Vintage Snapshots

the wondrous world of vernacular photography

Month: February, 2012

Shooting at Water and Other Pursuits

Horses pull a wagon across a river in vintage photograph

Crossing a river, c. 1900

Here are three great snapshots in, on and around water.

Woman piloting a speedboat across the water in old photo from the 1920s

Speedboat, c. 1920s

Vintage photo of a 1960s young woman shooting a gun at ocean

Gun Woman, 1966

5-Cent Diner

Vintage photo of a city street with diner, dated 1937

Five-Cent Diner with Car, 1937

This photo is dated August 1937 on the stamp on the rear – the year the Great Depression deepened after actually having eased somewhat in the previous few years. By the following year unemployment would hit 19%. I don’t know if five cents was a great deal back then for what they were offering, but I would imagine it must have been a pretty good price or they would not have featured it so prominently. In any case I like the directness of the sign: what else, really, did you need to know?

Apart from that, though, the photo is just pretty stunning for a snapshot, I think: the lines, the angle, the light, the lone automobile, the hulking building looming over the hamburger stand, and where the 5-cent sign ended up being placed compositionally. But was the photographer perhaps actually making a photo of the large building, and the corner of the diner just ended up getting in the way?

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