run across something like this.  If the photographer was going for porn, he clearly missed the mark.  These three 4x5 transparencies have to be photos of some sort of performance.  But what kind?  Nude ballet, modern dance, Oh! Calcutta?  I once worked with the brother of a woman who was in Oh! Calcutta.  I won't mention her name.  Things that seem reasonable at twenty can be embarrassing at fifty.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

My Alvin

He dreamed of going fast.  Written on the back, "1929, My Alvin, Courts 54TH St. & Hooper."

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Cine Kodak Eight Model 20

I love photographs of people holding cameras, especially when it's a camera in my collection.  The Cine Kodak Eight Model 20 (Mine still works.) is one of the most important mass market movie cameras ever made.  Introduced in 1932, as the great depression took it's toll on Kodak's bottom line, the Model 20 was the first double 8 camera ever made.  (Also know as regular 8 or straight 8.)  Some unknown Kodak engineer came up with a very simple idea.  Take a roll of 16mm movie film, the standard for home movies, double the number of perforations, expose only one half the width of film per pass through the camera, flip the reel over, run it through the camera a second time, exposing the other half of the film.  Four frames where there had been one.  A 25 foot reel of double 8 would have the same run time as a 100 foot reel of 16mm.  After processing, the film had to be slit in half, and the two lengths spliced together, but the greater processing costs were small compared to the savings in film stock.  At a time when the vast majority of Kodak's customers were short of money, the Cine Model 20 kept Kodak in the home movie business.

So, what difference does it make if a double 8 camera still works when the film is no longer made?  Actually, in a way, it still is.  While no surviving film company still manufactures the film, some do make 16mm.  There are companies that still have working 8mm perforating machines.  They buy 16mm, run it through the perforating machines, and new double 8 is made.  In the United States, Dwayne's Photography in Parsons, Kansas.  If interested, go to their website, and place an order.  They'll process it too.  All part of the service.  It's not cheap, but it does keep those of us who love film happy.  And while I haven't bothered to do the research, I'd be surprised if there aren't small operations like Dwayne's still operating in Europe, Asia or South America.

Just looking at this picture, I'm betting that it was taken sometime in the early to mid fifties.  The cars are older than that, but our budding John Ford is pretty young, and he and his friends were probably driving older cars.  Too, take a look at the bottom of the print.  Short shorts, plus the hair cut, and the expanding metal watchband...well, I could be wrong, but taken together, I'm not getting a feel for an earlier time period.

And finally...The serial number on my camera is AK 6181.  That has to be pretty early in the manufacturing run.  Perhaps, 1932.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Is it summer yet?

Contrary to popular belief, Los Angeles does have seasons.  Or at least we used to.  Today's temps may only be in the seventies, but it's gotten to the point where we hit the nineties  every month of the year.  I know  climate change deniers will point out that there are record highs approaching 100 for mid December, and every other month, but those past days were anomalies.  Now, high temps and rainless winters are becoming the new norm.  Good for those of us who like to get out and enjoy the outdoors.  That is until we run out of water from ongoing drought.

As far as the location of these two photos.  There aren't many cities in the United States where the hotels go right down to the beach.  The two that came to mind were Miami and Honolulu.  I went on line and searched images of Miami and Honolulu in the 1950s, but couldn't find a match for the hotel in the background, that I was sure of, from either city.   I did notice that Honolulu had more palm trees, wider beaches, and hotels with fewer floors.  So, unless corrected, I'm going with Hawaii.  That's going on the assumption that these pictures were taken in the United States.  Could be Mexico or the French Riviera for all I know.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Are these the same kid?

Anyone who has followed The New Found Photography knows there aren't a lot of baby photos to be seen.  I know some people think pictures of babies are just soooo cute.  Not me.  I think baby photos are just plain boring.

