Apr 22 2012: Four Hand-Painted Maps Of Socialist Czechoslovakia With Folklore Motifs (CSSR, 1957)

Appearing as endpapers in a 1957 pictorial publication showing early Communist Czechoslovakia these four maps offer a striking contrast – in tone and style, at least – to the photographs making up most of the book. The principle appears to be that the main map (seen above) is then separated into its component parts in … Continue reading

Mar 29 2012: Ten Postcards Showing A Variety Of Traditional And Modern Views Of Japan (1960s)

This isn’t the first time Japan has figured here, and earlier representaions were mainly drawn from the envelope of souvenirs collected by a certain Mr Ernest Dring, of Attenborough, Nottinghamshire, who – on the evidence of those contents – had a busy 1964, taking in the Tokyo Olympics and Milan, as a bare minimum in … Continue reading

Mar 20 2012: Fourteen Monochrome Photographs Showing Men In A Variety Of Roles and Locations (1900s – 1970s)

Talking to someone who’s been following these posts recently led to a point being made that I’d only half-noted myself: that there were far more images of women gathered here than of men. In commercial and advertising photography, the reasons for that imbalance are well-rehearsed, insofar as commercial messages aimed at women tend to present … Continue reading

Mar 11 2012: A Letter From Peter To Frances, Written In Ink On Blue Paper (c.1970s)

The voice in this letter is that of a boy, Peter, who seems to be writing to a girl, Frances, under some kind of sufferance that his writing is at pains to make clear. From the airily arrogant opening gambit (“I suppose you have been waiting and looking at the front door for letters and … Continue reading

Mar 8 2012: Twenty-One Random Snapshots of Unknown Women (c.1910s – 1970s)

Since March 8th is designated International Womens’ Day by the Fawcett Society, it seems kind of appropriate to simply gather here a whole bunch of snapshots – ranging in date from the early twentieth century to the 1970s – united only by being portraits of women, either individually or in groups, in youth or age, … Continue reading

Feb 27 2012: Cover Designs From Three Issues Of The Vauxhall Motorist Magazine (1956 – 1957)

The integration of product branding and lifestyle is sometimes thought of a fairly recent phenomenon, but it goes much further back than we tend to think: this example – a magazine produced for Vauxhall owners, crammed with advertising and features on the many and varied things that might catch the fancy of an implicitly discerning motorist … Continue reading

Feb 16 2012: Ten Scenes from a Post-War British Childhood (1960s)

The other day, we were walking back down Mansfield Road after dropping off some bags of vinyl, CDs and DVDs deemed surplus to requirements during an ongoing clear-out and swung into the retro shop, Daphne’s Handbag, along the way. Just inside the door was a plastic box full of old photographs, and a superficial rummage … Continue reading

Feb 12 2012: The Apple Sequence and a Goat That Blows Raspberries: Stonebridge City Farm (2012)

Earlier today we went over to Stonebridge City Farm in the inner city St Ann’s area of Nottingham, mainly to drop off a box of copies of The Apple Sequence to be sold at the farm’s on-site shop in order to raise some money for the continued running of what is (by any measure) an … Continue reading

Feb 6 2012: The Leisure Society: Twenty-Four Colour Landscape Format Images of a Young Couple’s Time Off (1970)

In the final selection from an unidentified young couple’s 1970 scrapbook (also seen here and here) there are a gathering of landscape format colour photographs on many of the same subjects as previous galleries: caravan and boating holidays, time relaxing outdoors with dogs and friends, visits to a variety of (mostly) unidentified attractions, and so on. … Continue reading

Feb 4 2012: The Leisure Society: Twenty-One Monochrome Images of a Young Couple’s Time Off (1970)

This selection of monochrome snapshots showing a young couple at leisure around 1970 is fascinating for many reasons, some social and economic, some more personally and humanly appealing. In the latter category, the mere fact that they and their friends seem to project a sense of happiness in one another’s company is striking, and while it’s … Continue reading