What year is this? #3: answer

Thank you very much for all your well considered responses, and in particular to Dee’s forensic level of investigation. This is a hard picture to date and, as many of you said, the products shown - Virol, Serol et al - were available over a wide time period. The boy’s clothes do not belong to one era - even some school children today wear similar sandals. And maybe the whole thing is a recreation…

So highlight the space below to find out the answer:

Its 1938. This picture was sent in by Lynda Kendall, a freelance graphic designer. Over to Lynda:

“This is my dad outside his dad’s chemist shop in West Kensington opposite the tube station in 1938. The shop is called W.Pickard (you can just make out the sign) and my grandfather and a Mr. Pearce bought it from Mr. Pickard in the early 1930s. The bike is a Fairy cycle and very popular then.”

This picture is hard to date because it is in colour. Although colour photography had been commercially available for just over 30 years in 1938, it was by no means common, and it was expensive. In the 1930s, somebody who could afford colour film would be very unlikely to waste it photographing a schoolboy outside a Chemist’s shop - unless it was the chemist himself, using some of his film to photograph his son…

Thank you very much indeed to Lynda Kendall and her father.

If you like this, try:

6 comments to What year is this? #3: answer

  • Paul Barnfather

    Wow, I was a mile away!

    Great picture, by the way. and at least I know who made the bike now…

  • Candida Drew-Prior

    Very clever! Some great detective work there. I agree with Paul, the picture and colour quality is gorgeous.

  • Mike Aston

    Ahh - I had 1940, 1 year out! Really is a wonderful photo! My father had a very similar bike too.

  • Dee

    Boo! I was off by seven years! I was trying to factor in the dates of colour photography, but as you said, it wasn’t popular then.

    Thanks for a wonderful challenge - and even more so for the recognition of my efforts!

  • estephan500

    wow. deep down I was really thinking that it was a trick, taken in 2010 in front of a retro shop.

    the main thing that fooled me was this website’s whole point: there are crisp, good color images of old times out there. hard to convince myself of that deep down.

    this is a truly great site.

  • Arthur Mathews

    Ah!… only 14 years out. (Fooled!)

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