Philadelphia, Oklahoma City, and Los Angeles: 1950-1953. Album. This 13” x 11” album contains about 100 b/w photographs (one in color), mostly 5” x 3.5” snapshots attached with corner mounts. Most are captioned. The photographs are in nice shape. Many of the album pages have repaired binding holes and badly-worn margins. The album has some minor wear and soiling. Good to Very Good. Item #009081
The first page of the album is titled, “Volume I / The Tillman’s – Their Life and Times / 1950-1951.” It begins with a nine page section of 22 photographs documenting their “delayed honeymoon” to Los Angeles where Theodore Tillman attended a conference for life insurance salesmen. In route, the Tillmans visited Theodore’s parents in Oklahoma City who joined them on the trip west. Elizabeth was impressed by the Painted Desert but found Hollywood and it stars lacking, “no wonder Max Factor and Perc Westmore (the most famous make-up artist of his day) are so much in demand.” She did however include two photos of Eddie “Rochester” Anderson’s mansion; Anderson was Jack Benny’s long-time African-American side kick on both radio and television. The remainder of the album focuses on Theodore Tillman, Jr. and photographically documents his first three years of life in typical baby-book fashion including naked baby photos, being held by grandparents, first steps, playing with toys, a Santa visit, an Easter egg hunt, etc. In the early 1950s, Theodor Tillman, Sr. was a journeyman insurance agent, just about to hit the big-time. From a postcard in this album, it appears that at the time he was working for Metropolitan Life, but he was soon to transfer to New York Life, where by the mid-1960s he had become one of its top ten insurance agents. Tillman was one of the first African-Americans to become a member of the prestigious Million Dollar Round Table, and his success was repeatedly featured in Ebony magazine throughout the 1960s.