Tag: New York City

A How-To Guide for Scanning View-Master Reels

A How-To Guide for Scanning View-Master Reels

Mental Debris
Recently a visitor to my View-Master gallery wrote in and asked how I scan my reels and get them ready for publication. So as a public service I'll go through the steps I take to get an image from a reel to you. Note that I don't profess to be an expert in this area, and by no means do I claim to have the best technique. I also tend to make things much more complicated than necessary, so keep that in mind. So here is my humble guide to scanning View-Master reels and getting them cleaned up. The Hardware For my reel scanning I use an Epson Perfection 1660 Photo Scanner. It's a rather old model -- at least a decade -- but does the job. If memory serves it came with plastic photo scan adapters, but they have long since been lost. See that opaque strip in the middle of the lid's un...
Time Capsule: New York City Blizzard, 1947

Time Capsule: New York City Blizzard, 1947

Capsules, History
The Christmas of 1947 was certainly a white one for residents of the U.S. northeast and the New York City metro area in particular. Too white in fact. From December 25 through the 26th, a surprise storm dumped more than two feet of snow in areas. The highest recorded amount was 26.4 inches in Central Park. 77 people died as a result of the blizzard. Life photographer Mark Kauffman captured some of the storm and a lot of the cleanup in a series of outstanding photographs covering what would become known as the Great Blizzard of 1947. In this photo gallery you can see the snow falling, streets piled with the white stuff, stranded commuters, and of course some vintage period signs and vehicles. You can also see what famous Gotham locations like Central Park, Rockefeller Center and the
Vintage Photo Wednesday, Vol. 21: New York Santa & Mobile Xmas Post Office

Vintage Photo Wednesday, Vol. 21: New York Santa & Mobile Xmas Post Office

Vintage Photo Wednesday
Sorry for the dearth of activity around these parts lately, it's been a hectic holiday season. To make it up to you I'm doubling your vintage photograph pleasure this week! Up first is a familiar site -- Santa Claus collecting donations for the less fortunate on a street corner, circa the early 1910s. This is from the Library of Congress's Bain News Service collection. Click for a larger version. The sign on the faux chimney reads, in part, "Volunteers of America -- Ballington Booth Christmas Dinners." According to Wikipedia, Ballington Booth was an officer in the Salvation Army. His parents, William and Catherine Booth, founded the Salvation Army in 1865. Booth and his wife Maud left the Salvation Army in the late 19th century and started their own charity organization -- God
Time Capsule: Puck Magazine Thanksgiving Political Covers, 1894-1913

Time Capsule: Puck Magazine Thanksgiving Political Covers, 1894-1913

Capsules, Ephemera
Published from 1871 until 1918, Puck magazine was America's first successful humor magazine featuring cartoons and political satire. Their Thanksgiving covers, while not always political, usually were and are still fun to look at today even if the relevance has been lost to time. Their choice of makes sense when you know that they were based out of New York City. Tammany Hall, which we all heard about in history class but have since forgotten, figures prominently. Here's a selection of Puck's Thanksgiving covers from around the turn of the 20th century, courtesy the Library of Congress. That's prominent New York politician David B. Hall, who we'll see again in 1902. He lost the NY gubernatorial race in 1894 to Levi P. Morton. Tammany Hall was a frequent target for ...
Time Capsule: Idlewild Airport, 1961

Time Capsule: Idlewild Airport, 1961

Capsules, Featured Posts, History
The mammoth facility now known as John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) was once known as Idlewild Airport. Idlewild, officially designated as New York International Airport, Anderson Field, received its first commercial flight on July 1, 1948. It was renamed after the late President Kennedy on December 24, 1963, just one month after he was assassinated in Dallas. Life magazine photographer Dmitri Kessel traveled to Idlewild in 1961 to capture some outstanding photographs of the facility for their September 22 issue. What he found -- especially with the interiors -- was a marvel of mid-century decor and airlines gone by. To look at this photo gallery is to walk right into an episode of Mad Men. So grab your fedora and your suitcase, and let's go to Idlewild! (And for more time
Vintage Photo Wednesday, Vol. 2 — New York City Street Views, 1896

Vintage Photo Wednesday, Vol. 2 — New York City Street Views, 1896

Vintage Photo Wednesday
This week's collection of vintage photographs comes from the New York Public Library's digital gallery site. These street scenes from New York City were taken by Alice Austen in 1896. That's the 19th century to you and me! Related articles Vintage Photos Of New York Kids By Helen Levitt(neatorama.com) ALICE AUSTEN: video interview with directors of Alice Austen House Museum(seesaw.typepad.com)
GFS Home Movies: The Naked City

GFS Home Movies: The Naked City

Movies
Completely by chance, I was perusing the March 22, 1948 edition of Life magazine on Google Books -- hey, I never claimed to lead an exciting or glamorous existence -- and stumbled across an article on The Naked City. I had heard of it before, but never really made an effort to seek it out. But the internet being the wonder it is, I was on YouTube and watching it within minutes. And the internet being the pain in the ass it is, the fifth part of the movie was missing. I was already invested in things by then, so after a brief delay I managed to find an alternative source. Wink wink, nudge nudge, say no more. I'm always wary of watching these old movies. They so rarely hold up well. Something about the acting or directing back then just seems so stuffy now. Not sure why that is, but 9 ...
Album review: So Percussion — It Is Time

Album review: So Percussion — It Is Time

Music
As the father of a nearly 18-month-old son, I have become all too aware how quickly time passes us by. I know that's hardly an original observation, but it's a truth that I internalize more and more every day. It is this truth -- as well as the age-old fantasy that we might change time itself -- that led Steve Mackey to compose the five pieces that make up It Is Time, performed by a quartet of experimental musicians calling themselves So Percussion. As an expression of Mackey's inspiration, It Is Time is exquisite. The album's five compositions blend seamlessly into one another, and despite the emphasis on different percussion instruments in each there is a tangible unity of vision on display. The record's centerpiece is the third song, "Marimba." It's the sonic equivalent of Salvador D...
Say hello to Elektro, the Westinghouse Robot

Say hello to Elektro, the Westinghouse Robot

History
He's all but forgotten today, but at one time Elektro was king of all robots. He was assembled by Westinghouse at their Mansfield, Ohio facility in 1937/38 and made his public debut at the 1939 New York World's Fair. Elektro stood at a height of seven feet, six inches and weighed 260 pounds. 60 of those pounds were his brain, which was comprised of "48 electrical relays." At the Westinghouse Pavilion of the World's Fair, Elektro the Moto-Man demonstrated a wide variety of skills such as speech, counting, stand-up comedy, and of course, smoking! Witness the marvels of modern 1930s technology in this excerpt from the 1939 promotional film The Middleton Family at the New York World's Fair. "Stand aside puny human, as I enjoy the mild, refreshing tobacco flavor of Philip Morris!" ...