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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.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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William Bliss: Mid-Fifties

William Bliss: Mid-Fifties

This is William Bliss, son of Bill Bliss who is the photographer of most of these new pictures I'm submitting. They lived in San Diego. I'm going to say this is in the mid-fifties. Scanned from the 2.5 x 3.5" negative. View full size

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Linoleum: A Closer Look

Ah, sorry Mr. Johnston. That whole area looked dark to me, but I lightened it up in Photoshop (below) and now I see what you mean. Word-usage-wise, "linoleum" for my generation was something like Kleenex, Scotch tape and Frigidaire: a general term for anything similar. To this day, my first impulse is still to call floor coverings like that "linoleum."

And the pattern is indeed awesome. I remember seeing something like it at someone's house somewhere when I was a kid.


Actually, tterrace, I was referring to the flooring. You can just see a bit of it by the boy's foot.

Your comment makes me think there's a meaning to linoleum that I don't know. Or do you just mean that one shouldn't call modern vinyl flooring by that name? It was a common usage in Canada when I grew up in the 1970s. You still hear it used, but less so.

I still love the pattern.

Linoleum tablecloth

Before I went off half-cocked on WayneJohnston's use of the term "linoleum" I decided to do some online research, and find that it in British English it can refer to what's more commonly called oilcloth. In fact, the two do share some common history. And I note Mr. Johnston's use of "colour." Anyway, my default impression when I see a heavily-patterned period tablecloth like this is that it may be oilcloth, having grown up with them. But this one doesn't show the characteristic sheen, so I don't know.

Don't staple twinlead

TV twinlead should never be stapled directly to a wall- or anything. This causes an impedance imbalance which causes signal attenuation and ghosting. Proper method is to use stand-off insulators. Now a days twinlead has been replaced by coaxial cable which is not so fussy.

Love that Lino

The pattern on that linoleum is truly something to behold. I'd love to see it in colour.

Coincidental Resemblance

Hey tterrace, is it just me or do you see a similar resemblance?

Young Bill

Wait'll you see the one of him on the roof with his pal, the American flag and the TV antenna. Hint, hint.

And re: TV antenna installation. At least Bill's dad had the wire going through the back porch window; ours came through the front living room window, down the wall (at which point we had it elegantly stuffed under the carpet) and thence to the TV. That was from 1952 until we got cable in 1965; my mother wasn't all that thrilled with the hole drilled through the hardwood floor for it, though.

[Ours came up through a hole in the floor, both to the TV and my dad's new stereo. He sent me and my sister into the crawlspace under the house with a flashlight and a roll of twin-lead. I was very excited to find a circa 1957 Dairy Queen waxed paper cup that had been left there when the house was built. Memories! - Dave]

Ours was only house I knew of that had an external radio antenna, sort of like a car radio antenna, but about 6-8 feet tall, complete with button at the tip. This dated from the late-1940s, when my brother was a radio nut - commercial broadcast-type, not ham. It remained mounted outside our (later my) upstairs bedroom window for years after he'd stopped using it.

Mmm, pet supply condiments

Nice, an open box of flea powder on the window sill above the turkey dinner. (The Hartz Mountain box on the left, and the cylindrical can with the dog on it looks like flea powder.)


Young Bill certainly is dressed for a big family get-together with his wool pants held up by a nifty looking belt and a two-tone polo shirt. Must have been some cute girl cousins in town.

I'm also impressed by the TV antenna wire draped from the window to the water heater in the background. Bill Sr. must not have been much of a handyman.

Cheep Eats

Mom I got tired of that dumb bird getting out of the cage by the window so this time I cooked him!!

Roast beast

The cooked object on the platter is difficult to identify.

[Trussed turkey! - Dave]

Guardian of the supper

"Now young Will, make sure no one touches this before mealtime."

SHORPY OLD PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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