Saturday, February 02, 2019

Random Vintage Images

Today's scans are not the most exciting things in the world; they are leftuggies of a sort - slides that I scanned to get a better look-see, and ultimately being undecided about what to do with them. Maybe they'll make an OK post when they're all together!

First up is this nice Kodachrome photo that I believe is from the 1940's. It's undated, but the mount that was used is generally pre-1950. I wish I could tell where this was - somewhere "out west" seems likely. Nevada? Wyoming perhaps? There's no way of knowing. That red structure is odd - not sure what to make of the unusually-shaped tower bit. Any ideas? Is it part of a mine? The best part is that fantastic woody station wagon.

Next is this 1955 photo definitely shows a mine - the "Arcadian Copper Mine" in "Ripley, near Hancock, in the copper country of Michigan's upper peninsula", as the back of a vintage postcard tells us. Thinking that this must have been the source of millions of dollars in copper, I looked for some background. Here's what I found:

Arcadian mine was a copper mine developed in 1898 near Paavola, (then called Arcadia) in Franklin Township, a short distance northeast of Hancock, in Houghton County, Michigan. Although there was a significant amount of investment in the mine, it was not rich in copper. By 1908, the mine was thought to be one of the most spectacular failures in the region. The mine was operated as a tourist destination from the 1950s to the 1970s.

So now we know the truth!

And lastly, here's a photo of a modest mid-century motel, in Somewheresville, USA. It's sort of cute and chintzy at the same time. The palms might indicate that this is in the Southwest; There appears to be a river (and a boat) just beyond the building. Enjoy sitting by the pool on a luxurious aluminum lawn chair! In Russia those chairs would be made of beets.

Who knows, I may have another selection of random vintage images for you right quick!


TokyoMagic! said...

Boy, that's a pretty small motel....unless there are other buildings that we aren't seeing. Those louvered windows on the doors don't make for a very secure situation. All someone has to do to break in, is slide out each glass panel (which can be done pretty easily) and then just step through the door, into the room.

Nanook said...


The Woody in the mystery photograph appears to be an early 1940's Ford. And the black sedan at the Arcadian Copper Mine is a 1940-something Chevrolet - probably a Fleetmaster.

That motel must be located in Louverville, judging by the full compliment of louvered windows on every door and window. (I'm surprised the diving board isn't louvered-!)

@ TM!-
Don't give anyone any ideas...

Thanks, Major.

Melissa said...

Everything in the USSR was made from beets. Why else do you think their flag was so red?

Major Pepperidge said...

TokyoMagic!, I’m sure that we are only seeing a fraction of that luxury motel. And now we know that our own TokyoMagic! is a criminal mastermind!

Nanook, of course people held on to their cars for years, but at least the early 1940’s estimate on the woody supports my guess as to when the photo was taken! They should have called the “Fleetmaster” the “FleetMEISTER”. Another lost opportunity for awesomeness. Is Louverville anywhere near Lidsville?

Melissa, I wonder, if I was born in Russia, would I like beets? Because I sure don’t like them now. I would starve to death there!

JC Shannon said...

Great Saturday morning scans. I like the first photo for the mystery. Where is it, why was it taken, what is the strange tower? I agree with Major, maybe western Wyoming or Montana. The last scan is so cool, I don't know where to start. The person taking the photo obviously agreed, as there is no one in it. It was so pretty and peaceful, they felt the need to document it in film. I vote for Florida, the Keys maybe. Thanks Major.
Fun fact: 26% of the world's copper came from the more than 200 mines in Butte, Mt. Most of the rest came from Michigan and Brazil.

K. Martinez said...

I HATE BEETS!!! But, I hate pickles too! There's nothing worse than a pickle and beet sandwich.

The Arcadian Copper Mine entry reminds me of George Romero's "Day of the Dead" where they hide in the bunker. Thanks, Major.

Nanook said...

I hated beets for years, but then realized when properly-prepared, they are quite delicious. Go figure-!

Dean Finder said...

Something about the waterway makes me think Florida for the motel as well. But the louvered windows would suggest no AC, so maybe not (I expect that by the 50's, even small motels had AC.

Major Pepperidge said...

Jonathan, the tower is where an insane man has lived for 80 years. Sometimes a ghastly pale face appears in one of the uppermost windows, mouth agape in a silent shriek. Downstairs they sell frozen yogurt. Florida is a good guess for pic #3, that “river” reminds me of the many canals that criss-cross parts of the state. They’re full of bass, gar, and gators! I like your fun fact about copper.

K. Martinez, hm, I am with you as far as beets go, but pickles? They never hurt anybody! How about a nice crunchy baby dill? Preferably spicy. I know you love your classic horror movies… I’ve never seen “Day of the Dead”.

Nanook, you ordered beets when I met you in Seattle!

