Saturday, October 21, 2017

Coal Fleets

For those who don't know, Pittsburgh was founded at the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela River, forming the Ohio.  The area where they come together is known as either the golden triangle or the point.  From the original photo, it's impossible to tell whether this is an up or down river view.  The coal barges on the three rivers fed the steel mills and iron foundries that made Pittsburgh's air so bad that street lights were needed at mid-day.

This is another divided back card that was used,  It was sent to "Miss Elizabeth L'Hommedieu, Cuyahoga Falls, O."  The rather sad message, "All alone.  Busy all the time. Love to the kid. Geo. S."  And finally, the postmark, "PITTSBURGH, PA JUN 5 11 PM 1912."  There's also a separate mark, EAST LIBERTY STA."  When I lived in Pittsburgh, East Liberty was a downscale area, home to thrift stores and the Giant Eagle supermarket where I shopped for groceries.  I've heard that East Liberty has gentrified and the locals are now more likely to be tech types.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Pittsburgh and the Point Bridge

If I had thought this on going series of riverside postcards through, I would have posted this with the the Mount Washington Incline card.  Oh well, the rather spectacular looking bridge is long gone.  It's been replaced by a much more common looking structure.  However, downtown Pittsburgh, spelled with an H on the end is far more interesting.  A piece of advice, if you ever fly into Pittsburgh airport, wait until the sun goes down before entering the city proper.  The way the view opens up on exiting the Fort Pitt Tunnel, with the city lit up and the three rivers, is one of the great urban landscapes in the United States.

This card was sent to "Lewis C. Eames, North Bethel, Maine."  The message, "Sept 8, Dear L, You can sit in the swing chair with Myra or any chair if you come up 2 think.  Love B"  No idea if Myra would be coming with Lewis or if she lived with B.  Postmark, "GRAFTON MAINE, SEP 8, 1908."

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

How Albany Looks

It didn't start out that way, but it looks like I'm posting river front postcards.  (The Mount Washington Incline is 100 or so feet from the Monongahela River.)  So, about a month ago I read Volume one of Edmund Morris' biography of Theodore Roosevelt.  That monstrosity of a building in the far background, the one with the tower and turrets, is the New York state capitol building, which opened when TR was a state assemblyman.  I'm more interested in the river boats.  Even in this day and age, I see riverboats as a perfectly reasonable way to get around the mid-west.  So it takes a couple of days to get from Pittsburgh to St. Louis.   I mean, if you're not in a hurry, what difference does it make. 

Sent to "Mrs Laura Knight, Ludlow, Vermont."  Three postmarks on this one, "TROY N.Y. SEP 21 1 PM 1906," "WATERVLIET N.Y. SEP 21, 1 PM 1906,"  and a smeared one , all that's visible is the date, "SEP  22 7 AM 1906."  Obviously from Ludlow.  How Troy and Watervliet can have the same postmark date and time is beyond me.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Stony Point

Another undivided back postcard, this one never used.  There are a lot of Stony Points in the United States, but I think this is the one in New York.  Along the Hudson River, it's considered part of the New York City metropolitan area. 

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Mt. Washington

I grew up in western Pennsylvania, and lived in Pittsburgh for a couple of years.  I rode the Mt. Washington Incline all the time.  Get to Pittsburgh, use the incline and get a great view of the city.

This is one of the old undivided back cards.  It was mailed to "Miss Josie Johnson, 301 West Erie St., Chicago Ill."  It was postmarked "BLAIRSVILLE PA FEB 19, 1907"  I grew up about 25 miles from Blairsville, and have been there hundreds of times.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Is It Polka Time?

Maybe it's a polka band, maybe it isn't. but it is a real photo postcard printed on Agfa paper.  It's also slightly larger than postcards found in the U.S, a size commonly found in Europe.  Germany, Austria, or somewhere else in central Europe.  Forgive give me music aficionados, but I like accordion music.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017


Written on the back, "This Poster Is Good Shot."   I agree.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Getting Drunk As a Group Activity

They look too old to be frat boys, so maybe the company softball team.  I noticed that some of these guys brought some really big containers.  Kind of makes the red solo cup look inadequate.  Take a look at the third photo and see that there is a Kodak Box Brownie camera in front of the keg.  There is also one guy with a Dr. Pepper tee shirt.  Fun story.  I was born in southwestern Pennsylvania in 1955.  It was hard to find Dr Pepper where I grew up.  It was considered a southern hillbilly drink.  If you drove forty miles south and crossed into West Virginia it was everywhere. 

Sunday, October 8, 2017

The Distinguished Actress

Several posts ago I mentioned that I had bought an envelope of theatrical photographs.  Well, they arrived yesterday, and this is the first post from that collection.

