The Orphaned Images Project: Tippie Botts’ album (cabinet cards)

23 01 2011

This 8×10 album was owned by Tippie Botts of Meadville, Linn Co., Missouri, and is inscribed with the date Oct. 5th, 1886. These are just a few of the cabinet cards in the album.

The Orphaned Images Project, Installation #1

4 01 2011

This posting launches a new project that I’ll call “The Orphaned Images Project.” I am always a bit saddened when I discover albums and projector carousels at thrift stores, and yard/estate sales (their loss, my gain). Who gives up photos of their families? Are all the members of that family deceased? Was there a rift? And I wonder about the photographer. Was he/she passionate about being the family recorder (as much as I am about being one)?

I have quite a collection of 35mm slides, stereoscopic slides, family albums and loose b&w photos. Some I’ve purchased, but most I have acquired through my dad, who is always on the lookout for interesting photos for me. Doris, my dad’s friend and former co-worker, gave me some very old albums many years ago that I really treasure. These contain tintypes, daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, carte de visite or CDVs (photographic calling cards), and cabinet cards dating back to the 1800s. One album even includes a post-mortem photo of a little girl, as well as beribboned locks of hair, calling cards and newspaper clippings! I also have a collection of more than 50 hand-colored lantern slides of various scenes and people from Cote d’Azur (French Riviera). I purchased those for $50 in an antique store near Skyline Drive when I moved here in 1985 from Texas. Another great find courtesy of my dad were four metal cabinets full of stereoscopic slides, all painstakingly labeled with minute details of where/when/what was photographed. The photographer was clearly a music lover (or perhaps a music teacher)—many of the travel images are of places where famous musicians were born, performed or buried. There are hundreds of images in each cabinet!

I will share many of these images from my various collections in the coming year.

For now, a few more recent 35mm transparency images (circa 1967-71):

Photo #1: Hey, could that possibly be former First Lady Lady Bird Johnson and country singer Tammy Wynette enjoying a (plastic) glass of champagne on the afternoon of July 18, 1971? (The date was scribbled on the slide mount). I love how the lady in the groovy dress blends in with the striped couch!

Please forgive me, but both of these photos are begging to be captioned—and I’m just the one to do it.

Lady Bird: “So, anyhoo, I told her that if Lyndon pulled something like that, I would not stand by my man.”

Tammy: “I am so gonna write a song about this.”


Photo #2: “Glocamora Inn” and “10-2-1967” is written on the slide mount for this photo. I did a little sleuthing and learned that there is a Glocca Morra Inn in Sweet Grass, Montana.

Wilma and Joan didn’t particularly care for Lou’s awkward advances, but if they were ever going to advance past the typing pool, they would have to find a way to endure them.