Saturday, September 24, 2016

The Forties

A friend of mine got a box of old photos from her grandmother showing her grandmother and her friends living in New York in the 1940's. My friend was throwing the photos out when I stopped her and asked why. She said that after taking out the few pictures of her grandmother, she doesn't know who the rest of the people in the photos are. Before she discarded them, I asked her if I could scan the images. She said yes.

Here are my favorites. These were real people who lived, loved and choose outfits. Even without knowing their names, I believe we can find interest in them. Poignant snapshots of moments in people's lives, 75 years ago, make me cry.

Tell me if you have any reaction to these photographs.



























































27 comments:

  1. These were so much fun to look at! Thanks for sharing this.

    Like you I'm also a sucker for old photos like this. I will often look at them at estate sales.

    I too find it sad that these seem to be lives forgotten when people were once so vibrant with their lives ahead of them.

    bisous
    Suzanne

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    1. I calculate that if any of these people are alive today, they must be in their nineties.

      Also, these pictures remind me of what twenty-year olds are doing today: posing for selfies and recording their youthful vitality and exuberance.

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  2. What great photos! I wonder if Irv ever competed and if John and Helen got married - they were certainly fond of each other!

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    1. The presence of names on a few of the photos heightens our curiosity about the subjects.

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    2. These are wonderful photographs. I googled Irv Rutberg and found that a man by that name was Mr. Philadelphia 1955. http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/gtbgcompmen_jr.htm#r
      Wonder of it was the same man as in the photo?
      Love your blog! I've been following for a few years now.

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    3. That's so cool! Thank you for tracking him down.

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  3. So glad you saved these! There are people on Pinterest anf Flickr curating old photos, posting photos that were discarded etc. Sort of amateur historians.

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  4. It's a crying shame that photos are discarded simply because the people in them are unknown, that makes me sad.

    I love these photos and at least you scanned them, so in one respect they're still around.

    The dark haired woman that pops up is a beauty and the kiddies in the first picture are little poppets.

    Thank you for sharing x

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  5. Oh my word, even though I know (painfully well) that such things happen every single day, it still cuts straight to my soul to think of anyone throwing away vintage (or even modern) photos. It's okay if they don't want them any more themselves, but there is a thriving collector's community for such and they could be rehomed so very easily.

    Thank goodness to no end that you were able to intervene, Ally, and ask her to at least scan them.

    These photos are immensely lovely and the fact that the people in them aren't known matters little (if at all) to those for whom each snippet of the past and "forgotten face" is worth its weight in gold.

    Thank you for preserving, if only in digital form, these beautiful images. You did an excellent thing here, my friend, I assure you.

    ♥ Jessica

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    1. Thanks, Jessica. I just spoke to my friend and convinced her to donate the actual photographs to a historical group instead of discarding them.

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  6. It's truly a shame that your friend chose to throw out the photos rather than find a NYC based history organization to donate them to--I know for a fact that they would have gladly taken them. Those photos tell so many stories aside from *who* the individuals are, that I'm grateful you've scanned them and shared them. Thank you!

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    1. Thanks, Sonia. See my reply to Jessica above.

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    2. Fantastic!!! This archivist thanks you!

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  7. I find these photos really special even if I dont know anyone in them. I love seeing the fashion and seeing that even though they are from years ago we really haven't changed that much.

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  8. These kinds of photos evoke a perspective on my own life that is truly so much the same as theirs. The common shared experiences of humanity. We see our own joys ,heartaches,and day to day "moments". I appreciate our common threads and that we continue in their footsteps.
    You selected and preserved some beautiful moments Ally
    Thankyou for sharing them.

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  9. I really like those - the fact that photo taking wasn't as ubiquitous back then as it is now makes them even more special!

    -Kati

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  10. I love those pictures - what wonderful clothes! How cool that Irv was tracked down. Good for you for capturing these!

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  11. What a treasure to show. I love the outfits and the faded photos, the glimpse into the past is fantastic. One of the men looks like Mel Brook's son!
    xx, Elle
    http://www.theellediaries.com/

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  12. There is something fascinating about old photos! The two little kids are adorable :)

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  13. The reaction I have is sadness that they would be discarded and thrown out. I've actually bought old photos because I just love how it captures moments in History so poignantly and candidly. From the Fashions, to the Landscapes, Vehicles and Homes of Yesterday in everyday Life of those Eras. I'm glad you scanned them so they will be preserved at least here in the Land of Blog. Dawn... The Bohemian

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  14. Just realized you talked your Friend into donating them, I'm so glad, they are Lovely peeks into that era and what Lovely people are captured thru the eye of the lens in them. Dawn... The Bohemian

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  15. I get nostalgic with old pictures, wether I know people in them or not..
    I could not throw them away, in fact I stopped my grandmother from throwing some a few months back.

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  16. I'm like you and get nostalgic about things like this, too. Love that you scanned to share with us--so many are hilarious, others show incredible fashion!

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  17. Ah so sad she is throwing them out, I love looking at old photos and even more interesting when they are against places that I know. I think people should keep all old photos. But glad you scanned them.

    Allie of
    www.allienyc.com

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  18. These are beautiful photos. They bring a forth the feeling of nostalgia, a false sense of course considering I didn't exist during their time. An interesting story can be imagined from looking at the shots of the recurring characters.

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