Michael S. Goldfarb
Goldfarb the Grey!
(639 × 939)
Black & White Beacon
of Beacon, New York.
Through My Lens
Sarah Goldfarb’s short
about her memories of her paternal grandparents (Michael’s parents).
especially if you knew
Michael on the Fedora Lounge
is a very active group of forums dedicated to retro interests.
Michael has been a frequent contributor under the username
commenting on varied subjects including movies, TV, music, photography,
history, books… and jackets and hats.
Check out his recent postings.
Custom “Early Thirties” Fedora
The master hatter at
The Northwest Hat Company
made Michael this replica of a type of fedora you see everywhere
in late twenties and early thirties films and photos,
based on his specs.
It’s pearl gray 100% beaver felt (the Cadillac of hat felts!),
with a wide black ribbon, moderate bound brim, and just a center dent.
made, and for only about $75 more than what today’s Stetsons cost,
it’s an outstanding value.
This hat is on a whole other plane of construction and material quality
Michael is listed in the
He shoots with vintage cameras—Minox,
has authored a Port Halcyon
His photos are at
and there are many more below.
Hat and Lambskin Raiders Jacket
the movie costume shop in England
that made the originals worn by
and his stuntmen in the
It’s the Akubra
These hats are tough as nails, beautifully made,
and dirt cheap for the price at current Australia/US currency conversion rates.
(274 × 342).
An Aussie bush hat (actually, they
call it a
down there) specifically for cool-weather hiking to
replace Michael’s old circa-1988 fedora that died early in 2007.
at a pond at
(408 × 369).
It turned out to be a great summer hat
and is sparing Michael’s classier
Panama from further sweat stains.
It’s got a very wide brim for maximum shade,
is a light color so it doesn’t absorb heat,
and has six ventilation holes (and no satin lining),
which keeps it much cooler than his other fur-felt hats.
Photo by Sarah,
on her digital camera—this is a tiny
piece of the 5-megapixel image.
We were exploring the very cool
Natural Stone Bridge
in Pottersville, NY on our 2007 Adirondacks trip.
an elegant forties-style fedora with a teardrop crown and a bound-edge brim.
The color, depending on which Akubra dealer you get it from,
is called either mid-grey, steel grey, or carbon grey.
But whatever it’s called,
it’s very dark and looks black in anything less than very bright light.
(1072 × 1218).
An October 2015 selfie with another
Type A-2 Flight Jacket
- A pretty accurate reproduction of an Army Air Corps
(664 × 884)
from WW II,
“Vest Pocket” folding camera model from 1912;
- A current-spec USAF
(478 × 445).
A high-end reproduction
(1164 × 1064)
A–2 jacket custom-made to my measurements.
Not a generic A-2 like the others,
this reflects a particular maker and contract
(there were a dozen different manufacturers and two dozen different
contracts for the A-2 jacket from 1930 to 1943,
with significant variations in hide, lining, colors,
shape and position of epaulets and pockets, etc.)
It’s the Jacob Dubow 27798 contract in dull russet horsehide by the
Leather Coat Company.
Good Wear Leather is a one-man operation on the west coast—a
who learned to make these jackets—with high
prices and a long wait,
because his jackets are such accurate repros that
they’re referred to as “1942 in a box!”
- Something a little different:
a very accurate reproduction of a WW II
flight jacket—Type M-422A,
goatskin with a mouton collar.
This jacket would soon evolve into the famed Type G-1,
long the standard flight jacket for Navy and Marine aviators.
496 × 802.)
- Sid Goldfarb in an A-2
Navy Pea Coat
Michael’s latest military
(590 × 920, December, 2007),
This is the older-style 10-button, heavier wool model
made by the Navy’s contractor since the Vietnam War,
Sterlingwear of Boston.
(The current mil-spec model is lighter wool with fleece [vs. quilted] lining
and has only eight buttons.)
Note that they’re now black
instead of the traditional very dark navy blue.
It’s very warm.
The hat is Michael’s
that he’s had for several years,
and the background
is Charles Point Park in
with the digital camera Michael got him for Hanukkah 2007;
Michael had to crop and reduce the image quite a bit
to get it down to a manageable size to send over his dialup connection.
