The Complete Life of Lena Horne, Pocket Magazine, 1955, Celebrity Scrapbook

Front Cover
Back Cover

This Pocket Magazine is entitled “The Complete Life of Lena Horne” (Celebrity Scrapbook). Lena Horne (1917-2010) was a very talented African American dancer, actress, and singer. She was also a civil rights activist. The 66 page magazine was published by Pocket Magazines in 1955. The publication is chock full of Black/lWhite photographs. The magazine measures 4″ x 6″. SOLD

Inside Scrapbook
Table of Contents
Interior Back Cover Stains
Published in: on January 10, 2022 at 12:00 pm  Comments (1)  
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This vintage photograph features a well dressed African American young girl. She appears to be in her teenage years. Note her hat. It looks like there is a birthday cake on top of the rim of the hat; yet it is a pretty hat. This photograph measures about 3 1/8 x 4″. (SOLD)

Published in: on October 30, 2021 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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This vintage real photo postcard features a pretty African American girl. She appears to be in her teenage years. Her pursed lips are hiding a smile. This postcard has a Noko stamp box indicating that it dates back to sometime between 1907 and 1929. SOLD

Published in: on October 26, 2021 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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This vintage real photo postcard features an African American woman standing in a garden. She is standing in front of a stone house. The woman is holding a cylindical object in her hands. Perhaps it is a diploma or a rolled up magazine or newspaper. This vintage postcard is likely one-of-a-kind and is in very good condition (see scans). SOLD

Published in: on July 30, 2021 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  


This vintage photograph features a nicely dressed African American man posing for his portrait at an unidentified photography studio. I found this photograph in San Antonio, Texas. The photograph measures about 3″ x 4 1/8″. SOLD

Published in: on July 15, 2021 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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This vintage real photo postcard features a pretty young African American woman with a wonderful smile. She is well dressed. She has a fur stole over her shoulder. The buttons on her blouse are unusual. They are large and square. Note the woman’s hat. It is decorated with a dead bird with pretty feathers. Hats adorned with deceased birds were not an unusual fashion statement during the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. That was a time when whole birds were considered desirable decorations on lady hats. This was to the detriment of many bird species that were nearly wiped out by hunters looking to make a quick buck from the millinery industry. This photo postcard was published by EKC sometime between 1930 and 1950. (SOLD)


This cabinet card photograph features a formally dressed young woman. The reverse of the photograph lists her name as “Marie Botana”. The inscription also reveals that the photo was taken in 1899. I have reason to believe that this image is a graduation photo. I hold that hypothesis because I found this cabinet card for sale along with a large group of similar portrait photographs; all featuring other young women. This cabinet card is of great interest because of the man who took the photo. The photograph was taken by Beckford Photo, a studio located in Boston, Massachusetts. David C. Beckford was African American. He received mention in the book, “Boston: Its Commerce, Finance, and Literature”. His studio is described as a leading photo studio in the country. The business was established in around 1872 as the Chickering Photo Company. The proprietor, Walter E. Chickering (not to be confused with Elmer Chickering, a well respected Boston photographer of the era) was a notorious swindler. He was especially known for his dishonesty and blatant resistance to paying his bills. Walter must have been a tough boss to tolerate. Beckford took over the business in 1888. Beckford’s establishment employed four assistants. Beckford was a native of Jamaica. He came to Boston in about 1872 and worked for Chickering for several years. According to one source, Beckford operated a Hardware business in Jamaica, at least part of the time, while he ran his photo studio in Boston. A Massachusetts directory of photographers asserts that Beckford was active as a photographer until 1909. Beckford is cited in an article appearing in the “Southern Workman” (1909). The title of the article was “Improvement in Housing Negroes in the North”. The writer states that Beckford had recently returned from a business trip to Jamaica where he directed the rebuilding of his properties; and reestablished his hardware business which had been destroyed in an earthquake. The “Southern Workman” article was the first reference that I found that indicated that David C. Beckford was a Black man. Examining the 1900 US census data provided confirmation that Beckford was indeed a Black man. Census data conflicted with other legal documents in regard to where Beckford was born. It appears he was born in either England or Jamaica. He was born in 1856 and immigrated to the United States in 1872. He married Elvira P. Gott in 1881. She was a Black woman born in Massachusetts. She was close in age to Beckford. Photographs by Black photographers are not common, making this image a great find. (SOLD)

Published in: on November 13, 2020 at 12:32 pm  Comments (1)  
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This vintage photograph features a young black boy and a middle aged white man sharing a warm moment and a laugh. The pair seem to have a close relationship. Both are smiling and seem very relaxed as they experience their interaction. The child is wearing a shirt that is much too large for him. Perhaps the shirt is a hand-me-down from an older brother. The boy is barefoot. I am very curious about why this man and child ended up together and in conversation when this photo was taken. They appear to be standing in a field but their location is unidentified. The photo measures about 3 3/4″ x 3 3/4″.   SOLD

