Another in the classic background series (sample here).
Another in the “background” series, I love how this baby’s head seems both to be surrounded by a halo and to have a bottle sticking out of it. This was found in the Bay Area and was likely taken somewhere in San Francisco or the East Bay. I wonder if any trace of the sign remains. There is something appealing about the old signs that were hand-painted on buildings (as this was one was; you can see the lines of the siding running through it), and there are several websites devoted to ones that remain, sometimes called “ghost signs.”
Here is a close-up of Coke baby.
I found this shot over the weekend, and realized when I looked at it a little more closely at home that it may well depict a version of Henry Ford’s first car, something he completed in 1896 and called – in a nod, I assume, to the fact that it used bicycle components for its seat, tires, chain, etc. – the quadricycle. I have since learned that the car in the photo is a Curved Dash Oldsmobile. Notable for having been the first mass-produced automobile, it was produced from 1901 to 1907, with something over 19,000 being made in total.
Below is a photo of Henry Ford in a similar, earlier automobile, which had a two-stroke engine and could travel at about 20mph.
What I find so great about this photo, however, is not just the car. It is the fact that if you look closely (and I have enlarged the relevant section below) you can see a woman holding a baby up to the window right behind the driver’s head. It would possibly have been one of the first times either had seen an actual automobile. What a different world was coming. One in which, among other things, parking would never be so easy again.
I often find it intriguing when there is a person in the background who is captured (usually) by chance – such as the young girl tucked away near the corner of the house, looking towards the camera (which you can make out more clearly when you enlarge the image).
I have a strange fascination with photos that feature people against background elements that seem as if they could be coming out of their heads. With this one I first thought of some sort of aerial or antenna, but also a biplane (if you ignore that third level around her collarbone area). Call me crazy. As something of a photographer, though, I can attest to how hard it is to always be aware of every last detail when clicking the shutter – probably especially with a camera that may have required a little more attention in terms of setting the exposure, etc. than the more automatic models a person would tend to use today. But still…