Athens, Tennessee, about 1919 – Sepia Saturday 183

athens_1919This is a double exposure that I found in my Cleage photos. It was probably taken by my grandfather since my father was only about 8 or 9 years old. It is in the batch with other photographs taken in Athens, Tennessee around 1919. There seem to be sheets on a clothesline in the foreground. Athens is in the foothills of the Great Smokey Mountains and was my Grandfather Albert B. Cleage Sr’s hometown.  He took his family back for a visit most summers when they were growing up.

There are links to other photos from trips to Athens below.

SS+183+Mini

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22 Responses to Athens, Tennessee, about 1919 – Sepia Saturday 183

  1. Helen McHargue says:

    A beautiful effect from the double exposure. Do you think the photographer intended to do it….or was it a happy accident.

    • Kristin says:

      I think it was an unintended, happy accident. But I don’t know what’s involved in doing a double exposure on purpose. I haven’t seen any experimental photography by my grandfather though.

  2. Brett Payne says:

    Back in 1919, and for a good few years after, it was very easy to make a double exposure, whether intentionally or unintentionally. Unlike as was the case with the instamatic camera from the 1960s and later, if you forgot to wind the film on until the next number appeared in the window at the back of the camera, there was nothing to stop you from taking another shot over the top of the last. The instruction booklets usually recommended that you make a standard practice of winding on to the next frame immediately after taking a shot. Then you would always be ready for the next shot.

    • Brett Payne says:

      Great shot, by the way. I suspect that it was a far more common event than we realize, but since most of the doubly exposed prints were thrown away, we don’t see them unless we have the original negatives. Shots such as this one, which turned out quite nice anyway, may have been kept even if they were uninentional.

    • Kristin says:

      That sounds like what must have happened. And the shot was so interesting, they kept it.

  3. Little Nell says:

    I rather like that. It has a somewhat ghostly appearance – as you’d expect from a double exposure, especially in sepia. We have a few in our own collection, for exactly the reasons Brett has given, but they’re too precious to get rid of because of the subject matter.

  4. Alan BURNETT says:

    There is a wonderous serendipity about such shots, the double exposure gives it a lovely haunted feel.

  5. Alex Daw says:

    I’ve done a few double exposures in my time and they are always good fun to look back on…..

  6. Wendy says:

    It’s very artistic, whether or not intentional.

  7. Karen S. says:

    It’s funny maybe, but I like how it came out. Surely they did too, thankfully or we may never have seen it today!

  8. postcardy says:

    I wish it were still possible to make double exposures intentionally in the camera.

  9. angella says:

    That image is magical, the prosaic and grand inextricable. A fine metaphor.

  10. Joan says:

    Krisin, I also have Tennessee roots, so your photo waas “doubly” welcome. Tis very interesting, you know. Thanks.

  11. Nigel Aspdin (Derby, UK) says:

    They seem to have enough laundry to wash without wishing for double.

  12. Sharon says:

    This reminds me of something that my grandmother told me. When they were kids, they always had certain days for certain tasks. Somewhere I have it written down. I remember that Friday was town day (going to town, meeting up with friends and doing the shopping).

    There was a washing day, baking day, bathing day. Something every day except for Sunday, which was Church, relaxation and the children had to be quiet “no rowdy games”

  13. anyjazz says:

    A fine old double exposure.

    Double exposures are sometimes quite arty and always interesting. I have found quite a number of them. I even started a separate category for them.

  14. Tattered and Lost says:

    It’s a wonderful shot, full of mystery. Would make a great image for a book jacket.

  15. TICKLEBEAR says:

    The double exposure does confer a special quality to this picture.
    Should double exposure become a new trend?
    I know I see some work on Flickr involving such process,
    intentionally, and I like it, in some cases…
    :)
    HUGZ

  16. Bob Scotney says:

    I would not have known it was a double exposure if you hadn’t told me so. Anyway it is a great effect.

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