10 Apr 2019

BIG Family Van, 1960’s

8:00H

When you searched for van options in the early 1960’s there were Volkswagen vans and the more commercial looking Chevy and Ford vans. VW Clearly had a product designed for transporting people. There was no caption information with this print from the Loyd Sandgren collection but it looks like this family needed all the seating they could get. This photograph was taken at the Brundage Motors dealership on Eight and Haines Streets in Jacksonville, Florida and the dealership obviously wanted to document the capabilities of their product.

 

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04 Mar 2019

Down for the count in downtown Jacksonville, 1953

11:48H

“This was an accident on the corner of Main and Beaver Streets. The Kaiser car hit a man (who was a boxer) and this knocked him out. I was near the accident and took this picture. 1953.” LS

Like so many of Loyd Sandgren’s photographs, as I scan them for one reason I often discover little surprises within the image that are easy to overlook at first glance. In this case, it was the truck in the background of the photograph that advertised for Radio Station WJHP and the Jacksonville Journal with the slogan, “Today’s news Today”. For those of you too young to remember, there were two papers in Jacksonville for many decades, The Florida Times-Union and the Jacksonville Journal. The Times-Union was the morning paper but the Jacksonville Journal was the afternoon paper. They were fiercely competitive up through the early 80’s when their resources and staff were combined. I worked for both papers during my early newspaper days working in Jacksonville. A big deal was made of the Journal’s 100th. Birthday in 1987. A year later on October 28, 1988 the last copy of the Journal was printed and the paper was retired.

 

 

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25 Feb 2019

Navy Photographers Float, 1945

8:30H

This picture was taken in 1945 at the corner of Monroe and Hogan Streets. Notice how small Underwood’s store was. Wolf’s clothing store was next door. I was the photographer, others were riding.”  LS

Loyd Sandgren first came to Jacksonville as a Navy photographer at the U.S. Naval Frontier Base, Mayport, Florida, now known as Mayport Naval Station. From his duty station there he also photographed at NAS Jacksonville and Yellow Water Gunnery School.

 

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19 Feb 2019

A Dozen 1955 Cadillacs and a DC-2

8:30H

“Guy Marvin owned most of the cabs in town and also this fleet of 1955 Cadillacs. The cars were great to ride in and they were big. They are seen here at the Imeson Airport parked close to the DC-2 Airplane. That was class. I think the price was three dollars, it did go up to five.”  LS

 

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21 Nov 2018

Here today, gone tomorrow?

14:44H

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The Gulf Insurance Company building on Hogan and Ashley Streets about 1950. The two story art deco style building was designed by architect A. Eugene Cellar and built at 604 North Laura Street in downtown Jacksonville in 1947. The building was bought by First Baptist Church and incorporated into their North downtown campus in 1996.

This seemed like a good time to post this image as plans have been announced to demolish in order to create parking for Jacksonville Fire and Rescue’s downtown headquarters.

 

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16 Nov 2018

Loyd Sandgren at the Boca Raton Museum of Art

8:30H

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The work of Loyd Sandgren currently hangs on a gallery wall with internationally known photographers such as Robert Frank, Henry Cartier-Bresson, Gordon Parks and a host of others who photographed Florida from the late 1800’s through the 1960’s as part of “Imagining Florida: History and Myth in the Sunshine State”. The new show at the Boca Raton Museum of Art borrowed paintings, prints and photography representing the state of Florida from major museums and private collections and examples of Loyd’s work, thanks to Gary Monroe who curated the photography portion of the show, were selected from their home in the Jacksonville Public Library’s Florida Collection, to be included. I drove down for the patron’s opening and it was such a great experience to see Loyd’s photographs in the context of the work of other photographer’s I admire. I’ve always felt his photography was significant to Jacksonville’s history but it was humbling to see it have a place documenting Florida’s history as well. I would like to sincerely thank the Boca Raton Museum of Art’s staff for being so gracious to me during my visit. They have put together a uniquely original show that won’t be seen elsewhere and I highly recommend making the trip to Boca Raton to see it.

I know Loyd is looking down with a big grin on his face. His work was displayed beside pinup photos of Bettie Page taken by legendary Miami photographer Bunny Yeager who he greatly admired.

