Saturday, May 30, 2015


Written on the back "At the polo games stadium SF Golden Gate Park Fall of 1936.  Joan & Patricia & Jean."   I know there's still a polo field in Golden Gate Park but I have no idea if they still have matches there.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Harold & Irma

There's a lot written on the backs of these prints, so...On the top one, "This is Harold Mason Remley and Irma Virginia Remley of Los Angeles Calif. U.S.A.  The boy is 17 and in Merchant Marines." The heart shaped print, "Irma & Harold Remley at ages 2 and 4."  And the star shape, "This is Irma & Harold Remley at 2 and 4 yrs. printed by Irma as Harold is 17 and in the marines."

Wednesday, May 27, 2015


I think my translation is correct, "For Mary Virginia, Affectionately Dora."

Stamped on the back of this wallet sized, hand tinted, portrait, "Las Flores 764, TELIF. 6683, TUCUMAN."

Tucuman is a province and city in Argentina.  

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

A Fragment

I'm really fascinated by this one.  To start with, it is, as the title of the post states, a fragment.  It 's cut from a larger picture.  It was so faded, that I abandoned my usual attempts to get a scan that looked as much like the original as possible, and went the opposite direction, trying to dig out as much detail as was there.   So what did I get?  It looks like a black woman in the fifties, surrounded by white men, walking along, not just carrying a newspaper, but displaying one.  I know that the headline may be about an air show, but I think this could be a photo of some sort of civil rights demonstration.  The front page of that newspaper may also have a story about a lunch counter sit in, attempts to register black voters, or perhaps even a lynching.  I know it's easy to read things into photos that aren't there.  That's part of the fun of collecting old photos.  But, I'm standing by that guess.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day

When I tell people I know that I'm not a pacifist, they don't believe me.  I always tell then the same thing. Give me a good reason to support a war, and I'll support it.  I won't be happy about it, but I will.

 I have mixed feelings about Memorial Day.  It seems to me that a lot of very stupid, and some very bad people, equate supporting troops with supporting  war.  If we don't keep fighting, or if we don't start another war, we've dishonored all those who fought and died for the country.  Right now, there are a lot of people, including some elected officials, who want to pick a fight with Iran, ISIS, Yemen, and Syria.  They tell us if we don't, those who died in Iraq and Afghanistan will have died in vain, and that cheapens their memory.  Yes, I have very mixed feelings about Memorial Day.  It seems right to remember those who fought for us, but not if it means a continuance of never ending war.  Maybe, if we put out fewer flags, we'll dig fewer graves.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Company Picnic

Well it looks like it could be a company picnic.  Then again, it might just be lunch hour.  I paid the exorbitant figure of 50 cents for this photo, and apart from liking the subject, I was also drawn to the building in the background.  I thought the name of the business was Watts Reality.  When I got it home and put a magnifying glass on the print, I changed my mind.  I'm still not sure what it says, but I don't think it's a real estate office from a part of L.A. that has come to be associated with crime and violence.  The fact is, I wander all over Los Angeles County, and I've been to Watts plenty of times, and it's nowhere near as bad as people think.  Get onto some of the residential streets, and it's possible to see Watts' working class roots.  I wish there were still neighborhoods in the area where a blue collar guy could buy a house.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

3 Children

It looks like the two older children are posing with the newborn.

Monday, May 18, 2015

The Waterbury Paper Box Co. Wedding Album 19

I wonder how much a dress like this cost in the 1920s, and how much a similar dress would cost today.  My curiosity has more to do with changes in society than fashion.  Was this dress sewn by immigrant women working in a sweatshop?  Would that happen today?  I think both are likely, and adjusted for inflation, their wages probably  haven't gone up.  In fact they may have gone down.

