New York City and Newark, other locations: 1951-1968.
Hardcover. One oblong folio photo album, measuring 14" x 12.5", plus additional unbound album leaves. Album is screw bound leather with stiff leaves with adhesive backing and mylar over-leaves. The loose leaves are identical to those in the album, but unbound. One screw lacking from the binding, a few leaves lack the mylar over-leaves, the images are firmly mounted on the adhesive leaves and are mostly bright and near fine. Together a total of 439 images mostly chromogenic or Polaroid snapshots, with a modest number of earlier gelatin silver black and white prints. Most are some variant of 3.5" x 3.5". Only a few have captions. A number have ink or stamped dates ranging from 1951-1968, but most are probably from 1960-1968. Most images are from New York City or Newark, New Jersey, and outlying suburban locations. Many of the loose album leaves have old price stickers from the S. Klein department store, probably in Newark.
The images appeared to be either taken by or of an African-American man who worked either as a photographer or in the photography section of a department store (possibly Klein's or McCrory's) and of his wife. Many of the images are of the handsome young man with pencil thin mustache dressed in a suit, handling various types of camera equipment or posed either singly or with co-workers in the photography department. There is also an image of a blonde woman wearing a sash with the words "The Polaroaid Camera Girl" on it.
There are many images of the woman we believe to be his wife, posed in fashionable clothes. The earliest image of the woman is dated in 1951 and labeled "Me," and there are a few images of her cheerleading at a high school football game. The earliest images of the young man are of him graduating, probably from high school in 1955, another image is of him in an Army uniform.
Most of the rest of the images are from the 1960s and show the young couple fashionably dressed, he in neat suits or tuxedos and she in various ball gowns or party dresses. They are shown dancing in night clubs, at Easter or Halloween parades, with new sports cars, or at the beach in Atlantic City, often in studied poses.
Despite their sophisticated style, the couple were not immune to the fads or excesses of the 1960s. In a few images the man is seen in a black leather motorcycle jacket and black beret à la the Black Panthers; in a puffy shirt with beret and neckerchief; in another he is seen with bellbottoms, psychedelic headband and vest, while brandishing a bow and arrow in the outdoors. The young woman occasionally exhibits a fondness for cat's eye glasses.
While the images are not strictly chronological, the later portions of the album young children, presumably belonging to the couple, are in evidence.
A interesting window into the fashionable life of an African-American coupe during the heyday of the 1960s.