Comparing bouquets

Alfalfa crops, probably in Oregon, ca. 1955, via OSU Special Collections & Archives Commons on flickr.

Plants on the left show growth without Borax added to the soil and the plants on the right show what growth has occurred with borax. When soils have a borax deficiency, a “yellow top” condition develops, especially during the dry season. The plants are part of the Experiment Station soils program experiments.

— OSU photo caption

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.