Life in gardens: Austin, Texas

Pressler's Beer Garden, Austin, TX, ca. 1890s, via The Portal to Texas History

Five adults and two children at wooden tables beneath the large trees of Pressler’s Beer Garden, Austin, Texas, between 1890 and 1910, by Samuel B. Hillvia Austin Public Library and The Portal to Texas History (University of North Texas Libraries).

Pressler’s (originally a brewery) was located at 1327 West 6th Street for more than 30 years, closing in 1910. Its grounds featured a concert hall and dance pavilion,  “ornamental shrubbery, arbors, and a fountain. . . . a boating ramp, a shooting club, and an alligator pond.” Pressler’s also hosted the German-American Austin Garten Association one Sunday every month.

Detail of photo above.
Detail of photo above. Click to enlarge.

The city had at least five biergartens at the time of the photo above“Austin’s beer gardens of the 19th century were tightly woven into the fabric of local social life,” according to an interesting article in The Austin Chronicle, “Gardens of Eden.” “They were convivial places, patronized by both men and women, their families, and children.” They were particularly loved for their musical performances.

Today, only Scholz Garten remains — the oldest operating business in Texas.

Life in gardens: California

A repeat “Life in” from 2013. . .

Back yard, Turlock, CA, 1943, by Russell Lee, Library of Congress

I love this photo by Russell Lee, * of a May 1942 Turlock, California, backyard. (Unfortunately, it’s not very sharply focused.) The caption, possibly by the photographer, reads:

Housewife waters the lawn. All garden furniture and barbecue pit were made by her husband; about one out of every three houses in this town has such an arrangement in the backyard, and during the summer months people eat and spend many hours in their yards.

I particularly like the rolling sofa thing with the awning. Turlock is located in central California between Modesto and Merced. Continue reading “Life in gardens: California”

Vintage landscape: quai d’Auteuil

Jardins potagers, quai d'Auteuil (actuel quai Louis-Blériot), Paris (XVIe arr.), France, 30 mai 1928, (Autochrome, 9 x 12 cm), Auguste Léon, Département des Hauts-de-Seine, musée Albert-Kahn, Archives de la Planète, A 54 766The little vegetable gardens near pont Mirabeau, behind quai d’Auteuil (now quai Louis-Blériot), Paris,  on May 30, 1928, by Auguste Léon, via Collection Archives of the Planet – Albert Kahn Museum/Départment of Hauts-de-Seine.

The Auteuil wharf or quai, next to the Seine River, was situated at the top of the sandy-looking embankment on the right side above (also see here, third photo).  Then there was a drop down to the gardens, and, on the left, Avenue de Versailles was at the top of the wall (I think). In the distance, you can see the Eiffel Tower and before it, a little to the right, the small Paris replica of the Statue of Liberty at the southwest end of the Île aux Cygnes.

There’s another view here (the 15th photo down). The area was filled in and covered by the highway Voie George Pompidou and modern apartment buildings in the 1960s.

This lovely autochrome is one of about 72,000 that were commissioned and then archived from 1909 to 1931 by French banker and pacifist Albert Kahn. He sent thirteen photographers and filmmakers to 50 countries “to fix, once and for all, aspects, practices, and modes of human activity whose fatal disappearance is no longer ‘a matter of time.'”*  The resulting collection is called Archives de la Planète and now resides in its own museum at Kahn’s old suburban estate at Boulogne-Billancourt, just west of Paris. Since June 2016, the archive has also been available for viewing online here.


*words of Albert Kahn, 1912. The above photo (A 54766) is © Collection Archives de la Planète – Musée Albert-Kahn and used under its terms, here.

The Sunday porch: Sogn, Norway

Cafe in Norway, 1898 to 1904, flickr CommonsPossibly a café, Sogn area, Norway, between 1897 and 1904, by Nils Olsson Reppen, via Fylkesarkivet (County Archives) i Sogn go Fjordane Commons on flickr.

Across the road, the sign on the house reads, “Logi for reisende. Udsalg av mad, Kaffe og Brus” (“Lodging for travellers. Sale of food, coffee and fizzy lemonade”).

Click the image for a larger view.