Anyone else geek out when they see a vintage car on the street? I was visiting a museum on this Winchester, Virginia street when I spotted this car. There was an Australian with a giant camera photographing it as well and we agreed that it was a real gem even though the car needs some work.
I hope that I will always stop and admire vintage cars as they travel through a world that increasingly values the new over the old, the trendy over the classics, and the perfect over the quaintly flawed.
Look at those colors! The shapes! The Atomic style is just a lot of fun!
Given how much advertising I see on a daily basis, it’s surprising this increase isn’t more substantial. Although this was from eight years ago so it certainly is drastically more today.
From the front end of a 1957 Chevy Bellaire.
Check out that unusual rusty color. And the headlights! Oh my!
I’ve never quite understood the purpose of a mirror on a cigarette machine but it’s a great place for yours truly to get a selfie. Really- is it so you can see how cool you look with your pack of smokes? Maybe it’s so you can see who is coming up behind you, especially important for spies and for anyone trying to keep tabs on a potential mate in a crowd!
And finally, I never walk past a radio without taking a picture. This one sits atop the fridge in the Lustron kitchen.
What details do you enjoy? Or maybe you’re a big picture kind of person? Tell me!
If you’re interested in knowing more about the 1950s in America, you’ll find a decent overview at Ohio History Connect, the Ohio historical society. It’s called “1950s: Building the American Dream.”
The exhibit covers a number of topics ranging from music and popular baby names to polio and McCarthyism,
The Crosley station wagon we looked at earlier this week is part of this installation. There’s also an Airstream camper pulled by a 1957 Chevy Bellaire.
The highlight though is a Lustron home that is staged to represent a nuclear family’s home in central Ohio in the fifties.
Lustron was one of the first prefab homes in the country and manufactured in central Ohio. The company was short lived but some of these homes can still be found around the country.
Visitors are encouraged to take a hands-on approach in this space. You’re invited to look through the closets, open the kitchen cabinets or sit down and watch Ozzie and Harriet on the television in the living room.
They have a number of interesting things here but this was hands down my favorite feature of this museum.
It is a popular destination for school groups. I felt rather smug, getting there early and exiting just after the first class of kids spilled out everywhere.
If you’re interested in seeing the fifties exhibit, don’t drag your feet. It closes at the end of 2020. Learn more here. They also have an exhibit about sports history that I didn’t go near as well as a lot about Ohio’s native peoples and something to represent each of Ohio’s 88 counties.
This is the kind of thing that would have once left me frustrated beyond words. The building pictured above features fantastic art against nice brick that begs to be photographed.
But look at it. There is no good angle to shoot from because of a ridiculous amount of utility lines coming and going from every direction and at every height.
There are fewer to be seen from the other side but it’s still enough to be distracting.
This once would have made me nuts. I used to strive for clean pictures, free of people, cars and distractions at all costs.
But I’ve reached a mental place where it has suddenly become important to me that pictures not be perfect and instead record the real scene. Documentary photography is more my thing these days even though most of those pictures don’t make the cut here.
My favorite historical pictures aren’t the ones that only show the building. Instead, the ones that give clues are the best. Street signs, power lines, cars, and people all help to root a picture in an era or even a year. I study the names of businesses in old photos like I’m going to go shop there in a bit. Utilitarian pieces like traffic lights and electric lines can help with dating and I’m fascinated by how people used to dress.
What’s the point of a perfect picture of a lovely church if you don’t know where it’s located or when the photo was made?
Not to mention, there are times and places where you literally can’t capture an image without people walking through the frame or cars parked out front. Sometimes it’s better to bend into the problem and appreciate it for what it’s worth rather than fuss because the problem exists.
That’s not to say that I like having all these lines in the picture but I have come to accept that all things cannot be perfect and that sometimes imperfections lend something useful like character or context.