JUMP TO PAGE   100  >  200  >  300  >  400  >  500  >  600

Window on the Past: 19xx

Window on the Past: 19xx

Somewhere in New England, sometime in mid-century. Another unlabeled slide from the Linda Kodachromes. Are there any clues here as to the year? Let's have a beer while we ponder. (UPDATE: See Comments for the answer.) View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today’s Top 5

Old Marblehead

Dave, the more I look at this, the more POSITIVE I am that the little blue and white book on the table is Samuel Chamberlain's Old Marblehead, a Camera Impression. Look carefully. That would strongly suggest to me the possibility of these pics all being from Marblehead, Mass.

[Here's a comparison; allowing for distortion, glare and blur, it looks darn close. - tterrace]

[A good case for the book, but most of these photos are from New Hampshire. - Dave]


Tterrace wondered about the file box. For some reason, it looks like it could be full of very organized ViewMaster cards/slides. The object behind the slides looks like the top of a viewmaster viewer.

File box

I'd like to know what's in it.

Camera gear

Is that a spent "Press 25" flashbulb in the ashtray to the left of the binoculars?

This Scene

takes me back to my childhood in the 1950's: bamboo furniture - check; wrought iron end table - check; knotty pine paneling - check. Pop could have been a bird watcher as well as a gardener - well worn binoculars lie at the ready on the table.

Cigarettes bother me

The 1952 date for this photo seems correct from the magazine, but what appears to be a pack of Pall Malls on the table bother me.

First, comparison with the magazine in front of it, and the aspect ratio of the pack, make it look like 100mm cigarettes and those weren't introduced until 1960.

Second, on the side of the pack is what looks a great deal like a "Surgeon General's Warning", and those didn't appear until 1964. Unfortunately, given the resolution of even the larger image I can't actually read the text.

[I'm not sure why you'd think a block of illegible text resembles the Surgeon General's warning. Below, a pack from the 1940s that looks just like the one in our photo. - Dave]

Another Consideration

While this clearly looks like the 50's to me, just because the magazine is March 1952 doesn't mean this is even 1952. Wxman1 says that the furniture is a dead giveaway for an enclosed back porch. When I first looked at it, it looked more like a cottage porch to me. Out the window, it appears to be woodsy / lake like in the background and the building also in the background could be another cottage. The guys are clearly dressed in old, comfy lounging clothes and there is a pair of binoculars on the table (good for bird or animal spotting?). Therefore, if this really is a cottage, then magazines and other reading material are there for entertainment and could actually be several years old - based upon some of the cottages I have stayed at in the past.

[These slides are "red border" Kodachromes of the kind used no later than 1958. This particular one using the mount style employed from 1950 to 1955. Its neighbors are dated 1952. There are quite a few other photos showing the interior of this house. - Dave]

Location Discussion

As pointed out earlier, this is in the month of March or later, so no surprise that there is snow on the ground, but that may mean this is further north like VT, NH or ME (maybe central/western MA). By March/early April, it becomes less likely to be CN, RI or southeastern MA. Also, it's too bad Dad doesn't have the beer bottle in front of him. The label might help narrow the location down since there were many regional brewers in those days with strong local loyalty. As an aside, the furniture is a dead giveaway that this is in the enclosed back porch of the house.

[It might also be February. Monthly mags generally come out the second week of the preceding month. - Dave]

Mid-Century Modern Mancave

Except for the floral cushions.

Dorothy Parker's reply

When asked to define "Horticulture": "You can lead a whore to culture, but you can't make her think!"


Judging by the plaid flannel shirt I was going to guess Seattle, early 1990's, but of course it's not.

His eyes would indicate that is not his first Beer.

New England

If the slide's unlabeled, how did you know that the scene is in New England?

[The other slides. - Dave]

What's in a name?

The magazine reminds me of the old bit of wisdom that "you can lead a horse to water, but you can never lead a horticulture". Or something like that.

Dang it Dutch!

I should have read the comments first. I just spent 45 minutes looking for that cover! Nice job.

Dutch nails it

In less than 20 minutes! Clapclapclap. The answer is here on eBay.

A walk in the garden

Looks like Horticulture Magazine under the table - March 1952.

The year was ...


Syndicate content is a vintage photography site featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago. Contact us | Privacy policy | Site © 2023 Shorpy Inc.