Sunday, February 28, 2016

Carmen With Her Award

Written on the back, "CMF Convention award dinner Carmen w/award June 1968."

Unfortunately, the print isn't sharp enough to read what's on Carmen's award.  So, what's the CMF?  There are a lot of possibilities, but I've got two guesses.  The first is The Country Music Foundation.  The circular design at the top might be a 45 record.  And the other, The Christian Missionary Fellowship.  Both were around in 1968.  The country Music Foundation was founded, in Nashville, Tennessee in 1964, and The Christian Missionary Fellowship was founded in 1949, at The Manhattan Christian College, in Manhattan, Kansas. .  I can see the big hair and the cats eye glasses on church ladies and country singers.  Too many choices.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

French Salute

Written on the back, "Janvier 1923," French for January.  Of course, this photo could be from Switzerland, Quebec, or for that matter Iowa.  There are, after all, French speakers all over the world.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

What is this thing?

I know a lot about old photographic processes, but this one's got me stumped.  The scanner wasn't able to pull a usable image, so I'll have to describe it as best as I can.  It's a negative.  At least I think it is.  At least it's a very thin, flexible medium similar to modern film.  It's held in a kind of metal frame, open at the top and bottom, with side edges that hold the film tightly  in place.  There's no glass or any other clear medium over the thing, although I have no idea if it's still complete.  My best guess is that it's meant to be like a tintype or ambrotype,  a neg that looks positive because it's placed on a black background.  If that's the case, it didn't work.  Also, it's curved.  And of course, the big question, Is this something that was once a known, widely used process, or is it the failed experiment of some basement tinkerer?  And the image itself, it's a man in a uniform of some kind.  It's hard to make out, but I'm thinking more police than military.  So, should I take it apart and try and print the thing, or leave it as is?  I'm leaning toward leaving it as is, but I'm not wedded to that.  It would help if I actually knew what it is.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Monday, February 22, 2016

Laughing Germans

This one's dated "11.5.64" in the European manner.  It's printed on German made Agfa paper.  So, what the hell, they're laughing German women.  Perhaps they've been to Hamburg to see The Beatles and couldn't believe the haircuts.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Interior Views of the Hotel Rosslyn

I have to confess, I wouldn't have purchased these two postcards if it hadn't been for the L.A. connection, as well as my own personal history with the Hotel Rosslyn.  Many years ago, I spent two strange nights as a guest, and if you want to read about what happened as well as a brief history of the place, click on Hotel Rosslyn in labels at the bottom of the post.

The second card is captioned, "1100 Rooms-800 Bathes-Popular Rates  Free auto bus meets all trains. Automobile entrance direct to the lobby.  Descriptive folder with rates sent upon request."

Thursday, February 11, 2016

A Nautical Wedding

You might have to click on the image and bring it up in a bigger window to see, but the groom has pins on his lapels that look kind of like anchors.  So was he in the navy, and if so, which one, or perhaps the merchant marine.  Then again, he might have been crew on one of the big ocean liner that once moved people from Europe to North America.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Camping In California

It's pushing 90 in Los Angeles, in winter, during an El Nino year.  I'd rather be camping.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Another Side of Another Melvine Album Page

It looks like Melvine joined the army.  The hand tinted photo is captioned "Jerry And Melvine" and the others, you guessed it, "Melvine."  Clearly she was the apple of someone's eye.

Click on Melvine in labels to see more.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Another Melvine Album Page

Since I've been complaining about antique sellers cutting up photo albums, I might as well continue with the theme.  Awhile back, I purchased an album page built around a little girl named Melvine.  I've found two more pages from that album, I'll be putting up both sides of one page now, and save the other one for latter.  Click on Melvine in labels at the bottom of the post to see the other page and read something about her home town, Buffalo, Wyoming.

This time, I took the time to look up Melvine and Buffalo, Wyoming.  What I found was about a Melvine not pictured on this page, but it's such a unique name, and since Buffalo is such a small place, they've got to be related.  That Melvine died in 2015 at the age of 106.  She was born in Verdel, Nebraska.  When she was 4 years old, she and her family moved to Idaho.  In 1919, in a pair of covered wagons, they moved to Wyoming.  Melvine began her work life at a young age, as a cook, and continued preparing food for a good portion of her life.  She even wrote a cookbook.  What was really fascinating, at her death, she held the world's record for the longest survivor of breast cancer.  She was diagnosed at the age of 49.  Quick math, 57 years survival.  She was one of five children, the mother of two, the grandmother of five,  she had 14 great grandchildren, and three great great grandchildren.  Of course, that count was at the time of her death, and there may be more of the great great variety by now.   Time to state the obvious, one of those many family members is the Melvine of this album.

