Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Views of the World, Colon, Panama

Was this the view from the boat?  Colon, Panama was founded in 1850, by Americans building the Panama Railroad, the precursor to the Panama Canal.  It was a pretty simple idea actually, if you wanted to get to San Francisco and the gold fields, didn't want to go cross country, or around the horn, you got off the boat in Panama, went across the isthmus and caught another boat for S.F.  The American builders called the new community Aspinwal, after American businessman William Henry Aspinwal.  The local workers preferred Colon, after Christopher Columbus, Colon in Spanish.  Originally the town was on Manzanillo Island, completely surrounded by Manzanillo Bay, Limon Bay, and the Folks River.  Since the return of the Panama Canal, which replaced the railroad, communities on the mainland have been incorporated into Colon.

Click on Views of the World to see other postcards in the set.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Views of the World, Morro Castle, Havana, Cuba

Well, it's been a week since my last post.  The fact is, I've been out backpacking.  In 1985, I soloed The Pacific Coast Trail, from the Mexican border to Manning Provincial Park in British Columbia.  Anyway, when I walked it, there were still some sections in southern California that hadn't been completed.  Thought I'd knock off one of those sections,  Walker Pass, to Kelso Creek Road.  In a nut shell, the first part, the mountainous part, was pretty easy.  It was after I dropped down into the Mojave Desert that things got unpleasant.  Hot, open, dusty, and worst of all, no shade.  Too, it doesn't help that I turned 60 in January.  So, I turned back early, and since I'm back, I might as well get back to one of the collections that I dribble out from time to time.

Okay, as I've noted before, I've owned this collection of postcards since I was in high school.  In an earlier post, I noted that Views of the World, sure as hell looked like Views of the United States.  As promised, the rest of the world....sort of.  Morro Castle is one of several forts built, by the Spanish, to defend Havana Harbor and Cuba.  It was completed in 1640.

So, is the (foolish, pointless) embargo of Cuba over?  Got me, I'm sure the Republican party will do their best to prevent Americans form flooding Cuba, spending Yankee greenbacks.  Now, as any regular visitor to The New Found Photography knows, I spent decades working in photo labs.  Let me tell you, the embargo, at least as far as tourism goes, didn't work.  I printed vacation photos from Cuba all the time.  Rich people, famous people, political people, from both the right and left.  Countries like Mexico and Canada didn't give a rat's behind about our tourism laws, and if an American wanted to visit Havana, a ticket could be bought in Toronto for a quick flight to the island.

Click on Views of the World in labels to the rest.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Ladies On Stage

Before I forget, the white line in the foreground is a crease in the print, not a step.

So what are these ladies doing?  Is it a play, Christmas Pageant, something to do with church?  Got me, but something's going on.  Because of the wreath in the background, I'm going with Christmas.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Was It a Flood?

Well, it's a damaged print, we can be sure of that.  And the reflections in the foreground, that's probably from standing water, but just melting snow or a flood?

Head & Shoulders

Actually, it's labeled "Shoulders & Head."  Mid century modern, from the fifties, I would think.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Polish Sled Dogs

Any Polish speakers out there?  I thought about trying my hand with Google translate, but I suspect I'd get some mash-up that makes only marginal sense.  What's really important is that these two photos are dated.  The top, 1976 and the bottom, 1977.

Anyway, I did do some research into Zakopane, Poland.  It's a town, 28,000 people as of 2004, on the southern border of Poland, near Slovakia. It's at the foot of the Tatra Mountains.  The first written reference to Zakopane dates back to the mid 17th century, referenced not as a town, but a meadow.  By 1676, a village of 43.  By 1889, a climatic health resort of 3,000.  (That's when the treatment of tuberculosis was clean, mountain air.)  And then there was the Hitler/Stalin Pact.  People have forgotten, but World War 2 pretty much began with a joint German, Soviet invasion of Poland.  Soviet NKVD agents and Gestapo officers met in Zakopane to formulate a plan for the pacification of Polish resistance movements.  Today Zakopane is a resort catering to mountaineers, Alpine, and Nordic skiers, snow boarders, and ski jumpers.