He lightened the midrange tonal values in the peacoat
picture to make the buttons and lapels more visible.
Black Cowhide Police Jacket
(1098 × 1560)
the premiere US police jacket maker.
A clearance sale bargain, this “Chicago” model
is a heavyweight motorcycle jacket
that’s much warmer than Michael’s other leathers,
lining and tight nylon wristlets.
Solidly constructed of tough cowhide,
with an action back design for unrestricted movement,
and odd police-useful features like five(!) interior pockets.
US Army Olive Drab Field Jacket (M-1941)
At The Front
Worn everywhere throughout WWII
even after it was replaced with the
this snazzy design was based on civilian windbreakers…
and proved to be ill-equipped for battlefield conditions.
The wool flannel lining wasn’t warm enough for really cold weather,
the big open hand pockets weren’t practical
for carrying things like ammunition,
and the button-over-zipper front
proved difficult for medics to cut open to access wounds.
This excellent reproduction is a summer-weight version
that just uses a second layer of the exterior cotton for its lining.
(This jacket was also issued to some Marines… including
(336 × 596)!)
Casual Cowhide Racer
(684 × 1068),
Model 654, by
NYC—a contemporary streetwear
in the style of classic 20th century
But made in softer/thinner leather, and minus typical riding jacket features
like a zip-out lining, side buckles, bi-swing back, or underarm gussets…
and the sleeve zippers are merely cosmetic:
they work, but don’t actually tighten the sleeve closure when zipped.
Superior and/or classic examples of the
café racer jacket are at
The following are high-end UK manufacturers—Michael could envision getting
custom-sized one built to his specs (his choice of leather and hardware)
one of these someday:
US Army M–43 Field Jacket
(616 × 1012)
not-great reproduction of the
masterfully designed infantry jacket of late WWII,
a huge influence on more
modern field jackets like the ubiquitous
The four large pockets, inner drawstring,
and concept of a layered temperature-control system
with this light jacket as the outer shell were all innovative.
Michael chose to get it in black rather than the issued olive drab,
but this repro is incorrect in several other ways.
It still looks great and is very comfortable when a light cotton jacket’s
all that’s required.
USAF MA–1 Flight Jacket
(681 × 926)
standard commercial model of
the very popular fifties/sixties
though issued jackets were only made in sage green or navy blue,
never this gunmetal gray.
A big zipper with a wide wind flap behind,
constructed from two layers of tough nylon with insulation between,
and knits on the sleeves, bottom, and collar.
Great in the snow;
Michael actually got it a size larger than usual
for layering over heavy sweaters.
US Army Ike Jacket
(630 × 845)
excellent reproduction of the iconic WWII jacket,
in the olive drab color worn by enlisted men.
Heavy wool with cotton lining, very warm,
with four large pockets
(two inner, two outer),
and covered buttons like the
In fact, this jacket was intended
used as a warmth layer under the M–43,
but it was so stylish
that it quickly replaced the standard uniform coat for everyday wear.
(It’s called the
General Eisenhower’s personal tailor first made them for him—based
on the design of the British Army’s
it was standardized and mass produced.)
British Belted Bush Jacket
(378 × 552)
What Price Glory—a good reproduction of the
classic British Army garment issued to officers for over a hundred years,
and the inspiration for the big-game hunter
Medium-weight cotton fabric resists thorns and insect bites,
and the light khaki color reflects the sun and blends
into desert or forest surroundings.
It’s great for warm-weather hiking and such.
US Army Tanker Jacket
(1056 × 1660)
of the best designs to come out of WWII,
cotton exterior with wool-blanket lining
and wool knits on sleeves, neck, and waist.
Intended for tank crews, everyone (not just infantry, but officers and flyers)
scrambled to get their hands on these,
as they’re much warmer
than the then-issued field jackets and leather flight jackets.
Meretzky in front of the late Wah Kue Co, 58 Mott Street,
known for its comics and
- On the set of
Revenge of Blood,
April, 1973, in the garage of 2 Sunnyside Drive, Yonkers, NY.
Michael says, “I know that these were taken with my old
Petri Color 35,
on good old Tri-X.
