All About the Photo-Strip Book
Once upon a time, there was a household
called "Moxie" in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In that household lived Scott, Bill
and Warren. Across town lived Seth, Jack and Jim. This was around 1976-77 or 78, Im
Scott worked at a small department store,
which was right next door to a Woolworths five and dime with a standard
old-fashioned passport photo machine. He was fond of whiling away a portion of his lunch
hour snapping amusing photos at fifty cents for four poses.
Seth worked downtown at a publishing
company where he assisted Jack in running the shipping room. Seth would frequently blow
out of work a few hours early and meet Scott in Central Square to join him in this
harmless and amusing pastime.
Various of us had been fooling around with
photo machines for quite some time. Some of the strips in the book date from when Seth had
been living with Warren in Framingham in 1975 and there are some which were contributed to
the book that were made as early as the sixties. Note in particular one of Bill in which
he appears to be no more than twelve years old. I think the next oldest is one of Seth at
fifteen. The majority of the strips, however, were made in the mid to late seventies at
that single machine.
For a while, the strips resided in a shoe
box or were pasted into various pages of the Moxie house book.
A few years later after the residents of
the various households had shifted around, Scott and Seth were occupying an apartment in
Somerville and uncovered the photostrips. At that point, they were acquainted with Henry
Platt, a talented musician who made extra money by creating beautiful hand tooled leather
bound manuscript books. He made one to contain the photostrips at Scott and Seths
request and the photostrip book was born.
Over the years, more strips have been
added, but they were never created with the frequency that they had been in the seventies.
By 1984, the sequential photostrip machine
had vanished from Woolworth stores and most other places to be replaced by single pose
machines that were simply not as fun. In 1997, Woolworths itself ceased to exist.
These pictures are part of a shared
personal history and were a total gas to make. Please enjoy them.