Throwback Thursday Two-fer || All Roads Lead to Nashville
02/05/2013 § Leave a comment
Photo via the US National Archives.
The original caption is so great: “A group of Nashville newsies. In middle of group is 7 year old Sam. Smart and profane. He sells nights also. Nashville, Tenn, November 1910”
For TBT, you’re getting this gem partially because of the guy at far left and the fact that my grandfather worked as a newsie, but mostly because it was taken in Nashville, the city that I am bound for this morning! We have stops planned in both Virginia and West Virginia, as well as a visit to Northern Grade, which is making a stop in Music City this weekend. Anything I must do or see? I demand you tell me! And give me a shout if you’ll be around, as well!
While I’m rambling about, the best way to keep up with me will be on Instagram and Tumblr. I’m hoping to attempt a bit of Tumbl-vlogging from the road, but no promises. I’m not sure 1) how to do it, and 2) if my traveling partner will humor me trying to figure it out (I mean, how fun is THAT?!).
The Dragettes of Kansas City
17/04/2013 § 1 Comment
Well since I’m already talking about cars, and I haven’t made you look at any old photographs in awhile — not sure what’s wrong with me, but I will definitely investigate — I thought you might enjoy these photos taken by Francis Miller for Life Magazine of an all-girls hot rod club called “The Dragettes” in what appears to be 1950s Kansas City. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find much information on these ladies — which is frustrating because they seem pretty awesome. I don’t think these pictures were used in the magazine (or at least I couldn’t find the article they correspond to), and the interwebs has not been very forthcoming either. In any event, I still wanted to share — they’re just so great, from the matching jackets to kissing babies on the dragstrip.
Via the Life Archive.
Throwback Thursday: Elephant in the Room
14/03/2013 § 2 Comments
For today’s Throwback Thursday selection, I give you one of my most favorite pictures of my paternal grandfather – and I hope you will please excuse the whole “picture of a picture” situation, but when you take a good look at all this awesomeness, I think you will. I actually never met my grandad, as he passed away when my father was barely a teenager, but the few photos my father has of him and the stories I have heard, manage to make me miss him. Here he’s pictured at his work bench at RCA (interestingly both of my grandfathers worked with radio/technology after they were in the service), and his work clothes are definitely rad, but my favorite bits in this picture are the Barry Goldwater election sign and the inexplicable elephant hovering above his head. Do we think my grandad was a fan of elephants? Maybe he won it at a fair or had recently visited the circus with the kids? Or perhaps he was just a staunch Republican?
I suppose it is a mystery for the ages…
Introducing Air Mail!
02/02/2013 § 2 Comments
Speaking of addresses and letters, I happened upon this lovely silent film produced by the US Postal Service that I wanted to share with you. Produced circa 1925, it describes the benefits of Air Mail and shows the progress of a letter mailed in New York and its journey to San Francisco — a journey that normally took 90 hours by train, but by air in a Dehavilland DH-4 it was only 30!
This clip is part one of two, and you can find the second part here. Please note: here is a very loud clicking noise on the second portion, so it is best watched on mute. It is a silent film, after all.
Film via the archives of the San Diego Air and Space Museum.
Where Do Santas Come From?
11/12/2012 § Leave a comment
In the early 60s, America’s “No.1 Santa” (of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade fame) set up shop in Albion, New York and created the country’s only school of its kind, to certify Santas for department stores. These photos, taken for Life Magazine by Alfred Eisenstaedt of the graduating class of 1961, were too good not to share. After paying $75 and attending a five-day course, newly-minted Kris Kringles received a Santa’s Helper degree, well-armed with the history of Santa Claus, practice applying makeup and selecting costumes, and how to be properly jolly — even if they found a crier or a beard-puller on their lap. If you’d like to read the original article the photos were shot for, you can find it here.
All photos via the Life Archive.
