Our theme picture for Sepia Saturday 189 comes from the Flickr Commons Collection of the National Library of Ireland and is entitled "What An Amazing Contraption". It provides us with an opportunity to search out photographs featuring all manner of strange or unidentified contraptions. And if you are fresh out of contraptions there is always cars or people sat in ridiculous positions.
Contraption, n. (sl.). Queer machine, makeshift contrivance. (perh.f. contrive, cf. conceive, -ception).
I have been fascinated with contraptions from a very early age. This photo is taken at Hurstville I think c.1960. I'm sitting on the bed with my father looking at one of my parent's cameras - maybe it's the Voigtlander.
Both my parents enjoyed photography - my father often set up an amateur dark room in the laundry or the garage and I loved watching the photos magically appear in the trays of developing fluid. My mother was a fiendish photographer and constantly making people sit "just so" whilst she arranged compositions. Here she is with what I imagine is a Box Brownie in her younger days.
Of course, the first photo I thought of when this theme was proposed for Sepia Saturday was one of my maternal great-grandfather Walter William Forfar aka Dick Forfar in this newspaper article.
Thanks to my cousin Kath I think for this newspaper article. I can't find it on Trove so she must have gone into the NSW State Library and photocopied it for me.
I have blogged about WW Forfar before here.
I am still digging up new information about the Forfars but will post about that separately.
Here are some more photos of Dick Forfar in another contraption - his wheelchair.
These are photos of photos I'm afraid so are not very clear. I think Dick is with two of his grand-daughters in the first photo - Joy and Shirley Wingfield - at least I think it is Joy - it's definitely Shirley at the back. In the second photo I think it is Dick with Shirley and Joy's husband Ray Jeffery. I think the photos were taken in Newcastle at his daughter Belle's place. Dick died in 1949 so I think this is taken during the war years - say the early 40s.
Here is a photo of Dick's brother George next to another contraption.
The back of the photo reads "Forty winks after lunch. Brother George having a nap at the side of a country road in England."
I don't know whose writing this is....maybe Dick Forfar's. Dick was one of three boys - George being the eldest, followed by Ernest who went to the Rockies in Canada and then Walter William or Dick. Anyone want to hazard a guess at the make of the car?
I love this photo. Here's an alternative use of a running board - a napping board! Please note the gramophone player on the left and the billy for the tea on the right.
It was Shirley napping on the running board! And they're picnicking at Womal Reserve. But I can't find a Womal or a Womai Reserve anywhere - perhaps the name has changed.
Here are the two girls - much younger - on another picture with their parents and their aunt - my maternal grandmother.
We love our cars don't we?
Here's a really big contraption that I think may have taken large groups of people on tours. I'm not sure where this one was going but I'm guessing the Blue Mountains. My mother is the little girl in the front so I'm guessing this was taken c1940.
What would you call this contraption? I want to call it a charibang or touring car. Any ideas?
I scanned this tiny photo this morning and was sad to read what was written on the back of it by my paternal grandmother.
I think this is an Oldsmobile. It belonged to my paternal grandfather - Edwin Arthur James Conner.
Here's my paternal Uncle Ted in his favourite contraption - the Tiger Moth.
Here's my mother again in front of another contraption - a buggy I think.
And with another contraption when she was a bit younger....a pram for a doll.
And here's me on my favourite contraption when I was three in Edinburgh - a tricycle.
I fear I've worn you out with contraptions. Beg pardon.
What's your favourite contraption?
Head on over to Sepia Saturday to see more queer machines and makeshift contrivances....