Tuesday, March 29, 2016
Saturday, March 26, 2016
Thursday, March 24, 2016
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
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.
Friday, March 18, 2016
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
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.
Saturday, March 12, 2016
Friday, March 11, 2016
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
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
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
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
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
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"