Saturday, December 31, 2016
In an earlier post I noted that I had purchased this album off of eBay and it had come from somewhere in the mid-west. I couldn't remember exactly where, but was sure it wasn't from California. Despite that, I was also sure that the beach pictures were from California. So, where those photos vacation pics? Maybe, maybe not. The mid-west is quite flat, but a photo on this page, and on some of the other pages, has a very distinct ridge line in the background. My guess is that the pictures from page three on are from a small town somewhere in the San Joaquin Valley of central California, or one of the suburbs of Los Angeles. Back then, and I'm pretty sure that this album is from the World War 2 era, a lot of L.A. suburbs were more small farm town than bedroom.community. Photos and photo albums travel.
As usual, click on The Green Album to see more.
Friday, December 30, 2016
Wednesday, December 28, 2016
I'm down to the last four pages from this album, so I'm going to finish it off with no more interruptions. Click on The Green Album in the labels section at the bottom of the post to catch up.
Sunday, December 25, 2016
I've got to admit, I don't really look for Christmas photographs. These two came in a big envelope of miscellaneous color snapshots. Still, it is Christmas.
The top one is labeled "Traci & Janie Christmas 1969, 6 1/2 mo." The second, "Christmas 1969 Traci 6 1/2 mo."
Friday, December 23, 2016
I'm not going to write much about the United Nations. There's a ton of written material about the U.N., both on line and in books. The U.N. was an outgrowth of the World War 2 alliance that fought Nazi Germany and the Japanese militarists. The conference that laid out the structure of the U.N. was held in San Francisco between April and June 1945, and the actual treaty that created the institution was signed on October 24, 1945 at Lake Success, a small village on Long Island, New York. It's headquarters has been in New York City since it's founding. It's current building opened in 1952, and was designed by Brazilian architect Oscar Neimeyer.
Remember the good old days when most Americans supported the United Nations. I know lots still do, but those numbers are a lot smaller today. The first photo in this column is labeled "UN TRIP AUG 10." The second and fourth, "W L WALTER," the lady, "A M WALTER."
Wednesday, December 21, 2016
Get that damn dog out of the picture! How am I going to get a good shot of the fireplace if you can't control that animal? Bad dog, bad!
My mother had one of these fake fireplaces. It didn't survive storage for more than one Christmas.
Both dated, "1961." The top photo is labeled "ONKY." The dog's name, I assume.
Tuesday, December 20, 2016
Well, I still have a few examples from my early days of collecting, but I think, after this one, I'll be moving back to the more recent acquisitions, which means pretty much anything from the last ten years.
Anyway, there are a fair number of bridges over the Chagrin River, so I wasn't able to positively identify the one on this card. The Chagrin River actually has two branches, the Aurora and the East branch. The Aurora Branch is a white water rafting destination, which is hard to imagine in flat, northeast Ohio. Both branches are also fishing favorites. Chagrin Falls, the town, is a suburb of Cleveland. The Cleveland, Akron, Canton area of northeastern Ohio is the fifteenth largest statistical area (A designation used by the census bureau .) in the United States. Nothing to do with Chagrin Falls, or the Chagrin River, but right in the middle of that densely populated area is Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Yes, the river that was once so polluted that it caught on fire, the river that was the butt of jokes, is now a national park. At least the parts south of Cleveland and north of Akron. Kind of gives us all a bit of hope.
Saturday, December 17, 2016
When I was younger, I spent 10 plus years living in a camper, wandering around the country. I always preferred back roads and small towns, and the ones I visited in the mid-west were full of buildings like this. Not just courthouses, but schools, libraries, hospitals and every other type of substantial public building. I guess Henry Hobson Richardson had a huge influence, even if his many imitators never earned the same fame and recognition. This courthouse was designed by the firm of LaBelle & French of Marion, Indiana.
Never mailed, published by "The Griswold Co., Warren, O." I'm always amazed by how many American postcards, like this one, were printed in Germany.
Friday, December 16, 2016
This one didn't get posted with the other Springfield postcards because I couldn't find out who designed the building. In my roaming around the internet, I did find tinted versions of this photo, without the clouds. . Too, a photo of this church with ivy covered walls. And, this church is still there and still in use.
