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photoboothgermanychildwith-teddy

With badly peeling emulsion, this German photobooth photo went for a song. Deterioration such as this never bothers me, in fact I think it adds to the image’s charm. The missing emulsion is probably due to the fact that this pic was trimmed and glued into a photo album.

The modern design of the print fabric of this girl’s dress, belies the fact that this photograph was taken in the 1930s. I don’t think there is much about the photo that suggests it is over 70 years old.

It looks to me to be a celebratory photo. Her Mutti and Vatti have just bought this fluffy new teddy, spotted a photobooth and decided to mark the occasion. Our sitter is truly delighted with her new friend, isn’t she? I wonder if she chose this particular bear because he also had a big ribbon bow like the one she is sporting?

It is delightful the way our little girl is supporting her bear so tenderly. She is holding his left paw, as one might hold the hand of a child that is sat on one’s lap. Mr Bear seems a bit distracted, though. His attention is definitely focused on something outside the booth. He is probably already sick of all the human chatter and is looking for a more ursine entertainment, such as a snack. As Pooh-Bear says, “It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn’t use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like ‘What about lunch?'”.

photoboothgermanytinypuppygirl

In this photobooth photo from 1930s Germany, you could almost miss seeing the tiny dog swaddled in a blanket. By the size and angle of the hand, it appears to me that this slightly nervous looking girl is not the one holding the petite pup. I won’t stand by that observation, as it could simply be an illusion of perspective created by the hand’s relative proximity to the camera, but it seems to be a hand too large to belong to such a small child.

The composition of this image is striking though, no doubt, unintentional. It nicely emphasises the diminutive size of both child and canine. I also like the fact that one can see the bottom of the backdrop curtain, a feature mostly obscured in early booth photos.

photoboothGermanGentleman02

photoboothGermanGentleman01

I do not own these two striking portraits, unfortunately. These are scans from the website where they were sold. I was taken by the gentleman’s confident and regal bearing, so put in a bid, but lost out at the last moment.

These poses are more suited to a formal studio-composed photographic portrait, than to a five minute snap in a humble photobooth. The images date from the 1930s and were taken in Germany.

My gent is wearing a very well tailored and no doubt fashionable overcoat. His felt hat looks luxurious and expensive. I can just see him flicking the brim upwards, after having positioned the hat at just the right angle, prior to heading out into a bitter winter wind. Around his neck he is wearing what my Grandfather called an opera scarf, probably made of white silk. I imagine his breast-pocket handkerchief also to be white and made of the finest linen. His scarf is covering most of his tie but one can just discern a flattened dot pattern woven into the, doubtless silk, fabric.

He looks to be a well off and important man, who knows that image and demeanour are everything. I wonder why he chose to take these photos? Was his hat or coat new? Did he want to try a photobooth for the first time? It would have been an innovation and novelty in the 30s. No doubt he was very pleased with the results as the photos have been kept in good condition for over 80 years. I am envious of the new owner and hope that they look after the photos so that they last for at least another 80 years.

photoboothblondebuckteeth

This photobooth pair look like a very happy couple. This gent has the broadest of broad smiles and a fashionable dress sense. With marcel waves in her hair and prominent front teeth, his young lady would not be considered a beauty, but the smile on his face suggests she has a spark that we, as distant observers, may not be able to see.

Without the benefit of modern orthodontic techniques, I too, would have this same problem with upper palate over-crowding. It is interesting to note that in a person deemed attractive, this dental phenomenon is termed an “overbite”. Those deemed less visually appealing, get the pejorative label of “buck teeth”. The correct dental term is, I believe, malocclusion.

There is a Pinterest board for sexy women with overbites, nearly all actresses who’ve long disappeared from our screens, Alan Alda’s character, Hawkeye, in the third season of the TV series M*A*S*H whistfully mentions Gene Tierney’s overbite as sexy but I doubt we will see anymore thespians with this appealing, characteristic given the universal propensity towards conformity through cosmetic dentistry.

This Germany booth pic is dated September 1935.

photoboothGermanHatLady?

In my previous post about this photo, I attached an image of the back. I suggested that there may be more clues as to the identity of the sitter, if only I could read German. I was convinced that the photo is of a man. My friends thought it was a woman. Now thanks to a reader, Wolff Postler, we have a translation of the inscription. Wolff writes –

As far as I could decipher it, the notice reads:
Meiner Logismutter
Möll(?) zum Andenken
an den fremden
Freiheitsbruder
Ludwig Rot…(?)

This translates as “To my lodging mother Möll as a memory of the strange (weird) brother of liberty Ludwig Rot…”
The places marked by (?) are not readable.
Hope that helps – at least it confirms your speculation about a boheminan of some sort.

The translation confirms this to be a man who is seen and sees himself as strange. What “brother of liberty” meant in Pre-WW2 Germany, I cannot say. Hearty thanks to Wolff for making this interesting photo even more fascinating!

photoboothGermanHatLady?Back

photoboothGermanHatLady?

I bought this 1930s photobooth photo thinking it was of a very unusual looking man with an even more unusual fashion sense – a bohemian, arty type. No one to whom I have shown the photo agrees. The argument is that a man of that era wouldn’t have hair styled in that way nor wear a hat, shirt or velvet coat such as these. What do you think?

The photo came from Germany and has this information on the back. I’d say the signature was Ludwig something, definitely a male name, but it may not be a signature at all. I’m sure there will be more clues to the identity of the sitter if I could read more of the inscription.

photoboothGermanHatLady?Back

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