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Marilyn: 1921

Marilyn: 1921

New York circa 1921. "Miller." Stage actress Marilyn Miller in the driver's seat. 5x7 inch dry plate glass negative, George Grantham Bain Collection. View full size.


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The car

I think you'll find this is the very same car Marilyn's first husband, Frank Carter, killed himself in. I couldn't believe it when a friend and I pieced it all together. If you look in the lower right of the image, just below the start of the vertical lines on the glass plate, you can make out an overpainted "MM&", the very same monogram visible in a larger version of the attached image which was taken outside of the Packard offices in Detroit.

It's a "1920 Packard Twin Six 4-passenger Special Touring by Fleetwood (3-35)" ordered for the princely sum of $10,000 at the Chicago Auto Fair in early 1920.

See here for what I've been able to piece together...

Colorized version of Marilyn

I couldn't resist. Here is the small view. Hopefully the larger version will be here soon.

Very famous gal in her day

MM had quite the life; lots of successes, marriages and divorces (no kids) and an early death at 37; too sadly typical for Hollywood starlets.

[It was sinus surgery that did her in. - Dave]


There is something so engaging about this photograph. The dark background, contrasting with every pintuck and frill on her collar and cuffs, the slight untidiness of her hair as a breeze lifted it - action arrested, a Real Person doing Real Things. (Well, pretending to, at least.) I love how huge those steering wheels were.

Amazing "print" quality

Kudos on such stunning tonal reproduction. I'm certain there was never a paper print made from that piece of film which had such superb detail and such full dynamic range gradation. Wow.

[Strictly speaking, there's no film here. This is a glass plate. - Dave]

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