Vintage Snapshots

found photos & other curiosities

Category: Inscriptions

A Man Could Stand in Lincoln’s Eye

vintage-snapshots-Rushmore-Lincolns-eye

At work, circa 1940s (click to enlarge)

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Portraits: Shoe

Oddball snapshot of woman posing upside down on grass in dance move, circa 1940s Los Angeles.

“In L.A. soon” (c 1940s)

Part of an album acquired yesterday originally spotted by John Taylor, who has an eagle eye for all sorts of photographic tributaries. The inscription on the back is nice too. It reads: “This is one of the dances June will do on the stage in L.A. soon. June, 142nd St, Haw.”

Wore the Wall Out

Vintage snapshot photo of a wall against which German soldiers in WWII executed prisoners

Circa 1945 snapshot inscribed on rear as below (click to enlarge)

Vintage snapshot rear inscription detailing German executions during WWII

“This wall is where the Germans — them up and shot them. Damn(?) near wore the wall out.”

The 70th anniversary of VE (Victory in Europe) Day, and a small reminder of the immeasurable debt owed to so many in a blurry snapshot with some writing on the back.

Coverage of the day often understandably concentrates on the tremendous celebrations that broke out over much of the UK, the United States and Canada as well as parts of Europe, but here is a more understated anecdote found on the website of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation: “In the book Days of Victory by Ted and Alex Barris, medic Ernie Long remembered hearing the news of the ceasefire. ‘We sat there in stunned silence,’ he said, ‘looking at each other until one of us said what we were all thinking — ‘The war is over, and I’m still alive!’. No cheers. No shouts. Just a shocked realization that we had made it through the war.'”

“I wanted it in color”

Vintage snapshot of woman with birds on her arms at Busch Gardens Park

Black-and-white birds, c 1950s (click to enlarge0

Inscription on rear reads: “Virginia took this but I wanted it in color cause the birds are so pretty.”

The Front of the Shack

Vintage snapshot of shack plus blimp overhead

Shack +, c 1950s

Rear of vintage circa 1950s snapshot with caption identifying image

“The front of the shack”

“View from Our Front Window”

Vintage circa 1910s snapshot of il wells across the street from home

Across the street, c 1910s (click to enlarge)

“Enjoyment” on Mt. Wilson

Vintage photo of two hikers on Mt. Wlson in September 1907

“Enjoyment – Mt. Wilson, Sept. 1, 1907” (click to enlarge)

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.

A Cat Named After V-J Day?

1950 snapshot of a cat and dog, with their name of the cat noted as "V-Jay," perhaps after V-J Day

V-Jay, at home, 1950 (click to enlarge)

The name of the cat in this 1950 snapshot makes me wonder if he was perhaps born on or around V-J Day. ‘Victory Over Japan Day’, which marked the end of WWII, is celebrated in the United States on September 2, after the day in 1945 the surrender document was signed by Japan (although it also applies to August 14 or 15 — depending on whether one takes into account the time zone — which was the day the surrender was announced). The cat looks to be about the right age to me. If he was indeed named after the end of WWII — wow, what a great way to choose a cat name, and in some small way, perhaps a marker of how happy/significant a day that must have been for so many who experienced it.

V-J Day, by the way (the Aug. 14 version), was also the day the famous Times Square kiss photo was taken. The Leica camera that Alfred Eisenstaedt used to take that iconic shot was auctioned earlier this year in Vienna for about $150,000. The camera used to snap “V-Jay” is of course probably long gone, although who knows — perhaps it is sitting in a closet or attic somewhere. And as a final thought, how nice that someone chose to note the subjects and date. Even the “At Home” has something nice about it.

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