Thursday, April 30, 2015

Choking Grandpa

Is it just me?   The high collar, the stiff pose, the blank, lifeless stare.  Doesn't Grandpa look as if he's about to keel over?

Written on the back, "Rhoda."  Processing stamp on the back dated "Week Ending Jan. 28 1956."

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

A Concrete House

The idea of a poured, concrete house isn't that far fetched.  Thomas Edison tried marketing them, but it didn't work out.  Anyway, I may be wrong, but the porch, at least, looks like cement.  I love that the kid looks at the camera while the adult looks away.  Click on the image to bring it up in a bigger window, and that small white spot on the bottom becomes a dog.  Dated "1931"

Monday, April 27, 2015

Winter & Summer

From what little can be sen of this woman's face, she doesn't appear to be very attractive.  She must have thought so too,  since she's very adept at hiding her face from the camera.  

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Twin Mysteries

This one's  a what type of boat is this post, and a where is it post.  Is it a fishing boat?  I have my doubts, because the captain is wearing a nice white shirt and a tie. I can't image handling fish all day and being well dressed.  The winch on the back is a sure sign that it's some sort of work boat, but what kind.  And then there are the concrete buildings and the column.  Surely someone out there in the web world has seen a captioned photo of these very distinct structures.  Perhaps they still exist.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Happy Birthday Grandpa

I doubt that's a store bought cake.

Thursday, April 23, 2015


Quite a gathering of car enthusiasts.  When I see these old photos of people and their cars, I always think they must have been the well established middle class of their day.  But, then I remember that the affordable car,  manufactured so that the ordinary working stiff could buy one, transformed American society.  Oh how things have changed.  Today, the new car has been priced beyond the average hourly worker.  I'm 60, and I've never been able to afford a new car, and I doubt I ever will.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Cars in the Woods

Sticking with the auto theme from yesterdays post.  Ever notice how people love to drive into the woods?  Off the road and under a tree.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Mobility Stupidity

There is a stupidity industry in the United States.  Just look at all the movies about dumb guys making fools of themselves.  Usually they're about stoners, money, or some other obvious thing.  My personal stupidity is mobility.  I don't make a lot of money, I've been trying to be responsible sitting around, not dipping into the bank account, but the boredom got to me, the stir craziness set in, and I headed off on the road.  Now, I knew my front tires were shot, but I told myself, they'll last the trip.  They didn't, and I found myself stranded on a back road with a flat tire, and lug nuts so tight I couldn't get the wheel off.  Sleeping out along the road wasn't too bad.  After all that was the plan, just at a different local.  What wasn't the plan was walking out and having to find road service.  To make a long story short, I got lucky and found a guy who provided a length of steal pipe that, once added to the speed wrench,  give me enough torque to get things loose.

I'll bet these three people were so thrilled to be car owners that they did something similar to what I did this weekend.  Given mobility, it's human nature to wonder what's down the road,  and who cares if the tires are bald?  I didn't.

Note the Minnesota licence plate and Chevy logo.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Indiana Harbor Postcard

It's not surprising that photos with a Mexican connection end up in Los Angeles, but Indiana?  It doesn't read on the scan, but there is an embossed studio mark on this postcard.  "ATLAS STUDIO 3517 MAIN ST. INDIANA HARBOR, IND."  Indiana Harbor is a man made harbor and ship's canal on the southern shore of Lake Michigan, near East Chicago Indiana.  My bet is that these three men were members of a ship's crew, traveling through the St. Lawrence Seaway, all the way to Lake Michigan and the Chicago area.  When this photo was taken, Chicago and Gary Indiana were both major industrial centers, receiving raw materials from all over the world, and shipping out finished goods.  What better way to show the folks back home the great adventure of world travel.

Just so you know, mere coincidence yesterdays post from Michigan City and today's from Indiana Harbor, just a few dozen  miles apart.   I've owned this card for a couple of years buying it from a local antique mall.  The Michigan City card came from a lot purchased on eBay, just a few months ago.  Actually, that purchase reminded me that this card had been sitting in my files.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Michigan City Postcard

Wow another bow tie.

 In this case Michigan City refers to Lake Michigan, and Indiana.  Printed on the back, "The Park Studios Michigan City Indiana."  I did try a search, but all Google came up with were ads for studio apartments near the park.  So much for the digital world.