12 Nov 2018

Perspicacious People Listen to WMBR Radio

14:17H

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This image was in a binder of of radio station photographs in the Loyd Sandgren collection simply entitled WMBR, WPDQ, WFGA, WJXT. No information about the particular photograph was attached so all I know for sure was that this was the Northeast corner of Hemming Park looking East with the Haverty’s furniture store, now the Jake M. Godbold City Hall Annex and the Western Union building, with retail stores on the ground level in the background. The Western Union building now houses the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville. It was obviously a promotion for WMBR which had a long history in Jacksonville (learn more from this previous post). The woman is dressed as a flapper is carrying a portable radio along with her sign promoting the station. What I find most fascinating is the group of men passing the time on the benches. Most are elderly, several have canes the youngest looking member of the group in the white shirt and ball cap is using two crutches and is missing his left leg. I’m sure there is a story but only the image exists, not the context. I’d guess by the dress this is the late 1940’s or early 1950’s. Hemming Park looks like a park with lots of trees and lots of places to sit and pass the time.

I’ll save you the time looking up Perspicacious. According to Merriam-Webster it means “Of acute mental vision or discernment: Keen”.

 

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11 Sep 2018

Mosler Vault Door at the Federal Reserve Bank

8:00H

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There was no note with this print from the Loyd Sandgren collection but it was located among a binder of photographs clearly marked and captioned as images of the “New” Federal Reserve Bank which opened in the early 1950’s at Church and Hogan Streets in downtown Jacksonville. I checked with a contact at the newer Federal Reserve Bank in Jacksonville and they found former employees who worked in the 1950’s building who confirmed that this was indeed one of the Mosler Safe Company vault doors there. I also spoke with a contact who currently works in the the building, which is now the City of Jacksonville Emergency Operations Center and they confirmed that this was one of several vaults still located inside.

The Mosler Safe Company has quite a story. The company started in Cincinnati as the Mosler, Bahmann & Company in 1867 making safes and bank vaults. After some ownership changes and growth the company relocated to Hamilton, Ohio in 1891. In the 1930’s they built the vaults for Fort Knox in Kentucky where the United States stores the countries gold bullion. In checking to see if the Mosler Safe Company was still in business I came across a fascinating article connecting the company to the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. After the 1945 atomic bombing of the city, one of the three buildings still standing after the blast was the Teikoku Bank building which was located less than a quarter mile from the center of the blast. Although the building was gutted in the blast and the reinforced concrete shell of the building was badly damaged, the two Mosler Safes inside, dating from the 1920’s survived the blast with the contents intact. A year after the blast Mosler began using this in their company advertising. The survivability of the company’s safes got them contracts to build the vaults for the Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of rights in Washington, D.C. and blast doors for missile silos among the many government contracts during the cold war. The Hamilton, Ohio based company went out of business in 2001. The full article can be found here.

 

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21 Aug 2018

Mosaic Wall with Bikini Model, 1960’s

8:00H

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“This shows some detail work on the Reynolds, Smith & Hill building in Koger Park, about 1964.” LS

This is one of a small number of color prints in the Loyd Sandgren collection. The note gave me a little information about the subject matter but I’ve run into a lot of dead ends trying to establish the exact location, if the mosaic still exists or who the young lady in the photograph is. I did confirm that Reynolds, Smith & Hill was located in the old Koger Center but the new management group was unable to pin down which buildings it might have been. Some of my more learned contacts on Jacksonville architecture were also stumped but gave it a good try. Now i’m reaching out to the Vintage Jacksonville audience to see if some of you can shed a little more light on the details of this photograph.

 

 

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26 Jun 2018

The Prudential Insurance Building Under Construction

14:51H

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“Here is a picture of the new Prudential Insurance Building on the Southbank of Jacksonville. Downtown is in the background.” LS

The original Prudential Building shown here in the final stages of construction was completed in 1955, the same year as the first Baptist Hospital building which was located nearby. The building housed 22 floors and at 309 feet tall, held the record as the tallest building in Jacksonville from 1954 to 1967. The building was later known as the Aetna Building and is now called One Prudential Plaza.

 

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About Photographer Loyd Sandgren

I first met Loyd Sandgren in 1997 as I was putting photo gear back into my car after... Learn More