Hats and Smiles

Photo Booth images

It seems appropriate on this sunny Sunday, to share this set of six photographs of friends having fun in Blackpool. I love their cloche hats and delightful expressions. I imagine them strolling along the sea-side promenade, stopping for ice-cream or candy floss, perhaps giggling as a young man or two nods a wink at them, and then capturing the happy moment in a photo booth.

According to the following advertisement, Blackpool had several photo booths (or Photomatons) to choose from in the late 1920s. Still a relatively new experience, it must have felt exciting and novel to record the memories in this way. After all, there were no selfies in those days!

Nelson Leader - Friday 28 June 1929
Nelson Leader – Friday 28 June 1929 (Image © Johnston Press plc.)

Newspaper clipping courtesy of the British Newspaper Archive; The British Library Board.

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11 thoughts on “Hats and Smiles

  1. I must be mad because I only see six photos of four ladies and one little girl!? I love the fur collars on their coats-must have been the in-style then! And the hats are wonderful! To think that just ten years earlier those giant confections of ribbons, fake flowers and who knows what else were all the rage! The cloche was quite a change and, I think, it expresses the fact that women were getting the vote and taking charge of what they put on their heads rather than trying to please the gents!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Haha, you’re not mad! Yes, six photos (not sure why I wrote eight – now corrected) and I’m wondering if the lady on the bottom right is the same one as the middle two, but without her hat? Not sure. So four or five different people. The ‘girl’ (top left) looks older to me though, maybe in her teens? I love the hats… much neater than the ornate ones you’ve described, and I read that women would decorate them according to whether they were single or available? So, they were taking charge, as you say!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Love, love, love! The Photomaton was only four years old in 1929. They spread around the world so quickly! My mum was one month old when those advertisements were published and my grandmother had some gorgeous cloche hats, too.

    I think the girl would be around 11 or 12, simply because she looks about the same age that I was in my first photobooth photo. These are really special. Where did you find them?

    Liked by 4 people

    • Hi Val, so kind of you to ask… I’m fine just very busy, and have been procrastinating about writing another blog post! It’s been a kind of unintentional break. I have a lot of photos still to post, and yet more to catch up with, which hopefully I’ll have chance to do soon. Actually it’s funny you should ask because today has been an unusually large amount of traffic on my blog so that must be telling me something — probably ‘get on with it’, haha! I hope you are doing well!

      Liked by 2 people

      • Thank you Brad, for thinking about me! I hope you are well too. Life has been busy and a little stressful, but I still have photos to share and hopefully reunite with their ‘real’ owners. I’m buoyed by some recent success with the Arrighi photos. More soon!

        Liked by 1 person

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