Friday, May 20, 2016

Vintage Equine Pt 1 - OPP

OPP - Other People's Ponies

This is the first installment in a three part series centered around antique and vintage horse items I have acquired over the course of several years. I tend to collect small items that can be easily stored away, in addition to not breaking the bank. I haven't added anything new to any of these collections for at least a couple years. However, when I go through my things now, I'm still fascinated or intrigued by them. So I figured a few of you out there in bloggerland would also enjoy having a look. Today's topic will be vernacular photographs.

Vernacular photography is a fancy term used to describe forgotten photos taken by average folks of their everyday lives. Much like the album full of pics from your trip to Disney World when you were 12. These photos are generally older, and found in someone's attic by relatives who don't know anyone pictured. They are tossed in a box full of odds and ends that goes for $20 at the estate sale. From there they make their way into antique stores, flea markets and eBay auctions.

All the photos I'm sharing today are my absolute favorites out of a shoe box full. I like pics that I can personally relate to, or ones with lots of texture and opposing angles to draw the eye, or ones that are just completely bizarre. Writing on the back is always a plus. The caption under each photo represents actual dimensions in inches. Any numbers on the reverse sides that I do not mention were written or stamped by the developer. It's how they labelled photos from the same order. If I don't show the back of a photo then it is blank. 

This is the first photo I ever purchased. It's the one that got me started collecting. Rummaging through an antique booth, this pic just kind of fell into my hand. I stopped and stared. Even though the angle isn't all that flattering I couldn't help but think how cute the foal was. After deciding this photo was coming home with me I flipped it over to find a price but instead there was a message on the back. 
3.5 x 3.5 inches
This pony wouldn't stand still enough
for Daryl, May '50, Cal (ifornia?)

Here's a man enjoying the afternoon out on his grey steed. I'm not sure how much the grey steed is enjoying things. The guy is definitely having a blast with that huge smile on his face and his hat held high in the air. 
4.5 x 3.5
And a profile shot of the same grey. He appears to be well cared for.
4.5 x 3.5

A classic pic for the era. Could have been taken anywhere. No helmet, but her form is good enough.
4.75 x 3.75

Ok, this next one gets me going. First, um, I want to be there. Just don't kill the quarry. Second, the rider in the foreground seems to be entering some sort of time warp. Also pony in the middle is stepping under nicely. 
3.25 x 2.25

This photo is one of my ultra faves (a favorite out of the favorites). Ralph autographed it on the exposure, then someone else labelled it Ralph Witt on the margin. His horse has that wild look in his eye. I feel certain Ralph is giving that horse's mouth hell. The back has the most identifying information on it of any photo I own. 
4.75 x 3
Ralph Witt on his horse Frank. Mullinville, Kansas
Harvest of 1932

This one is just a cool pic. I like the expression on the man's face. Maybe he's getting excited about this horse's prospective careers. Someone punched a star in the corner for whatever reason.
5.25 x 3.25

A young horsewoman in the making. I wonder if she ever got her picture back?
4.75 x 3.25
Uncle Herchal, this is an American
Saddlebred stallion. I had an Arabian
white mare bred to him. That's me. Send
this back because I want to compare him
with his colt when it grows up.

Classic fifties Americana right here. The way it's labelled leads me to believe she was just driving by and pulled over to get a pic with the cute ponies.
3.25 x 2.25 Country in Seymour - 51

I call this one the rider without a face. Slightly eerie.
2.25 x 2.25

I always keep the next two photos stored beside each other. I think they represent two different facets of America from roughly the same period. The haves and the have nots.

