Having Fun Yet?

Old photo, circa 1920s – 1930s.

Price:  $8.00          Size:  About 4 and 1/4″ x 2 and 1/4″

Continuing on with a mini-theme of families or groups of people. This one is a stumper. Where were they? The major clue, if we can call it that, appears on our left….something Ranch. Had the camera been pointing slightly more in that direction (or the photographer further back), we probably could have figured it out. Maybe “something-or-other Ranch” was a restaurant. Do we imagine we see a small outdoor dining table there covered in white cloth? The other clue (for some ingenious person) is the out-of-place looking geometric metal? phone booth-ish (space ship, time portal, 😉 ) thing at the far right, that we only see a portion of. What the heck was it? Then the people depicted here….Looking like, I hesitate to say it, a family of con-artists. Maybe it’s the younger girl – the stony-faced look and the cool octagonal sunglasses, note her grip on her grandma’s arm (yes, we remember that smiling into the camera was not mandatory, like it pretty much is today – refreshing, really – scowl if you want to) and her sister – with that trick of the eye – one eye closed, the other squinting slightly, not a wink though, but different….how did the camera catch that? Now, the dark-skinned gentleman on our right, is he the dad of the girls and the (nice-looking) older brother? Dad sun-bronzed from years of outside work…..or are they a wealthy bunch and this man is their driver (but part of the family) and native to (imagining) Central America. Well, idiotic questions like these are in abundance. Notice, too, how the whole gang is dressed in white except for the matron of the bunch. Makes you think this snapshot was taken in one of the southern states, Florida or SoCal, perhaps? Anyway, every picture tells a story, as they say, and what this one tells is……open to impression….flashes of insight appearing and disappearing…..in the end, I’d say they’re a nice, very stylish family with a million stories to tell. Oh, and this photo had been in the family album for some time, as evidenced by some of the black paper still stuck to the back.

San Antonio, Texas, 1927

Old photo. San Antonio, Texas, 1927. Printer:  The Fox Company. Copyright by Carl D. Newton.

Price:  $10.00         Size:  3 and 7/16 x 2 and 7/16″

There’s a good story in this moment, for sure. The phrase, “a pointed look” comes to mind – that which the young girl is directing toward her…..would you say, older sister? If siblings, that might explain the hostility 😉 Or, do you imagine, that the one girl is just very engrossed in what the older one is saying (is she talking?) Personally, I love these old photos from the ’20s and ’30s, with the front yards (if this is one, sort of) that were not expected to be showpieces (no lawns) and often with old hand-built wooden fences that are leaning. (Actually, that’s a very nice gate, but the fence is falling in, and the gate off-kilter.) Or, maybe if not a front “yard” this is a commercial or semi-commercial street view. I’m now imagining some sort of auto servicing business. When you enlarge the image you’ll see that there is a second car in this photo and then also a third person, who’s standing behind it. We’ll check with the experts on the Antique Automobile Club of America forum, for the make, model and year of the car in the foreground.

Double Exposed Car

Old photo, white border. Circa 1910s – early ’20s.

Price:  $10.00

Young man posing in front of….perhaps a Model T (just a guess). Looks like maybe he’s going camping, with the gear strapped in somehow on the running board. Though, at first glance, this looks like an x-ray of the car with….surprise, much different innards than expected. 😉 I’m struck just now by the synchronicity of the man and vehicle both sporting a soft “cap” (Yeah, we’re all a little crazy lately, eh? 🙂 )

Gas Pump – Verdun, France

Photo, white border, deckled edge. Circa mid-1930s, France.

Price:  $10.00

Verdun, France, a man refuels his vehicle, a 1934 or 1935 Peugeot 401.

Two members of the Antique Automobile Club of America came to the rescue (lightning quick responses, as usual) to identify the make, model and year of the car in the photo, and for clarification on the Castrol sign appearing to the left of the large Essences – Huiles.

Of course, it’s one of the first things to do (and so fun) when enlarging old photos – try to decipher any blurry or murky-looking wording, and that word under Castrol had me stumped (was guessing Brewster, haha) but it turned out to be something simple, in french, brevetée, patented. (See link in Sources.) And that’s a Gargoyle Mobiloil sign, to the right of Essences – Huiles. Gargoyle was a brand name under the Vacuum Oil Company. Also, noteworthy in the photo, is the small piece of machinery on the concrete, to the left of the man. Per my mechanic hubby, this is maybe an air compressor or pressure washer. Last but not least, we love the intricate wrought ironwork over the doorway of the Bureau de something, not quite readable – another of those, if you already knew what it said, it would be perfectly clear. 😉

Sources: Photo and video forums. What is it? Antique Automobile Club of America. Response to query of February 7, 2020. https://forums.aaca.org/forum/66-what-is-it/.

Vacuum Oil Company. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vacuum_Oil_Company (accessed February 7, 2021).

“French Castrol Oil Double-Sided Porcelain Flange”. Mecum Auctions Road Art. mecum.com. (accessed February 13, 2021).

Young Woman With Bow, Circa 1900 – 1910

 

Small photograph, circa 1900 – 1910

Price:  $7.00          Size:  About 1 and 5/8 x 1 and 5/8″

It was so distracting to look at this original because the cropping of the actual photo was so off-kilter, so I cropped it and then ended up cleaning it up, somewhat, in Photoshop. This would be a really nice one, if professionally re-done. There is no name on the back, just evidence that it came from someone’s old photo album. And who was the lovely young woman? We’ll probably never know but we get a sense that she was bright, maybe working-class, a teacher perhaps, or maybe this was a school (or school-era) picture and she was in college. The camera seems to have caught a little sadness or perhaps it’s wistfulness in the look. She wears her hair up, in a style common in the Edwardian Era, and wears a large, dark bow, a brooch at its center, and a round pendant or locket suspended from a chain.

