Item #1 – E. B. Scott


Item #2 – A sailor from Tennessee


Item #3 – E. B. Scott & another sailor


Item #4 – a deck shot

I found these photos in what I call “the great Tennessee vacation photo haul.” A couple months back I teased you about these, a large collection of photos I gathered at “the world’s longest yard sale” in Tennessee. I have a massive collection of photos and holiday cards to share with you, and these four seemed like a good place to start!

The photos have inscriptions, as follows:

Item #1 – Front labeled E. B. Scott

Item #2 – no inscription

Item #3 – The background is the Bay. The guy with me is Earl Scott from Johnson City, Tenn.

Item #4 – This was taken on the Starboard side of the Quarter Deck looking aft

Anyone who knows vintage military uniforms is welcome to comment on what you think may be the era of these photos/uniforms. As it is, I can’t really make a guess because the photos themselves follow a style that was popular for 20+ years.


Dutch People?


This is another wonderful image from the San Diego photo buying extravaganza a few months back, and I’m sure you can guess why I picked it up. It’s funny, we were in a warehouse sized antique mall, stalls all over the place, but the photographs were the most busy section. I got there first and monopolized the CDVs as I made my first choices. The cuts were hard because there were so many good images, but in the end, I narrowed it down to 14 and kept it under my budget of $way to many dollars.

The photo could be a photo of a painting because it doesn’t have a true lifelike characteristic to it. The people are too perfect, the shading too soft in places, and there is no true depth behind them.

The photographer was Carl Phillipp Wollrabe of The Hague, Netherlands. I know nothing about am not up on my Dutch but I believe the backmark indicates that Wollrabe photographed Prince Frederick of the Netherlands, and “the late king and queen of Sweden and Norway.” Here’s the text. If you read Dutch and google has got this wrong please let me know.

Z. K. H. Prins Frederik der Nederlanden

En wijlen z. m. den koning en koningin

van Zweden en Noorwegen

Wollrabe was in business from 1859 to 1887. His principle location was at Boekhorststraat 91 until 1887. His widow attempted to keep the business going in 1888, but I didn’t find reference to anything after this time. He primarily shot ambrotypes in the CDV format.

Mariner Scouts


This vintage press photo is stamped “Miami Herald Staff Photo / by Fred Brent” and is dated November 19, 1949.  Now, take a look at this shot from the 1948 Girl Scout calendar…


While the calendar photo would have been taken probably in 1947, the uniforms are virtually identical. Girls wore saddle shoes, which to our modern sensibilities seems crazy. A non-slip sole is much safer on a potentially wet deck, after all.

The press photo identified Marilyn Grover as sitting and Sue Allen with the sextant. The Girl Scout calendar only indicates that these Mariner Scouts are Senior girls.

Let’s take a trip

Have you ever noticed when digging through a pile or box of old photos, the musty smell of attic? A surge of that odor hit me today as I searched for photos for this week’s Sepia Saturday post. It reminded me of my grandmother who had a really neat attic (neat to a kid, not neat as in tidy), which reminded me that she and my grandfather went on a couple cruises back in the day, and that brings us full circle to the prompt, which is ships, water, vacations, travel, etc. Let’s make up a little story shall we?

Disclaimer: all situations and incidents herein are fictional and completely fabricated for the sake of entertaining the Sepians visiting. Any relation, similarity or familiarity with these photos, situations and incidents are completely coincidental. Some names have been changed to protect the innocent. Or, completely made up. In fact, yes, they are all completely made up.

Boats 1

You aren’t going anywhere, my dear!

Here we have Vernon and Myrtle standing by the port side of their ship. Myrtle is a bit nervous about the whole cruise experience, so Vernon is making sure she doesn’t waste their money by jumping ship. Vernon just robbed Fort Knox.

Boats 3

You can’t see he’s got hold of her coat in back

That’s more like it, Myrtle, act natural. The feds are on to us and we need to make it to Rio.

Quit pushing, Betty!

Quit pushing, Betty!

Betty and Florinda met Vernon and Myrtle on board the ship. They are happy to be escaping a life of housework and childrearing in Iowa by moving to Rio. They plan to open up a bar with Vernon and Myrtle. Last we heard from them….. you add the next bit!

For probably more serious nautical themed pictures, click over to Sepia Saturday. You will be happy you did!

All aboard!

Just what’s going on here?

industry 4

A ship at canal side?

This week’s Sepia Saturday gives us to wonder about what is happening in the whole photo, not just the couple in a piece of the image. I am reminded of the photographic battle between my Grammie and Grandpa Jim. Jim liked pictures of scenery, Grammie liked pictures of people. So, Jim would take a picture of say, the Grand Canyon, and down in the corner or off to the side would be a tiny little person.

