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About the Photos

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.

© 2019 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Birds of a Feather: 1920

Birds of a Feather: 1920

Washington circa 1920s. "Mrs. Gaillard." From a Harris & Ewing portrait series depicting society types in historical and theatrical costumes. View full size.

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Capt. & Mrs. Gaillard

It appears from their few surviving LOC photos that the Gaillards enjoyed fancy dress parties or events. Here's another portrait of them from the early 1920s, with no makeup malfunctions. Another, very damaged negative recorded their appearance in Revolutionary War costumes.

Mona Gaillard

Her husband, Col. David St. Pierre Gaillard, died in 1982 at the age of 92. Mona passed in 1990, three months shy of her 90th birthday. They lost a son, David St. Pierre Gaillard, Jr. in 1951 (Korean War?).

They're in costume, folks

Like it says in the caption. They're deliberately dressed and made up outlandishly - in this case, like showgirls of a somewhat earlier era. Imagine if 92 years hence someone saw you in a photo made up for a Halloween party and thought, "My God! Did people really go around like that then?!?!"

Be nice!

You can't judge the past by the standard of today. Yes, their makeup look strange to us. Look beneath it. Those ladies are lovely. I mean, as in, Hubba-hubba!

Poorly focused

The Focus is rather soft on this one, not nearly soft enough to help however.

Mona Blodgett Gaillard

The first chorine on the left appears to be Mona Blodgett Gaillard (b. 1900), who married Capt. David St. Pierre Gaillard in Washington on November 7, 1921. This suggests that the photo's date is a little later, unless one of the older ladies on the right is her mother-in-law Katherine David Gaillard (1866-1937), widow of Lt. Colonel David DuBose Gaillard (1859-1913), director of engineering on the Culebra Cut in the Panama Canal. The LOC has two 1919 photos of Miss Blodgett, then a Washington debutante. As a wedding gift, her mother, Mrs. Delos Blodgett (Daisy), a wealthy Washington widow, built her "The Rocks," in the upscale suburb of Crestwood.

Get Max Factor here fast!

Not exactly "dream girls", this quartet of grotesque gargoyles, unless you dream of close-ups of bizarre clowns coming at you. In the l930's and 40's, the major "make up" artist in Hollywood was Max Factor who enhanced the beauty of all the big stars of the day. He even had his own "Max Factor" museum which has since been included in the "Hollywood Museum" and I believe his former line of retail cosmetics is no longer sold.


It's too bad that these young ladies only have this 92 yr. old photo to show the world what they looked like in their youth. A bad combination of too much makeup, blurry focus, and mold on the glass plate doesn't do them any favors! Bet they looked considerably nicer with simple makeup and a better portrait.

It's not nice but -

The first thing that came to mind was Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon dressed as women in Some Like It Hot. Hope that's not too cruel.

[It's well-nigh inevitable. - tterrace]

As always

As always, with shots like these from that era, I see Tony Curtis (as in Some like It Hot).

He's second from the right in this one.

And I hope someone showed the little redhead on the left how to avoid her nose with a lipstick!

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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