Baby Alert, Box 23, 1947


This box is missing its cover lid. On the bottom it reads in pencil “Werne Pahl Baby”

“Feb 3, 1947” and “March 16, 1948”.

Two events, two subjects as we will see. There are a total of 21 negatives in this box. I won’t show then all this time as quite a few of them are duplicates and a few duds. Babies don’t sit still.

Mother and child, feeding time, Feb 3, 1947
Mother and child, feeding time, Feb 3, 1947
Mother and child, bottle time, Feb 3, 1947

As Joel will learn that day, it takes an effort to make a baby do anything other than being a baby.

Bathing time, Feb 3, 1947

Next series of images are an attempt to capture the traditional first baby poses. Nothing much has changed.

Baby Michael, Feb 3, 1947
Baby Michael can fly, Feb 3, 1947
Baby Michael can sit up, Feb 3, 1947

And last but not least in this series …

Happy Baby ! Feb 3, 1947

What about March 16, 1948 ?

Turns out that these are a series of portraits of Joel’s mother, Clara Mildred Pahl, while knitting.

Joel is experimenting with light in these shots. He’s hand holding a flash reflector over his lens. This is a common technique to avoid the harsh shadows flashlights and project.

Clara Mildred Pahl, knitting, March 16, 1948

Since Joel found the side table a bit distracting, he rearranged things a bit.

Clara Mildred Pahl, knitting, March 16, 1948

Clara Mildred Pahl, knitting, March 16, 1948

In the last two images we can clearly see there’s no posing, Joel’s flash reflector is cutting off the image and … there’s a Life magazine on the side table.

A quick check revealed that this Life magazine was the January 26, 1948 edition. This made it possible for me to properly put the subjects at their proper date.

Joel did print or copy both images above, see the black tape marks at the side.

Life Magazine, January 26, 1948

Looking back at the family images we’ve found in 1946 and 1947, with more to come for 1947, it’s clear that Joel likes “family” and makes them a regular subject.

More family next time, Joel did shoot an awful lot after returning from the war. Not just class assignments. He’s choosing his own subjects.

Cheers !


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