Vintage landscape: November smoke

Burning leaves in Nov., via Library of Congress“Burning the autumn leaves in Norwich, Connecticut,” November 1940, by Jack Delano on Kodachrome color film, via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

The photo shows “Broadway from the corner of Otis Street, facing toward downtown, with Memorial Park on the right,” according to the Library’s flickr page.

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Vintage landscape: harvest

A few beautiful Kodachrome images of the season. . .

Harvest, 1940s, Library of Congress“Exhibit of crops and vegetables at the Pie Town, New Mexico, Fair,” 1940, by Russell Lee.

The story of Pie Town and of the photos Lee took there is here, in Smithsonian Magazine.

Harvest, 1940s, Library of CongressMrs. Jim Norris canning vegetables, Pie Town, New Mexico, 1940, by Russell Lee. (You can click on the image to enlarge it.)

Harvest, 1940s, Library of Congress“Display of home-canned food,” between 1941 and 1945, photographer not noted.

All three images were taken for the U.S. Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information on the then new Kodachrome color transparency film.  All via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

Oh! for a thousand pumpkin seeds,
To plant for my son John;
He says that pumpkin pies are good
When the winter time comes on.

Robert Charles O’Hara Benjamin, from “The Farmer’s Soliloquy

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The Sunday porch: Washington, D.C.

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Rowhouses,  Southwest Washington, D.C., between 1941 and 1942, by Louise Rosskam on Kodachrome color film, via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

The photos show cast iron stoops and steps, which were typical in many D.C. neighborhoods after the city’s building boom of the 1870s.

“Iron was strong, inexpensive to produce, manufactured quickly, and easily assembled with little on-site labor,” according to an interesting pamphlet by the Capitol Hill Restoration Society on the history and care of old cast iron and wrought iron.

“Washington had five foundries in 1870 and fifteen most years from 1895 to 1905,” according to the pamphlet.  Because of the industry’s dependence on water (or rail) connections to obtain raw materials, they “were usually in Georgetown, near the canal terminus, or along Maine Avenue on the Potomac River Waterfront.”

At first, I thought that both of the photographs above were of the same two houses.  Then I realized that the screen doors are different and that the brickwork over the windows is painted white in only one of the pictures.

The narrow open passageway between both sets of houses is interesting.

You can see what the corner of N and Union (now 6th) Streets, S.W., looks like today here.

In the windows of the houses with the children on the steps, you can just see the families’ Blue Star service flags (put your cursor on the slideshow to pause it). They reveal that the family on the left had one son in the war and the family on the right had two. (A gold star on a window flag would indicate that a son had been killed.)

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Life in gardens: happy

Smiling woman and baby, 1900, Powerhouse Museum“Portrait of woman with infant,” ca. 1900, probably near Sydney, Australia, via Phillips Glass Plate Negative Collection, Powerhouse Museum Commons on  flickr.

You don’t usually see such smiles in Victorian photos.

In the picture below, you can see a little more of the garden and admire the woman’s beautiful sleeves and collar.

Woman in garden, Sydney Aus., 1900, Powerhouse Museum

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Vintage landscape: Gore Park

Gore Park Fountain, 1920, Hamilton Public LibraryGore Park fountain, 1920, Hamilton, Ontario.  Both photos via Hamilton Public Library Commons on flickr, used by permission.

Gore Park Fountain, 1960s, Hamilton Public LibraryGore Park fountain, 1960s.

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