Friday, March 31, 2017

Roll Out The Barrel

Big Barrel or small woman?

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Jo Edith and the Deleted

This is a real photo postcard that has been trimmed down, and judging by the corner mounts on the bottom, placed in a photo album.  What's written on the back is intriguing. "Jo Edith, Guy and Baby."  The simplest explanation is that  the card was trimmed to fit the page.  Still, it's interesting to speculate. Did Guy leave with the child?  When this picture was taken, the age of vaccinations was still in the future, and the child mortality rate was around 30%. Did the baby die, and did the child's death drive Jo Edith and Guy apart?  As I noted, the size of the album page is the obvious answer, but still?

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Two Women Strolling in the City

The exposure is a bit off in this photo.  It's clear that the photographer metered for the legs, and the printer didn't do him any favors by not dodging back the top third of the image.  Still, it's a great city scene.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

The Here, There and Everywhere Collection-Studio Portrait

Why oh why can't I find a scanner that's not intent on correcting my old photographs.  I've just spent the better part of an hour trying to get this studio portrait to look like it actually does.  I don't need Epson to make things better for me.  Anyway, best guess, from the twenties.  Click on The  Here, There, and Everywhere Collection in labels to see more and get an explanation for the collective  title.

Thursday, March 23, 2017


I'd stay at a motel named Porky's.  As a matter of fact, I'd favor a motel named Porky's.


I really like the idea of having a private shower.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The New Glarus Hotel

Continuing with my hotel/motel theme....Fist of all, it's not a new version of The Glarus Hotel, it's a hotel in New Glarus, Wisconsin,  America's dairy land, so, needless to say, there's a lot of locally made cheese, and from what I've been able to find on-line, there are also a number of local breweries.  I had no idea there was beer tourism.  Live and learn.

So, the New Glarus Hotel was built in 1853, and it's still there, though now it's strictly a restaurant.  The pictures I found don't show a lot of change in the building, though those great Eames/Herman Miller molded fiber glass chairs have been replaced by plain old wood.  And, they have bands.  Have no idea if they had entertainment back in the fifties or sixties when this photo was taken, but they do now.  As a matter of fact, Barefoot Becky just finished an engagement.  She has a few videos on YouTube.  I grew up in an area where polka was quite popular, and I have to say, she wasn't half bad.

The caption, "NEW GLARUS HOTEL, NEW GLARUS, WISCONSIN.  Authentic Swiss Architecture enhances this Swiss Style Dining Area and Service Bar around a fire-place setting."  I've never understood how postcard manufacturers use capitol letters.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The Fairview Motel

Before Motel 6, before the Best Western, there were a lot of these small, family owned motels all over America.  And then, the interstate highway system was built, bypassing small towns, and isolating all those motels from cross country travelers.  Those small motels would give out postcards for their guests, kind of a cheap advertising method.  I have to wonder how many people thought that a motel card was a better choice than one of the local tourist attraction.

And the caption on the back, "FAIRVIEW MOTEL, 3230 Commercial Ave., Madison 4, Wisconsin.  Free Television-Radio-Air-Conditioned Phone Cherry 4-9996.  On Highway 30 just off 51 and 151  Restaurants Nearby.  Mr. and Mrs. Robert G. Biehl."

I wonder how many rooms,per night,  Mr and Mrs Biehl had to rent to break even. .

Monday, March 20, 2017

Love That Coffee

Actually, I hate coffee.  There's just something about it that always tastes bitter in my mouth.  I do, however, love this postcard.  These kind of strange buildings, designed to look like some object, used to be a fairly common sight along American roadways, but as time passes, so do the coffee pots, giant shoes, and plaster pets.  I miss them, kitschy though they may be.

This card was never used, so no messages or postmarks.   The caption, "Washington Island Information Booth.  This hand-painted, Norwegian Rosemaling coffee pot portrays the Old World hospitality of Washington Island.  Charming natives, dressed in Scandinavian attire, dispense information and coffee to visitors of Washington Island, Door County, Wisc.  Color by Hagedorn Studio."

Sunday, March 19, 2017

The Here, There, and Everywhere Collection-In Venice

No, not Venice, California.  Literature is full of stories of rich Americans headed off for a life along the canals.  In my last post, I wondered if this collection was the maid's or her employer's.  My mother and her brother were servants.  When her bosses traveled, she stayed at home, but her brother went with the family.  In the last post I promised a clue, and that clue comes from my mother's experience My mother was a parlor maid and wore a uniform like the one in the last post.  Ladies maids and valets, like my uncle, traveled, parlor maids stayed behind.

