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This is me about 18 months ago. I don’t think it scanned as well as it could have. It looks much better in real life. It was made using the wet collodion process.

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This German real photo postcard is dated 1930.

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I went to a Cowboys and Indians 21st birthday costume party recently. I didn’t look nearly as good as these guys! This real photo postcard is from England.

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The Queen of the Night.

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Probably not from a costume ball, but a lovely, seductive photo.

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A lovely, glittery and frilled dress, perfect for a party but the headdress is what says everything about the type of party it was.

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This is the first of a series of real photo postcards of women in costume, that I will be sharing over the coming weeks. Thanks to Linda from Darkroom Dolls and The Old Darkroom blogs for encouraging me to get these up.

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The above strips of exceptional photos were a gift from Mike at Mike’s Look at Life blog. Although these are from the era just prior to the invention of the dip and dunk photobooth machines, for which I have such a passion, Mike knew the format and subject matter would appeal to me a lot. They date to around 1910 to 1925.

These people are playing against the formal portrait conventions of the time, by mucking about, much as one would do in a modern digital photobooth. These penny photos were a precursor to the automatic photobooth machines invented by Anatol Josepho in the late 1920s. Although still needing the skill of a photographer to make the image, the developing and processing of the strips was semi-automated, allowing for the first time, very cheap prints that most people could afford.

I love all of these photos but my favourite changes every time I look at them. Today my most loved, is the one featuring a battered old tennis racket, which was obviously a photographer’s prop. It ties in nicely with a recent post on my other blog, Photobooth Journal. You can see that post here.

My heartfelt thanks to Mike for his generous gift and his friendship.

You can click on the scan to see a larger version, if you’d like.

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For some time now, I have been an avid follower of Small Town Noir a mugshot blog by Diarmid Mogg. Since 2009, Diarmid has collected over 1,500 mugshots, all from the same small American town, New Castle, Pennsylvania. His collection is an extraordinary set of photographs covering the middle of the 20th century, from 1930 to1960.

Meticulous research goes into each post which shows the original police mugshot, often accompanied by newspaper clippings, birth and death records plus details of the alleged crime. Anything that can be discovered about the life of the person beyond the day of their incarceration is also included. If you love to time travel through photographs, are interested in vernacular American history or just love a good yarn, this is a blog for you. Hopefully, very soon, it will be a book for you, too.

Diarmid has for a long time wanted to pursue a published hard copy edition of his work. He has teamed up with an innovative publishing company called Unbound, which uses a crowd funding model to

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produce books by proving that there’s a demand for them before the publication process starts. Diarmid continues the story –

“We’ve worked together on a proposed outline for the book, which is exactly what I’d dreamed about: 150 full-page photographs on good paper, with 70,000 words of text; the pictures arranged chronologically from 1930 to 1960, so the passage of time is evident as you flick past changing hairstyles, fashions and types of photographic film stock; with the stories building up one after the other into a fractured portrait of a particular place and time that there’s really no other way to access.”

If enough people pledge to buy the book, he can do this, so please get behind this wonderful project by clicking on this link to make it happen:

http://unbound.co.uk/books/small-town-noir

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This cabinet card was taken in the regional, New South Wales town of Bathurst in September 1897. One of the girls pictured is A.B. and the other J. Wilson. I love the way the card tells us that the photographer’s studio is located near a local butchery. Was that the only notable landmark worth mentioning?

The clothing is not typical of the era or region, so I will say that these two are dressed in peasant costume for the photograph. One girl is holding a skipping rope and the other a hoop and stick.