Kodachrome

 

There are only two things I know for sure about this picture.  According to the calendar on the wall, it was taken in December of 1957.  And I found it in the collection of Kodachrome slides that I scanned after my Aunt died a few years ago.

I have one educated guess – it was taken during a hunting trip in northern (?) Wisconsin, presumably by my uncle who died more than 25 years ago.

I have one piece of negative information.  I showed it to my cousins the other day and they don’t recognize anyone in it.  Also, I didn’t find any obviously related images in the collection.  It’s literally a one-off snapshot of a moment in time.

But I think it’s a fascinating photograph. The color pops out at you. It’s almost 64 years old, but the detail is so clear it’s almost like standing in the corner of the bar. There are shots and beers, a couple of dollar bills, and silver coins scattered on the bar. A hamburger costs 25 cents, but there’s no food around.  Everybody is smiling, some more broadly than others – maybe a couple of locals joining the city folk after the hunt?

There are stories to be told here.

Do you have any pictures like this in your own collections?

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  1. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    Everybody looks happy.  Must’ve been the 50’s.

    Any bar where the bartender takes a shot is good with me.

    • #1
  2. Nohaaj Coolidge
    Nohaaj
    @Nohaaj

    I love the picture and see why you found it fascinating.  It is hard to find such joy in a group, outside of 4-5 year olds, who have not been burdened by life yet.  But surely all of these men were impacted by WWII, which ended just 12 years earlier, and here they are. on top of the world. 

    Simpler times, The restrooms were identified as “Men” and “Ladies”, and the roles were well defined.  Men were Men. Ladies acted as such.

    And from the appearance, people might have been happier.  

    • #2
  3. DrewInWisconsin, Oaf Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf
    @DrewInWisconsin

    This is a photo of the interior of my grandparents’ store, 1948. I’ve got a few photos like this, and I have enjoyed puzzling out the items. Crystal Sugar packaging hasn’t changed in more than 70 years. There’s something on the counter that says “Chit-Chat’s Weekly. Entertainment for You. Starting Week of June (17th?)” and there’s “6-12 Insect Repellant” and some Rex Ant Bait. The 7up sign is obvious. The Medico Pipes. “Not a hollow tube, but a real ????” Can’t work out that last word.

     

    • #3
  4. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male
    @MiffedWhiteMale

    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf (View Comment):

    This is a photo of the interior of my grandparents’ store, 1948. I’ve got a few photos like this, and I have enjoyed puzzling out the items. Crystal Sugar packaging hasn’t changed in more than 70 years. There’s something on the counter that says “Chit-Chat’s Weekly. Entertainment for You. Starting Week of June (17th?)” and there’s “6-12 Insect Repellant” and some Rex Ant Bait. The 7up sign is obvious. The Medico Pipes. “Not a hollow tube, but a real ????” Can’t work out that last word.

     

    Looks like “filter” to me. 

    • #4
  5. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill
    @EJHill

    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf : “Not a hollow tube, but a real ????”

    FILTER

    • #5
  6. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Not a mystery at all really. The only person in this picture who is not a cousin of mine is me.

    • #6
  7. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    • #7
  8. Chuck Thatcher
    Chuck
    @Chuckles

    Always been curious as it’s the only picture of my dad not smiling.  Taken on APA-27, probably at Bikini.

     

    • #8
  9. Doctor Robert Member
    Doctor Robert
    @DoctorRobert

    Kodachrome had GREAT color.  In my dissolute youth I would shoot scores of slides in Kodachrome and then print only the best of them.

    This is from my Aunt’s collection, a cobbler’s shop in Taipei, c. 1950.

    • #9
  10. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill
    @EJHill

    Kodachrome was a fantastic medium. And fantastically complicated to process. It was beyond the abilities of amateur photographers to process on their own. Even if you could find a roll today there is no way to get it developed as the last K-14 developer was taken offline January 18, 2011 due to the lack of chemical availability. 

    Other film stocks from the era featured unstable dyes and most photos taken with them skew to a funky magenta hue after time. 

    • #10
  11. Richard Easton Coolidge
    Richard Easton
    @RichardEaston

    Here are my parents far right in 1944 or 1945. Next to my father is Nobel Laureate Philip Anderson. My father worked for the Naval Research Lab and my mom was a Wave decoding Navy messages.

    • #11
  12. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male
    @MiffedWhiteMale

    EJHill (View Comment):

    Kodachrome was a fantastic medium. And fantastically complicated to process. It was beyond the abilities of amateur photographers to process on their own. Even if you could find a roll today there is no way to get it developed as the last K-14 developer was taken offline January 18, 2011 due to the lack of chemical availability.

    Other film stocks from the era featured unstable dyes and most photos taken with them skew to a funky magenta hue after time.

