Pam’ Pictorama Photo Post: I have opined on the loss of a pleasure that is largely specific to flea markets – that is the happy surprise; finding the thing you never knew existed. Never knew you needed. It is possible, to some degree, to imitate this experience on eBay and one way I do that is to just leaf through the listings for various old photographs. It isn’t quite the same as sifting through a box of old photos, but sometimes it does yield the extraordinary, as it did in this case. The photos above were from an album and although they are not marked as such I do remember that it was indicated that they were from Brooklyn. They were sold separately over a period of time and so getting all three was a bit painstaking, but worthwhile I think.
The one marked Chemistry Squad 1917 is postcard size, but is a regular photo printed on photo paper, not heavier stock. The baby buggy has a sign that reads, He won’t be happy till he gets it. (I pause for a moment to consider that baby strollers, the baby carriage or buggy of today, couldn’t possibly hold a costumed adult posing as a baby – how times change!) The other two photos are smaller and I have framed them together. Robinson-Vernet is smaller, only about 2 3/4″ x 3.5″ and the unmarked one larger at 2 3/4″ x 4″. This one, when blown up large, reveals bits of floats and banners in the background (Machine Construction and the beginning of a date on the banner) so we will assume it is a parade.
Nothing on the back of any, only the mark from where they were removed from an album. Devil man, very debonaire, is the one that ties the three together photos together, appearing in each. His album we will assume? Although mysterious #7 man appears in the horizontal one (next to Devil man if you look carefully) as well as the one where they pose together by the fence.
These ribald fellows (yes, I think all fellows, despite the appearances in drag) certainly look like they knew how to kick up their heels! Halloween 1917, it was a hot day in the city that year.