Sunday, July 9, 2017

Kids at a Train Wreck

A passenger train has met with misfortune, and several neighborhood kids have shown up to gawk and get their photo taken...the kid on the right is a he, perhaps, pretending to be an outlaw train robber?

The photo as it appears prior to enhancing:

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

The Forest City Band on the Fourth of July

This is the band from Forest City...but which Forest City is the question. As far as I can tell, there are eleven different Forest Cities in the US, but it's most likely located in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Missouri, Minnesota, North Carolina, Pennsylvania or South Dakota.

It is probably July 4th, sometime in the twelve-year period from 1896 to 1908, based on the 45-star American flags flying from the porch behind the house.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Patriotic Parade

It's the Fourth of July (okay, it will be in a couple of days), and it's time for a patriotic parade down main street of just about any town in the midwest. From the paper, I'm guessing this is sometime in the 1940s.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

A Roundhouse Crew

The crew of railroad roundhouse workers took a break one day to pose for a group photo. The print was found in an antique store outside of Chicago, Ill, so presumably it was taken at one of the several area roundhouses.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Posing on the Tankhouse

Of all the vintage family-on-the-farm photographic portraits that I've seen, this has to be the most unusual and original posing.

Why climb all the way up there - and take a little child - when you're wearing a full-length dress like that?
Don't miss the little dog hiding in the shadows
From the shape of the photographer's shadow, I'm guessing it was a woman

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Surf Riding

"Let's go surfin' now, everyone's learning how..."  The Beach Boys and their surf-centered music of the '60s might have helped popularize the sport, but surfing, or surf riding, was a celebrated local pastime long beforehand. Surfing had been practiced by Hawai'ians for hundreds of years, and as the pre-WWII military buildup on Oahu took place in the 1930s, many a young soldier and sailor - and their girls - took to the waves on their time off, resulting in scenes like this one, probably from the late 1930s or the very early '40s, before the attack on Pearl Harbor.

In the early days, surf boards were wooden beheamoths up to 16 feet long and weighing from 125 to as much as 150 pounds. In 1926, famed surfer Tom Blake developed the hollow redwood board which cut the weight to 100 pounds or under, and in the 1930s began to be mass-produced. Still, compared to the scientifically-engineered composite boards of today, they were massive. 

Big thanks to Debbie at for the help in dating the swimsuits!