10.10.2014

Flashback: Fall in the Forties and Fifties

Ahh, we are entering one of the most photogenic times of year!  

Look at me: Master of the Obvious!  Still, as I look through a few of the small lots of old slides I have acquired, it is becoming readily apparent that our annual autumnal burst of foliage was one of the more photographed subjects in the early days of color film, and may have certainly furthered the adoption of, and even the development of consumer color films.  
While there are certainly a number of lovely black and white images of the autumn that continue to be taken to this day, they are simply unable to convey the full wonderment of all that is Autumn.  

And now as we enter the season where more people will inevitably point their photo taking devices towards the splendor that is the Fall canvas awash in shades of green, yellow, orange, red, and brown against crystalline blue skies, I thought I would share some lovely early images of the Autumn, taken in a few various regions, beginning prior to the US Entry into World War II.  In selecting images for this, I'll be trying to find as many as I can with some period elements, such as vintage autos, within them, to give a sense of the era.  I've also managed to get a general handle on location on some, so there are a few Google maps links to be found too!  


1941-1942 New England

My oldest batch of Autumnal images come from a small lot I picked up recently.  While I'd hoped for a few more urban images in the batch, these were particularly interesting due to their very early dates.  The photographer of these photos was doing something that was fanciful if not nearly impossible just 6 to 7 years prior to when than these were taken.

Unknown location, Goshen, CT - October 12, 1941



Conway, MA - October 13, 1941

Main Street, Petersham, MA - October 11, 1942

Hancock, MA - October 12, 1942


1948-1949 Kansas and Colorado

The shots below consist of most of the "lemonade" from a "batch of lemons" I was sold a while back, a lot of 500 original slides from the late 1940's that, while technically well exposed, did not envelop the range of period subject matter that I had hoped they would.  Some of these are a tad on the early side for Fall, and are also encompassing areas not readily known for being fall foliage spectacles.  Still, they are really pretty interesting, with the second one showing what was even a "classic" car to those in the 1940's, and the third showing a vista that has since been drastically altered by the construction of Interstate 70. 

Riverside Park, Wichita KS - Fall 1948

Maple in Fall, Wichita KS - Fall 1948

Looking east along Clear Creek towards Water Street, Idaho Springs, CO - September 14, 1949

Eldorado Springs, CO - September 17, 1949

1953-1956 Minnesota

These are some of the more period specific shots of a small batch of fall foliage related glass slides I purchased from an ebay auction a while back.  

St. Croix River Valley, St. Paul MN - Oct 1953

Edgecumbe Road at Bayard Ave, St. Paul MN - Oct 1955

Lake Nokomis, Minneapolis MN - October 1956

Mississippi River Drive at Stanford Dr, St. Paul MN - Fall 1956

Autumn Potpourri:

And what is Fall without some potpourri! However, these will stimulate your sense of sight rather than your sense of smell.

I actually bought this photo individually with the original intention of putting it in the weekly feature, but its nearly complete lack of location clues caused me to reconsider.  Presumed to be somewhere in the midwest, the only identifying clue is the license plate, from which I can only discern a 1947 year.

Amid a small batch of various Kodachrome shots I picked up a few months ago was this nice little gem, labeled simply "Vermont 1951"

Another item from a batch lot, among the few red border 1950's shots in an otherwise 1960's heavy mix,  The only tiny clues on this one are typewritten on the mount "FRITCHEY 1954."  Could be the name of a farm or family member.

Finally, the one shot that does not appear to be a Kodachrome at all, presumably an Anscochrome taken between 1958 and 1961 somewhere in either Pennsylvania or New York on a 127 film format slide.