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In my previous post, I published a gift from Brian from Equinoxio, today’s photo was a gift from Shayne of Captured and Exposed blog. As I’ve said before, the generosity of the blogging community never ceases to amaze me. Thank you to Shayne, Brian, Ted and others for their kindness in finding and sending me wee treasures.

I’m probably just getting old but Bobby here, looks way too young to be in uniform, especially during wartime. His name is written in ink on the back of the photo and lightly in pencil, someone has added WW2. He is a sweet looking young man with those heavy lidded eyes and slightly crooked front teeth.

His expression is somewhat bemused, as though he barely knows how he ended up in uniform. He could easily be as young as 18. How do we, as a community, still allow children to make the life and death decision to go to war? Is it truly an informed decision if it is made before the consequences of which, could possibly be fully conceived? We now know that brains are not fully developed until the age of 25, yet we still send our young men and women into conflict zones at much younger ages. And then, at least as far as the UK, Australia and the US go, we don’t properly look after their needs on their return home.

Bobby has unleashed some powerful emotions for me. I do hope he returned home after his tour in one piece, both physically and emotionally.

I am tentatively dipping my toe back in the blogging pool after a long hiatus. To ease myself back in, I’ve chosen the painted backgrounds of the photos, instead of the people, as the focus.

These items are all from the USA and very easily dated to WW2 thanks to the painted battleships in the backdrops. It amuses me that the composition is virtually identical in each of the three examples, yet different enough to suggest they were painted by different artists. So which one was the original design, if any of them? Does this follow the layout of a navy recruitment poster or a propaganda leaflet? Did Fred Nerk, Joe Blogs or Jane Smith come up with the design for his/her photobooth business, only to have it copied, to varying degrees of proficiency, until it spread the length of the country?

 

These two boys are a wonderful pair. What a lovely affectionate pose! They are cute as all get out, with their rakishly tilted caps and loose neck ties, not to mention the rose bud in one lapel. There heads just resting together and those smiles, make me love them both. The feminity of the features of the owner of the magnificent ‘tache made me think briefly that it was a woman in drag but I have dismissed that idea. Do you agree?

photobooth2sailorsGreatMo.

 

This photo comes from an album of photos that mostly were dated 1941. It measures  37 x 52 mm and came from the USA.

These photomatic photobooth images are from the USA. Though undated, they appear to be from the WW2 era. They were probably taken in the same machine around the same time, possibly even within the same hour, as the visual evidence in hair and clothes might tell us, but also as the cardboard backing that supports the photo is, unusually, upside down on all the images.

I suspect that the first two photos were taken while the lady stood beside her man. You can just see a part of what appears to be an arm in the second pic that has the same tone and texture of the suit she is wearing in the subsequent images. They then pull over the second, darker curtain and in jumps his lady for the next series of flashes.

When searching for photobooth gems to add to my collection I always keep an eye out for any series of pictures that shows the same person in different poses or at different stages of their lives. Even if it is imagined, there is more of a story to be seen when a face is viewed in different modes. There is a tentativeness about their togetherness that I find endearing. Maybe they had just met. Maybe they were not demonstrative types. Given the era of these photos I am musing on the fate of these anonymous faces. Military service at any time is fraught with danger and uncertainty. Did this young man survive the war? If yes, did their relationship survive it?

The red spots you can see on the last image are the remains of a red elastic band, which, luckily didn’t touch much of the surface of the photo. The back of one of the other items is covered in solidified rubbery goo. I like finding these little pieces of evidence that at one point they were carefully stored together and therefore loved by someone, before being flung out into the world and an uncertain fate.

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