Thursday, December 15, 2016
Obviously, these are all lumped together because there all from Springfield, Ohio. They're also all in one post because all three buildings were designed by the same architect, local Springfieldian Charles Creager. I did my due diligence and ran the standard computer searches. I found his name listed with buildings he designed, but no real data on his life other than he was a Springfield native. Let's just say he wasn't the Louis Sullivan of central Ohio. So, he left some buildings behind, but he's the kind of guy who's famous for being a good imitator, but nothing beyond that. So, who was he imitating?
Creager built in the Richardsonian Romanesque style. Richardsonian comes from Henry Hobson Richardson, an American architect who found his main inspiration from the Romanesque architecture of southern France. When I was at Penn State, I took an American Art History course, and one of the buildings we studied was The Allegheny County Court House and Jail. I can't remember the professors name, but he was really taken by the building. I grew up in a small town about fifty miles from downtown Pittsburgh, as in the Allegheny County seat. Over the years, I had been by the building, but had never been in. Inspired, I drove to Pittsburgh, and wandered around the place. (Remember the good old days when you could walk into a government building and just wander around?) Got to say, I'm more of a modernist. To me, it just seemed heavy and oppressive.
So, interesting story. When I started my research, I started by typing in Springfield Ohio Courthouse, and what popped up on the images page? Springfield Courthouse from The Simpsons. No, that's not the interesting part. When I was younger, there was a fifteen year span where I didn't own a television. So there I was, sitting in the Burger King, and I overheard a bunch of kids talking about Homer Simpson. I was impressed, so I told them I was an admirer of The Day of the Locust too. It was one of my favorite novels. I didn't know that Homer Simpson from the Nathaniel West novel, was not the subject of their conversation. They looked at me like I was some sort of idiot.
One last thing, the middle card was addressed to "Mr. F. H. Mattes, Newton Falls, Ohio." It was never mailed. For those interested, I just posted a couple of illustrated, novelty postcards addressed to Mr. Mattes on my Fair Use blog.
Wednesday, December 14, 2016
Since my last three posts were from my early days of collecting, I've decided to dig out some of the other images I've owned for at least forty years. I'm more than willing to admit that my earliest collected photos and postcards might not be as interesting as the stuff I've picked up in recent years, but hey, back then I was more interested in old. Just think, some of the photos I've picked up in the last few years, were only a few years old when I was born. And some of them had yet to be taken.
This postcard of Horeb Spring Park in Waukesha, Wisconsin looks like it started out as photograph, but I'd bet that the colorist drew in the clouds. I did a search for Horeb Spring Park and all I could find was a swimming pool and water park. My guess is that this nice little lake and island are long gone, but I'd love to be wrong.
Too, I'm always curious about words that Google declares misspelled, or worse yet, nonexistent. Horeb, the mountain where Moses received the Ten Commandments, and Waukesha, an American City are both unrecognized by modern technology. I wonder how many words we'll lose once everything becomes digital. Moby Dick didn't even sell a thousand copies when it was published, it went out of print, and was rediscovered several decades latter. Would it have been deleted from existence had the nineteenth century been a purely digital world? And for that matter, why doesn't Google recognize Moby?
Tuesday, December 13, 2016
Not Gilbert & George!
William Frank Bacon was born in 1843 in Bangor, Maine. After serving in the Union Army during the Civil war, he settled in Philadelphia with the intention of becoming a photographer. He apprenticed under A.K. P. Trask, and after a brief stay in New York City was invited by Trask to become his partner at a studio at 40 N. Eighth St., Philadelphia. In 1870, Trask was bought out by C. M. Gilbert. Gilbert & Bacon opened up a new studio at North 820 Arch St. Bacon was the dominant photographer of the two. While Gilbert handled much of the walk in clientele, Bacon handled the higher end work. In a world before movies, cities like Philadelphia had a stage community rivaling that of New York City, and Bacon became the photographer of choice for famous performers, as well as athletes, authors, and politicians. Then, it was common practice for photographers to photograph the famous for free and then make their money by selling those portraits to the general public. In 1886, Gilbert retired and Bacon operated the studio by himself while keeping the Gilbert & Bacon studio name. Bacon opened up a new studio at 1030 Chestnut St., leaving the management of the Arch Street location to Milton R. Hemperly, who had been hired by the partners in 1883. (Hemperly bought the Arch street location, from Bacon, in the mid 1890s, and operated it under his own name.) William Frank Bacon died in 1900 of Bright's Disease, and the ownership of Bacon & Gilbert fell to his son Frank T. Bacon. Frank kept the business running until 1925. In 2011, 10 original proofs, photographs printed from the original negatives at the time they were exposed, sold at auction for $16,000. Of course, those prints were of the famous and were almost surely taken by William Frank Bacon, while this cabinet card was probably shot by either Gilbert or Hemperly.
