Sunday, 27 June 2010

It's a Dog's Life

When people use the phrase, it's a dog's life, I guess they don't immediately think of dogs being harnessed to carts or pushes in prams. The two photographs published here demonstrate just that.

Elsie (5) is pictured above. The caption reads: 'Elsie and her Pong (Prince). He seems good natured and I wonder what was in the cart? Below is a young girl with her pram. Pity the poor pooch whose head is peeking out from the blanket, especially as he has some sort of bonnet perched upon his head. Oh the ignomy of it!

Monday, 21 June 2010

Windswept Dog!

Ho fotografato il vento.
Originally uploaded by gabriesse

I noticed this photograph of a small white dog in a breeze on flickr. Lovely, isn't it?

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Baby Owl survives a close encounter in a Lion Cage

I was amazed to see the photographs of a baby Tawny Owl that fell out of a tree at Paignton Zoo in Devon. After landing, it sidled up to Lioness for company (?!?). Read the story and view the images here. Wow!

Saturday, 19 June 2010

Enigmatic Young Woman

Cousin Ione at Yewhurst 1922. That is all it says. Ione looks as if she should be reading but there is no book visible. Is she a reluctant subject? I think not. What does interest me, however, is what she seems to be clutching in her right hand. What could it be? A portal device to assist an Edwardian lady to slip into another dimension, a Derringer pistol concealed, but ready to us on an intrusive photographer or what? What do you think?

Monday, 14 June 2010

Girl with a Bicycle

Is it me or is the pose of this young women slightly risque for the period it was photographed - the early 1900s? She's very confident. Perhaps the photographer is her fiance? What do you think?

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Happy Family!

Every so often, I come across an old photograph that really sparkles and . . . this is one of them. What a cheerful bunch and I just love the footwear. Dad is wearing a yachting cap. Does he have his own launch and take his children out to sea during the school holidays? I don't know and, very sadly there are no identifying marks on the reverse of the photograph. I wonder what became of them all? I am guessing it was taken around the 1920s or 30s. Wonderful! Click on the image for a closer look.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Midget troupes

A recent post about Red Indians (American Indians) queried whether they were exploited by owners of Wild West shows. There was a big response to an earlier post on Tom Thumb's wife and other groups.

Here are two more postcards that I acquired recently. The first advertises Fred Roper's Wonderful Midgets and shows Fred Roper with General Rollason. Fred is 2ft 10in high and 18 years old. The second is an advertising card for Chaffer's Wonder Midgets.

I can remember reading, from time to time, about how badly treated these fellow human beings were treated, but I wonder how true the accounts are? There must have been a showman, surely, who looked after his performers. Anyone have any thoughts on the subject?

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Look out Toto!

This is another recent purchase. It depicts a young woman posing on her bicycle in the 1900s. Thankfully today, people can be less formal with their attire! What has struck me is just how much she resembles Dorothy's nasty neighbour, Almira Gulch, in that magnificent movie The Wizard of Oz! I can just see her pedalling along with a small dog trapped in the cycle basket.

Monday, 7 June 2010


At yesterday's Antique Fair, I came across two postcards of Red Indians. Today, they are referred to as American Indians. The first shows the Family of the Interpreter Frank C Goings pictured at the Red Man Spectacle held at Earls Court in London in the early 1900s. The second is a group evidently taken round schools to show children what Indians look like!

The postcard below was sent from Buffalo NY to Bristol England in 1908 from a schoolchild to his Auntie. I am guessing it depicts a Showman and some of his charges. The writer says:

Dear Auntie,
Kindly forward this to Leslie and tell him these are the Indians that came to our school in the full costume. Of course, you cannot see their paint on their faces but they look fine.
Love from all
Harold R.

A very long time ago, Wild West shows were all the rage. How much exploitation went on, I wonder?

Sunday, 6 June 2010

One of War's more unusual Stories

Hidden by the Fog of War, to use an oft repeated cliche, are stories that are strange, miraculous and moving. As today is the 66th anniversary of D-Day, I thought I would share a story that moves me.

In 1994, I had the good fortune to be sent on assignment to cover the 50th anniversary of D-Day. I visited many of the great commemorative events and also had time to make private visits to many of the major war cemeteries.

At Ranville Cemetery, I photographed the graves of many of those who died on the first day of the invasion. One such grave was that of Private Emile Servais Corteil - Parachute Regiment, Army Air Corps, aged 19. His headstone is inscribed with some words provided by his parents and what was written shocked me:

Had you know our son,
You would have loved him too.
Glen, his Paratroop Dog
Was killed with him

I checked the Commonwealth War Graves Commission's Debt of Honour website which records that Glen was killed at his side and . . . buried with him. I don't know the circumstances of their deaths, but am greatly moved. They died together and remain together.