Photomaton Diva



In the above photos, the sitter looks as glamorous as a silent movie star. As her headdress doesn’t fit with her outfit, I am guessing she is trying out a bridal accessory, possibly to see how it worked in a photograph? Below, without the intricate head-piece, she looks less of a star but very much an elegant woman of the twenties.

These photos were taken on 25 November 1929 at a Photomaton studio in Paris. They came in their original folder which shows the prices you would’ve paid if you had chosen to make enlargements. There is only one photo missing from the strip of six, which would have been cut at the studio, in order that one would stand upright to fit the paper frame.

I cannot work out what the numbers beside the listed countries represent, as they cannot be the price in local currency. Taking Les États-Unis (USA) as an example, the equivalent set of photos in the 1920s would have cost ten cents, not $2.25 or 225 cents. France is listed on the back with 72 beside it, while the price on the front is marked as 6 francs.

The name of the shop or department store that is stamped in purple at the bottom front of the folder, I am unable to make out. I can find no record of anything other than a, now defunct, café at 26, Boulevard des Italiens.




Outside of folder.


Inside of open folder.


  1. John Nichols said:

    Brilliant! Absolutely love your work, very cool. What inspired you to do this?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi John! Sorry I haven’t replied to you comments on Facebook. If you read the ‘About Me’ section of the blog you will understand why I can have problems keeping up with things. It also explains why I started the blog. But maybe you wonder what inspired me to collect in the first place?

      It started by accident in a way, due to needing to be in photobooths for travel ID photos of various sorts. My collection of photos of me started that way. I enjoyed seeing the changes in my face over time and the way the booth photos were changing over time, too. I have always loved faces and silly expressions, so started collecting booth photos of friends and family. When eBay caught my attention some 12 years ago, I started looking for very old photobooth photos and became addicted!


  2. Now, that’s a find. The little curl on her forehead is interesting. Cute poses and love those lips… kind of Clara Bowish.


    • Oh yes, Clara Bow indeed! The curl is lovely but I didn’t mention it, as I am still wracking my brain as to what that type of curl is called. I think it was very 1920s and has never been in fashion since.

      Remembered!and then googled.I remembered “spit curl” but I think Kiss Curl is a much nicer description. “A kiss curl describes a lock of hair curling onto the face and usually plastered down. Although the curl could be flattened with saliva (hence its alternative name spit curl), soap or hair lotion was more typically used.”


  3. ehpem said:

    Nice set of photos – it is a bit strange that kiss curls never came back into fashion. I wonder why not, perhaps association with lefties in the 20’s?

    Could that list of numbers tell how many stores/booth Photomaton had in each country at that time?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I can’t imagine why they never came back into fashion. Maybe they will someday soon.

      I think you’re very clever to have worked out what those numbers mean. Now that you have said it, I feel really silly that I didn’t see what it was communicating before. Gold stars and elephant stamps for you Mr E!! 🌟🌟🌟 🐘🐘🐘

      Liked by 1 person

          • ehpem said:

            I don’t think I ever got any stickers at all. Maybe they didn’t have them, or maybe I wasn’t notable enough to warrant the recognition.

            Liked by 1 person

            • 😕😕😕. Here is a Warly Bear (as my sister called koalas when she was little) . You definitely deserve many stamps now. 🐨 🐨 🐨


  4. That’s very intriguing… The number of photo studios in each country? 225 in the US, 1 in India. Figures.

    Liked by 1 person

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