Monday, January 12, 2015

Giant Instamatic

Here's a picture of me holding a giant Kodak Instamatic 126:
This was an outtake from my 1985 (or '86, or '87) Christmas card, shot in the portrait studio at Moler's Camera in Wichita, where I worked at the time. The plaster bust of Lincoln came from an old schoolhouse, I think.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Mysterious Factory Photographs

No idea where these were taken, but they seem to have all come from the same photo album. Found them in a St. Louis antique store. The one that caught my eye was this dramatic, post-fire picture of a young man sitting calmly in the factory ruins:
 What kind of factory was this, anyway?

I like the expression on the guy on the left.
Loading some kind of contraption onto a cart....and below, a standard group shot:



 And of course the gag photo with the guy pretending to be asleep. Any ideas as to where this was or what they made?

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Is this the Scariest Clown of All Scary Clowns?

At least of all Scary Clowns riding tiny, tiny tricycles.
Just look at this guy!
He's the corpsiest clown ever. Even if you're not scared of clowns, you should be scared of this guy.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Taxidermy from the Four Corners region of Colorado

 This fox was in the window of an antique mall in Pagosa Springs, CO. 
 This bear was in the Lake City, CO Historical Museum, repository of many fine artifacts relating to the Alferd Packer cannibalism case. The bear, which has nothing to do with old Alferd or his dietary idiosyncrasies, stands only about four feet tall. (More on Packer soon!) 
And this baby ostrich stands in what might be described as an antique store or a flea market in Del Norte, CO, operated by a genial old fellow who used to run an ostrich farm. He also once built his own coffin prior to open heart surgery, which he survived. The coffin is standing up in the middle of the store and took him just a few hours to build. If you ever get to Del Norte he's a very good conversationalist and has some odd things for sale. Who doesn't need a stuffed baby ostrich?

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Dodgem, Alber's Flour, the Boardwalk and the beach

 This photograph was given to me by the owner of a small antique store in Alamosa, Colorado, when I was buying a couple of books. I asked him how much he wanted for it and he said "Take it." Looks to me like Coney Island, maybe, or Atlantic City, circa 1925. Maybe one of the guys in suits is Nucky Thompson from "Boardwalk Empire."  Click to enlarge and read the ALBER'S FLOUR sign.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Barbara and the Iceman

Here's a novelty postcard I picked up in a small town in the Four Corners region of Colorado. It's from the Baxtone company of Amarillo, part of its Laff-O-Gram series of comical postcards. Like this example several of these were slightly risqué, but what appeals to me about this one is how Film Noir it feels.
 Barbara's relatively realistic, naturalistic depiction looks right out of a low-end romance comic, or a newspaper soap opera strip. Consider the raised hand, as though about to cover her mouth before she can tell hubby another lie, her sidelong glance, her back to her husband and the accusatory ice block:
 She looks like she's wondering how she can convince the amorous ice peddler to knock her old man off. And the poor cuckold of a husband seems to have been drawn by another hand entirely, a grotesque, cartoonish head awkwardly appended to a relatively realistic body:
I'd love to know who drew this.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Little America, Granger, Wyoming, August 27 1938

Found this lovely thing in Indiana a few weeks ago:
This is the kind of weird old-timey Americana I'm always looking for in old pictures. And only two dollars! As always, click to enlarge, there's plenty of satisfying detail in there....