31/10/2012 § Leave a comment
From my temporary refugee perch on the UES, and on Halloween no less, I felt this elegant masked ball in Paris in 1946 was particularly apropos to share with you today. Featuring several minor royals and creations by seminal postwar French designer Jacques Fath — and a few pictures of Fath himself, even in a mask! — these ensembles take fancy dress to dizzying couture heights. Doesn’t it just make you itch for a pair of opera-length gloves and a set of crown jewels?
Photos by David E. Scherman for Life Magazine, via the Life Archive.
While these pictures are a sorry excuse for missing out on the usual Halloween festivities, I’m still very hopeful that New York will come together for the kids this evening. I’m planning a UES constitution of my own, to try to help spread the spirit. So many New Yorkers are still without power, and the annual Halloween parade in the Village has been postponed, but the city has been working hard to come back online as soon as possible after Sandy — and we’ve made some amazing progress already.
If you would like to help, please make a donation to the American Red Cross. You can also text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10 to American Red Cross Disaster Relief.
Be well! Happy Halloween!
Throwback Thursday || There Will Be Breweries (and Beards)
24/10/2012 § 6 Comments
From the family archives: an amazing group portrait — which you must click to enlarge — featuring my great, great-grandfather Peter Joseph in New Orleans, sometime after the Civil War. A veteran, a civic leader and a policeman, he somehow also had the time to serve as foreman for a brewery built on Canal Street, and here he is pictured with his crew. You can find him either by the arrow penciled in on the photo, or you could just search for a masterful beard…
La Bombe Dior
19/10/2012 § 3 Comments
Tourbillon dress and bolero in black crepe wool,
Haute Couture collection Fall-Winter 1957-1958. Ligne Fuseau
Aventure outfit, jacket with black and white houndstooth, pencil skirt in black wool.
Haute Couture collection Spring-Summer 1948. Ligne Envol
Abandon dress in black wool, Haute Couture Fall-Winter collection 1948-1949. Ligne Ailée
Arizona wool coat in cherry red. Haute couture Fall-Winter collection 1948-1949. Ligne ailée.
Porto Rico dress with black and white polka dot.
Haute Couture Fall-Winter collection 1954-1955. Ligne H
Portugal evening gown in white organdie with cerise embroidery
Haute Couture Spring-Summer collection 1957. Ligne Libre
I suppose that when one is Marion Cotillard, it is practically all in a day’s work to pose in iconic haute couture pieces from the Dior archive — created by Monsieur Dior himself — and transform oneself into the “The Dior Bombshell” for amazing photographs by Jean-Baptiste Mondino as part of the Lady Dior web documentary.
Le sigh. She looks so perfect that it almost difficult to be jealous.*
*Please note I said “almost.”
School Days: Wellesley College, 1949
18/10/2012 § 4 Comments
These great pictures, taken by Nina Leen for Life Magazine, make me wish I could find Doc Brown to fix my flux capacitor so I could pop back to 1949 to either a) hang out with all these rad girls at Wellesley College in 1949 and/or b) abscond back to the present day with all their clothes. Barring that, I suppose you can officially consider me on high alert vintage patrol for one of those double-breasted trench coats with a fur collar. If you happen to find one, be a dear and let a (Seven) Sister know.
Photos taken by Nina Leen on October 10, 1949, via the Life Archive.
Throwback Thursday || Halloweenasaurus Rex
18/10/2012 § 6 Comments
I have always adored Halloween. I think it probably has a lot to do with the fact that during my formative years my mom took the time to make costumes for all three of us (and usually also for herself and my dad) from scratch – and they were always of our own choosing. We’d all make a special trip to the (usually boring) fabric store with renewed interest, ready to pick something amazing from those big floppy pattern books.
In the first grade, the most amazing thing I could think to be was a dinosaur. And my mother, bless her heart, obliged her tomboy with the felt creation you see above. However, you’ll also note that she added two bows and a bit of lipstick.
“If you’re going to be a dinosaur,
at least you’re gonna be a GIRL dinosaur!”
You know, maybe it’s high time for a repeat.
What are you going to be?