Click on The Here, There, and Everywhere Collection in labels to see more.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

The Here, There, and Everywhere Collection-The Maid, The Cat, and the Dog

Well, the best thing to do is click on The Here, There, and Everywhere Collection in labels to get an explanation, and see more from the lot.  But in a nutshell, the person who sold me this collection said it was all from an estate, but then again, take that with a grain of salt.

So, the first two photos reveal the why of the title.  There she is, the maid, in one image she's holding the cat, and in the other, the dog.  I guess, the real question is this; Are these the photographic memories of the maid, and her career, working for different families, or did mi'lord and mi'lady just need someone to show off their pets?  My next post will be the other side of this album page, and may provide a clue.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

The Drunk in the Background

He might not be drunk, but I suspect he knew what it was like.  Take a close look at the table, and Polaroid photos with their unique pull tabs can be seen.  There's just a bit of the brown staining, common on early Polaroid photographs, were part of the image is underdeveloped, along the left edge of this print.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

What to do?

I refer to this blog as a found photography site.  In reality, since most of the content is purchased at flea markets, antique malls, and on eBay, The New Purchased Photography would be a more apt title.  True found photography, images found on the street, or in some abandoned building, is truly rare, and very special.

Anyway, there I was, walking down the street in Hollywood, just a few blocks from the Scientology building, when I looked over and saw this photo propped up on a pipe stand.  It's not the type of found photography I'm really looking for.  It's clearly a digital print, and a manipulated one at that.  But, it was a photograph so I picked it up.  Then, I turned it over and saw that someone had written their own little philosophical tract on the back, another thing I find fascinating.  Needless to say, I took it.  The big question was, what to do with it.  The writing would normally go on my Fair Use blog.  Photographs would normally end up here.  In the end, I posted on both blogs.  Photo first here, tract first on Fair Use.

Monday, March 13, 2017


This one has one of my all time favorite  captions, "Sweetie Looking Pleasant For Me."  

Friday, March 10, 2017

Mister Moon Is Watching From Above

Well this one has a photo copyright for De Witt C. Wheeler, so there's no confusion about the origins of the actual image on the card.  Of course, I do concede that the moon is clearly an illustrated addition.

There is a written message on the back.  "Jan 20 th.  Friend Orin, There is a good theatre over to skowhegan next Mon. tues. & wed. will it be so you can come down tues. if so and you can come on the 2 oclock train I will come to the station when I get off C.E.P." The card was mailed to "Mr Orin Dolan, Salon, Me."  And the postmark, the name of the town has worn off, but the date's still there.  "1910, JAN 20 1 P.M. ME."

Anyway, De Witt Wheeler has made more than one appearance in this collection, so in addition to clicking on Flirtation in labels, De Witt C. Wheeler cards can also be seen by clicking on his name.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

I Have Only Nine

Talk about a never ending project.  Way back in 2013 I bought an envelope full of very old postcards that the seller referred to as the flirtation collection.  Basically, most of the cards had a romantic theme.  Some were obviously based on photographs, and those are posted on this blog.  Pure illustration are on my Fair Use blog.  Betwixt and between is a best guess. All are tagged flirtation in labels, at the bottom of the post, so that other cards can easily referenced..

Despite the assurances of the seller, I'm not sure I view this one as all that romantic.  Still it's part of the collection.  As a rule, I don't post the backs of cards, but I liked the publishers logo.  Bamford & Company opened for business in 1870 and finally went of business in 1990, which is a very long time for a postcard publisher.  They opened their New York offices in 1906, so the one thing we can know is that this card was published after that date.  Gotta love the old studio camera.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Women on the Beach

I haven't been on every beach in California, but I can't remember any this wide.  So, east coast, or the gulf, maybe the great lakes.  I'm betting those large stone buildings in the background are recognizable to someone.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Japanese Students

This shouldn't' be read as an endorsement of eBay.  Like many others I've had a few bad experiences with the site.  Still, as a collector of old photographs, and as someone old enough to remember a world with out an internet,  I'm always amazed that I can buy a photo from Japan and have it delivered to my door in less than a week.

Anyway, both of these pictures were pasted on the same card, one on the front, and one on the back.  I scanned the card in hopes that someone can translate the writing and leave it as a comment, and then did the photo alone.  The back of the card, with the second image, is just plain green with neither writing or textured surface, so who knows if the card was meant to have photographs on both sides.  Since nothing was lost, I just scanned the photo.  The card is just a bit bigger than wallet size, so maybe a parent just glued the second shot on the back to keep pictures of the kids all together.