Not a lot to write about Michigan City.  It was incorporated in 1836, so it's been around for awhile.  There was once a Pullman rail car factory in the town.  It's near Indiana Dunes National Lake Shore. It has a lighthouse which is kind of interesting.  And, it's the furthest stop on Chicago's interurban.  Long before interstates, most cities of a certain size had traction companies, and interurbans, light rail that ran well beyond the city limits.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Bow Tie Postcard

I'm starting a very short, three post, sequence of real photo postcards, all studio portraits.  They all have a divided back, one half for address and the other for a message. only available in the United States after 1907.  The suit is a bit big for this gentleman, so he was doing well enough to have some nice clothes, but not well enough that he could afford tailor made.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Four Generations

Written on the back, "Great Gran Ina & Grandpa Forues, Grandma Sinclair, Aunt Ruth & Adelaide Sinclair."  And yes, I did look up the Forues name, and it's the real deal.

Now, my best guess is that this photo was taken at the end of the nineteenth century or the very early years of the twentieth.  That means, the Great Gran Ina, Grandpa Forues, and Grandma Sinclair were alive during the Civil War, and Ina, as a young child, probably listened to stories about the American Revolution from people who were there.  And, young Adelaide probably lived through World War 1, World War 2,  and maybe even Vietnam.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Gems In The 70s I Think

Written on the back, "The Musical Gems in the '70s.  I think Doris!  Muriel Mane 3rd from the left."  I did try and find some info on this image, but struck out.  I ran Muriel Mane on IMDB, but if she made any movies, she was just another uncredited chorus girl.  Gems in the 70s, lets' assume 1870s, didn't bring up any hits either.  I couldn't help but notice that the background scenery has the silhouette of a nude woman, but the women in this photo are, by today's standards, well covered.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

The Broken Snake Handler Photograph

I buy many of the photos in my collection at flea markets and antique malls.  I also buy on EBay.  When I buy online, I often buy collections, an envelope stuffed with old pictures.  As can be imagined, the quality can be uneven.   When I opened up the mail and was going through these images, I was immediately drawn to this picture of a snake handler.  Probably not a religious cultist, but it came from Texas, so it's possible.  As I held it my hands. the card that it was mounted on snapped in half.  Would I have bought it if I had known it's condition?  Probably not, but I'm still glad I have it.  After all, break down the unit price on the lot, and I paid about five cents for it.

Monday, April 6, 2015

The Waterbury Paper Box Co. Wedding Album 14

Near as I can tell, there are only two missing photos from this album.  I've got a few blank pages, but there's no glue residue,or anything else that would indicate that there had been a photo on those ones.  Anyway, the page that this picture is on once had a second image.  Makes me wonder if this woman had her wedding photo placed next to this nice studio portrait.  She looks more like a high school girl than worldly adult.

Click on Waterbury Box Co. Album in labels to see other images from this collection.  It's time to move on to other things for awhile.  Be patient.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

The Waterbury Paper Box Co. Wedding Album 13

Take a close look at the drapery, flowers, and columns in the background.  It's clearly a painted backdrop.  Click on Waterbury Box Co. Album in labels to see more.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

The Waterbury Paper Box Co. Wedding Album 12

I suppose that one of the nice things about doing the albums is that I can really spread out the commentary as well as the pictures.  The wedding photos that dominate this album make me wonder how many people got married in this family at about the same time.  Latter on, we'll get to some more recent images which I think negates the idea of a photographer's sample collection.

Click on Waterbury Box Co. Album in labels to see everything.

Friday, April 3, 2015

The Waterbury Paper Box Co. Wedding Album 11

Once again, it's time to return to the Waterbury album.  If there's only one image per page, that's all I'll post, but if there's more than one, I'll start with the page to show position and then move on to an individual scans.

Click on Waterbury Box Co. Album to see the rest.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Views of the World, Culebra Cut, Panama

Again, Panama?  I'm beginning to think that Views of the World is staying in the Americas and places where the United States were heavily involved.  Be patient.  It will take awhile, but Europe, Asia, and even Africa are ahead.

Anyway, the Culebra Cut really was a big deal when these cards were published.  The Panama Canal was one of the great engineering feats of it's era, and the Culebra Cut, the removal of a mountain, the continental divide of the Panamanian isthmus, was the big challenge of the project.  A French company had tried to cut a sea level canal in the 1880s. but the project was too big for a private concern.  The U.S. government worked on the cut, but with locks, from 1904-1913.  And it wasn't just the engineering.  It was also yellow fever that had to be dealt with.

Click on Views of the World in labels to see other cards in the series.  But, you'll have to wait awhile for a completion of the lot.