Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Looking at the Past

Le Petit Journal

It's not even my own past, I know! Is nostalgia simply a product of getting older? I'd have to guess not given the resurgence of interest in classic rock music and clothes and styles of the 60's to 80's among the younger generation. Maybe I should have been a historian like my uncle and cousin since I like to dig through the history of objects, generally every day objects like photos and bits of paper, but especially photos.
I picked up some old photos at flea markets in France. They aren't too expensive a hobby compared to, say, that of a young friend of mine who boasted recently about having made an incredible deal on a Chanel purse in Thailand. She positively glowed with triumph. I on the other hand strive for a more modest 1 Euro and under fee for an early 20th century photo postcard. And I can't even wear it! (Although I did score a couple of 1980's blouses at a thrift store in Paris--another tale).
I spent a fair bit of time trying to trace some roots on the above postcard. In the interest of time, I'm just going to post what I put on my Flickr site:
I tried to date the postcard (blank on reverse except for Carte Postale imprint) by the journals. The Petit Journal on the banner was published from 1863-1944.
The woman is likely holding a journal Le Petit Parisien which was published from 1876 to 1944.
My best (uninformed) guess would be the photo was taken sometime between 1910-1920. Don't hesitate to educate me.
If you are interested in either of these old French journals, the Biblotheque nationale de France has all the editions scanned on their Gallica website. Pretty amazing. Here's the link:
They even have sound recordings. I could spend hours.

Actually I did spend hours. Here's another photo. It looks like it could be Paris but I have no further information. I feel as if I could write a novel just based on this one photo.

Woman Reading

1 comment:

Teo said...

Wow, I love the first photo! There must be something in the air, as I'm up to the same thing these days. I just made an entire book starting from a photo from the flea market, and traced down all the info I could get from the details. It really is fun, isn't it? :)