August 29, 2009

Saturday Snapshots {August 29, 2009}

Last week’s launch of a new post segment for Saturdays (Saturday Snapshots) was greeted with resounding support. Over thirty wonderful readers commented, indicating to me that I am far from alone in my adoration of, and fascination with, vintage photos of strangers and the histories such images carry with them.

It’s beautiful that we share this mutual love, and I am delighted to present the second installment of Saturday Snapshots to you today. As an interesting way to wrap up this, and further editions of this post, I thought that I would share a quote (a new one each week) that speaks on some level to past, the present, memories, life, emotions or some other wonderful element that vintage photos posses and transmit to their viewers.

♥ ♥ ♥

{Two women – both infinitely cooler looking than they could have ever imagined – listed as being Joy and Lillian, pose with a stunning pink car in this photo that I’m pegging to be from the late 50s. Don’t you just love everything about the gal in the pink’s eclectic outfit? Ohhh, and doesn’t the lady seated in the car remind you a bit of Rosemary Clooney?}

{They’ve got the picket fence, but is it white? Jokes aside, this handsome young couple smile for the camera in a photographer’s studio following their wedding in October of 1952, looking so sweet together. He in his dapper suit, she in her wonderful feather adorned hat.}

{A lovely young woman sits in front of the Old Mission in Santa Barbara, California, in 1952, a look that strikes me as being both reflective and confident radiates from her face. I’m not sure what organization the uniform she’s wearing hails from, any ideas?}

{I love this shot, it shows an “everyday” glimpse into the world of the once-commonplace beauty parlour (complete with numerous bonnet style hair dryers), a spot where most women used to visit nearly every week to chat, read up on the latest fashions, and treat themselves to a well-deserved dose of primping. This particular salon was located in Florida during the 1950s.}

{Everything about this pair of gregarious ladies is fantastic. From the wide-brimmed hats to their summery dresses, beaming smiles to tree-lined backdrop, this photo just makes you happy the moment you look at it.}

{There is something almost profound about this photo from the 1930s, a lone woman walking in a patch of light down an unnamed New York street. Where is she going to or coming from, what thoughts filled her head as her shoes tread across the ashen concrete?}

{While mother and daughter look-alike dresses were easy to find in department stores and catalogues during the 50s, I get the feeling that the mom in this cheery family photo whipped up these cute summer outfits herself from the same bolt of fabric, don’t you?.}

{The clarity and composition of this shot from 1953 are both deeply striking. Instead of focusing on one or more of the diners, the food on the plates or the dish in the foreground, whether intentionally or accidentally, the photographer made the lipstick red bouquet of carnations the focal point of this beautiful image.}

{As a group of people get ready to board an airplane, one woman turns her neck and smiles to whomever was holding the camera that took this photo in 1959. Her face seems to convey happiness, warmth and excitement, indicating to me that she headed someplace that’s definitely worth being gleeful about.}

{Two elegantly beautiful women pose for a photographer in, what I’m guessing to be, their finest winter coats, in this shot from the 1930s. Names, location, an exact date or any information is not provided, leading me to really ponder who these charming young gals were. Sisters, best friends, cousins? Whoever they were, they certainly looked sharp!}

{All images above are from Flickr. To learn more about a specific image, please click on it to be taken to its respective Flickr page.}

"You have to know the past to understand the present."
~ Dr. Carl Sagan


  1. Oh my...these are just wonderful...don't you wish you could travel back in time...just for a day...and talk to these people...thanks so much for putting this was a real treat..

  2. wonderful pictures, I just love looking at them, you find the best ones :-)

  3. Oh thank you for bringing these photo's to us. I really want the car in #1 and just love the beauty parlour shot.

    Thank you for your lovely comments,
    take care,

  4. I love them all and I adore the fact that women in the past almost always wore a hat...they were so fashionable and classy, we should do it today too. Have a great sunday Jessica :-)

  5. my mom used to make clothes for her and the same for me!!i find it soooo cute!!

  6. I love these. The 50's photos are so vibrant and beautiful, but you're right, there is something about that 30's shot of a woman walking alone in NY that catches you. I especially wish there were still beauty parlours. When I went home last time my mom's hairdresser (and one of her best friends) gave me a great haircut, put velcro rollers in and put me under their one bonnet hairdrier. It was great.

  7. Those are great shots! I love the beauty parlor one (check out the beautician working in heels! lol)

  8. Lovely collection of pictures! The lone women in the black and white scene in New York is so atmospheric.

  9. Love, love, love those photos! Doesn't it seem people are happier and more relaxed in those days? Less stress....exactly why we turn to all things vintage :-)

  10. I lovelovelove those photos, especially the one set in the beauty parlour (is so difficult to find photos of 1950s everyday life - in almost every one people is posing) and the 1930s one with the two beautiful gals!