This one's a contact print from an 8x10 negative.  Click on Waterbury Box Co. Album in labels to see more.  There's still a lot of photos to go, but we'll have to wait awhile to see them.  It's time to move onto other things for a month or so.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

The Waterbury Paper Box Co. Wedding Album 18

And suddenly, for now apparent reason whatsoever,  we jump ahead a decade.  So far, based on hair styles and clothes, I've been dating this photo album from the twenties.  Now, I'm guessing the thirties, perhaps even the early forties.   And too, we've also left the studio for an outdoor shot.  It's a wonderment.

Click on Waterbury Box Co. Album in labels to follow things to date.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

The Waterbury Paper Box Co. Wedding Album 17

There are a  lot of wedding and wedding related photos in this album, and it's always had me wondering.  a family with lots of marriageable men and women, or is this some sort of photographer's sample album.

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

Friday, May 15, 2015

The Waterbury Paper Box Co. Wedding Album 16

Little brother of one of the many brides in this album?   But what about the lady?  Mother or older sister?

Click on Waterbury  Box Co. Album in labels to see other pages from the album.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

The Waterbury Paper Box Co. Wedding Album 15

Well it really is time to connect with past collections.  My mother was English, so I don't know whether this is some sort of Brit thing or not, but she would have looked at this photo and thought departure outfit.  Departing for what?  The honeymoon, which required a nice travelling suit for the lady.  

 I grew up in poverty, and my mother often put food on the table making and altering clothes.  I didn't realize it then, but I was picking up a lot about ladies fashions.  I mean, I know what a peplum is.  How many 60 year old guys from a coal mining town in Pennsylvania can say that?  Of course, I have no idea why women wear them, which is a whole other issue.

Click on Waterbury Box Co.  Album in the labels section at the bottom of the post to see more.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Views of the World, General View, Lisbon, Portugal

The great earthquake of 1755.  Lisbon is, of course, the capitol and largest city of present day Portugal.  On November 1, 1755, a massive earthquake estimated to be between 8.5 and 9 on the modern Movement Magnitude Scale, destroyed a large part of the city.  Just to make things worse, the epicenter was located under the ocean floor, so the quake was quickly followed by a 20 foot high tsunami.  But the disaster wasn't over.  As the waters receded, fires broke out burning much of what was left.  In all, 60,000 people out of an estimated population of 180,000 died.  That's one out of three for those who can't do the math.  Too, an estimated 12,000 dwellings were destroyed.

Time to leave this collection for awhile.  Click on Views of the World at the bottom of the post to see other cards in the series.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Views of the World, Fountain At Leiria, Portugal

Well, this is interesting.  I did the basic Google search trying to find something worth passing on about the city of Leiria.  Didn't find a lot.  Mostly that there's a castle on a hill, Portugal's only motion picture museum, and another museum dedicated to paper.  Leiria is home to Portugal's first paper mill.  Pretty dull stuff but then I started looking for images, and found this very postcard for Europe.  Then another, and another one after that all in Europe.  But the stamp block on the back mentions U.S. and Canadian postage rates.  So an American postcard of a European scene ends up in Europe.  The big question, were the cards in this series made for export?

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

Views of the World, Bull Fight, Valencia, Spain

My apologies to the Spanish, but torturing animals as a form of entertainment,  I'm not impressed.  And yes, I do eat meat, wear leather shoes, and understand why people would think me hypocritical.

Click on Views of the World in the labels section at the bottom of the post to see the rest of the postcards in the collection.

Views of the World, Royal Palace, Madrid, Spain

It's time to return to some of the collections that get posted when I find the time.  This one's part of a lot I've had since high school, a group of hand tinted postcards showing, as the title implies, views of the world, and it's Views of the World that should be clicked in labels to bring up the rest.