Now about the dogs.  The guy who sold these to me swore up and down that they're Saint Bernards.  I don't think he's right but then again, the only dogs I've ever had were mutts, so what do I know.  In our pet-centric world, it's hard to remember, but there was a time when dogs that didn't work, didn't get fed.  I'm going to recommend a DVD, Landmarks of Early Film.  From Blackhawk and Image Entertainment, it's an anthology of film shorts from 1886 to 1913, including The Dog and His Various Merits.  Released in France, in 1908 by Pathe, it's pretty much what the title implies, working dogs, working.  If you've ever wanted to see a dog delivering milk, here's your chance.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

It's Square Format Thursday!

How many times do I have to tell you people?  There's no such thing as square format Thursday!  So why did I buy these two snapshots?  Well I've always liked the see my dress pose, she's good looking, and I liked all the elephants.  But, is the old fashioned crank phone on the wall functional or just decorative?  Looking at these two photos, I'm guessing the fifties, and I thought calling the operator and asking for a connection was a long gone thing by then.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Eating Outside

Pretty soon, we'll be eating outside.  Written on the back, "In Rancho Bar-B-Q."

Sunday, March 15, 2015

The Horse Set

This one was printed on 8x10, double weight fiber based paper, and was either shot be a professional or an amateur who was serious about his craft.  I suspect these ladies came from a moneyed background.  At least enough money to keep horses, and to provide enough leisure time to ride.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Polaroid Construction

I had three Polaroids in my newly purchased envelope of color photos.  It looks like some restoration work is being done.  At least, that's what the first two images look like.  And the bottom picture in the column?   Those things on the top of the door look decorative, and not part of the original building, so maybe it goes with the other two, maybe not.

Anyway, there are still a lot of photos left in the envelope, but I think I'm going to leave them for awhile.  Some will eventually get posted, and while I won't throw any of them away, there are more than a few that aren't interesting enough for anything other than storage.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Future Cat Lady?

Or future Catwoman for all you Gotham fans.  No date on this one, but it looks kind of sixties to me.  I can remember my sister just had to have a Siamese cat during the era.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Who Was That Masked Man?

Or masked woman, or child, or who knows what.  Admit it, this is a really weird photo.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Trailer Life

These two are dated, "1968"  I can remember when people hooked up their travel trailers and headed off to a campground, set up, sat around, and that was their vacation.  A lot of people can't even afford  that anymore.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Skinned Alive

This is one of the strangest photos I have in my collection.  That's either a very realistic model on that stretcher or a dead person who has had his skin removed.  And for those who are unfamiliar with the device, that's a giant slide rule hanging in the background.  Think of it as a mechanical computer.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Gathering Fire Wood

And maybe some hunting, too.  No date on this one, but going by the truck, I'm thinking sixties or seventies.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Action Boy

I suspect, if this kid were around today, he would be diagnosed with ADD, and be heavily medicated.  I know I would be, as would most of my male classmates.  Dated "1958."

  Anyway, the top image is how the photo looks today, the bottom is after I hit the color restoration feature on the scanner.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

It's Snooky!

I don't have a lot of color photos in the collection, so when I had a chance to buy an envelope with 80 color snapshots for $3, I jumped at the chance.  Of course,at that price, they were sight unseen, and the quality was a bit uneven.  Some of the photos look like they come from a common source, some not, so as I dole them out, I won't add a tag for the collection.

Written on the back, "Snooky 12/19/68"  My mother would have said, "Get that damn dog of the couch!"

Friday, March 6, 2015


I love the caption.  "May Lin Horse."  Did someone think the horse wouldn't be recognized?

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Always Dull

I've noted before that I'm not really in love with baby pictures.  This was part of a lot so here it is.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

What Kind of Boat Is This?

I bought this one because I like boats.  No other reason.  When I got it home and put the magnifying glass to it, I thought it might be from the Pacific northwest.  It looks like the boat's name is Orcas.  I assume that's a variation on Orca, and, since before a few decades ago, most of the country used killer whale....well, who knows it's just a guess.  It looks like it has a steam engine.