29 Color Kodachrome Photos of Berlin In 1953

A Californian's color photographs of West Germany

1950s Berlin In Color.

West Germany In Kodachrome7-2-1953- Kurfurstendam- Berlin- Germany

 

Southern Californian Irma Louise took these Kodachrome photographs of Berlin, West Germany, in the summer of 1953. We love them.

Collector Paul Thorne tells us about how he came by the photos, and what he knows about the woman behind the camera. If anyone knows more, please let us know.

All I know about Irma Louise I learned from my accountant, who inherited her personal effects upon her death in (including the slide collection). He was going to throw them out so I rescued them thinking it would be fun to gradually reveal them. She was his client as well. The rest I’ve put together from just studying the pictures.

She died at 100 in 2013. As far as I can tell she never had to really work and never had children. I think her family were quite well off. Her parents are in many of the early world travel Kodachrome photos. She traveled with them all over the world.

 

West Germany In Kodachrome 7-2-1953- ERII- Coronation Film Showing- Berlin- Germany

7-2-1953- Queen Elizaabeth 2 – Coronation Film Showing

She became the head of the South Bay Camera Club in Southern California in the mid-1950s.That seems to have become her passion. Many of the slides were grouped as part of her many slide show presentations. Hence the large number of title slides and the model shoots which were arranged by her for the club.

She eventually met her husband there, and they started taking photos together. (some good ones of them kicking-back together in there first apartment, and later entertaining the family and friends at their house). John became the projector operator for the club and he was very fond of the rural southwest and sailing (he was a sail-maker by trade.)

They lived in Palos Verdes and most of their travels were in the US. They lived a upper middle class life by all appearances.

After John died in the early 1980s Irma became more passionate about nature photography. I haven’t scanned too many of those yet. But there are hundreds of slides of 1980’s Alaska wilderness yet to be revealed. She got one of those really long lenses and went out on snow-cats to photograph polar bears and the like several times, well inter her late seventies. The last photos I have seem to date from about 1989. She would have been 76.

I’d say I have scanned about 3/5 of the total slides. There are a few hundred more of the world travel photos to get to. I’ll probably go at the rest of those next. There are boxes all over in closets, garage etc. I only scan when I have a large block of free time, which I never know when will happen.

I think Irma Louise (she went by the two names together always) was an example of a very modern woman who was born into a traditional world. I never met her but I did hear that she was firmly against digital photography and thought it was not real photography. I never added the photographic details of her slides, other than date and title but she meticulously scribbled on them every exposure setting and f-stop reading etc. One of many reasons it seemed a shame to let these pictures go unseen.

 

Irma Louise vintage

Irma Louise

West Germany In Kodachrome 7-3-1953- Construction in Berlin- Germany

7-3-1953 – Construction site

West Germany Kodachrome 1953- At Kaiser Wilhelm Tower- Berlin- Germany

At Kaiser Wilhelm Tower

West Germany In Kodachrome1953- Kaiserdam Strasse- East-West Axel- Berlin- Germany

Kaiserdam Strasse- East-West Axel

West Germany In Kodachrome7-2-1953- Pool- Olympic Stadium- Berlin- Germany

7-2-1953 – Pool- Olympic Stadium

West Germany In Kodachrome

Olympic Stadium

West Germany In Kodachrome 7-3-1953- Berlin- Str Scene- Germany

7-3-1953

West Germany In Kodachrome7-2-1953- Olympic Stadium- Berlin- Germany

7-2-1953- Olympic Stadium

West Germany In Kodachrome7-2-1953- Kurfurstendam- Subway Entrance- Berlin- Germany

7-2-1953- Kurfurstendam- Subway Entrance

West Germany In Kodachrome7-2-1953- Kurfurstendam- Berlin- Germany

7-2-1953- Kurfurstendam

West Germany In Kodachrome7-2-1953- Kurfurstendam- Berlin- Germany

7-2-1953 – Kurfurstendam

West Germany In Kodachrome7-2-1953- At East Berlin Gate- New Name for Axelstrasse- 17 June

7-2-1953- At East Berlin Gate- New Name for Axelstrasse- 17 June

 

7-3-1953- Berlin- Str Scene- Germany

West Germany In Kodachrome 7-3-1953- Berlin- Str Scene- Germany

 

West Germany In Kodachrome 7-2-1953- Tech University Berlin- Germany Sign: "Restoration through aid of USA and Bund"

7-27-2-1953- Tech University Berlin- Germany
Sign: “Restoration through aid of USA and Bund”1953- Tech University Berlin- Germany
Sign: “Restoration through aid of USA and Bund”

 

West Germany In Kodachrome 7-2-1953- Berlin at Play- July- Wannsee- Germany

7-2-1953- Berlin at Play- July- Wannsee- Germany

 

West Germany In Kodachrome 7-2-1953- East Berlin- Unter Den Linden Begins at Gate- Former Rathaus at end

7-2-1953- East Berlin- Unter Den Linden Begins at Gate- Former Rathaus at end

 

West Germany In Kodachrome7-2-1953- Apt Houses Berlin- Germany

7-2-1953- Apt Houses Berlin- Germany

 

West Germany In Kodachrome7-2-1953- Racetrack was to be fastest in World-Incomplete before war- Berlin- Germany

7-2-1953- Racetrack was to be fastest in World-Incomplete before war- Berlin- Germany

West Germany In Kodachrome1953- Kaiserdam Str Berlin - Looking East

1953- Kaiserdam Str Berlin – Looking East

West Germany In Kodachrome 7-2-1953- Grunewaldturm (Restaurant)-Berlin-Former Kaiser Wilhelm Turm

7-2-1953- Grunewaldturm (Restaurant)-Berlin-Former Kaiser Wilhelm Turm

1953- Russian Memorial & Reichstag- Berlin- Germany

West Germany In Kodachrome1953- Russian Memorial & Reichstag- Berlin- Germany

 

West Germany In Kodachrome1953- Kuefurstendam Strasses- Berlin- Germany

1953- Kuefurstendam Strasses- Berlin- Germany

 

West Germany Kodachrome1953- Berlin from Plane- Germany

1953- Berlin from Plane- Germany

 

West Germany In Kodachrome7-2-1953- Apt Bldgs destroyed nr Potsdamerplatz- Berlin- Germany

7-2-1953- Apt Bldgs destroyed nr Potsdamerplatz- Berlin- Germany

 

West Germany In Kodachrome 7-2-1953- Potsdamerplatz at end of St- Berlin- Germany

7-2-1953- Potsdamerplatz at end of St- Berlin- Germany

West Germany In Kodachrome 7-3-1953- Kurfurstendam- Berlin- Germany

7-3-1953- Kurfurstendam- Berlin- Germany

All photos copyright: Found Slides