How I Spent the War (or Memories of My Melancholy Whores)

WWII wasn’t all D-Day and Guadalcanal. These photos were taken from an album of a soldier who spent the war stationed in Venezuela and Antigua and he and his buddies seemed to have spent most of their time drinking and literally whoring around. I should note that I don’t know if all of these women were prostitutes but given the effect of the war on what was already a pretty bleak third-world economy (food shortages, inflation, etc…) you could hardly blame them if they were. See the full gallery here.

The Mysterious Chin-Tickler and Her Military Men

Who is this woman and why is she ticking these soldiers under their chins? These were part of a huge lot of 1940s era photo booth photos that has since been dispersed into many different collections. There were photos of her with lots of other non-military men as well as plenty of photos taken in the same booth (if in fact it was a booth) without her in them at all. Was she working for the U.S.O entertaining soldiers about to head off to war? Or were these soldiers just returning from overseas? A mystery. Click here to see the series.

 

What Was On: The DXers

This will be the first of many galleries here featuring photos of TV screens. Back in 2008 or 2009 at a flea market outside of Chicago I picked up a binder containing hundreds of negatives most of which were shots of tv screens showing TV station call signs from the 1960s. I didn’t quite know what to make of it but with a little research I found out that were most likely taken by a DXer- someone with a fancy antenna rig that they use to try to pull in distant television signals. They then would photograph the TV station logo to prove that they’d pulled in the signal. About 5 years later I was at another flea market almost 400 miles away in Minnesota and found a cigar box full of prints which turned out to be from the estate of the same guy. The prints included many from Europe that had been sent to him by other DXers. Also included were photos of antenna rigs as well as assorted DX-related ephemera. I’ve put together a little gallery of some of the highlights- it’s a treasure trove of great mid-century graphic design. Click here to see the gallery

 

Classic Ballroom Dances

A series of photos from the estate of a woman named Elaine Henning (you can see her here in the photo) who lived in the Lincoln Square neighborhood of Chicago her entire life. These photos are from her days as a student at a local Arthur Murray Dance Studio during the late 50’s and early 60’s. Click here to see them all.