This cabinet card is, to put it mildly, damaged.  The bottom margin that would have identified the photographic studio, and quite possibly, the actress is gone, and I'm not willing to spend days searching images of nineteenth century theatrical photography looking for a match.  While it would be a time consuming exercise, it wouldn't necessarily be a pointless search. It was a fairly common practice during the cabinet card era for famous performers to drop by the local photo studio and have pictures taken.  As I've noted in some of my previous posts, photographers would provide free pictures in exchange for the right to sell those same pictures to the general public. 

Now, I'd like to recommend one of my favorite online photographic resources.  (You can click just below the title.) It's a great site documenting theatrical photographs from the Broadway stage.  The collection is housed at the very un-Broadway University of South Carolina.

Saturday, October 7, 2017


This one is labeled "Judah & Beverly Redondo Beach."  Take my word for it.  Redondo Beach, south bay, Los Angeles County, hasn't been this empty in at least fifty years.  No date, but I'm betting teens or twenties. 

Friday, October 6, 2017

Drunk Husband

Dated "DEC 54."  He must have been a handful.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

More June Roselle

Different outfit, different lighting, and a bird cage.  All the June Roselle photos are 4x5 prints made on a double weight, fiber based paper. 

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

June Roselle

A couple of days ago,  I went on eBay and bought an envelope of theatrical photographs.  Those haven't arrived yet, but it did remind me that I already had a few theatricals sitting on my desk that hadn't yet been added to the blog. 

Written on the back of the top image, and the only one with any information, "June Roselle, daughter of composer L. Crist Carson."  In my search for information, I started with Carson and found absolutely nothing.  I tired the usual sources, IMDB, the internet move data base, IBDB, the internet Broadway data base, and of course, the plain old general Google search.  Then I decided to try the same approach with his daughter.  After all, show business has a lot of multi generational artists.  There wasn't much there, either, but something. 

June Roselle understudied Florence Henderson, on Broadway, in the title role of Fanny.  Fanny ran from 1954 to 1956, book by Joshua Logan and S.N. Behrman  music and lyrics by Harold Rome.  She was listed as having been a replacement for a handful of performances, so she did act on Broadway.  And then, that's it.  Nothing, nada.  No other Broadway  credits, nothing on IMDB, so no movie or television career.  It's as if she just disappeared. 

So, did she decide that show business wasn't for her?  Did she get married and go the family route?  Perhaps she died. 

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Friday, September 29, 2017

Men & Women, Women & Men

I run across photos like this from time to time; pictures where the male becomes female and the female becomes male.  Usually they're more casual.  They've swapped clothes and it has the feel of a drunken dare.  Sometimes, however, they're far more elaborate.  The man and woman in this image have opposite sex clothing that fits.  Perhaps it's from a play, but it was mounted on card stock, is fairly small, and not very good for a publicity still.  I'm thinking these two cross-dressed as part of their sex lives.  Or, in the nineteenth century, long before anyone had ever heard the word transgender, a man who wanted to be a woman and a woman who wanted to be a man, found each other and this is how they lived behind closed doors.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

The Here, There, and Everywhere Collection-Eating Outside

I tried to match up faces from my last post, but I just couldn't do it.  Click on The Here There and Everywhere Collection in labels, etc., etc., etc.

Monday, September 25, 2017

The Here, There, and Everywhere Collection-By The Water

Is it a lake, a river, a bay?  Some of the early posts from this collection were from The Adirondacks,  so maybe it's upstate New York.  Then again, maybe it's not.

Again, click on The Here There and Everywhere Collection in labels to see more photos and get more info.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

The Here, There, and Everywhere Collection-The One With the Hole In the Print

Also, damaged emulsion.  What looks like a paper hat on the lady is actually part of the print literally pealing away from the paper.  So, no info on the print, guessing from the twenties.  Just think, in three years I'll have to be more specific.

Click on The Here There and Everywhere collection in labels to see more photographs and to find the meaning of the title.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

The Here, There, and Everywhere Collection-Snow Clouds Around the Heads

I've gone through this before, but what the hell, let's repeat.  Awhile back, I bought an envelope of photos from an eBay dealer who assured me everything was from a Wisconsin estate sale.  Anyway, I'm always aware that dealers are as likely to tell you what they think you want to hear, as they are the truth, so with a big grain of salt....another from The Here, There, and Everywhere Collection. (Clickable in labels for more pictures and info.)

This photo is mounted on a fragment of an album page.  Written on the back of the page, "Bedford 1944."  Bedford, Massachusetts is my best guess.  New England, snow, it's a fit.  Although, I also found a Bedford in New Hampshire, another snowy, New England locale, and a Bedford from my own home state, Pennsylvania.

And for those wondering, if it's white on the print, it's black on the negative.  The snow is easy to explain, but the white out around the parent's heads: the film may have been exposed to direct light while the film was being loaded or unloaded from the camera, or that area might not have been developed.