    It sure was.  These three are from my dad’s slides.

    This is a street scene from our neighborhood in suburban Milwaukee circa 1957.

    These are from New York City when he spent several weeks there for a training class, same era.

    • #12
  13. Judge Mental Member
    Judge Mental
    @JudgeMental

    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf (View Comment):

    This is a photo of the interior of my grandparents’ store, 1948. I’ve got a few photos like this, and I have enjoyed puzzling out the items. Crystal Sugar packaging hasn’t changed in more than 70 years. There’s something on the counter that says “Chit-Chat’s Weekly. Entertainment for You. Starting Week of June (17th?)” and there’s “6-12 Insect Repellant” and some Rex Ant Bait. The 7up sign is obvious. The Medico Pipes. “Not a hollow tube, but a real ????” Can’t work out that last word.

     

    6-12?  A hard stick, like a big chapstick, yes?  I remember that stuff.

    • #13
  14. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male
    @MiffedWhiteMale

    A few more:

     

     

     

    • #14
  15. Muleskinner, Weasel Wrangler Member
    Muleskinner, Weasel Wrangler
    @Muleskinner

    Miffed White Male: There are only two things I know for sure about this picture.  According to the calendar on the wall, it was taken in December of 1957. 

    I know one other thing about it, assuming that the calendar shows the correct month. It was taken during a pandemic, but no one seems particularly worried. 

    • #15
  16. Headedwest Coolidge
    Headedwest
    @Headedwest

    EJHill (View Comment):

    Kodachrome was a fantastic medium. And fantastically complicated to process. It was beyond the abilities of amateur photographers to process on their own. Even if you could find a roll today there is no way to get it developed as the last K-14 developer was taken offline January 18, 2011 due to the lack of chemical availability.

    Other film stocks from the era featured unstable dyes and most photos taken with them skew to a funky magenta hue after time.

    I learned to photograph on Kodachrome. It was a demanding film (under or over exposure produced poor images) but when you got it right the detail and color were unmatched by any medium before or since. 

    Kodachrome slides are stable beyond anything since. I miss it. 

    If you flip over a Kodachrome slide and look carefully at the back you can see the layers of the image that were created in the development process and deposited onto the slide base.

    It’s grimly amusing that Kodachrome, like Technicolor for movies, was the best way to record color images, and we threw them both away.

     

    • #16
  17. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey
    @GaryMcVey

    Easter Sunday, 1963. Me, my three brothers (soon there’d be five), and three girl cousins, all of us dressed for church. 

    • #17
  18. Richard Easton Coolidge
    Richard Easton
    @RichardEaston

    Here’s the picture I’ve posted many times of the Easton kids with Vanguard 1 (I’m wearing the red coat). It’s taken from this video of the launch.

     https://youtu.be/msLSW1U1t1U

    • #18
  19. Nohaaj Coolidge
    Nohaaj
    @Nohaaj

    Gary McVey (View Comment):
    all of us dressed for church.

    great pic, but does anyone dress up for anything, anymore? 

    • #19
  20. Richard Easton Coolidge
    Richard Easton
    @RichardEaston

    Nohaaj (View Comment):

    Gary McVey (View Comment):
    all of us dressed for church.

    great pic, but does anyone dress up for anything, anymore?

    Joe Biden catching up on his sleep.

    • #20
  21. tigerlily Member
    tigerlily
    @tigerlily

    Gary McVey (View Comment):

    Easter Sunday, 1963. Me, my three brothers (soon there’d be five), and three girl cousins, all of us dressed for church.

    Is that a ’63 Nova wagon?

    • #21
  22. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey
    @GaryMcVey

    tigerlily (View Comment):

    Gary McVey (View Comment):

    Easter Sunday, 1963. Me, my three brothers (soon there’d be five), and three girl cousins, all of us dressed for church.

    Is that a ’63 Nova wagon?

    Yes–in a way! It’s a Chevy II. Nova started as a trim level for Chevy II and then the name took over the whole car line. Much the same thing happened with Oldsmobile’s F-85, where the Cutlass name came to replace F-85, and the Ford Fairlane intermediate, which took on the name of its Torino trim level. 

    Chevy II’s dimensions were almost identical to the fondly remembered ’55 full sized Chevy, which got pretty bloated over the years. The rear-engine Corvair, which debuted in fall 1959, was supposed to be General Motors’ import car killer, the “American Volkswagen”, but sales-wise, the utterly plain and conventional Ford Falcon blew it away, so GM came up with a similarly non-radical compact Chevrolet to compete. (Corvair found a smaller niche as the sporty Monza variant, for driving enthusiasts who, like most people, couldn’t afford a Corvette). Chevy II filled the bill nicely, selling very well. 

    It was the first car we had that had seat belts. 

