Saturday, December 30, 2017

Mother Russia

In the time of the Czars!  Everyone knows about the Kremlin.  The Peterhof Palace is on the outskirts of St. Petersberg, Peter the Great's choice for a new capital for a western looking Russia.  During World War 2, the building was occupied by the invading German armies and was heavily damaged.  Restoration began almost immediately, and has yet to be completed.  Trump would love the place.  There's gold leaf everywhere.  The preference of aspiring autocrats.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Street Scenes, Algeria

In the previous post, a French postcard publisher showed the French presence in Algeria.  In this post, ordinary, day to day life.  I couldn't find any information on the publisher, but with the English captions, and a stamp box on the back that gives stamp prices for the United States and Canada...well, I may be wrong, but I doubt anyone in north Africa ever saw this card.  Note the copyright date of 1909.  This card could have been sold for decades, but does the copyright date reflect when the photos were taken, or when the card was offered for sale?

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Mobile Defense

If my translation is correct, that bit of type on the top of the card reads, Algeria, the admiralty and the mobile defense.  This card was published by "LEVY ET NEURDEIN REUNIS."   Levy and Neurdein was in business from 1920 to 1932.  It was a company that was formed when Levy & Sons merged with Neurdein et Cie.  Algeria, of course, was once part of France.  My guess is that the patrol boats seen in this card were part of the French equivalent of the coast guard.  There was once a major French naval base at Mers-a-Kebir on the Algerian coast.  After the fall of France, and the formation of non occupied France, the British government demanded that the French fleet in north Africa head to England and join in the fight against the Germans.  When Admiral Darlan of the Vichy government declined but promised that the French fleet would never be surrendered to the Nazis, Churchill ordered an attack that sank the fleet, killing thousands of French sailors.  Latter, when the Germans tried to seize the rest of the French fleet at Toulon,  Darlan ordered the scuttling of his ships. 

Now, for a movie recommendation,  The Battle of Algiers.  It'll help explain why Algeria is no longer part of France.

Monday, December 25, 2017

The Littlest Christmas Tree

Alright, I think it's actually a candle, and it's so small that I missed it the first time I looked at the print, but there it is, right there at the edge of the table, the littlest Christmas tree.  There's a processor's date stamp on the back, "JANUARY 1959."  So, maybe not Christmas day, but right around December 25, 1958. 

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Drunken Carousing at Christmas

That's a hell of a tree in the background.

Monday, December 18, 2017

A Schwinn at Christmas

As a cycling enthusiast, I can assure you that the head badge on that bike is from a Schwinn.  At the very bottom of the oval, you'd read, "Chicago."  Ah, for the good old days when the United States was one of the world's leading bicycle manufactures.  When I was a kid, I longed for a genuine Schwinn bike.  I ended up with a Huffy.  After it was stolen, I got a used Raleigh three speed.  One of the best bikes I've ever owned. 

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Airplanes at Christmas

This one has a processor's date, "JAN-58."  Clearly, it was taken Christmas morning, 1957. 

Friday, December 15, 2017

Drinking at Christmas

So how do I know it's Christmas?  Take a look at the cards hanging on the back wall.  My mother used to string up Christmas cards like that, and I always thought it an odd thing to do.  Anyway, written on the back, "Fran, Tim, Betty, Bill, Mary, Bonnie & Joe." 

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

English Theater, Funny Hats

There are no identifying marks on this print at all.  No photographer's stamps, no writing, nothing.  So why do I think this image is from England?  Only the English would wear such stupid hats.  And those who watch PBS, of course. 

Monday, December 11, 2017

English Theater, The Kiltie Show

Ah, those Brits.  It's always a leg show.

Anyway, like yesterdays' post, there's lots of info on the back, including hand written stuff that looks a lot like the writing on, well, yesterday's post.  So, starting on the stamped info, "KIN 5638 ORDER No.  PHOTOCRAFT OF KINGSTON, 3 & 4 EMPIRE CHAMBERS RICHMOND ROAD, KINGSTON-ON THAMES."  And the hand written entry, "Laughing Room Only, Comin' Thru' the Rye.  Finale of Kiltie Show.  Oct. 1951." 

So, if it the same handwriting, rather than an example of a rigid school system that made sure everyone's handwriting looks exactly the same, was it the photographer or a cast member? 

Sunday, December 10, 2017

English Theater, Sincerely Hazel Bray

There's a lot of information on the back of this print.  A stamp, "KEMSLEY NEWSPAPERS LTD., MANCHESTER, COPYRIGHT PHOTOGRAPH."  And hand written, "Puss in Boots.  Panto: Scene 3-Courtyard of the Inn.  Hazel Bray and Jean Adrienne. [Principal girl and Boy]" 

A panto is a form of musical comedy aimed at family audiences, preformed mostly in England.  Hazel Bray has an IMDB listing.  She had four film credits from 1944 to 1947.  Not very extensive, as far as film work, but clearly she worked on the stage.  Jean Adrienne did a bit better with her film career, but not by much.  She appeared in seven films from 1932 to 1938.  She was born in India in 1905 and died in London in 1994. 

