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Here we have two cheeky little misses. The booth chair being too low, makes them appear to be very, very small and almost pixie-like. Adding to that impression is the goofy gap-toothed smile on one and the cute freckles on the other.

With two similarly, badly cut fringes, (“Gee, thanks Ma!”), I would suggest they are sisters. But of course they could be best friends with a penchant for playing hairdresser with mummy’s dressmaking scissors.

This strip is from the USA and probably dates to the late 1960s or early 70s.

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Catherine at 16

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Catherine at 17

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Catherine at 18

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Catherine at 18. To a sweet boy, Catherine … (?)

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Catherine at 19

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Catherine at 20

This is Catherine. Catherine comes from the USA. She was very curious about the new Photomaton machines she had read about in the news. When the first booth arrived in her town in the mid 1930s, she was one of the first to try it out. Each year, on the anniversary of her first visit, she would sit for a new strip of photographs. She added them to an album, where she kept a page especially for her booth photos.

Catherine was sweet on a boy when she was 18 years old. She had a photobooth portrait hand coloured to give him, but being shy, she lost the courage, so ended up keeping it for her album.

At the age of 20, sick of her lack of confidence, she decided to try a new look. Her dad said she was a beautiful young woman who had sabotaged her looks with those dreadful eyebrows, heavy eyeliner and dark red lipstick. Her mother said, “It is the fashion, dear. Let her be.”.

If anyone can work out what Catherine’s surname is, please let me know. I have tried many combinations of letters but none of them come up with a name recognised by any of the genealogy sites on the net.

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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.

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Outside of folder.

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Inside of open folder.

1929

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Two of these photos turned up in the post as a surprise gift from my blogging friend in the USA, Ted. A few weeks later another unexpected envelope arrived but this time from one of my favourite Ebay sellers. I was thrilled to find a note and two more of the same series of photos, which had been sent directly from her, but once again were a gift from Ted.

These charming photos of this smartly dressed young lady would look great as an animated GIF. I did try, but without any success. One day if my concentration improves, I will attempt it again.

These American photos are undated. The sitter is identified as Gail.

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Here are three more examples of my Photomaton postcards.

The young lady in the booth photo is wearing fashionable clothes of the late 1920s or early 1930s. She wrote a message on the back, which reads –

Dear Beatie and George. We are having a fine time. Hoping all is well at home. With love from Mayme

The writing is in a childish hand, so the sitter may be a lot younger than she first appeared to me. I had thought late teens but she could possibly be as young as 13 or 14. Her name is difficult to decipher. It could also be read as Mayne. Neither that, nor my first guess are familiar female monikers, so maybe neither is correct.

Below is another example of an unused card. To see some other examples of this type of card please click here.

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I have a small collection of ephemera related to photobooths and these are some of my favourites.

Wherever a photobooth was situated, which was more often than not in seaside holiday towns, there were postcards and postcard vendors. The photomaton company came up with a way of capitalising on the booth’s popularity as a souvenir and the popularity of postcards by combining the two. They produced empty vignette cards with seaside and country themes which had gummed paper backing, into which one could insert a recently made photo from one of their booths.

The top card must have been delivered by hand or posted in an envelope. Written in pencil on the back is –

Just a little snap of me dear. Sorry my hair is so straight. But it’s not so bad is it? Love from Nancy x x

The second card is of the same design as the first. It is one of four I have, which were never used. Below is another example. They all have twee rhymes that are typical of the sentiments found on other types of greeting cards of the time. They all date from the late 1920s to early 1930s

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