Photoweigh – 18 August 1937


Here is another Photoweigh photo from the UK. It shows a pretty young woman sporting a very typical hairstyle of the era, albeit with just one Marcel wave, where mostly one would see multiple waves. August being a holiday month in the United Kingdom, one imagines this was taken at a holiday resort, probably a seaside one.

The place where the photo was taken, was either never printed on the photo or has faded from the blank space at the top. At the bottom the writing says Have an Enlargement Made only 3d (3 pennies or thruppence). I have no idea if that was a bargain price or quite expensive for the 1930s. I imagine there was further information on the booth itself about where one needed to go to get the enlargement done, or possibly the service was offered on the spot by an attendant stationed at or near the booth.

Most of these photos were poorer quality than the Photomaton machines produced, although they were printed on heavier, more durable card stock. Most have faded dramatically over time, as you can see in this example and in my other posts about Photoweigh photos.

The image measures 40 x 85 mm.

  1. Looks like the little girl in the photo at top was put thru a Marcel Wave Machine.


    • Hi Ted. Yesterday you and Mike left mesSages on posts that either disappeared or I was unable to reply to. It was very weird. No idea what was going on, so I’m sorry if you didn’t get my responses. Don’t you just love a Marcel Wave? (My best friend from school is called Marcelle by the way.)


  2. Mike said:

    Did any heavy women ever get this kind of card made?


    • Hi Mike. Yesterday you and Ted left messages on posts that either disappeared (the comments – not the posts, of course!) or I was unable to reply to. It was very weird. No idea what was going on, so I’m sorry if you didn’t get my responses. In answer to your question I’d say “HELL NO”!!!!!!!!!


      • Mike said:

        A rather poor invention that cuts out those who might think they are chubby. Nothing like a self limiting profit reducing product. In the same vein I want to produce a slanderous line of fortune cookies with comments that include things such as “You will die horribly and in great pain.” Just to mix it up a little and keep it interesting. I’m seeking investors. You in?
        I think we are current on comments. In any event, no worries, Kate 😉


        • I’ll send a cheque immediately. I think it is a truly brilliant idea (really)! x Katie


  3. ehpem said:

    A completely bizarre idea. Presupposes also that people can’t remember their weight from standing on a scale. Perhaps it was for people that could not read and had to take the information home for someone to tell them what it says? In all ways a self limiting enterprise that must have gone out of business quickly.


    • These booths were still around in the 1970s apparently, so a good 40 years of business before they died out. I do agree that it was a very bizarre idea but maybe people were not so sensitive about their weight in earlier eras?


      • ehpem said:

        I think that could be the case. The Twiggy era seems to have ushered in a sustained period of intolerance for the more pronounced curves.


  4. peersea said:

    I can assure you there’d be very few women who’d be up for the Photoweigh experience nowadays! I’d not been aware that such a confronting combination of anthropometric detail and portrait photography was available ’til now!


    • …”combination of anthropometric detail and portrait photography”. Oh how you have a way with words, my dear! You are undoubtedly right that most women these days wouldn’t go near a machine like this, but then again if you were determined to lose weight and wanted to record your progress, it would be a fascinating way to visually and anthropometrically chart your success. x Kate


  5. Great image and a very pretty lady. The weight shown seems to be a bit more accurate than the photos I posted!


    • I wasn’t sure if it reads 15 stone 7 lbs, which seems very heavy for this lady, or something else? What do you think, Richard?


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