Friday, December 8, 2017

English Theater

This one is labeled, "Castleford-FEB.-1951."  Actually, there's a Castleford in Idaho, but the 1950 census lists a population of 274.  I'm guessing the city in England is a far better bet. 

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Bicycling In Baghdad

Written on the back, "To dear brother Albert Mauricy, Baghdad 25-8-1937." 

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Things Fall Apart

What would you do if your life suddenly fell apart?   Right now, at least in Los Angeles where I live, one of the fastest growing segments of the homeless population is people who work, but don't make enough money to pay rent.  Most of us accumulate a certain amount of stuff.  If you suddenly found yourself living on the streets, which objects from your life would you try and save? 

I recently took a walk along the L.A. River after one of our periodic "clean-ups" a nice way of saying a force out of a local homeless encampment.   There, I found these two old football cards.  I have to wonder if some guy who had spent years on his sports card collection, making sure he had every card from 1990, was he carting them around in a box?  When the clean-up crews arrived,  with only a few minutes to gather up the few remaining bits from his old life, did he drop Mike Tomczak and Pete Mandley? 

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Camera, Action!

I might be necessary to click on the photos and bring them up in a bigger window to see, but there is a camera in the upper left corner, behind the actors.  And my favorite thing about these pictures; written on the back of the top image, "disregard dark lines on face of print."   Come on.  Once it's mentioned, no one will be able to disregard the fogging.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017


Alright, the shiny thing is a reflector.  Obviously, it's used to reflect light, and less obviously, to soften light.  The crew members are getting a bit more casual in dress compared to yesterday's post.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017


After the photo lab I worked at went belly up, after going through my unemployment, savings and retirement fund, I started doing background work in the movies.  This piece of equipment is a boom mic, and quite frankly, they haven't changed all that much since this picture was taken.  But who is the guy?  All the techs I've seen on set dress casually.  For some reason, they seem to favor shorts.  Did boom operators once show up to set wearing suits?  Hard to imagine. 

Sunday, November 26, 2017

The Sandy Beach

Look what I found.  I was going through the ever growing stack of unsorted photographs on my desk when this image popped right out.  These two people are the same couple from a post from a month ago.  The Rocky Beach has been replaced by a sandy one.  I still think, without any actual proof, that it's from Europe, and I'm still wondering about people who go to the shore all dressed up.  Click on beach in labels, and a whole lot of photos will show up.  The Rocky Beach should be the next one back.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Milner Pass, Rocky Mountain National Park

Written on the back, "Milner Pass Elevation 11960 ft. Aug. 9. 1922 Rocky Mountain Ntl Park, Colorado Estes Park."  I looked it up, there's a road through Milner Pass that crosses the continental divide at 10759 feet.  Take a glance at the road in the background, and it clearly goes through a mountain pass.  It looks like the young lady in this photograph has hiked along the continental divide from the road.  I know it's possible because I've done the same thing. 

Am I the only one who wonders about the photographer?  Husband, boyfriend, girlfriend, father, mother, child?

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

The Grand Tour

I love this photograph.  It reminds me of all those stories I've read about the grand tour.  For the English, it was sending one's son off to the great cities of the continent, meant to give them some real life experience they'd need to become proper young members of the gentry.  For Americans, it was rich parents dragging their eligible daughters, like the young lady on the left, in a sick pursuit of a titled husband. 

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Getting Drunk in the Woods

Most forest fires are started by people.  Discarded cigarettes are a common cause of those fires.  Drinking leads to poor decision making.  So, guys getting drunk, in the woods, while at least one of them is smoking.  What could go wrong? 

Friday, November 17, 2017

The Party, The Fun Table

On September 22nd, I posted a company  party picture that showed a number of black employees sitting separately from the white employees.  I couldn't help but wonder if some party planner had put all the blacks at the same table,  or if the workers, more or less,  decided to separate themselves by race, by themselves.  Well, I was back at the same antique store and found this photo from the same party.  It looks like the fun people didn't care about race.

Click on  miller company in labels to see the first pix.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

A Stylish Extra Photo

It's a little silly considering my idea of dressing up is a tee shirt without holes, but somewhere along the line I got interested in fashion photography.  I spent a lot of years working in custom photo labs and spent years printing black & white fashion shoots, and it also helped that some of the great photographers that interested me often supported themselves by doing fashion work on the side.  I doubt that Man Ray was raking in the bucks with his photograms.  Anyway, this young lady is looking quite fashionable.  There is an Agfa Lupex watermark on the back, and considering when it was taken (probably the thirties.) there's a high probability it's from Europe, possibly Germany.