These two cabinet cards go back to my early days of collecting when I cared more about age than the image itself.  Too, I'm from Apollo, have been to Altoona, and I'm sure that attracted me as well. And to go with a more modern usage, how often do you see a re-purposed cabinet card?  Mr. Schreckengost may not have been much of an artist/photographer, but he certainly was frugal.  Why buy card stock with your own logo, when it's just as easy to put a sticker over another photographer's studio mark.  And for the record, I was probably around 14 or 15 when I picked these up.  I just turned 59.

So why do I think this might be the same kid?  Written on the back of the second photo, "Marie Carskaddan, Apollo, 13 months-Dec. 1895."  Anyway, they look like the same kid to me.

 I haven't found anything, on line, about A.S. Wolfe, Schreckengost, or Howard, though, when I was in grade school, I got beat up, a lot, by a classmate named Schreckengost.  Bobby, I think, but don't quote me on that.  Nothing on little Marie, either.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014


Another cabinet card with nothing on the card worth scanning.  In this case, very faded gold lettering, rather plain, on a dark green card.  So difficult to see that I needed my best magnifying glass to read "Kochler COALPORT"  I couldn't find any info on Mr. (or Miss?) Kochler.  And as far as the subject of the photo, well we know he liked a spiffy tie.

Coalport is a very small town in Clearfield County, Pennsylvania.  It was first settled in 1876 and incorporated in 1883.  The 1930 census showed Coalport at it's grandest, 1,222 people.  Today, not so much.  The population was down to 523 in 2010, a slight up tick from 2000 when 490 people called Coalport home.  

I grew up in western Pennsylvania, not far from Coalport, though I have no memory of ever having been there.  I suspect it's just another dying town in the coal fields.  I'd be surprised if it survives another fifty years.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Mr. Mudge

No, I have no idea what this gentleman's name was.  This portrait is mounted on a card, but the only information "M M Mudge CHATTANOOGA"  is embossed and doesn't scan well, so I just cropped it all out.  I couldn't find any biographical information about Mr. Mudge, but I did find an article he wrote in a nineteenth century magazine.  In Photographic Mosaics he stresses the importance of printer's ink over gallery displays in advertising the photographer's business.  Nice tie and mustache.

Friday, April 4, 2014

In Old Egypt

This one's a real photo postcard.  The back has a standard Kodak manufactured K Ltd. stamp block, with no other identifying marks that would, more often than not, be present on a card published for mass sale.  So I'm fairly confident that this card was printed up for one of the people in the photo.  But which one, and why were they in Egypt?  Standard issue tourists, seeing the wonders of the world?  Or were they part of the American religious community that has always headed to the middle east to see sights from the Bible?  I found this one in an antique store that I visit from time to time.  If I get lucky, I'll find another one of these cards with something written on the back.  If these people are all headed off to the casinos of Monte Carlo or a French bar, we'll know they were out for a good time.  But if Egypt was followed by Bethlehem and Jerusalem, then we have a church group.  I'd prefer it if these people were tourists out to have a good time, but my gut tells me, church people.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Weird Bats and the Opening Day Petition

I don't know all the details, and it's too late at night, and I'm too lazy to start doing research.  There is a website, set up by the White House, that allows citizens to set up petitions.  If a petition gets enough signatures, the White House will do an assessment of the idea.  One of those petitions: Make opening day of the baseball season a national holiday.

I've got one question....Which opening day?  The one two weeks ago when the Los Angeles Dodgers played the Arizona Diamondbacks in Australia?  Sunday's limited schedule? Monday's full schedule?  I'm about to do something I've always said I'd never do.  I'm going to play the "When I was a kid" card.  When I was a kid, there was only one opening day.  It was a Tuesday; the Cincinnati Reds, the oldest team in the majors, hosted; it was the only game scheduled.  Now that's an opening day!  And those are the weirdest baseball bats I've ever seen.

 I've been predicting a Pittsburgh Pirate World Series victory for twenty years.  You read it here first, this season, a Pirate title.