Vernacular Photo Tuesday: A Mish Mash


Sorry it’s been a quiet week on the blog, the posts I lined up for last week ended up falling through for various reasons–one major problem I’m encountering is the extremely rainy/freezing cold weather Chicago has been experiencing lately. If it’s going to be cold I’d prefer it would snow, it actually did a little over the weekend! Yes, welcome to ‘spring’.
There also isn’t theme for this week’s installation of Vernacular Photo Tuesday; I wanted to share 2 travel scrapbooks I purchased at a flea market last weekend but my scanner is too small to handle the pages so I’ll have to photograph the pages for next week. Instead I am posting a variety of photos that span themes from my collection– animals, travel & leisure, fashion. You can get some insight into how I purchase photographs– half of the images were bought at a flea market last Sunday and the others were found at a little antique store in the suburbs.
1940s Folk Dancers on tour, does it get any better than this photograph? The two images above were dug out of a pile of photos residing on the bottom of a large green plastic trash can. Yes, I said trash can. It’s sad how people don’t respect old photos, the owner of a flea market booth didn’t try to organize the collection– he just had them all piled into the trash can and a suitcase. Several of the photos I purchased had water damage and bends, probably due to mishandling. I’m glad I can digitize and share these photos so they don’t rot away!
Two fellows at a carnival or county fair, the motion of the ride behind them is unique– I’m curious if they’re just visiting the fair or if they work there. I have fond memories of the Maui County Fair and Washington County Fair (Fayetteville, Arkansas’ fair) and winning blue ribbons for my drawings. My father won blue ribbons for his orchid plants and my mom also swept the crochet and knitting categories. Yes, we were a wholesome family.
Acrobats practicing for a show… not sure if they’re at the same carnival/fair pictured above or if they were in a traveling circus troop (reminds me of Water for Elephants, who’s excited for the movie coming out this Friday??). It’s hard to tell if the pictures have water stains (they came from that trash barrel in the flea market) or if they were hand processed in a homemade darkroom and weren’t fixed properly.
A girls’ softball team, probably in the 1940s. I’m always curious about what people used to wear for comfort/leisure as not many of this type of clothing survives today. Can you imagine wearing button down collar shirts to play sports? I’m really digging the scarf worn by the girl in the middle (looks like she might be the captain of the team too).
My how tennis costumes have changed over the years, compare these almost ankle-length skirts with the tiny skirts we wear today to play the sport! I imagine this photo is from the 1920s based on the bobbed hair and sailor collars of the sweaters.
Warmer weather is all about road trips to ‘exotic’ locales– The Parrot Jungle above looks like it would have been a swingin’ Tiki style hangout. I’ve been particularly inspired by the desert and the Southwest lately and the photo below is the quintessential image of the area, I like how the photographer included the car in the foreground.
Spring is about rebirth and renewal, I don’t know if it’s just the influence of the cartoon movie Charlotte’s Web but I always imagine animals giving birth in the warmer months. We get a glimpse of rural life above with the friendly looking spotted cow (and horse in the background). Below is one of my all time favorite photos, three kittens happily playing on a rocking chair. Yes, the two kitties on the right are kissing and holding paws!
Look at the height on this girl’s hair, are these called Victory Rolls? I know I’ve seen a few vintage bloggers sporting similar ‘dos. I’m always excited when I come across multiple photo booth pictures of one person, it reminds me of my own habit of taking self portraits in a photo booth every 3-6 months. Notice the painted backdrop behind the girl, the clouds on the left mimic the shape of her hairdo.
A real photo postcard depicting a glamorous woman shot in a studio– notice the three levels of roses, what looks to be a real corsage of roses pinned to the dress, the design of roses on the bottom of the dress and the rose pattern of the curtain behind her. There are some funky sculptural elements on the left too, perhaps they’re the Art Deco version of the Classical Greco-Roman column?
As I took the time and effort to scan these images, please post a link back to Thriftaholic if you repost them on your tumblr/blog/etc. Thanks!

Comments 0

  1. Love these photos, especially the folk troop (2nd one), the people practicing, and the carnival rides. I can't believe people had stored some of the images in a trash can–so glad you rescued them!

  2. god I love these posts of yours, feels like uncovering some hidden history 🙂 LOVE the more casual outfits of the girls playing sports, I find that so inspiring and wearable! I'd totally wear button up shirts for sports 😀 also, YES I want to see water for elephants!

    and my H&M dress had spaghetti straps as well but I dislike spaghetti straps (hate them actually) so I hacked them off and used the sash that came with it to create a halterneck!

  3. I am loving all of these pictures. My favorite would be the cactus picture. The desert and I have a long relationship together so I am always a sucker for older pictures of cacti etc. And the folk dancers? Can I please dress like this everyday? xoxo

  4. Hey!!! Found your blog when I saw you that you were a follower on mine. I love your title and concept!!! It's amazing. I imagine if you lived closer, we would go shopping every day. 🙂
    The thrift force is definitely with you! Happy shopping!
    (Sunday Crossbow)

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