I think I will make "Highlights" a regular feature here.
Inspired by a great found-photo site I came across the other day, Square America, I'm hauling a few of my acquisitions out of storage.
From top: Sacred Snakes of India. Aside from the great banner and imposing pavilion, what got me to part with my $2 or whatever were those penants flying atop the cupolas. Obviously some sort of carnival going on. I would say 1890-1900. A sideshow sensibility to a snake attraction I think, rather than state fair. No hint of beach or I would hazard Coney Island.
Creepy Family. Rather Dust Bowl/Grapes of Wrath/American Gothic, no? Farm worker family portrait c 1930, perhaps. I read a lot of helpless befuddlement and resignation in Father's face. He's actually rather handsome (and note the meerschaum/calabash pipe), unfortunately the children inherited all their genes from Mother who appears to be part woman, part bull terrier.
Revelers. I like the cheeky gaiety of the set up but I found something very peculiar about the perspective in this shot. Is it a composite? No, but the "Equestrienne", the Joycean man and the Roadster Couple don't seem to sit in the same plane. It's particularly nice the way the car seems to be driving out of the frame at left. Eight people, c. 1918, out on a lark, as they might have said. I think I could have been friends with them.
Little Bear. A new acquisition. He sort of reminded me of Arne Svenson's Sock Monkeys. Oddly, the inscription on back reads, " Nov.1944/ autograph dog/ To Bob/From Snook McCloskey" I Googled Snook McCloskey, hoping to find something. Alas, no documents returned on that search.
Next time: antique buttons-on-cards? or perhaps my as-yet-very-limited "old library card" collection. Let's vote.