Monday, June 01, 2015

Hidden From Vulgar Gaze In My Winceyette Pyjamas

OR JUST A BLOG
There is an advert for a web hosting service doing the rounds which offers a comprehensive service for those wishing to create "a website, a personal brand, an on-line portfolio .... or just a blog" which seems to capture a little of what has happened to blogs over recent years. They have become unfashionable - the winceyette pyjamas of the digital world - overtaken and overshadowed by status updates and tweets. There are many reasons for this : blogs tend to require more investment than short sharp messages - investment by the reader just as much as investment by the writer. I could probably go on at length about the reason for the decline in blogging - but I suspect that would be merely a demonstration of the reasons rather than an explanation of them.

RAISE A GLASS
A couple of weeks ago I bought a box of twelve exposed glass plate negatives on eBay. I had no idea of either the date or the subject of the twelve negatives and I have been having a fascinating time scanning each one and trying to find clues to both these questions. I enjoy scanning so much, I recently started another blog called The Daily Scan (yes, I bought another pair of winceyette pyjamas) and I have been featuring a number of the glass plate scans on there. I suspect that the photographs were taken about 100 years ago and they have a distinctly "local" feel about them so I suspect they were taken mostly in Yorkshire. 


The one scene I can definitely identify is the penultimate one which is a photograph of the memorial fountain built to commemorate the life of Lord Frederick Charles Cavendish, the younger son of the Duke of Devonshire and the MP for the West Riding of Yorkshire. He was the Chief Secretary for Ireland and murdered on his arrival in Dublin in 1882. The fountain was officially opened in 1886.

HIDDEN FROM VULGAR GAZE
Photography is now such an integral part of life - and, for me, an integral part of blogging - that we tend to take it for granted. High definition photographs can be captured by the merest nod in the direction of our smartphones and body-worn micro video cameras can capture every moment of our waking day with boring monotony on a microchip the size of a gnats' testicle. Those old glass plate negatives I have been scanning have reminded me of a different age, when photography was something special and magical. Reading through my local paper (The Halifax Courier of the 2 June 1855 - I am a little behind with my reading) I came across the following advert for the Halifax Photographic Portrait Gallery. Mr Campbell seems so proud that he can provide a sitting room so that people can view his photographs without being exposed to the vulgar gaze. How delighted he would be to discover that we can now view such photographs in the comfort of our own sitting rooms, whilst reading a blog post and, of course, wearing our winceyette pyjamas.



13 comments:

  1. Can't swear to it as the photo is quite small, but the lighthouse does bear a resemblance to Killantringan Lighthouse in Scotland, which was recently for sale or sold.

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    1. There is a larger picture at : http://abdailyscan.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/24-shining-light-making-me-blue-in-face.html

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  2. Sorry for my ignorance, had no idea what Winceyette Pajamas meant...and found ads for same indicated they are printed, and flannel rather costly...it's a brand from UK I gather. Must be very nice too! Enjoy feeling the joy.
    Otherwise...thanks for the education about the photos. They are amazing and I hope you find lots more info about them.

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    1. How interesting, I had no idea that Winceyette was a UK thing. It is a brand I remember well from my youth - the kind of thing Auntie Miriam would have longed for.

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  3. I'm also a bit behind on my reading ... I've decided to break form Twitter and return to a the more thoughtful universe of blogging. Life lived within the constraints of 140 characters only leads to anxiety and destitution of spirit. As always, you write with humor and grace.

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    1. I can never manage to say what I want to say in less than 140 characters - but for now I would just like to say thank you for your kind comments.

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  4. Laughing out loud again! Actually most days I wear the equivalent of the Winceyette pajamas while writing my own blog. How unfashionable can you get? I wonder how they put the portraits on the shirt studs and the portemonies? My vulgar gaze fell on the spelling of Shakspere in the ad which is presumably the correct one - or the one in use at the time?

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  6. I noticed the Shakespeare spelling as well. Not sure what the correct one is. But I do love the Shakespeare quote - I might get it carved on my headstone.

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  7. I am not familiar with those pajamas...but I like my jammies just fine late at night and in the mornings...sometimes I even sit outside in them in the summertime. I too appreciate all the old glass negatives...I am glad you have a scanner that will scan them properly:)

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  8. I hadn't realised blogging was passe...if that is true then keeping a paper journal makes me a relic. I was familiar with the PJs though...Always love to come and peek back in time here and I happily admit never to have tweeted.

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  9. How sad to hear that Lord Cavendish was murdered! I am sticking with blogging, passe or not.

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  10. The third on the top row must be Bolton Abbey ruins, surely?

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