Vintage Snapshots

the wondrous world of vernacular photography

Category: People in Profile

Into the Void

Fantastic vintage snapshot of two people at Laguna Beach, California, 1944

Beach reverie, 1944

This is labeled “Laguna ’44” on the back, for Laguna Beach, CA. Thanks to the keen-eyed Mike Conger for gifting this amazing shot — an estate sale find, I believe — to me yesterday.

Dueling Cameras

Great c. 1920s vintage photo of a couple pointing their Kodak cameras at each other

Brownie battle (c. 1920s)

The camera in at least the woman’s hand in this great shot looks to me to be a 1920s Kodak Brownie No. 3, Model B. According to what I have found online, the camera was produced from 1908 – 1934, but the trigger guard visible below her thumb was added to the Model B from 1920 – and the rest appears to match that particular camera, as shown below.

Detail of woman holding a Kodak Brownie camera

The way it used to work

Kodak Brownie No. 3, Model B

Kodak’s Brownie No. 3, Model B

City Views: Ogden, Utah

Vintage snapshot showing a street scene in Ogden, Utah in 1913

Making one’s way through downtown Ogden, Utah, 1913 (click to enlarge)

This photo is dated Sept. 1913 and is labeled “Fashion Show” at bottom right – and the streets do appear to have been decorated for an event. What I find intriguing, though – apart from the horse and buggy/automobile combination I talked about previously – are the signs you can just about make out. At far left there is a blurry one for “Shoes,” while the next door down is “Bar,” and across the street you find “Eat.” Nice and simple.


Vintage photo of a young boy and girl leaping over a sprinkler

…and the livin’ is easy.

Given how hot it has been in a lot of places recently, I thought this was an appropriate shot – and quite beautiful in several respects, including how their front legs match up almost perfectly.

And since we are talking about summertime:

A Happy Mistake

Vintage photo of a dog jumping out of the frame, circa 1920s

Up in the Air, circa 1920s

Or at least I assume this result was not exactly what they were trying to achieve. If they were, more power to them. It is sort of a particularly well-composed shot as it stands, and is one of my favorite images at the moment. It makes me at least wonder, though, how many digital photos today may end up being deleted should they at first glance appear something of a mistake.

The Cat on the Shoulder

Vintage photo of a cat latching on to a man's shoulder.

Cat latching on for dear life, likely 1920s

There must be literally millions of snapshots of people with their dogs, but you see far fewer of cats. Felines were still a popular subject, though, and for obvious reasons you see them being held in some fashion by their owners more often than with dogs. Here are a couple (the second being a detail of a larger photo — in the full shot the cat is a little too small to really see well). Personally my cat likes to sit on my shoulder (I have held – and carried – him that way since finding him abandoned in the street at about 3 weeks of age, so he is used to it), but not all take so kindly to such a perch.

Vintage snapshot of woman with a cat on her shoulder.

Woman holding young cat, likely 1920s

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