Friday, September 22, 2017

The Party

Written on the back, "Dec-1961 Miller Co."  To put it mildly, there are a lot of Miller Companies in the United States.  At first I thought it was a company with an all black work force, albeit with a white boss.  (See the guy on the far left.)  But, after I blew things up, I noticed that there were a number of white people in the background.  I'd love to know if the employees self segregated, or if the party organizer purposely seated all the black workers at the same table.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Grannies in the Garden

It seems to me that we live in a culture that's terrified of aging and death.  Fact is, the only way we can avoid getting old is to die young, and  we all end up dying.  So, two grannies, dated "July 4, 1957," from back in a less self obsessed age.

Monday, September 18, 2017

More Depression on the Beach

The flip side of yesterday's post, dated "August 1930."  It looks like the beach trip required a boat ride.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Depression on the Beach

I've made this point before, and with this album page, I'm able to make it again.  While the Great Depression was devastating to the lives of many, others survived, and even thrived during the era.  It looks like these two kids were never hungry or homeless.  My father, born in 1919, was both.

For those who can't make out the writing: Above the kid with the toy airplane, "July 1930."  Below the beach photo, "August 1930  3yrs 10 mos."

Friday, September 15, 2017

Little Brown Jug

Dated "6-22-24."  I'm going to be kind and write that the man is playing the jug rather than drinking from the jug.  After all, prohibition was from 1920 to 1933 and I'm sure he wasn't setting a bad example for the children.  Now that guy in the car who looks to be swigging from a can is a whole other story.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

At the Mexican Joint

Written on the back, "Feb 1, 58 Coffee & Beer break Mexican joint in desert."

Well, I bought this picture in California, so I'm guessing the Palm Springs area or along Route 66.  Of course it could be a lot of other places, but that's my guess.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Russland 4

I've saved my favorite for last.  Literally, the second photo in the column is my favorite.  That second photo is dated "16 VI 18," a date well within the revolution.  When the pictures in this series  were taken, it was still possible to get out.  It was also possible to get shot for being in the wrong party, or the wrong class.  Since these photos  made it to the United States, I'm guessing that most, if not all of the people in these pictures headed west and avoided the worst of the Stalinist terror.  Take a close look at the top picture.  The man on the right is holding a pair of binoculars.  Was he watching birds, or was he watching for Bolsheviks?

There is a movie, directed by Joseph Von Sternberg, that's supposedly based on a real person.  In The Last Command, Emil Jannigs played a Russian general who works as a movie extra in Hollywood.  I've never seen it, but as a silent movie fan, I hope to.

Anyway, click on Russland in labels to see the rest.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Russland 3

A few more faded prints.  The top one looks like people gathering food.  That makes sense.  With a date of "19 X 19" that puts things at a time when there was a lot of hunger in Russia.  It's impossible to tell, but I'm thinking apples and people from the land owning class at their country dacha.  The military uniform in the second picture makes one wonder.  I haven't seen any indication of these people's political leaning.  No pictures of the Tsar, Kerensky, or Lenin in the background of any of these images.  I would, however, be surprised if the people in this collection turned out to be leftists of any kind.

Click on Russland, etc.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Heat Wave

Because it's 100 + degrees outside; Because I have a fan rather than air conditioning in my apartment; Because I've just come back from running errands in my car, which has a broken air conditioner, I'm taking a break from Russland to think about snow.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Russland 2

As I noted in the first post from this series, the quality of the prints are not the best.  I did what I could to pull some detail from the second picture but it was just two faded to get much.  All the prints are mounted on card.  There's no date on the top image, the bottom, as can be seen written on the print, "11 XI 20."

Click on Russland in labels, etc. What's with the water pitchers?  Or are they vodka pitchers?

Russland 1

I just purchased an envelope of eight photos from Russia (Via Florida)  that I'l be posting in lots of two over the next week or so.  Some are still in a half way decent condition, some are so faded as to be barely recognizable as photographs; some are dated, some are not, but they all seem to be from the same general era.  And, even though they are all around a hundred years old, they still reek of cigarette smoke.

The top photo is dated "30 XI 21" in the European style of date, month and year.  The second,  "11 XII 21."  Russia was a late adapter of the Gregorian calendar, so even though the days might be from the archaic Julian calendar, the years should sync up with modern day usage.

Note on the second photo one woman is being fed by another.

Click on Russland in labels.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

The Here, There, and Everywhere Collection-Finally, Swimming

Swimming lessons over, it's time for the test.  I'm guessing that no one drowned, but one can never tell.  Go back to the previous post and see the photo of all the kids lined up in front of  a building.  I'm guessing that they're all from the same school, but I'm also guessing field trip to a local athletic club.

So, as usual, click on The Here There and Everywhere Collection in labels fro more photos and more info on the collection.