Dean Finder, if it wasn’t for those rinky dink palms near the pool, I would have guessed someplace in the Midwest. But I admit that the architecture style seems more geared towards a place that doesn’t get 8 feet of snow (flat roof). I wish people had been better about labeling their slides 50 years ago!

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, that's funny, I was going to say that perhaps a maniac lived in one of the structures in that first pic, but decided to refrain. I was also going to say that perhaps the larger structure was a cider mill, but I have nothing to base that on either, other than when I initially looked at the pic, I thought "maniac" and "cider mill." Go figure!

The shape of that tower reminds me of one of those "air" popcorn poppers that came out in the seventies.

K. Martinez said...

Major, No thank you to the crunchy baby dills. I'll continue to munch on my delicious frozen bananas.

Warren Nielsen said...

I think pic #1 is some sort of mine or mine related structure. Just beyond the building is a long flat topped pile of rocks and dirt with little to no vegetation. Strikes me as a tailings pile seeing as how straight, even and flat the top is. Do you suppose ore and/or waste rock was hoisted up to the top of the tower and tipped out into some little cart and wheeled out to the far end and dumped?


Major Pepperidge said...

TokyoMagic!, as you have learned by now, nothing is off limits for Major Pepperidge. I am EXTREME! :-) I figured that my silly story was so similar to old fiction that hopefully it wouldn’t offend anyone, though these days WHO KNOWS. Cider mill, eh? I am in no position to contradict you, that’s for sure. Everyone knows that cider mills only hire maniacs! We had a hot air popcorn popper, as well as a cotton candy machine that we could load up with hard candy like cherry Lifesavers or apple Jolly Ranchers, and then we’d enjoy cotton candy that tasted just like those items.

K. Martinez, oh no! I may (or may not) have mentioned my dislike of banana things. Except for just a plain banana. Otherwise I don’t like them frozen, cooked, pureed, or in things in any way. It’s crazy. And I feel like I’m missing out, since so many people love them.

Anonymous said...

I love these mystery picture posts. Reading everyone's ideas is as much fun as if we knew what and where every one was.

So here goes.

Pic 1 is an ore processing facility, the mine may or may not be right close by. Agreeing with Warren Nielsen. Location could be almost anywhere, but guessing west of the Mississippi due to the lack of deciduous tree forest, and the generally dry appearance of the hillside. Could even be Arizona.

Pic 2, the Arcadian mine. Some mine had to be the least successful, why not the Arcadian? Maybe they made something back on the tours. My boss knew a guy who sank a lot of money into a Nevada silver mine and lost it all. He was trying desperately to move all his remaining assets to his kids so the mine creditors couldn't attach them. Never heard how it came out. Lesson here: Don't invest more in mining than you can afford to lose.

Pic 3 is probably in Florida, although could be in SE Texas.
The trees beyond the waterway do not look Hawaiian, so I will guess Florida.

The louver windows are officially called "jalousie" windows, and the comments about their security are spot-on, they have none. They are common in mild climates with frequent breezes such as Hawaii and Florida.

The building predates the "PTAC" through-wall heat pump units that are now common in motels. If these buildings were air-conditioned, this could well have been a "window banger" mounted in a window in back wall, or above the folding rack where you put your suitcase. The fire extinguisher is prominently displayed on the wall. The room nearest us looks like #19, so there must be 18 more rooms somewhere else.

Our building has ten guest rooms, and no sign of an office, housekeeping, or parking. A shadow on the right hand wall hints at another building close by, undoubted housing the first 18 rooms and these other functions. The pool would be invitingly visible to arriving guests through the gap between the buildings. The parking is probably behind our building to the right, butted up to the back wall of the guest rooms. Undoubtedly there are more rooms behind us, and the road by which the guests arrive. Unlikely they arrive by boat.

The pool has a significant tall coping with a steep slope and a distinctive step up from the deck, and the deck is at least one step (maybe two) higher than the walk beyond (compare the folding chairs). Also the doors to the guest rooms are quite high above the sidewalk (would not pass today's wheelchair access codes).

These details mean to me that the waterway seen beyond is subject to frequent overflow/flooding (possibly even tidal). Wanting to keep the rooms dry is common sense, but also keeping the pool from being contaminated from high water. It's common practice to slope the pool coping away from the pool vessel, to keep rainfall and incidental water (possibly contaminated with bird droppings, cocktail spills etc) from flowing into the treated pool water. Usually this slope is so understated it is barely visible. This is an extreme example of that practice, implying severe conditions occur relatively often.

The pool water level is a good distance below the coping, but about right compared to the inner gutter. I'm not sure if this is intended to allow room for the pool to fill in a sudden rain shower without overflowing, or if it's just a result of the high coping.

To me, all of this is consistent with a Florida location, but I could certainly be wrong.

We had several folding chairs of this type with the plastic strapping, even in gold and avocado. Many happy hours camping in the Sierras sitting in them around the campfire.

Thank you for posting these puzzling photos, Major. A good workout for the mind and observational powers.