So, I've still got plenty of these throw in prints, but it's time to move on to other things. 

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Another Extra Photo, Sort Of

I'm defining extra photos as those  that get sold with images that I'm actually interested in.  By that standard, I would never buy them in and of themselves.  This one is kind of borderline.  If this one was cheap enough, say 50 cents or less, I might buy it.  Then again, I might not. 

Monday, November 13, 2017

A Looking Sideways Extra Photo

I've noticed that a lot of the extra photos from the envelopes I buy are of women.  My best guess is that the men in these women's lives controlled the camera, which I think must be a pretty common thing. This one is dated with a processor's stamp, "MAY 11, 1937, BEAR PHOTO SERVICE."

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Another One of the Extras

I've either got to post some of these throw in photographs, the images that came with the photos I actually wanted, or shove then in a drawer somewhere, never to be seen again.

 I'm old enough to remember when owning a fur coat was a pretty big deal.  It was  symbolic of entering a secure middle class.  If the lady, or her husband, could afford to spend so much money on something that was more of a fashion statement than a practical garment, that meant  they didn't have to worry about money anymore.  Think of it as spending a grand on a phone, when a $200 one works just as well.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

One of the Extra Photographs

I often by envelopes full of photographs.  This is from one of those envelopes.  I wouldn't have purchased it individually, but it's still a nice photo of a woman, long dead.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Famous People?

I have to say, this very small snapshot looks like it was posed.  Too, the tall man on the right looks familiar, and  the guy in the trench coat looks a bit like Spencer Tracy.  There is a stamp on the back, most of which is unreadable, but I could make out "KONSUM FOTOLAB" according to Google Translate, cooperative photo lab.  I like silent movies, and I've seen a number of German ones.  Perhaps, Tracy made a trip to Germany, and he met with members of the German film industry. 

Monday, November 6, 2017

The Here, There, and Everywhere Collection-The Too Big Album Page 4

There isn't much I can add that hasn't already been mentioned in the three previous posts.  This is the right side of the page and it shows granny in her garden.

Click on the here there and everywhere collection in labels to bring up other photos from the series.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

The Here, There, and Everywhere Collection-The Too Big Album Page-3

Obviously, the flip side of the last two posts.  On this one, the photos aren't all the same size and placed in nice, neat rows.  So, the division is right-left rather than top-bottom.  The bottom photo looks a bit tropical, while all the other photos on both sides of this page have that nice, middle America feel.  Of course, both California and Florida have towns that were made to look like back home Iowa.   P.S., the photos were mounted at angles, the scan is straight.

Click on the here there and everywhere collection in the labels section at the bottom of the post for more pictures and an explanation for the series title.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

The Here, There, and Everywhere Collection-The Too Big Album Page 2

Continuing with the album page that was too big to fit on my scanner, the bottom row of pictures.  What's fascinating to me is the difference in clothing.  The grandparents still seem to dress in the nineteenth century, with the ground length dress and frock coat, while the youngest woman is wearing a leg baring dress.  Note the difference in height between the two women in the first picture. 

As usual, click on the here there and everywhere collection in labels for everything else from the collection.

Friday, November 3, 2017

The Here, There, and Everywhere Collection-The Too Big Album Page 1

As a rule, when I'm posting an album page, I like to show the whole page for position, and then do a scan of each individual photograph. This page, however, was too big to fit on my scanner, so I've been forced to do it in sections.  For the record, this the top row of pictures from a single page. 

It looks like a family get together at the family homestead, and when this was taken, it's quite possible that this land had been in the hands of this particular family from the homesteading era.  If nothing else, the grandparents were almost certainly old enough to remember the Civil War, Custer and the battle of The Little Big Horn.  The youngest woman in the top photo may have been born before the first airplane flight, and probably lived to see man walk on the moon.  Quite a span of history.

As usual, click on the here there and everywhere collection in labels for more pictures and an explanation of the series title.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

An Ocean Voyage

I've crossed the English Channel a couple of times, been to Catalina, and taken the ferry between Port Angeles and Victoria half a dozen times or more. I've never crossed an ocean by ship, and I regret having been born after the days of trans Atlantic liners.  From the twenties I would think.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Strike Up The Band

Or lock up the band.  Emeryville is in the bay area.  So is San Quentin.  Not exactly Johnny Cash, but then again, this might be the county jail rather than California's infamous big house.  I'm assuming that the Emeryville VFW hadn't been arrested for illegal marching, so it looks like they were nice enough to give a free concert to the prisoners. 

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Gyys Drinking

Yes, gyys.  Written on the back, "Gyys off the ship watching the game and drinking beer."  There's even a date stamp, "2.10.71."  So, navy or merchant marine?  What grooming standards did the navy set for it's sailors?  Did they allow beards?  If they didn't we'd know these guys are civilian sailors.