Category Archives: nature

Vintage landscape: pink flowers

Pink flowers via George Eastman Hse. on flickr“Glass dish with classical figures, ceramic bowl and vase of flowers,” ca. 1915, an autochrome by H. Wormleighton, via George Eastman House Collection on flickr.

I couldn’t find out anything about H. Wormleighton except that he or she was English and worked in the first three decades of the 20th century.

Pink flowers and bowl, detail, via Geo. Eastman Hse.Detail of first photo.

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Life in gardens: Rochester, N.Y.

Rochester, NY, c. 1910, via George Eastman House Collection“Schoolchildren with teachers under Magnolia trees on Oxford* Street,” c. 1910, an autochrome by Charles C. Zoller, via George Eastman House Collection on flickr.

Click on the photo to get a better look.  I like the outfits, particularly that of the little girl on the far right.

The Collection describes the process of making an autochrome like this:

After decades of wishing for a practical color process, photographers were thrilled when Auguste and Louis Lumière announced the invention of the autochrome process. . . in 1904. The process used a screen of tiny potato starch grains dyed orange-red, green and violet. Dusted onto a glass plate, the dyed grains were covered with a layer of sensitive panchromatic silver bromide emulsion. As light entered the camera, it was filtered by the dyed grains before it reached the emulsion. While the exposure time was very long, the plate could be processed easily by a photographer familiar with standard darkroom procedures. The result was a unique, realistic, positive color image on glass that required no further printing.

*Commenters on the image’s flickr page thought the cross street in the picture was either Harvard St. or Brighton St.

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Life in gardens: Easter Monday

Life in gardens/enclos*ure: may pole dancing at WH, 1929, Library of CongressMay pole dance at the White House Easter Egg Roll, Monday, April 1, 1929, National Photo Company Collection, via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

First Lady Lou Hoover added may pole and folk dancing to the annual event — but only briefly.  Apparently, the Depression was bad enough on its own.

(If you click on the photo and enlarge it, you can see the wonderfully fierce expression of one of the girls on the right side.)

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Vintage landscape: Union Square

Vintage landscape/enclos*ure: buying Easter flowers, NYCity, 1908, via Library of CongressBuying Easter flowers, Union Square, New York City, April 18, 1908 (the Saturday before Easter) by Bains News Service, via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

Vintage landscape/enclos*ure: buying Easter flowers, NYCity, 1908, via Library of Congress

Vintage landscape/enclos*ure: buying Easter flowers, NYCity, 1908, via Library of CongressThings look pretty calm in these pictures, but only a week and a half before, on March 28, the park was the scene of a demonstration by the unemployed and then a bombing, which killed the bomber and a bystander.

Vintage landscape/enclos*ure: buying Easter flowers, NYCity, 1908, via Library of CongressSince 1976, Union Square has been the site of a thriving greenmarket (every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday), which includes flower sellers.

Vintage landscape/enclos*ure: buying Easter flowers, NYCity, 1908, via Library of Congress

You can scroll through larger versions of these images (and several more) by clicking on ‘Continue reading’ below and then on any thumbnail in the gallery.

Continue reading

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Vintage landscape: lilac bush

Lilacs, between 1905 and 1915, by  via Library of CongressSirenʹ  or lilacs – an early color photograph taken between 1905 and 1915 – by Sergeĭ Mikhaĭlovich Prokudin-Gorskiĭ, via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

In the dooryard fronting an old farm-house near the white-wash’d palings,
Stands the lilac-bush tall-growing with heart-shaped leaves of rich green,
With many a pointed blossom rising delicate, with the perfume strong I love. . . .

– Walt Whitman, from “When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d

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