Published in: on June 15, 2020 at 12:00 pm  Comments (4)  


This press photo was taken at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal, Canada. The photographer, from AFP Photo, captures the three medal winners from the 110 meter hurdles. The gold medal went to Guy Drut (France). The silver medal was captured by Willie Davenport (United States) and the bronze medal was earned by Alejandro Casanas (Cuba). Guy Drut (1950- ) had won a silver medal in the 1972 Olympics in Munich, Germany. . Upon retirement, he entered business and political life. In 2005 he was convicted by a French court for accepting political patronage by accepting a fictitious job. He later received amnesty.Willie Davenport (1943 – 2002) competed in the 1964, 1968, 1972,  and 1976 Olympics. He garnered two medals in his appearances. He returned to the Olympics in 1980 at the age of 37. He returned to Olympic competition in the Winter games. He was a member of the US bobsled team and the first African American to compete in the Winter Olympics. At the time of his first Olympics, Davenport was a private in the US Army. When he died, he held the rank of Colonel in the US Army National Guard. In 1977, he was inducted into the National Track and Field Hall of Fame. Alejandro Casanas (1954- ) participated in two Olympics (1976 and 1980). He won silver medals in the 110 meter hurdles in both Olympic years. In 1977 he set the world record for that event and he held it for two years. This photograph measures about 5 x 7 and is in very good condition (see scans).                                                                                                                                                       

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The subject of this vintage real photo postcard is Miss Aida Overton Walker. The caption above her name refers to her as “A Dusky Beauty”. Seems like a racist title to me. I don’t recall ever seeing its equivalent, “A Pasty Beauty”, on a portrait of a white female performer. Aida Overton Walker (1880-1914) was known as “The Queen of the Cakewalk”. She was African-American and an American vaudeville performer, singer, actress, and choreographer. She has been called the most famous African American female performer of the early twentieth century. She was married in 1899 to vaudeville performer, George Walker. Aida and her husband performed with the highly successful Bert Williams. They were the major black vaudeville and musical comedy act of the era. She was also a solo dancer and choreographer for a number of other vaudeville shows. Aida was well known for her 1912 performance of the ”’salome” dance. Aida was born in Richmond, Virginia and moved to New York City when she was young. She was educated there and received a great deal of musical training. When she was fifteen years old she joined the “Octoroons”, a black touring group. In 1900 she gained national notice with her performance of  “Miss Hannah from Savannah” in the play, “Sons of Ham”.  The song became a major hit. Overton Walker had significant theatrical success with her performances in Dahomey (1902), Abyssinia (1906), and Bandana Land (1908). Overall, Aida was praised by critics and fellow performers. She was financially successful. In 1908 she retired to care for her ill husband. In 1910 she returned to the stage as a solo act. In 1911, her husband died. By 1912, she was on tour again. That same year, she performed on Broadway as Salome. In 1914, Walker died suddenly from kidney failure. Two years before her death, she was performing in white variety theaters. She and Bert Williams were the only Black performers “permitted” to do so. At that time, African Americans were expected to confine themselves to “lower” entertainment such as comedy and ragtime. “High” art, like dramatic theater and classical dance were reserved for whites. Aida helped break that racist tradition. During her career, Aida addressed the issue of racial relations. She stated in an article in “The Colored American Magazine (1905), her view that that the performing arts could have a beneficial effect on race relations. Walker asserted “I venture to think and dare to state that our profession does more toward the alleviation of color prejudice than any other profession among colored people.” She also worked to improve working conditions, and to expand roles for black women on the stage. During the period Walker was performing, female actresses, especially black actresses, were seen as “immoral and oversexed”. Aida wrote “a woman does not lose her dignity…when she enters stage life”. Walker also worked to develop the talents of younger black performers within the framework of refinement and elegance. In 1908, she began organizing benefits to assist such causes as the Industrial Home for Colored Working Girls. This vintage postcard was published by Raphael Tuck, of Paris, France. The photographer of Miss Walker was Cavendish Morton (1874-1939). The National Portrait Gallery possesses 104 of Morton’s portraits. Morton had several careers including electrical engineering, architecture, acting, illustrating, and in the 1890’s he took up photography. He is known for his theatrical photo portraits. His son was a well known watercolor artist. This postcard was postmarked in 1908, The postcard is in good condition. See the youtube video below. It is a tribute to Aida Overton Walker.   (SOLD)