The Royal Palace in Madrid started construction in 1738 during the reign of King Philip V, and completed in 1755,  during the reign of King Charles III.   I can't remember the exact quote, and I may be butchering it, but here goes...from Thomas Paine, "A hereditary monarchy makes as much sense as an hereditary doctor or an hereditary mathematician."   Yes English, I'm talking to you.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Vietnam, A Land of Conflict 4

I've got to wonder, who would receive this small folder of images.  It would almost be cruel to send pictures of combat to a relative, especially a mother.  Maybe high school buddies.  Kind of a "Look what I'm doing!" thing.  Anyway this is the last post from the folder.  Remember, click on either Vietnam or Vietnam War in labels to see Vietnam, Pearl of the Orient.  Too,for those interested,  I've got a couple of photos from the war on my Fair Use blog.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Vietnam, A Land of Conflict 3

Gotta wonder how that last picture made it into a war photo collection.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Vietnam, A Land of Conflict 2

I bought two of these postcard folders about Vietnam, and posted the other one way back in November of 2013.  Hey, what can I day, I just plain forgot to follow up sooner than this.  Click either Vietnam or Vietnam War in labels to see it.  And that line in the third image is a crease in the folder.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Vietnam, A Land of Conflict 1

I missed an important date last week.  April 30 was the fiftieth anniversary of the fall of Saigon, the end (sort of) of the Vietnam War.  We Americans often look at the world through the lens of 1945.  Wars end when the enemy surrenders, signs a piece of paper, and submits to an occupation.  The reality is, most wars end when one or both sides decide it's just not worth it anymore.  We decided it wasn't worth it anymore a lot earlier than 1975.  It took a few years to negotiate a peace agreement because national honor kept two Presidents form just walking away.  The Paris Peace Accords that ended American combat operations were actually announced on January 23, 1973, a date I'll always remember because it was my eighteenth birthday, the day I became eligible for the draft.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Cinco de Mayo

Contrary to what many Americans think, Cinco de Mayo is not Mexican Independence Day.  That's September 16. 1810.  Cinco de Mayo commemorates the victory of Mexican forces against a far superior French invasion force on May 5, 1862 at Puebla.  Obviously, these photos weren't taken during the French occupation of Mexico, but they were very likely taken sometime during the Mexican Civil War that lasted, more or less, from 1910 to 1920.  It looks like the building in the second photo really took a beating.  And just for the record, in 1916 Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa  attacked Columbus, New Mexico when he was sold defective ammunition by American arms dealers, so maybe this photo was taken in New Mexico, rather than old Mexico.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Early Polaroids

I admit that these aren't the most interesting photos in the collection, but I bought them because they are early Polaroids and a bit of history.   I found them in the same box, and while I can't be sure, my bet is that they are related in ways beyond technology.   The bespectacled girl in the second photo looks like she could be an older version of the girl in the top photo.  In any case, there's a similar chin shape.   As far as dating goes, these are from the peel the paper era of Polaroid film packs, which dates the camera from the mid fifties to the early sixties.  Of course, the actual film was manufactured far latter than that.

Here's a fun fact.  The peel the paper Polaroids actually had a negative.  When I worked at the photo lab, one of our customers brought in a huge bag of old Polaroid paper backings.  We soaked them in photo-flo, separated the film negative from the paper, and made conventional photographic enlargements from those negatives.  So, if you ever get a chance to go through your parents (or grandparents) old stuff, and find envelopes full of old Polaroid paper backings, you may have a treasure trove of old images.  Just remember, Polaroids were expensive cameras, and people often spent the extra money so they could make photos that they didn't want the local photo finisher to see.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

A Day At the Beach

I don't know where this one was taken, but with the brick buildings in the background, going right down to the beach....well, it doesn't make me think west coast.  Perhaps New England, or one of the great lakes, or maybe even Europe.  Europe would be fascinating, since this photo is dated "August 1938,"  just a year before the German-Russian invasion of Poland and the start of World War 2.  America or Europe, it's a view of a world not concerned with the upcoming conflict.  A time when people could still go to the beach, swim, and laze about.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Torturing the Dog

What' that thing on the dog's head?  At first I thought the dog was just moving it's head and all the camera caught was a blur.  But after a bit of thought, I realized that the rest of the body would have been moving as well.