Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Embargo Lifted!



Due to the exceptional quantity of passionate comments yesterday, I am pleased to announce that the Old Picture Embargo has been lifted. Once again you can enjoy your morning fix of Old Pictures. We can now just put this unpleasantness of  '12 behind us. Today's picture shows a California Family in the 1880's beside their Adobe Home. It looks like a quiet beautiful area they live in. The picture caption indicated that this was an Indian family.

22 comments:

  1. I wonder if it was a special day, the folks are dressed very well.

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  2. Looks like photos I've seen of the Fort Tejon area.

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  3. They look more Mexican than Indian.

    But, that is a nicely built adobe brick home. See how nice and level and evenly laid the bricks are.
    The yard is well kept also.

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  4. Like the adobe wall picture, I think this picture is not what it seems at first glance. I think the two people further back live in the house and the two people further forward live next door. Why? Look at the two at the front. They are facing to the right of the picture. Like they are posing in front of something to the left of the picture (presumably their house). The people behind are just sitting there looking on and our picture was taken by another cameraman across all that. The photographer off to the right wasn't photographing the house we can see or the two people at the back at all.

    Regarding the adobe wall picture of two days ago. I have no idea what it was all about, but if you enlarge the picture you can see that the wall some way behind him is a good well built wall, with the bricks lined up as we'd expect in a wall (no vertical gaps immediately above one another, but rather staggered across the wall to add strength to the whole structure). Whereas the man with the trowel and the hammer (why does he even have a hammer?) seems to be building a wall somewhat akin to what a two year old in a nursery would. Very odd. All I can guess is that the man and the front wall were a set piece, although why they didn't just stand him behind the back wall I've no idea. Maybe there's a cliff the other side!

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    1. My brother-in-law was a mason, and I helped him from time to time. I learned a lot from him and even did some block laying myself.
      The use of a hammer is when you put the mud down, if you have a little to much and the block isn't level, you use the hammer to tap the high side down to make it level.
      When I enlarged the photo, I see he even has a string line there, but he even isn't close to following it.
      Now I see the wall behind him, but it has some terrible gaps in it also. Maybe they are going to put an overlay on the outside, but it wouldn't hurt to do it right the first time.
      But simply put, he is doing a very poor job.

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    2. I think you're making a good point about this being perhaps an "accidental" picture rather the one for which the two folks are posing. Oddly enough it's often the accidental photos that survive because the "real" ones get framed, hung, dusty and dirty, and eventually discarded, while these stay in boxes and get discovered years later.

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  5. I wonder if this was intended to be a portrait? In the plains region it was common for a family to pose for a traveling photographer in their best clothing, in front of of their most significant possessions, commonly a house (although I've also seen other things, such as sheep). This photo sort of looks like that.

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  6. The older structure closest to the camera seems to be roofed with shak shingles, but the newer roof beyond looks like regular asphalt singles. I had no idea that the asphalt singles were available in the 1880s.

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    1. Ruberoid was patented in 1893 I think. By 1905, it was in common use, along with shingles cut from the same material.

      I understand that Adobe is frequently 3 wyrth with the centre being done with holes. Insulation I think. and it is plastered after. Erosion is a problem, so it is often re-plastered. Note the rise in grade toward the house. Wall erosion detritus.

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  7. So glad you're back. Don't forget to check out some of Edward Curtis' photographs. I'll send you a few so you can see them (if I have your email somewhere).

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  8. Adobe houses are like log houses, if not done properly and cared for properly thay both can have big problems. One of the problems for both of them is cracks, and bugs like cracks. Rodents like cracks also. And water and wind, they like cracks also. Bats like cracks also.
    Heck, every thing likes cracks.

    This house looks well taken care of .

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  9. Yes, I would say "Awesome" every time, but I think it would get tiresome :)

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  10. The roofs are different because the smaller house is I think the older of the two. The roof on it is ‘hand made’ shakes….the roof on the other is manufactured shakes which were more precisely made. Also the smaller building roof is made of an underlying pole construction while the larger building is made of cut 2 by 8’s or 10’s from a mill. This family has come up in the world from the original small home.

    I would say this is a wedding photo. The couple in the foreground is posed for a photographer somewhere on the right but out of the frame. The man is looking at a camera in front of him but the woman sitting suddenly sees someone with a camera on her left. Meanwhile the mother and sister sit near the house. I say mother and sister because one is seated (out of respect) and the other woman stands. Both of those women have lace corsages, which were used back in those days instead of fresh flowers. Based on the facial features of the woman sitting near the building I would say she is the mother of the groom.
    The hat on the woman seated near the building is in my view more Mexican than Native Indian, so I personally think this is a Mexican wedding.

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  11. Oops....that should read "but the woman sitting suddenly sees someone with a camera on her right"


    (more coffee)

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  12. I am glad you lifted the embargo. Your site is awesome! On many occasions I've used your photos as a jumping off discussion point for my History lessons! Thank you for a wonderful site!

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  13. I am starting a "comment embargo" until you give us another domestic update, and let us know what is going on with the chickies, peacocks, greenhouse and the once greatly sought after red tractor.

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  14. During the 1940's my uncle built an adobe house. He make the bricks himself, then built the house. A large one that was very nice. It was located in Temple City, Calif. I remember that the back yard backed up to a chainlink fence to the elementary school. He also had a large shop on the property that he built himself a airplane in. But I mostly remember the house. It was always cool in the summer, and the floor was all tiles.

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  15. How well does adobe stand up to rain?

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  16. Adobe won't work here in Newfoundland. The walls would wash away in the first good rain.

    Oh yes... and the domestic updates. This must be fixed. I want to hear about those two old cars that you purchased, along with the peacocks, gardens, chickens and everything else.
    Graham

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  17. Ah, another Newfie. Lord Tunder'in seems we both found our way to Texas.

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