Friday, March 16, 2012

Photo Friday, Class Pictures Edition (1930's)

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Guys, it's Friday! We've managed another week without being blown off to Oz in usually-sunny Tennessee, and if that isn't cause for jubilation, I don't know what is. For Photo Friday, I thought I would share some of the newest photos in my collection. My sister Susan and I went to every estate sale in the world two weekends ago, and just to round out the shopping frenzy, stopped at Phoenix Flea Market in Old Hickory on the way back from a sale around the corner. That! Place! Is! So! MUCH BIGGER ON THE INSIDE. I mean really, the architectural equivalent of Mary Poppin's carpet bag. While I was wringing my hands over whether or not to purchase a real Schiaparelli costume jewlery bracelet from the fifties' (with a head spinning price tag that was less than it should have been, but still more than I could afford?), Susan and I popped into a small booth that was mostly photos, ephemera, and Coca Cola merchandise. To hit the jackpot!

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I forgot all about the nerve-jangling bracelet when I saw these early 1930's class photos. Each is about the size of a postcard, with file labels noting each student's name, in a set of about twenty five. Doesn't everyone look waaay too grown up to be in high school? While the men were handsome in their suits and ties, I was most interested in the women's more varied fashions. Look at the sweet bow at Innis Hushour's neck! Or the fabulous, cotton-boll resembling print and bead neclace in Arline Wiswell's photograph! I rarely find groupings of photos like this with so many people from the same sitting, and all so good-looking to boot. Everyone looks like a movie star! I was fairly ecstatic to come across them, and quickly went about the business of choosing the best of the bunch to take home with me.
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William Sonke reminds me of an 80s/90s actor I can't quite place. He's always playing the FBI director or the dad? Gosh, I'll think of it as soon as I publish this. Dorothy Benton has the most dramatic collared dress! I was trying to think of the name of that curlicue, every-which-way embroidery that was popular again in the 90s on semi-formal linen dresses, but it escapes me. With her neatly marcelled hair (possibly a longer length tucked into a faux bob to make it look more modern?) and earnest look, she's the one I would most like to look like in a photo out of the whole lot.

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Lyle Breen and Sheldon Wieland (I guess his tag fell off, but his name is also written on the back of the photo)-- the former looks exactly like some forties' second banana wisecrackin' guy. See how his tie's untucked? Wieland, on the other hand, resembles a central casting good guy the girl meant to marry before her real beau came back into the picture (a la Ralph Bellamy in His Girl Friday). Maybe it's the influence of the melting pot in post-war America, but don't you think people from this time period looked more distinctive? If you showed me a lineup of high school graduates from this year's class, I don't think they would be as easily told apart as these guys are.

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Great hair on both girls, and look at the print-sweater and Irish upturned nose on Alice Uhlman! She's a dead ringer for Parker Posey (right?). Note how Alice's hair has a kind of side-burn lock in front of the ear to give the hairstyle more depth. Interesting. I wonder if this and other photos I passed on were part of one of those large, framed class portrait pieces that was eventually disassembled? It seems kind of unusual to have photos of this size, all neatly labelled, of more than one student at a time. The "class treasurer" marking on Sheldon's photo below is swaying me towards the framed class portrait hunch.

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Besides the names and Sheldon's ranking, some nicknames are included for old time's sake. How much cuter is it now that you know Alice's first name is Louise, and she actually goes by "Squees"?

Do you have any outstanding school portraits either in your family's collection or in your adopted-photo-family collection? Which one of these kids would you votes "Mr. or Miss Personality"?

Have a good weekend, and we'll see you Monday!

8 comments:

  1. Oh my stars - these are amazing! What an awesome, awesome find! And wow, I've never heard of that place. Worth a go?

    I have a bit of a crush on Lyle so I vote that he wins all of the class awards. And that he then takes me to the prom. I have two old yearbooks that came with my house that I need to give to you. They're from the 40's.

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  2. SO FREAKING CUTE makes me wanna cut off all my hair

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  3. Why are these people so attractive? My class pictures were always terrible!

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  4. These pictures are so beutiful in a simple, moving way. They have a finnish that can only be explained from that era
    thanks for posting

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  5. oh man, i've never heard of that place. i must go! i need to dig through the old pictures. you got a bunch of great ones! i think alice is my favorite!

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  6. Love these cool old photos! =)

    http://pinkchampagnefashion.blogspot.com/

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  7. LOVE these! Once again, thank you for sharing these! We all know it is not "easy" to get these processed into the digital world. Well, it is easy, but it is even easier not to put them on your blog, right? LOVE these!

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  8. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE old class pictures! :3

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