In the midst of severe spring cleaning, I've moved my lovable, huggable, 1950's gunmetal grey Royal typewriter (just like this one, sans case) into the flux area of "things I haven't decided where to put yet but are definitely not going to Goodwill" and away from its longtime home, the desk that holds my home computer. It was a rough and tough decision, but one that had to be made in the interest of practicality. The Royal WILL find a new placement somewhere in my house, I just found myself having to have a space to work on... somewhere that I convert my vast library of paper ephemera into a digital library, somewhere that my USB turntable might actually be able to function as means of conversion, rather than a large paperweight. Still, the heartache of disrupting my nest. I am seeking solace in the functionality of being able to use my scanner to once again share things with you good people.
What things? Pictures, namely. LOTS of pictures. You have no idea how many flippin' pictures I have floating around in my house of people that are not related to me. Many more than of people who ARE related to me (sorry, family)! I thought I would try and scan some of them in every week so the pictures don't just collect dust in little folios around my house.
You wanna see? Of course you do! :)
Above, two women from what looks like to me the late twenties'. I don't know why the back fo the photo is labelled twice, but we'll go with the second labeling at the bottom. What struck me about this photo was principally the SWAGGER of these Rubenesque women and their style of dress. Leona (right) wears a white sack dress and a loosely tied bolero-ish ribbon, plus a full length black cloth coat, plus a really super cloche hat. What's sticking out of her coat pocket? What colors do you think the hat would have been? Aunt May (left) wears a drop waisted print dress, with what looks an overgrown handkerchief to me but what is probably a weird linen hat. I like the piping details at the waist and collar. Can you see the high fence and clapboard house behind them? The body language seems so loose and comfortable between the two women.
Here's a Little Miss Personality if ever I saw one! One sock up, one sock down; black bob, black patent leather shoes; a pinafore and shorts ensemble, and a water tower looming over all. I think you can tell by her sweet smile and the way she's standing it was all she could do to stand still for the photograph...she'd rather be skipping down the sidewalk. The out of focus houses in the background and the hints of people's shadows in the foreground make this picture so dreamy. As for dating the picture, I've been having the best luck with that kind of information being plain as day lately, for once or twice in my life:
This fox looks more like a rabbit to me (ah, the irony!) but it's still a great logo, stamped on the back of the photo when it was processed in probably 1927. The little socks and haircut from the photo make that a reasonable date to me. I accidentally cut off a little of the border in the scanning process, but rest assured, it's intact on the actual print. Because who would want to miss a GENUINE Fox Tone border picture?! Get hype, 1920's people.
Meet "Rene A". I have a half dozen or so photos of him and a few girlfriends in front of what looks like some public buildings in a town square. I remember buying up a whole slew of photos for a dime apiece from this same lot. There were probably about hundred different photos, all different eras, all marked a dime, in an apple basket at this antique store booth in Lebanon, TN. While my dad was upstairs looking for WWII-era memorabilia and books, I was kneeling on the floor in the booth, dealing out stacks of old snapshots like hands of poker. This stack, "Definitely", this stack, "Maybe", this stack "Discards". At the tender age of thirteen, I'd never realized people would sell whole apple-baskets-full of family photos! The picture above has been separated from the other ones, which are somewhere in my drawersful of ephemera, but if I find them, I'll have to do a follow up. I seem to remember a shapely girl with a Zelda Fitzgerald curly bob, but that might just be my sentimental imagination talking.
I love the composition of this particular picture-- the building behind him, the half shadow, the window shutters' slats and the slightly lighter clapboards beneath them. How nattily dressed is Rene A.? Cap, that small, neat bowtie, the overcoat, the confident smile... he could easily be Sears model from the era.
Get ready for even more next week! Which one of these three is your favorite? What draws you, if it does, to buying vintage photographs? Do you have a particular found photo that makes your heart melt? Spill, spill!
Til next time.