Sunday, December 11, 2016
It doesn't read all that well, so I almost cropped out the white card, but there is a very faint, embossed credit that can, with a little effort, be deciphered. "Frommeyer, Hanover." No, not Hanover, Germany or Hanover, New Hampshire, but Hanover, PA. These last three cabinet cards that I'm posting all date back to my early days of collecting photographs, and when I started back in high school, I lived in a small town in western Pennsylvania, so Hanover, PA makes sense. But that's not why I'm placing this card's origins in my old home state. When I went to Google and typed in the photographer's name and home town I was surprised that one of the first hits that came up was from The New Found Photography. It seems that back in 2011 I bought an envelope of cabinet cards and one of them was from the studio of D.A. Frommeyer from, you guessed it, Hanover, PA.
It may seem highly unlikely that this card, that I've owned for more than forty years, should be from the same studio as one I purchased five years ago. Give it some thought though and it's not all that strange. David A. Frommeyer, a native of Pennsylvania, born in 1850, ran a photo studio from 1886 to 1911. Let's say that David averaged 1,000 commissions a year for the 25 years he was in business. That's 25,000 separate photographs floating around out there. And that's assuming there was only one usable image per session. More than likely, there were more. Who knows how many people posed for David A. Frommeyer. Who knows how many usable shots came from each sitting.
Just for laughs I went to one of my favorite research sites, the ever popular eBay. It didn't take me long to find an overpriced cabinet card taken by D.A. Frommeyer from Hanover, Pennsylvania.
Friday, December 9, 2016
Awhile back, I made the decision to post the few remaining unpublished tintypes in my collection. Now, it's time to put up the last three cabinet cards. I'm sure at some time in the future there'll be more tintypes and cabinet cards, but for now, I'm leaving the 19th century.
Anyway, I'm sure the sharp eyed viewers have noticed that Pittsburgh is misspelled. Actually not. From 1891 to 1911 the city dropped the "H" from the city's name. It seems that the United States Board of Geographic Names, a department of the U.S. Geographic Survey, decided to standardize place names and ordered town and cities that used the Scottish spelling, a version of borough, to use the German Burg. No one pronounces it that way, but technically Pittsburgh should be said like Edinburgh, Scotland, not like Hamburg, Germany. Oh well, eventually the feds relented, and Pittsburghers got the "H" back.
Wednesday, December 7, 2016
This one has "42" written on the back. I don't know if that's the year or not, but it's more than probable. Anyway, this couple look more middle aged than not, so here's the question, is the soldier career army, or was he one of the many aging men who volunteered after Pearl Harbor. Too old for the peace time military but more than welcome in war time.
Tuesday, December 6, 2016
Sunday, December 4, 2016
Just a timely reminder that our new President Elect has promised to open up the Pacific coast to oil drilling.
Anyway, there's a processors stamp on the back that's very faded. There are a lot of numbers around a date, "MAY 1930," "KODAK DEPT.," something about a drug store, though I can't make out the name of the store, and finally, "BELLINGHAM." I assume that's the one in Washington.
This one really needs to be brought up in a bigger window for best view, so click away.
Thursday, December 1, 2016
Any Preston Sturges fans out there? Remember Christmas In July? Anyway, Christmas In July, written and directed by Preston Sturges is about this poor sap who is always entering contests, hoping to win enough money so he can marry his girl. After he enters a slogan contest for a coffee company, his fellow employees, who think he's kind of a dolt, send him a telegram telling him he's won the grand prize. The poor guy proposes, get's a promotion at work, and then goes out and buys presents for everyone, including those who sent the phony telegram. Eventually, the truth comes out and he has to live with the consequences of his generosity, some good, some bad.
This photo is dated, "Jun 72."
P.S., is that Dick Van Patten sneaking in on the left?