The first one shows two ladies on horseback out in the desert. They're wearing those pants that look like skirts while standing. The wagon behind them has a man inside. I think they're pulling up stakes and moving on, or maybe these women had no choice but to get out there and help their men move cattle. Either way, they haven't been handed anything in life and aren't scared away by the thought of hard work.
4 x 2.5

The counterpart to the above photo shows an entirely different sector of the population. Money in the bank, food in the kitchen, nice horses in the barn. I can tell you one thing the haves did not have...a well fitted saddle.
4 x 2.5

This one isn't all that special compared to some of the others, but I always like the free jumping shots. I don't know how economical film and photo development were during this time, but it wasn't free. Someone loved this horse enough to snap a pic of it jumping alone. 
3 x 2

Way to strike that power pose before climbing on the crazy green thoroughbred.
2.25 x 4

I just love this. Where is this place? Taken when PBR was cool the first time around.
2.5 x 3.75

Now, please indulge me while I share a few non horse pics that I still find noteworthy. Starting with this shot of a young man and his bull. The subject matter is cool enough, I grew up on a cattle farm. But I'm sharing this one because of what's on the back.
3 x 2
Genuine Krystal Gloss. Guaranteed forever. Guess what? It's still incredibly glossy hehe.

How 'bout a couple sheep? I like sheep a lot. Anyone know what breeds these are? 
5.5 x 3.5
4.5 x 3.5

A couple kids acting like fools on the side of a mountain. I'm sure we would have been friends if I were born sooner, or them later.
4.5 x 3

I call this girl the "witchy woman". The back just says Hattie in tiny writing. I would have been friends with her too.
3 x 2

Like the bull photo, this one just hits home. Also an ultra fave. We had large gardens, and I was an only child. Even if you can't associate with this one, how could you not smile? The reverse is written in German, I think. My dad is also of German heritage.
3.5 x 2.5
don't know what this one says

Honestly, I don't know if I really like this one or not, but I can't figure out what's going on. Is it a play, or B movie promo shot, or is he for real? I don't know. It stays in my faves because I can't stop looking at it.
3.5 x 4.5

A picture of a picture of a man taking a picture of a deer. 
5.5 x 3.25

This guy looks more cheeky than my pony. Wonder if those wooly chaps still exist in someone else's collection?
3 x 2

Another ultra fave. Bulldog, complete with spiked collar. Also the photo lab messed up, the bottom margin is actually the top of another photo. The angle of this photo is spot on with the A frame porches trailing off in the background.
2.25 x 2.5

All the feels on this one. Seriously. The crushed velvet of the furniture, the smell of the fresh tree, and that warm, fuzzy feeling you get from the holidays. Let's hope they cut those lights off before they left the house.
2 x 3

Yet another ultra fave. This one is just touching. A farmer admiring his hard work. He knows things are gonna be alright this year. Comes with a note on the back.
2.25 x 4
Brother Frank C. Dell. About 1914 at North Rush.
Dad's farm which Frank bought 1912

Love me a nice hand colored photo. These were developed like normal and crudely filled in with colors. First off, a dog pic. The painter made sure to fill that tiny flower in with orange, hehe.
3 x 5.5

This photo belongs with the top one, same photographer. She has detail on her hosiery. Notes on the back.
3 x 5.5
TYPED: Patsy pup and Eva. Monrovia.
WRITTEN: Pat & Eva. Love me, Love my dog

The Great Wall of China, prior to it becoming a tourist destination. You can see the grass growing on top of the wall.
5.25 x 3.25

Again, an ultra fave. This had to have been mailed to a friend or family member who lived far away. A whole story is on the back, but the collie is never mentioned.
5.25 x 3.25
You can see in this view, as in the other similar one, the
wandering paths at the foot of the canyons, & on opposite
side is the "club"of the boys of the neighborhood including
Teddy. Strange doings and noises go on there I can tell you,
& you can signal very easily over to our side; surrounding
it are orchards & orange groves, beautiful when they are in
bloom. Directly in the foreground is my rose garden. 25 rose
bushes which you can only see a few of. And that wire fence
you see is covered with finest (?) tho not quite tall enough
yet to see good. They later grew ten & twelve feet.

And with that long story about the canyon we can conclude our first entry in the Vintage Equine.

Aaand, if I got the Naughty By Nature song stuck in your head, my apologies. You can get it out of your system here.

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