Who Were They?

Lost and forgotten photos from the past

We are going to step out of the 19th century to examine some gorgeous 1920s vintage photos found in an antique shop in Orange, CA. Today is a lovely young woman with a very cute bob haircut and sailor suit. I just love the photographs that have the subject looking upward in an optimistic and hopeful expression. The photo is about 4×6 and is an ornate cardstock folder, the type that will fold back on itself so the photo can be displayed.

The Murillo Studio was in the lobby of the Laughlin Theatre Building at 347 Pine Ave. at 4th Street, Long Beach, CA. This intersection is about 3/4 of a mile from the beach and is now the site of a large shopping plaza and a Gold’s Gym. The Laughlin was a progressive, art deco styled building that preceded the Paris exposition in 1925 which eventually defined the period as “art deco.” The Laughlin was built in 1915 and stood until 1933 when an earthquake damaged the building beyond repair and it was demolished. You can see photos of the theater by clicking through to this site and following the links in the comments. The building was very lovely. You can see that there are many businesses in the building, including a hair stylist, a dentist and some sort of malted milk retailer (?). Below is a photo of the theatre when it was first built.

I don’t know who this young lady was, but I hope that her hopeful and optimistic photo corresponds to a happy life.

UPDATE: I am recycling this photo as a Sepia Saturday post, where the theme for the week is movie actors etc. Searching high and low through my photos I can tell you I don’t have any movie actors or film star photos because I almost exclusively am a 19th century girl. However, this beautiful young lady caught my eye and I was delighted to discover the photo was taken not too far from where I live.

UPDATE  2: Some of the commenters compared this young lady with Louise Brooks. Since I was unfamiliar, I googled her and there is a striking resemblance! Click here for a wiki on her. She was widely credited for popularizing the bob haircut that was the look in the 1920s.

Louise Brooks

Click through to Sepia Saturday for hopefully better themed photos inspired by Claude Rains and the early motion picture stars who set the bar for every actor ever since.

Raise the curtain for more

16 thoughts on “Why was this lost?

  1. She is beautiful, I love that short haircut: the bob..it is still popular! :)


  2. Wendy says:

    Your girl is a cutie. Love the shine in her hair.


  3. Jan Eaton says:

    Beautiful girl with beautiful haircut.


  4. what a gorgeous theatre/building that was! Im so nostalgic about old buildings.


  5. I missed this the first time around.


  6. Joy says:

    I love that sailor top, and of course the bob.


  7. Little Nell says:

    She does have something of the look of Clara Bow though so perhaps we could say she had film star looks.


  8. Velvet Sacks says:

    What a lovely picture! The girl’s eyes are gorgeous.


  9. Karen S. says:

    Her hairdo of the day reminds me of the famous Wanda Gag! Great post, thanks!


  10. Bob Scotney says:

    The eyes have it. I like the syle of the theatre too.


  11. tyrogers6200 says:

    She’s beautiful, love her hairstyle and sailor dress.


  12. Christine H. says:

    She sure looks like Louise Brooks, but I don’t suppose it could be.


  13. Linda says:

    I thought Louise Brooks, too. The photo lighting is extraordinary, brings out each strand of hair.


  14. A very intriguing photo. I’d say you have a genuine Miss Brooks. The location of the photographer would have been a perfect location for an actress doing a publicity tour and getting a current photo made to show off her hair. The sailor suit might have a connection to a film she was in: too.


  15. TICKLEBEAR says:

    This might be her, Louise Brooks. Enough facial features look similar enough, and the quality of this glam shot of yours would fit nicely with someone in her business.
    You should see an expert on these matters, just in case…
    Nice re-post!!


  16. phil allen says:

    [Entered some years after the above] I found a contemporary photo of my mother, which I’m framing. It was taken at Murillo Studios, probably late 20s/early ’30s. She has an unslicked slightly curly style, and a simple white sleeveless blouse ..


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