Hey Folks- If you’re here it’s probably because you remember my old site Square America which I ran from 2005-2011. I took down that site after I was hacked by a Russian porn site (really!) and I had planned a massive, quixotic redesign that would somehow string my entire collection together to tell a story (or least to say something) about American life in the 20th Century along with a second sequence that would say something about the nature of vernacular photography. Needless to say, I abandoned the project and just started posted random stuff on Facebook and later on Instagram.
With this site I’m not really looking to resurrect that project but I hope it’s a bit closer to what I had in mind then than I’m able to do on social media. I’ve been amassing photographs for over 20 years now I’m at a place where it feels somewhere between a collection and an archive (to me anyway! I’m sure real archivists might disagree) and I hope this site can be the best of both worlds; maintaining the surprise and idiosyncrasy you find in collections while still providing the utility of an archive once the entire collection is on-line. It’ll probably be a train wreck but hopefully an enjoyable one.
Speaking of hopefully enjoyable train wrecks, here’s a sequence of photos drawn completely from photos I added to my collection between Nov. 1st and 3rd. I got a bunch of photo in the mail (bought via eBay) and went to a Post Card show on the 2nd and a flea/antique market on the third where I bought lots (and I mean lots!) of photos. This sequence make use of about 1/3 of the photos I got- you can see it here.
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.
It’s election day so I thought I’d post a gallery of politically themed photos for your perusal. You can see them all here. Now get out there and Vote! Vote! Vote!
Happy Halloween! I’m giving you this gallery of 80 or so spooktacular pics just in case you need a few last minute costume ideas. Click here to see ’em all.
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.
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
Not really an argument- more like an excuse to post a bunch of photos that have some kind of circular imagery in them. Click here to view the gallery.
A selection of studio portraits taken with a camera that made quick direct positive prints much like a photo booth camera. To see about 50 or so of my favorites click here.
If want to see more of these from my collection I’ve also posted a much larger gallery containing those 50 images plus another 150+ here.
A selection of postcards from my collection. Click here to see the series.
I’ll hopefully have the entire collection available for viewing here soon.
A series of photographs documenting The Road Barons Motorcycle Club from Hamilton, Ohio in 1951/52. Click here to see the series