Friday, October 14, 2011

City Windows, by Margaret and Gilbert Riswold (1973)

Found this at the Salvation Army last week. The "Holt Basic Reading System," was a "total language approach" curriculum for children from preschool the sixth grade. In addition to textbooks and workbooks, the system including all kinds of supplementary materials, including "lightscreens to provide a viewing device for filmwords, filmpictures and filmstories, class wordbooks with study cards and teacher's guides and audiovisual kits, including recordings, utilitarian (phonetic analysis) and aesthetic (musical comedy)." This "book" is identified as a supplementary unit to that system, and it doesn't really contain any text or have pages like a traditional text. Instead, it just folds out into a ten-foot accordion with illustrated storefronts on one side, and richly-colored photographs of shop interiors on the other:

I love seeing these interior shots of old city shops. It's pretty crazy to think that to my kids' generation, shops like this must seem as ancient as the Walker Evans and WPA pictures of country stores that made such an impression on me as a kid. 


I really love this old butcher shop:

There are definitely still bakeries like this one around.  We go to one regularly in Hamtramck.

In the middle of the "book" is this two-page spread showing a construction site from the sidewalk (illustrated) and a photo of what's behind the fence:

And last, the corner drug store: