This is a blog about music, photography, history, and culture.
These are photographs from my collection that tell a story about lost time and forgotten music.

Mike Brubaker
{ Click on the image to expand the photo }

The Ladies in White

10 August 2010

Sixteen ladies, all in white, pose for the photographer and perhaps overwhelm his studio. This fine band is unusual in being led by a woman (back row, 4th from left holding a baton). It includes a mellophone, a valve trombone along with two slide trombones. three saxophones and a trap set (drum set) with glockenspiel. The tuba in the front may belong to the leader as she is the only one without an instrument. The drummer's castanets and decorated tambourines, along with the gay bandannas of the young girls, suggest that the repertoire of these ladies may have included some pretty spicy music.

This is a large format photo (9.5" x 7.5") and obviously professionally produced, but it has no identification anywhere. It is probably North American, but could easily be Canadian or American. The dresses suggest pre-WWI but nevertheless they could be anywhere from 1900 to 1917. I just like the happy faces.

The internet has taking the art of the photograph into a new era. Most images on my photoblog are reduced or enlarged to fit a consistent size standard that I think looks good (on my monitor at least). Many of the smaller photos would lose detail if they were reproduced on computer monitors in their original size. Also many photos have been abused or seen too much sunlight, so I generally correct the scratches and fading with the magic of photo software. Since the original negatives are lost forever that means these photos are the only artifact left from the camera's lens. And if the photographers would have played with printing the images in the dark room, then I feel that reinterpreting the image with a modern software darkroom is merely acting as the photographer's assistant.

With that in mind, I offer the same Ladies in White without my fixes so that you can judge my efforts.

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