You were expecting to see pushcarts? At the turn of the 20th century that is what you would have expected to see on a visit to Orchard Street, perhaps the hub of retail activity for the lower east side of Manhattan in those days. I remember taking a shopping trip to Orchard Street with my family some time in the mid 50s, and it looked pretty much as it did in this photo, “Lower East Side: Orchard Street” (August 1962). If you like to bargain this is the place to do it. The give and take is expected in many, many places in the world as it is on Orchard Street. You can find just about anything if you look hard enough.
President’s Day this Monday! Heck, how about President’s Week? Let the retail season begin. Whatever happened to Lincoln’s Birthday and Washington’s Birthday? It worked for me. Is nothing sacred anymore?
“What the world needs now is love, sweet love….” Thank you Jackie DeShannon. Now more than ever in my opinion. “Young Lovers“; Balboa Beach and Newport Beach, California (July 4, 1922).
Many years ago when our children were small I had the opportunity to purchase some antique farm equipment including a sickle bar mower.
My purpose in this purchase was to display them as objects d’art on my property, not to actually put them to their intended usage. When it came to the sickle bar mower I decided to choose safety over desire. I did not want to run the risk of a small child running into the teeth of this machine and losing an eye perhaps or becoming impaled in one way or another. Too dangerous for anyone, including me, if you are not paying attention to what you are doing and even if you are paying attention. So I settled for a hay rake, (2) two bottom plows, a four row weeder, a “potato digger” and a horse drawn road grader from the 1920s. Better safe than sorry. Occasionally, a sickle bar mower comes up for sale and can run about $1500.00 for a complete machine. The rust just adds patina to it. No extra charge for the rust. If you do decide to buy one try and place it out of danger on your property lest there is an accident and perhaps a lawsuit.
“Sickle Bar Mower“; Nova Scotia, Canada c.1919
If you are under 50 you have probably never heard of it. But before we used pocket calculators and then apps, some of us were schooled in the use of the slide rule. Read and learn.
“The Slide Rule“; North Babylon, N. Y. 2/9/20
A very special image worthy of your attention. “Post Office: Beresford, Florida (1941)“. All the elements are present to make this an iconic image, the building, Pepsi sign, man on the porch and the car next to the post office. Perfect harmony.
For me the connection was instantaneous. I guess it was the brick wall. Jacob Riis documented the plight of the poor and their living conditions in New York City at the turn of the 20th century. Required reading is his work How the Other Half Lives (1890). A good number of his photographs contain brick walls. We hope that he would approve of this presentation, “The Empty Box“; West Virginia c.1931.