Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.
Vintage photos of:
This button was a promotional piece about 1-3/4" in diameter, given out by shoe stores on the purchase of a pair of Keds, one of the sponsors of the daily kids' show "Fireman Frank" broadcast by KRON-TV in San Francisco during the mid-50s. Fireman Frank was George Lemont, a hip SF deejay who stepped into the role after the original Fireman, a roly-poly avuncular gent more in the style of a kids' TV host, dropped dead. Lemont's humor appealed as much to adults as well as kids; you could hear the studio crew guffawing off-camera at things that went over our heads. Between cartoons, Lemont brought out his cast of puppets, including robot Dynamo Dudley, the beret-wearing, bop-talking Scat the Cat and best of all, Karl the Karrot. Karl, as you can see, was a sort of proto-beatnik, literally a carrot with a pair of shades. His dialog consisted entirely of "blubble-lubble-lubble" while he thrashed about, chlorophyl topknot flailing. At home, we were all in convulsions on the floor.
This is a scan of a battered print showing my grandfather in the cockpit of a C-47. My best guess is that this is in the last half of 1944 and in the US per his logbooks, but it could be as late as mid-'45 in Europe. I've recently discovered a stash of his wartime photos and will add more if there's any interest. View full size.
In 1957 I was chosen to be a model for the Oklahoma Semi-Centennial publicity photos. I was 5 and had to wear a fishbowl for a space helmet. View full size.
The car and the photo that started it all: my life-long vicarious love affair with gigantic cars with huge fins. By age 9 I was already a car nut; I cut out pictures from magazine ads and pasted them in a spiral notebook; I amazed family and friends by my ability to identify every car make. Then one day in November 1955 I saw it: this bronze chariot of the gods, a 1955 Cadillac Eldorado convertible, parked in, of all places, a mud lot near Boardwalk #3 in Larkspur, Calif. I made my brother take this Kodachrome, then later came back and photographed it myself in black and white - just the rear end. Immediately I stopped drawing Flash Gordon rocket ships and began designing my own cars - the Pac-Ply and the Zorch. I began pestering my father to take me to GM Motorama when it arrived to San Francisco. Strangely, when it came time to trade in the '48 Hudson in 1956, the car I pestered him to buy was a Rambler station wagon. I guess I realized these cars were not for mere mortals. View full size.
September 1956. My father, me and the new Rambler on its first long ride, at Squaw Rock on U.S. 101 south of Ukiah, California, captured by my brother on Ektachrome. Could almost be a new card ad, except I'm not running around laughing hysterically. View full size.