Basically each of these cards says "dude, can you hear me now?" A fad of the 1960's and a way for nerds and freedom fighters alike to chat around the world before the web, these cards were sent by participating amateur ham radio operators to confirm reception and are now collected for their graphics, historical content and such. I cribbed the following from Wiki, you can read ALL about them here. "QSL cards are a ham radio operator's calling card and are frequently an expression of individual creativity — from a photo of the operator at his station to original artwork, images of the operator's home town or surrounding countryside, etc. They are frequently created with a good dose of individual pride. Consequently, the collecting of QSL cards of especially interesting designs has become an add-on hobby to the simple gathering of printed documentation of a ham's communications over the course of his or her radio career"
Group of QSL cards 1961-1962 Collection Jim Linderman
Usually on seeing a post mortem photograph, my thoughts are of the deceased and the family, but today I am dwelling on Mr. Babas of Babas Studio in Detroit, who must have specialized as he took both. This type of outdoor memorial was less common in the United States than in Europe, perhaps both show families not long after joining the melting pot. At each job he would have the casket taken outside and positioned, arrange the flowers and family, and then not say "smile". A dreadful way to make a living, but then, as you can see, the alternative is worse. As in many photographs taken in the early 20th Century, the act of posing seems more important to the participants than the event. I am sure it took their mind off the loss and their own mortality for a spell and may have brought a certain closure through documentation.
Two Post Mortem Photographs, each 11 x 14, Babas Studio, Detroit. c. 1920 Collection Jim Linderman
I haven't posted a tintype in a while. I am not sure if this splendid pair of tintypes depict a husband and wife or a brother and sister, but I do suspect the young man's impairment saved his life. He clearly has one leg shorter than the other, and since these would have been taken around the civil war the disability may have kept him out of the army. (My book The Painted Backdrop will be published in 2010)
Pair of studio tintype photographs, circa 1865 Collection Jim Linderman
In Order of Appearance!
"Mechanical Man" made by Patrick Rizzo 1948
"Electric Eye Rastus Robot" Made by Dr. Phillips Thomas 1930
"Gismo" Made by Sherwood "Woody" Fuehrer and "Gismo" a year later enhanced with additional powers 1954
"Robetron" made by Donald Rich 1957
"Televox" made by Roy Wensley 1928
Six Original 8 x 10 Press Photos 1928 to 1957 Collection Jim Linderman
Just one of what was a whole slew of handmade bottle houses built by Arthur Martin in Arcola, Illinois. He started in 1939, and eventually the glass environment grew to 20 acres. This is the largest, it was made from 1200 7-Up bottles. There was also a "Fresca House" and a "Fresca Dog House" in the yard, which came to be known as "Rockome" and was opened to the public in 1958. As this was well before the days of diet soda, and the average 16-ouncer contains 12 teaspoons of sugar, I am going to guess Mr. Martin had bad teeth and a big waistline. (The Perky Perm woman is unidentified)
Dexter Press Post Card c. 1960 Collection Jim Linderman
Philip J. Landrigan, a fellow you won't recognize but one we should all thank. It was his research which "led" to banning "lead" from paint. The children he saved from impaired brains, kidneys, and more is countless. As if that wasn't enough, Landrigan has figured prominently in ALL of the following: Removing lead from gasoline. The banning of several lethal pesticides. Figuring out the Gulf War Veteran's Illness. Refusing to let the effect of asbestos in New Yorker's lungs following the World Trade Center attack be dismissed. (Having breathed in the burning WTC for 6 solid months, this one is of particular interest to me) The minimized and emasculated Environmental Protection Agency of George Bush attempted to say the particles were "too small" to do damage, but Landrigan showed that the smaller the asbestos particle, the more dangerous it was. He was instrumental in passing the Food Quality Protection Act of 1996. I could go on and on. This man is a hero. Needless to say, THIS is a man our children should look up to rather than some meathead beefcake baseball player on steroids.
But I digress. These see-through templates allowed one to preview house colors with the included color cards. Each set came in a leather case embossed with the Eagle Paint logo. The kids who come to my house in summer asking if I need a paint job (I do) don't bring nothing but an earnest pitch.
Set of Eagle Lead Paint "chips" with Transparent house templates Salesman Sample c. 1945. Collection Jim Linderman
Many years ago a good friend told me the art world works slow. It does indeed. I started collecting antique photographs of folks being washed and saved many years ago. With each one I found and acquired, my desire to share them with others increased. All good things come to he who waits. I was fortunate indeed to find Lance and April Ledbetter at Dust to Digital, they brought a professionalism and respect to the material I could have not have even imagined. Master designers John Hubbard and Rob Millis have recreated my delight finding the photos with every turn of the page. Luc Sante, who has a remarkable acuity for translating visions into text generously provided words I am incapable of. Many others were involved, Lance thanks them in the credits. I am pleased the originals have been accepted into the permanent collection of the International Center of Photography, where, unlike many of the things I have assembled over the years, they will be kept together for all to enjoy. Today, anyone can leave a footprint...all it takes is the ability to hit "send" or "upload"...but to have a physical object as beautiful as the book and CD my friends have produced is a wonderful thing.
So, on to the next. I have shoe boxes full and ideas plenty.
"Baptism on the Ohio River, near Cincinnati, Ohio" Azo Real Photo Post Card circa 1910 Collection Jim Linderman
Blind Columbus Ohio Pastor Rev. Alonzo Hall plays accordion over telephone to congregation.
Original Wire Photo 1949 Collection Jim Linderman
Victoria Plaza's moment came against the Rutherford, New York girls baseball team in Spring 1921. The Passaic New Jersey student pitched a no-hitter. When she woke that morning, could she have suspected her photo would be taken against a wall near the dugout? She seems to be handling her momentary fame with considerable style and grace.
Original photo with pencil caption and date stamp, 1921 Collection Jim Linderman
Hand-written on reverse "The boat on this card is made of cement and then covered with broken glass in all colors. Will tell you about the other things made of cement when I see you" Love to all, Marion
Real Photo Post Card c. 1930 Collection Jim Linderman
Here is Earl Steffa Moran taking some time from throwing fabulous parties in the San Fernando Valley and arranging for his work to be shown in prestigious journals of art such as Flirt, Wink and Giggles. Having his paintings licensed for use on advertising cards for Rifkin's Bank Bags and Safety Sacs was also not quite what he had in mind when he was studying at the Art Student's League in Manhattan (a place I once wandered into after shopping at the now closed Coliseum Books on West 57th Street and encountered two nude models chatting near the admissions office) Moran is probably the most prolific pin-up artist of all time. He also discovered and as seen here, painted one Norma Jean Dougherty who later went on to seduce a baseball player and a president. After years of partying and painting, Moran decided to concentrate on his work and began painting more seriously. His subject? I kid you not...Nudes.
Four Advertising price list cards, c. 1945. Collection Jim Linderman