This post is a follow up to “Fleeting Photographic Moments – Part 1” where I discussed scanning old photos as a means of looking back upon our family histories. In the first article I explained the realizations I made when scanning my old family photos. But this post is really just to complete the story by showing some more of the photos I scanned from that era of my grandfather’s life and the ice cream fountain shop owned by my grandparents back in the 1950s and 1960s.

What caught my eye about this next photo is how my grandfather was dressed. He looked quite regal and you don’t usually see people dressing in that style anymore with cool hats the way they did in the 1940s and 1950s. Unfortunately this photo was again printed on that more contrasty, cheaper quality photo print paper I mentioned earlier that favored strong highlights more than smooth shadows. But even still, I like the reflection from the building across the street that appears in the storefront glass of the shop next door to my grandfather’s shop. I can also just make out some of the toys for sale in the window of his store. There is what looks like some model cars on display in the window and you can again notice the same Bell telephone sign in the corner. I think the handwritten sign mentioning the availability of “Tops” is referring to Topps baseball cards, which were gaining strong popularity at that time.


This fifth shot of my grandfather below, again standing outside the store, appears to have been taken at the same time as the other shot of him and my grandmother taken outside of the store in the first part of this post. This image was also printed on that same high quality, vintage looking, fibrous, matte finish card stock type photo print paper and you can see the same baseball bats in the window for sale (as in the other photo I posted) along with some pencil sharpeners and model race boats. It seems Polaroid instant film was already very popular at that time seeing that my grandfather thought to emphasize he had it available for sale by posting that small, handwritten, paper sign in the window. I particularly like the candidness of the photo, how he is in somewhat of a contemplative looking state, and looking away from the camera. This is probably the first photo I have seen of him where he wasn’t either smiling or acting a bit playful.


This next photo, and another image of my grandfather, taken as an advertising photo inside his store by the wholesaler from the cigar company, shows him with one of his great hats again and surrounded by a display of the cigars that he was selling. To think you could buy 5 cigars at that time for just 58 cents!


The old fountain shops of the 1940s and 1950s, like the one my grandparents owned, always intrigued me. They sold things like ice cream milkshakes, grilled cheese sandwiches, burgers, fries, and other types of sandwiches. A happy memory of the type of food I liked to eat as a child. I think these shops were also a big part of early Americana urban culture.

The shot below of the shop, taken from what looks like a rooftop from across the street, shows the era quite clearly with those 1950s-1960s style cars in front. The shop was called The Baldwin Confectionery and was adjacent to a shop selling what looks like sound equipment and another small neighborhood market shop next to that. The truck in front was owned by a trucking company called Denver Chicago Trucking it seems. And you have a few kids on tricycles playing out in front.

The photo seems to have been taken perhaps either a bit before the time my grandparents started operating the store or shortly after they bought it in 1950 as some of the signs in the window of the shop look a bit different in this photo than in the shots taken of them standing outside the shop in the early 1960s. I see another interesting and unfamiliar ice cream brand sign in the window and on the storefront sign. This one is for Jane Logan ice cream, which was a product of Abbott’s Dairies from Philadelphia and was most likely a popular brand of ice cream during that time. By the time I was born, the popular brand of packaged ice cream was Briers and I had never come across the Jane Logan brand when I was growing up.


If you would like to see a larger size of the above photo with more detail you can click here.

This last photo of the store below is of my grandmother behind the counter, although again printed on that lesser quality glossy black and white print paper, shows quite a bit more of what the shop looked like from the inside and the kinds of things they sold. The flash from the camera seems to have blown things out a little bit at the front of the counter and, even though there wasn’t much ambient light inside the rest of the shop, I can still see they were selling Jane Logan ice cream sodas for 20 cents. On the counter you have Happee Surprise Candy Chews, Bachman Pretzel Sticks, and in the glass showcase was Kraft Caramels, Chunky chocolate bars, and various other candies.


As I mentioned, and as you can surmise from all the details I picked up from the photos, scanning them allowed me to pinpoint various elements in these photos that I would have never been able to pick up, or perhaps even take notice of otherwise just from the small prints I have on hand. I could have used a magnifying glass I guess to look closer at the prints to see more detail, but it would not have been easy to look at the whole photo at once that way to really take them all in as you can with a larger scanned image.

So as I suggested in my first post, if you have some small, old family prints then scan them and see what sort of history and memories they conjure up. You may also see if you can start piecing the images together, as I have done here, to where they start to shape and tell a bit of a story like a photo essay.

I will leave you now with one last image of my grandfather going back in time again over 90 years to the early 1920’s when he was in the navy. There is nothing particularly historical about this photo except perhaps for the fact that you can see what an engine or engineering room might have looked like on an American battle ship in the early nineteen hundreds. What I like about this photo though is the simple comradery it portrays amongst the other navy men on his ship by the way they are all seated very close together and yet still appear comfortable sitting so near to one another. And perhaps the man seated behind my grandfather, who has his hand on my grandfather’s shoulder on the left, was also a close friend of his at the time.


If you have any thoughts or comments please feel free to post them below as always.