  11. Lovely! The mother and her daughters are so cute in their matching dresses.

  12. Hey Jessica. These are incredible. I love them all. I hope you've had a nice weekend. Take care. Cheers!

  13. Wonderful old photos! Looking forward to many more Saturdays :)

  14. I'm always happy the moment I click on your blog too! These are such heartwarming images:) I feel swept away!

  15. Lovely jessica, these pics are so beautiful.It makes me so nostalgic.All their faces look so relaxed and gorgeous.And their outfits!!The mother and her daughter are too adorable!!
    Thank you for your sweet comments on my blog!
    With love,

  16. so many amazing photos! i am in awe of the beauty shop shot. gosh the past looks fun.

  17. I adore these. The family photo with the matching dresses makes me laugh. It gives me the feeling the parents were telling the children "At least pretend like you're happy!" through their smiling teeth. And suddenly, I think I'm glad my mom never learned how to sew. :D

  18. @ Chrisy, thank you very much! Indeed I truly do wish I could travel back in time. I want to experience firsthand the similarities and difference between then and now. I have hundreds of questions about the past (granted many of them have to do with fashion and hairstyles!) that I would love to ask women during the actual 1940s and 50s.

    @ kathie, you're very sweet, thank you so much for the lovely comment!

    @ Dustjacket Attic, you're welcome, sweet soul, thank you in turn for your wonderful comments. I wish I had that car, too! If I ever win the lottery, I'm buying a pink 50s car for sure!

    @ AlicePleasance, terrific observation, honey. I absolutely love that about photos from the past, too. I wish the commonplace wearing of hats and gloves would come back. We definitely should wear those same pieces today, I agree.

    @ marb, that's really precious! I don't recall any complete matchy-matchy outfits, but one time my mom did make absolutely lovely floral print aprons for my sister, me, and herself. So cute!

    @ Kelly Anne & Maggi, that sounds like a wonderful hairstyling experience, Kelly Anne! Hair salons still exist but they are a far cry from the communal gathering spots they once were. I wish such spots would become a mainstay again!

    @ Pink Flower, it really is, my dear, I agree. Both beautiful and eerie, it speaks to the viewer on many levels and was, I think, a wonderfully composed shot.

    @ Some Like it Vintage, I've noticed that, too! People definitely had stress back then, too (WW2, for example), but I think that on a day-to-day level they had less stress.

    @ PaperDoll, very true observation, a lot of vintage photos do look staged or at least a bit posed. In a sense the same has always been true of people and photos, but we have got a bit more into "action shots" in the last couple of decades. I'm always on the prowl for "in the moment" vintage shots and hope to share those that I do find as part of this weekly post.

    @ the freelancer's fashionblog, I agree, so very cute!

    @ AbleGrable, thank you very much, sweet dear!

    @ Keith, thank you so much, my friend!

    @ Halloween spirit, thank you, honey! I'm truly looking forward to posting many more editions of Saturday Snapshots :)

    @ Marie Reed, You're very kind, thank you so much!

    @ Greetz from Tiz, thank you, darling! I get very nostalgic over old photos too, but almost always in a wonderful, positive way. I feel happy that these photos still exist to help immortalize my favourite period in human history (mid-twentieth century).

    @ hannah, thank you, sweet dear! The past does look like so much fun! Less stress, more time spent with friends and loved ones - plus amazing fashions! :)

    @ aramblingfancy, I think the little guy in the father's arms looks the least impressed to be posing for a shot - maybe he wanted an outfit in the same fabric, too! ;D

    Thank you each very much for your fantastic comments! It is a sincere joy to share in our mutual love of vintage photos together.

    Oodles of hugs, everyone!
    ♥ Jessica

  19. After seeing this post, I catapulted myself on Flickr, and I spent the last few days watching tons of old photos every time I had a free minute. Apart from the fact that now I hate my straight hair more than ever (after seeing all these beautifully wavy ladies), and I deeply wish (more deeply than usual, I mean) I was born 50 years ago... I enjoyed it a lot, really! I wish I knew that Flicr holded such a treasure long ago!

  20. @ Paperdoll, I can relate to you on every point. I'm not kidding when I say that I have a tab open around the clock for one vintage Flickr photo stream or another all the time! Plus, I too have straight-as-a-stick (and crazily fine) hair.

    I wish I was born decades ago as well, but since that's impossible, I'm just thankful I developed a love of - and fascination with - the past at an early age.

    Thank you very much for your lovely comment, honey. I hope you're having a wonderful weekend!
    ♥ Jessica