Archive for the ‘photography’ category

[Blind Box] #7 Washington D.C. Stereo Card

October 4, 2007

Please excuse the brief hiccup…the bubble hasn’t burst.

  • Creator: Keystone View Company, Colorado
  • Object Type: stereo card
  • Creation Date: 1909
  • Origin: Washington, DC
  • Dimensions: 4 x 8 inches
  • Note: Series no. error; “#234” appears on front, “#224” on back

Stereoscopy is positively miraculous, if only for its singular ability to make people and places from the 19th Century feel actual. There are several easy DIY stereo viewer plans online (link). Sadly, an apparatus for effective computer viewing is harder to come by without un-stowing some folding money.

One alternative is the alleged “cross viewing method“, which, in at least one opinion, is both futile and painful. To simply get the gist however, the “wiggle method” suffices, produced here in an animated .gif (the boughs of the leftmost tree work seem to work the best…won’t work in all browsers):


Either Teddy Roosevelt or William Howard Taft held the Presidency when this image was captured. Finding out who filled the Senate proved difficult, while stats abound for the impressively atrocious 1909 Washington Senators baseball team. (Sidenote: the next year, Taft was the first President ever to throw out a first pitch.)

The back (click to enlarge):

“We have no need for apologies for our national capitol”…which is more than can be said for North Dakota (image).


[Blind Box] #5: Photograph with Dachshund

August 21, 2007

Item #05. Photograph of Man and Dachshund

  • Creator: Unknown
  • Object Type: Black and White Photograph
  • Creation Date: Unknown
  • Origin: Unknown
  • Dimensions: 2 1/2 x 3 3/4 inches (120 full-frame film format)

Ah, the black and white snapshot…the copper penny of paper ephemera. Of course, as any avid penny collector will tell you, a coin’s true worth–like an old photo–lies in the story it has to tell. In this case, the story takes place near the margins.

The first striking detail about this gem is an indented border that resembles a printmaker’s plate mark. Here is the first tip-off that it is likely a contact print. A measurement confirms this hunch, as the image dimensions match that of standard 120 full-frame film (roughly 6 x 9 cm). Unfortunately, knowing this does little to help date the print, since 120 roll film is one of the few formats actually still in production.

Even more interesting perhaps is the photo’s ragged, faux deckled border. It calls to mind the fancy scissors of youth, brought out once a year to cut lacy red and pink hearts for homemade Valentines. Sure enough! deckled edging scissors do exist, along with an extensive list of more predictable undulations. Scrapbookers rejoice.

Finally, please visit the Dachshund Club of America’s mesmerizing, slightly unsettling animated tutorial of proper Dachshund walking motions.