Sometimes I wonder just who Facebook thinks I am, sending me links to sites about farms and baby animals. But recently the mysterious algorithm provided something I treasure—a link to the wonderful resource Mid Century in Color: Amateur Photographic Slides and Prints, 1935-1962. Many of the participants are posting old family photos, including a lot of “me as a baby/child” snapshots. Others have sought out old photos and slides at flea markets, which widens the scope of what you see.
What have I learned? If you want to find out about color, slides are a much better sources than photos. The color in old photos fade, while slides stay more color fast and show details more clearly. I’ve particularly enjoyed examining interior backgrounds, with lots of exuberant wallpaper. How many roses do you think are in the bouquet above?
This is also a great place to learn about old cars. Our mid-century forebearers really treasured their automobiles and feature them proudly. For example, I found out that the shiny brown car above is 1942 Buick.
Younger people predominate, but there are plenty of grandparents depicted at holidays and important family milestones. Sometimes you can see that the oldsters enjoyed these events more than the youngsters did.
These images certainly give a sense of an all white America, an illusion created by the people who are posting and perhaps also by those who could afford the expense of a photography habit. The (maybe) non-white faces in the photo above are all in the background.
But perhaps you could remedy that by adding your own mid-century photos that depict a broader American population. It’s an open group!