The face is on a piece of paper that has been glued to the back and shows through a hole cut in the photo.
A random grouping of a few recently acquired shots that I think will remain favorites.
Christmas morning, covered with presents. Old Spice, taken out of the box to display. I love this one. Merry Christmas.
Vintage snapshots of people sitting at pianos are not uncommon, though this is one of the nicer ones I think I have come across — for several reasons in my view, including its composition/light, the framed photographs on the piano, the fact that the woman is actually playing rather than merely sitting or posing, and for the sheet music to her left. (See the full photo below.)
“I Love the Ladies” first appeared in 1914, and was written by Grant Clarke and Jean Schwartz, the latter a Hungarian immigrant born in 1878 who was one of the more prolific composers of the early Broadway era. Those early popular songs certainly had some great titles; some of my favorites from Schwartz include “Rip Van Winkle Was a Lucky Man,” “Why Do They All Take the Night Boat to Albany?” and “I’m Tired.” For his part, the Akron, Ohio-born Clarke contributed to titles such as “Weary River,” “He’d Have To Get Under – Get Out And Get Under – To Fix Up His Automobile,” “There’s A Little Bit Of Bad In Every Good Little Girl,” and “I’m The Medicine Man For The Blues.”
Here is a link to the sheet music, and should anyone be interested in the place of the piano in early-20th century culture, I wrote a long piece that touches on that subject in connection with the jazz pianist George Shearing for another blog I do here.
Mt. Wilson is a 5,712′-high mountain in Los Angeles County, and seems to have been a very popular early-20th century destination for hikers if the number of vintage snapshots taken there is any indication. According to this website, the first modern trail up the mountain — transforming an old Indian path — was built in 1864, and by the 1880s “up to 70 hikers and horse-riders [would] climb the trail to camp at Mt. Wilson on weekends, building huge bonfires at the peak to signal their safe arrival.”
The names written on the back of this shot are “Davis” and what looks like “Goodan” — should anyone in the area have any inkling of who they perhaps were.