Leslie in the Dark


Leslie, Actual Size

Despite or due to (I’m still uncertain) the effects of time and the vagaries of the chemical processing of an automatic machine, I still love any booth photo. It intrigues me to find the odd and obscure products, like this one, that have survived so many years in such ill health.

This picture of Leslie was at the bottom of a box of larger photos in a second-hand market in a small town in the wilds of Arizona.  It looks to me, to be a photo from the 1930s. It cost me 25 cents.  You can only really see the image if it is tilted on a certain angle towards the light.  It is much clearer, even in the thumbnail scan, than in real life. I couldn’t even make out the name until I enlarged it.  Remnants of hand colouring can still be seen, so one presumes the poor chemical mix and almost opaque darkness was not evident until much later in its history.

Good looking and well dressed Leslie is a mysterious, romantic figure in this image. Who was he?  As Lisa from The Long Way Home blog (a good blog to check out, by the way) has said, in a comment on another post, “Wouldn’t it be wild if one of the people in the photos found the (image) on the ‘Net?”  In this case it would probably be too much to hope Leslie was still with us, but maybe a relative might accidentally come across this?  That really would be wild.


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