    • #22
  23. Richard Easton Coolidge
    Richard Easton
    @RichardEaston

    Gary McVey (View Comment):

    tigerlily (View Comment):

    Gary McVey (View Comment):

    Easter Sunday, 1963. Me, my three brothers (soon there’d be five), and three girl cousins, all of us dressed for church.

    Is that a ’63 Nova wagon?

    Yes–in a way! It’s a Chevy II. Nova started as a trim level for Chevy II and then the name took over the whole car line. Much the same thing happened with Oldsmobile’s F-85, where the Cutlass name came to replace F-85, and the Ford Fairlane intermediate, which took on the name of its Torino trim level.

    Chevy II’s dimensions were almost identical to the fondly remembered ’55 full sized Chevy, which got pretty bloated over the years. The rear-engine Corvair, which debuted in fall 1959, was supposed to be General Motors’ import car killer, the “American Volkswagen”, but sales-wise, the utterly plain and conventional Ford Falcon blew it away, so GM came up with a similarly non-radical compact Chevrolet to compete. (Corvair found a smaller niche as the sporty Monza variant, for driving enthusiasts who, like most people, couldn’t afford a Corvette). Chevy II filled the bill nicely, selling very well.

    It was the first car we had that had seat belts.

    We drove to Santa Barbara in 1962 in a station wagon with two car top carriers and a box at the back to carry luggage for seven people. Spent two wonderful months there while dad worked on an SDI study group.

    • #23
  24. Steven Seward Member
    Steven Seward
    @StevenSeward

    Fascinating photo, Miffed!  I’m running into  the same problem now that I am the sibling who volunteered to take all of my parents photographs and slides for posterity.  As I organize them I keep coming across people whom I don’t recognize and then I send the images to other family members for identification.  In some cases nobody knows. 

    It is a conundrum on whether or not I should throw them out., because I am reuniting many of these photos with their subjects.  I have decided to keep most of the unknown people in case they can be identified in future.  Slides and negatives don’t take up much space.  A lot of my dad’s pictures were also Kodachrome slides and the colors have held up remarkably well, especially red tones that are the most likely to fade. 

    • #24
  25. Randy Webster Member
    Randy Webster
    @RandyWebster

    Steven Seward (View Comment):

    Fascinating photo, Miffed! I’m running into the same problem now that I am the sibling who volunteered to take all of my parents photographs and slides for posterity. As I organize them I keep coming across people whom I don’t recognize and then I send the images to other family members for identification. In some cases nobody knows.

    It is a conundrum on whether or not I should throw them out., because I am reuniting many of these photos with their subjects. I have decided to keep most of the unknown people in case they can be identified in future. Slides and negatives don’t take up much space. A lot of my dad’s pictures were also Kodachrome slides and the colors have held up remarkably well, especially red tones that are the most likely to fade.

    My mother was pretty good about writing dates and subject matter on the back of photos.

    • #25
  26. Steven Seward Member
    Steven Seward
    @StevenSeward

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    Steven Seward (View Comment):

    Fascinating photo, Miffed! I’m running into the same problem now that I am the sibling who volunteered to take all of my parents photographs and slides for posterity. As I organize them I keep coming across people whom I don’t recognize and then I send the images to other family members for identification. In some cases nobody knows.

    It is a conundrum on whether or not I should throw them out., because I am reuniting many of these photos with their subjects. I have decided to keep most of the unknown people in case they can be identified in future. Slides and negatives don’t take up much space. A lot of my dad’s pictures were also Kodachrome slides and the colors have held up remarkably well, especially red tones that are the most likely to fade.

    My mother was pretty good about writing dates and subject matter on the back of photos.

    That is a huge help.  My parents had so many photos, slides, and negatives, that they hardly ever bothered to label them.  However, on rare occasions I find an important note or date.

    • #26
  27. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    LOL!  For a second, I thought it was a picture of a Ricochet Meetup and I was thinking, “Dammit, why wasn’t I invited?”

    • #27
  28. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    Stad (View Comment):

    LOL! For a second, I thought it was a picture of a Ricochet Meetup and I was thinking, “Dammit, why wasn’t I invited?”

    Don’t feel like the Lone Stranger. My first thought when I saw the picture was “Another Meetup. I wonder where?”

    • #28
  29. DrewInWisconsin, Oaf Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf
    @DrewInWisconsin

    EJHill (View Comment):

    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf : “Not a hollow tube, but a real ????”

    FILTER

    Oh well yes. Duh. It’s suddenly obvious now.

    • #29
  30. Judge Mental Member
    Judge Mental
    @JudgeMental

    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf (View Comment):

    EJHill (View Comment):

    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf : “Not a hollow tube, but a real ????”

    FILTER

    Oh well yes. Duh. It’s suddenly obvious now.

    They had a cartridge, didn’t they?

    • #30