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.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

The Rocky Beach

We Americans love nice, sandy beaches.  I've been on beaches on the Atlantic, Pacific, and Gulf coast, and while I've seen beaches with  a few rocks, I've never seen a beach covered with small pebbles like this one.  Throw in the faded Agfa watermark on the back, and I'm guessing somewhere in Europe.

Monday, October 23, 2017

My Heart Calls You

Written on the back, "Mein herz ruft nach dir."  A quick trip to Google translate gave me my heart calls you.  It sure looks like a theatrical photo so a quick trip to IMDB gave me Mein Herz Ruft Nach Dir, My Heart Calls You, 1934, starring Jan Kiepura as Mario Delmonte, and Marta Eggerth as Clara.  And what do you know, this happy couple are Jan and Marta themselves.  Really happy since they met on the movie, and married in real life.  They stayed married until Jan's death in 1966.

Anyway, both Jan and Marta were pretty famous in the world of opera, and starred in a number of pre-war German musicals.  Jan Kiepura, a tenor, was born in 1902, in a small town in  Poland, back when Poland was still part of the Russian Empire.  Marta Eggerth, a lyric soprano, was born in 1912, in Budapest, back when it was still part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. 

After their marriage, Jan and Marta called Vienna home, but after the Anschluss, the annexation of Austria by Nazi Germany, they fled, first to Paris, and then the United States.  Back to IMDB, and I found a 1942 credit for Marta in For Me and My Gal, starring Judy Garland and Gene Kelly, directed by Busby Berkeley.  IBDB, the Broadway theater version of IMDB, listed three war time credits for Jan and Marta together.  They played supporting roles in two separate productions of The Merry Widow, and lead roles in Polonaise.  Marta also had a credit, without Jan, in Higher and Higher.  They also became American citizens and bought a home in Rye, New York.

After the war, they often returned to Europe to perform in operas, operettas, and concerts, though their pre-war film career was lost to them.  As already noted, Jan Kiepura died in 1966.  He was buried in Warsaw, Poland.  Marta lived to 2013, aged 101.  I went to YouTube and found some of their work, including a concert by Marta, aged 82, singing songs by Robert Stolz, composer of light operas and music for cabaret.   At that point, I realized I could spend the whole day researching Austrian operettas and Berlin cabaret.  I have eclectic musical tastes, have actually been to a grand total of two operas and have several  Kurt Weill/Ute Lemper CDs, (In German, I can't understand a word.) so it might have been a day well spent, but I've other things to do, so don't be lazy, do your own computer surfing.

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.