The four wallet photos in the right hand column are labeled, "8th, 9th, 10th, 11th"  Clearly class photos.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Long Beach Album Photo, The Second Side

Perhaps it's actually the first side.

This one's captioned, "Gwendolyn Ljunggren. Day she left for Waukegan-Ills."

When I get a name that's pretty common, I don't bother  doing any research.  If I ran "Mary Jones" I'd probably get a thousand hits on Goggle.  But Gwendolyn Ljunggren begs for a quick trip to Goggle land.

The first problem with searching for a woman is that they have a tendency to get married and take their husband's name, so it was no surprise that the only direct reference to a Gwen Ljunggren, in Los Angeles, that I found was a marriage record.  It didn't have a date, but Gwen's husband, Theodore Pretz was listed as head of household in the 1930 census.  His birth year was listed as 1906, and Gwen was listed as being 18 years old, giving her a birth year of 1912.  The photo on the other side of this picture was dated 1914.  I'm not very good at estimating the age of children, but I'd say four or five, so it's the right era.  And, since I wasn't willing to provide a credit card number to, that was it as far as Gwendolyn went.

As for Theodore, his profession was listed as furniture salesman.  I also found out that he was a Marine in World War 2.  Let's say he joined up in 1942, which means he was running the obstacle  course at 36.  That's pretty old for that sort of duty.   He died in 1957.   Pretty young.

Of course, just because Gwendolyn Ljuggren is a rare name, it doesn't follow that this Gwen became Mrs. Theodore Pretz.  Perhaps she changed her name to Mary Jones and disappeared into the vast digital wasteland.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Long Beach Album Photo, Side One

Over the years, I have often written about my displeasure when antique dealers cut up photo albums.  Well it's time to do it again.  Please, I know you can make more money selling individual photos but come on, there's history here that should be preserved as a whole.

So back to this photo.  It's been cut from an album.  It's still pasted to a section of the page.  There's another photo on the other side, which well be the next post.  This one is captioned, "Red Star Yeast, Long Beach, Cal. 1914."  I doubt that this man was an employee of the company.  I looked it up, and the star on the man's bathing suit looks just like the one on the Red Star Yeast logo.  Just speculation, but I'm guessing that this album was put together by a woman, because, what man would see that star and think of baking.  Well a baker maybe, but the handwriting is kind of fine and delicate.

Is that the photographer's thumb?

Monday, February 1, 2016

A Speed Trial Scene

This is not a commercial postcard.  Some sailor, stationed on an unknown warship, took a photo and had a postcard made up for his own use.  What, no patriot act violation?  No damage done to national security?  No classified image in need of censoring?   Hard to believe, but there was a time when soldiers and sailors took pictures and sent them home for all to see.

Here's a fun fact.  One of the most influential men in world history was an American naval officer named Alfred Thayer Mahan.  Who?  Mahan was an instructor at the Untied States Naval Academy at Annapolis.  While there, he gave a series of lectures that he latter published as a book called, "The Influence of Sea Power on World History, 1660-1783."  Mahan's thesis was that great nations could only exist through sea power.  Specifically he cited the British Empire.  His book was read and studied all over the world.

 One of  Thayer's many disciples was Kaiser Wilhelm 2.  Germany, as a unified nation, didn't exist before the Franco-Prussian War.  The first Kaiser Wilhelm, and his chancellor, Otto von Bismark, saw Germany as a continental power, an industrial nation with an army so  large and powerful,  that  other European countries would think twice before challenging German might.  Willy the second read Mahan and dreamed of a large and modern fleet of warships, spanning the globe, acquiring colonies.  The British weren't exactly in love with  the growing German fleet, so they increased the size and power of their fleet.  And, an arms race was on.  There were other factors, of course, but the growing distrust between the two nations was one of the causes of World War 1, which, of course, led to World War 2, the rise of the Soviet state, and a whole lot of other problems that we're still dealing with.  I'd recommend Dreadnought by Robert K. Massie for far more info than I'm willing to type.

And in the United States.  Think naval expansion and the Great White Fleet, sent around the world by President Theodore Roosevelt as a sign of American power.  I suspect the ship in this card might have been part of that fleet.