Today I am featuring a few pictures in my collection that have me wondering, just what is going on here? Feel free to add your thoughts as well. The only one I’m really certain of is the ship above. It’s at the side of a canal. BUT what it’s doing there is the mystery. Was it taking on cargo? Delivering supplies? Refueling?

industry 9

Not exactly a thrill ride!

And this one, you would never EVER catch me on that cable car! I think this could be one of those rigs set up to start building a bridge over a river. Or, it could BE the bridge over the river.

UPDATE: Thanks to site reader Mike Brubaker, I got to looking at vintage photos of the Spanish Aero Car ride which traverses the Niagra River below the falls. The photo above is virtually identical to some others found online, and click here for the wiki entry.

Plenty of supervisors

Plenty of supervisors

This one here has several things going on. There’s a bridge over a canal or ditch, a fellow down in the ditch, and several fellows up above on the bridge “supervising” the operations. I can’t tell what kind of work is going on though.

To wander through the internet and wonder what is going on in some other photos, click over to Sepia Saturday.

Expand your view

Boats, Bridges over Water, People

One of the exciting aspects of the Rudd photographs I acquired recently is a large selection of postcards. The family traveled and wrote postcards to send back to various individuals in Oklahoma. To meet the Sepia Saturday prompt, which shows a footbridge crossing a small body of water, a canoe on the water and some people, I am drawing on a few of these postcards.

Postcard 2

On a Wednesday in 1955, H & I sent this postcard to R. L. Fields. H & I had stayed in Galveston for a day and planned to stay one more day before moving on to Houston, then Dallas before heading home. They enjoyed a boat ride on the Gulf.

Postcard 4

Sunday at 12:30, Louise wrote to Minnie. She had stayed with Grace’s uncle the night before after driving 480 miles. It was just a stop on their trip to Yellowstone, via Royal Gorge and Salt Lake City. This image is of the Royal Gorge Suspension Bridge in Canon City, CO. You might remember Minnie was the owner of one of the previously posted photographs, showing her and her grandparents.


Dorothy & Otho have a sense of humor. In November ’55, they wrote to Mable Stong that “after an early morning boat ride along here we have decided we won’t need to borrow your tooth brush” — whatever that meant.

Postcard 1

Last and certainly not least, Helen wrote to Mrs. Floyd Rudd in July ’69. Santa Fe, NM and the surrounding areas are amazingly beautiful, as Helen says, “any direction we look.” They were having a good time and hoping for rain at home.

For more photos and postcards possibly showing a bridge, water, people, and possibly even all in the same image, click over to Sepia Saturday!

Bridging the internet

Bridging the internet

North Island Naval Air Base

For a Sepia Saturday post, I found this nice shot of North Island Naval Air Base, in San Diego, CA. While I do not have a date for the photo, it looks like something from the 1940s or 50s. North Island Naval Air Base was founded in 1917 and is recognized as the birthplace of American Naval aviation. But before we discuss the Naval aviation history, let’s look back at the island itself.

In 1886 the island was one of two – North Coronado and South Coronado. The two together were formed from a sand spit and were purchased for development to become a residential resort for the wealthy. South Coronado was developed but the North Island remained wild. It was used for horseback riding and hunting by guests at J. D. Spreckles’ hotel, which later was christened the Hotel Del Coronado. A fellow named Glenn Curtiss took out a lease on North Island and operated a flying school until 1914. Then, a newcomer to the aviation industry named George Martin started flying from the island and showing off his aircraft. Martin of course later became the owner of Martin Aircraft, one of the world’s best aircraft companies for many decades.

Among the many “firsts” at North Island was the first parachute jump in the San Diego area, first sea-plane flight, first mid-air refueling and the first nonstop transcontinental flight in 1923. Prophetically, Curtiss also trained the first Japanese aviators, including a young pilot named Yamada who later became Admiral of the Japanese naval aviation forces in World War II. Charles Lindbergh’s first transatlantic flight in the Spirit of St Louis originated on North Island after the aircraft was built in San Diego.

Another brief touch of fame for the base resulted from the first commander Lieutenant Commander Earl W. Spencer Jr., USN after his ex-wife Wallice Warfield became the wife of King Edward of England in 1936 and the world was shocked when he abdicated his throne to be with her.

North Island and South Island were originally separated by a waterway but during World War II this was filled in, allowing better access to the entrance of the base.

North Island was the home of the Navy’s first four aircraft carriers: USS LANGLEY, USS LEXINGTON, USS SARATOGA and USS RANGER. Lexington  fortuitously departed Pearl Harbor on December 5th, and Saratoga was in San Diego on December 7th. Along with the two other aircraft carriers the Navy had in the Pacific, they missed the terrible bombing attack on Pearl Harbor December 7th which drew the US into World War II.

The base is still in operation today and can be accessed by the amazing Coronado Bay Bridge.

Coronado Bay Bridge

For more amazing Sepia Saturday images, where the theme is ships, crowds, travel, sailing and more, click over and jump off from there!

Anchors aweigh!

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