Thursday, March 31, 2016

Party Girls

It looks like they're feeling the music.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

The Last Two People On Earth

One woman in beachwear and one not.  It's clearly a beach resort like Cony Island or Atlantic City.  So where are all the people?  

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Water Feature

I may be wrong, but I think that water is coming from a pipe.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Forgive Me

By and large, I like to crop off borders when I scan a photo.  I find slight, but noticeable, differences in color balance and density when I include white boarders.

"Love To Don Ginger."  There are people out there named Don Ginger, so it's not some made up name.  What's far more interesting is what's written on the back.  "Maybe this will help you forgive me."  One of these two ladies, both in their dressing gowns, wanted Don to forgive her for something.  But what?  My guess, some romantic entanglement was involved.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Windows and Walls

So many of those old snapshot cameras had nothing more than a small, attached viewfinder that was almost impossible to use for composition.  And then there was the whole zone focusing thing, basically estimating the distance from the lens to the subject...well, it's difficult to know if a photographer intended any particular shot.

Getting All Handsy

And a good time was had by all.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Two Women

I'm a big believer that if you've seen enough old photos, and if a certain percentage of them are captioned in some way, in time, you can make some fairly accurate guesses about the ones that aren't captioned.  So, I'm calling this one from central Europe.  It's the clothing and the apartment blocks in the background.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Mr. Schulmeir

Kind of like the baby pose from the last post.  Labeled, obviously, "Mr. Schulmeir."  He must have been an important person in a minor way.  He's a Mister not a Bob, Barry, or Wolfgang.  Notice that the person in the foreground seems to be laughing at what is very likely a lame joke.

Monday, March 14, 2016


As I've noted before, I'm not really found of baby pictures. Still, I sometimes buy envelopes of old prints, and every so often there's a baby picture. I never throw them away, but most will never see the light of day. All things considered, this one's not half bad, so it becomes the exception.

Put A Fork In It

What is that guy eating?  If it were meat, it would droop a bit.  Watermelon would probably break apart.  Then again, back then, watermelon wasn't the seedless, soft monstrosity it is today.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Touring Japan

A lot of Japan got destroyed during World War 2.  I've always felt that one of the worst things about war is that it destroys cultures, as well as killing people.

Friday, March 11, 2016

New York (And a bit of the fair) 1939

As I mentioned in the last post, the Czechoslovakian Pavilion at the 1939 New York World's Fair closed after the German invasion of the country in 1939, and didn't reopen for the 1940 season, so dating these photos was easy.

All of these images are captioned in the same neat hand.  Top to bottom, "S.S. Queen Mary, NYC," "Riverside Church, NYC," "Columbia University, NYC," "Lower Manhattan NYC,"  "Lower NYC Skyline from Staten Is. Ferry," "Empire State Building," and "Czecho-Slovak Pavilian-NY World's Fair."

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

More From the 1939 New York World's Fair

It must have been an interesting time at the fair.  Even though all the countries of Europe were invited to submit a pavilion, Germany declined.  All things considered, not a bad idea.  In 1938, the Munich Agreement was negotiated by England and Germany, giving part of Czechoslovakia to the Nazis.  In 1939, the first year of the fair, Germany would take the rest of the country, and Germany and the Soviet Union would invade and dismember Poland.   The Czech and Polish pavilions would close for the 1940 season.  The Soviets dismantled their building and left a vacant lot in the middle of the fairgrounds.

 Of course, the Polish invasion led to declarations of war by France and Great Britain, with German invasions of Denmark and Norway soon to follow.  And then the big push, Germany moving through Belgium, the Netherlands, and France, pushing what was left of the British military into the channel at Dunkirk.  I can't imagine that smiling German greeters would have been welcome in New York City.  In any case, many of the employees of the European pavilions were stranded in New York for the duration.

I don't know whether these photos are all by the same photographer.  All I do know is that I found them all stuffed in the same envelope.  The picture of the statue and the night shot were both trimmed, so they may, in fact, be the same format as the others, but they were also printed on a different paper, so, different photographer or printed at another time?  Who knows.  Take a close look at the next to last photo in the column.  It's flopped.  For those who wish to print for themselves, camera original film reads right through the base, the shinny side.  That is, unless, someone deliberately loaded the film backwards.  Some people do.  Color film, shot through the base, saturates the red dyes on the film.  Black & white changes the contrast.  

Sunday, March 6, 2016

The 1939 New York World's Fair

I just picked up an envelope of photos of New York from 1939.  It reminded me that I already had some photos from the 1939 New York World's Fair, so I've decided to put them up over the next few days.  This one, found in the quarter box at the antique mall, shows the Trylon and Perisphere.

World's fairs are, essentially, massive trade shows, allowing countries and large corporations to sell themselves to the paying public.  The 1939 fair was the first to be built around a theme, The World of Tomorrow.  The Perisphere and Trylon were designed as the theme center.  The buildings were  by architects Wallace Harrison and J. Andre Fouilhoux.  The Perisphere contained a massive diorama, Democracity a depiction of an ideal city of the future, by industrial designer Henry Dreyfuss.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

The German Girl

Stamped on the back, "PGH FTW, 1034 Berlin"

I don't know why, but I have a lot of pictures from Germany in my collection.  I don't search out German photos, and while I'm a great fan of German silent movies, and German expressionist art,  I'm not especially in love with the country.  Perhaps it's because the Germans like to take pictures, they have made some great cameras, so there are a lot of German photos out there to be had.  But why are so many of them in the United States?

Friday, March 4, 2016

Evil Mother Drills Holes in Child's Head With Laser Fingers

As you may have guessed, I was stuck for a title on this one.  It's just a nice picture from those years when well bred, middle class ladies dressed for church, trips  to town, and afternoon shopping.  No sweats allowed.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

The Policeman's Ball

Many years ago, I lived in a camper.  For ten and half years I bummed around the country, worked when I needed to, and in the end, found myself in Los Angeles.  During that time, I was beaten by the NOPD, the LVPD, and twice by the LAPD.  I'm not really in love with law enforcement.

Written on the back, "Police Ball State Armory."  Dated, "APR 68"