Dutch Woman In Traditional Headdress

Postcard, unused. Photographer:  A. W. Verschoore de la Hoiussaye. Lange Vorststraat – Goes. Telf 44. Platen blijven voor nabestelling bewaard. Circa late 1910s – 1920s.

Price:  To be determined

That last line above, in the photographer’s information on the reverse, translates to “Records will be kept for reordering.” Lange Vorststraat, is the name of the street (literally translating to “long frost street”) in the city of Goes, province of Zeeland, Netherlands.

Photographer Adriaan Willem Verschoore de la Hoiussaye (sometimes spelled Houssaije) was born November 18, 1896 in either Middelburg or Den Bosch, Netherlands and died August 10, 1981. As of the date of this web post, we’re seeing only one other possible postcard (a digital) example from the website, Saving Photography (wonderful photos on this site, see link below in Sources) but we’ve just reached out to someone who will hopefully be able to help determine this postcard’s potential value.

We see a beautiful young woman (love that direct, soul-searching gaze) in short sleeves with a shoulder wrap of gingham and embroidered border; a carefully arranged bolero necklace fastened with a small, perhaps silver or gold medal; seven strands of possibly coral beads covering her neck; and a white cap fanning out into a grand display of starched lace, framing the subject’s face, and extending all the way past her shoulders – as if the head covering could have been worn down and flowing but, of course, is pulled up and starched to show off the work and identify the location that this young lady was from (or was modeling for). The lacework is gorgeous, no surprise, but click the image twice to enlarge, and you’ll notice some parallel lines running out toward the border on our left, and more lines on our right. Looking at the artist’s patterns – something about them reminds me of angels’ wings or maybe feathers.

I have no idea what the small flag-type things are, one dark, and one light, that are on each side of the woman’s forehead – some part of the traditional costume, it would seem, and maybe they help to fasten the headdress. An expert in the field of traditional folk wear could give us a much better description than I’ve attempted to do here, but I have to say that, were I twenty again (sorry, not trying to cop out on the age thing) I would love to take up this field of study. Maybe as a hobby in upcoming retirement, though!

Sources:  A. W. Verschoore de la Hoiussaye, Dutch Photographer. https://peoplepill.com/people/a-w-verschoore-de-la-houssaye/ (accessed November 17, 2020).

Zeeuws Archief; Den Haag, Nederland; BS Birth. Ancestry.com. Netherlands, Birth Index, 1784-1917.

“Portrait of an unknown lady.” Saving Photography. https://www.nl12.nl/saving-photography/#jp-carousel-3107 (accessed November 17, 2020).

Young Woman In Hanover, Pennsylvania

Photograph by John G. Feeser, Hanover, PA. Circa 1880s.

Size of photo:  About 4 x 6″       Size including cardboard frame:  About 5 x 7″

These are digital images, front and back, graciously donated by one of our readers. The family name that might belong to this beautiful young lady may be from among the following:

-Smith
-Myers
-Beitzel
-Underwood
-Wilt

Here’s to hoping someone will recognize this woman. But in any case, this is a lovely portrait showing wonderful details:  We wonder if this was taken for a special event, evidenced by the corsage of roses she wears on the left lapel of her coat, with its two large buttons perched on the other lapel. In peering at an enlargement, the writing on the top button, one feels, is almost readable. Beneath the coat, which is heavily gathered at the shoulders, is a bodice in velvet, gathered at the neck and likely waist, creating soft folds. The bodice is set off by a wide flowery ribbon at the neck, which is tied into a bow in back. Her wavy brown hair is parted down the middle, and is probably long but gathered up from behind. She gazes slightly up to her right, from clear blue or green eyes, underneath straight brows.

Log Cabin Home, 1934

Photo, white border. October 2, 1934.

Price:  $7.00       Size:  3 and 1/2 x 1 and 7/8″

A child in overalls, standing outside their log cabin home, location unknown. This is a beautiful photo, for content and composition:  There’s the path, right from our viewpoint, leading up to the doorway; the home nestling in the woods and off-center of the image; evidence of the wood-burning stove currently in use; and other details to notice, such as the wash basin hanging next to the door, and the somewhat concave appearance of the cabin’s side. And it’s almost like you could hit “play” and see video – the child walking towards us, smiling face appearing out of the shadow, or maybe turning to go into the house, the stovepipe smoke blowing easterly….

On the back is written,  “At least they have a roof. A well-to-do Indian half-breed.”  Well, maybe the individual that wrote the comment had just come from seeing some other cabins not as well put together. Also it was 1934, so better terminology was not yet common, evidently.

But for me, it looks like a small slice of heaven (as I sit typing this with the heavy traffic rolling by).

A Formal Occasion, Onboard Ship

Photo, white border. Circa 1910s – 1940s.

Price:  $6.00         Size:  About 2 x 2 and 7/8″

A snapshot found in a loose box of photos, location and ship name are unknown, and the date is unknown. If you enlarge the photo you’ll see three men in non-military type hats, that are walking with the officers. Maybe they are dignitaries of some sort.

Thunderbird Park, Vancouver Island, 1958

Photo, snapshot with white border, June 1958, Vancouver Island, BC

Price:  $5.00       Size:  About 3 and 1/2 x 3 and 1/2″

Tourists in June 1958 posing at the foot of a totem pole (not sure if this particular one is still there) and in front of the Mungo Martin House which was built in 1953.

Mungo Martin. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mungo_Martin. (accessed March 14, 2020).