These are only moderate-res images (150dpi from 5×7 prints),
and I have to apologize for the huge amounts of dust/spots/etc,
mostly on the prints themselves,
along with some scanner-dust.
I did some digital cleanup on these files,
but just primarily around the faces and bodies.”
- The Dupe, August 1975.
scanned from Michael’s 5×7 prints from his
Petri Color 35.
- cast portrait on Beechwood Terrace
(832 × 660)
- abduction on Ludlow Street
(958 × 660)
- tripod on Hawthorne Avenue
(749 × 656)
- break from filming (970 × 584)
- Hunter’s Revenge,
the sequel to Jack Roth’s brilliant
These and the ones from
scanned from 8×10s that Jack had shot/printed.
Michael is not sure exactly when
these are from: around 1972 or 1973?
- The Case of the Phony Movie Studio,
the uncompleted(?) sequel to
The Strange Case of the Poison Pies.
Both photos in the
Meretzky’s living room at
Grateful Dead: Sunday, May 8, 1977
Michael finally got around to making a scan of his (in)famous Cornell
Grateful Dead picture
(1416 × 1035).
He actually went into the darkroom and made a brand-new 8×10 print
The 31-year-old negative was still in great shape!
(Aside: Let’s see if 30 years from now,
people can get usable digital images
off of their camera memory cards and CD-ROMs,
when all of today’s technology is long obsolete!)
As usual, he did have to clean up some scanner and negative dust,
but he’s sure you’ll agree that the shot looks great.
Michael took this with his old
Petri Color 35—1/15
second, wide-open at
He exposed it exactly on one of the pauses in the vocals on
which is why there’s no movement-blur.
This was a general-admission show in the
and we were able to maneuver right up
to the front of the stage—that’s Michael’s college roommate
Alan’s head in between
This show is generally considered one of the Dead’s very best,
and the widely circulated tapes
(Michael has long had it on reel-to-reel, but you can
now download digital sound files from several Internet sources)
prove that they were in great form that night.
Scarlet Begonias/Fire On The Mountain
is amazing, and the rest of the second set is pretty awesome too!
But don’t just take Michael’s word for it—see the
Dead’s own site.
New England Aquarium
(977 × 580).
Photo by D. Goldfarb.
- Stand of
which must have been planted
as an ornamental—’cause it sure isn’t native to
the new Marcia’s Mile trail at Arden Point in Garrison.
IIIS subminiature camera,
film, 150dpi scan from a bordered 5 × 7 print.)
- Breakneck Ridge
from the top of Storm King Mountain (772 × 948), October, 2005.
He shot this with a long (100mm) lens on his OM-2 SLR
so it’s a bit compressed
(i.e., the ridge appears flattened),
but you can just make out the tracks/tunnel entrance towards the bottom.
- Mount Equinox
(683 × 470)
in the Taconic Mountains,
looking eastwards towards the Green Mountains.
- Indian Brook Road
(1080 × 720)
in Fahnestock Park.
Classic fall foliage in 2005,
shot with an
OM-2, 100mm lens, Kodak High Definition 400.
- Kaaterskill Falls
(618 × 1140)
- The old
(927 × 1383)
Harriman State Park,
a Summer 2005 Minox picture from
- Stunning cliffs at
(1344 × 924)
B subminiature camera,
Kodak Supra 100 film,
300 dpi scan from a bordered 3½ × 5 print.)
- Sam’s Point
(765 × 1137)
for Wonder Lake State Park in Putnam County
- Inside the
Old Croton Aqueduct
(1688 × 1122),
just north of the Ossining double arch bridge and waste weir, looking north.
(The lit/floored area extends about 75 feet north of the weir
and 25 feet south.)
Beyond the lit portion,
the tunnel continues for several hundred feet before hitting a wall:
apparently Ossining still keeps it full
and draws water from the sealed portion beyond at certain times.
- Forties couple
(974 × 1158)
- Wedding, 1948 (1431 × 1073).
Abe and Judy Geisner are against the stained glass;
Mark Meretzky’s mother is the one with all the eyebrow pencil.
- Sid and the boys:
(1696 × 1320)
High school portrait
(1041 × 1392)
- Teddy portrait,
(1108 × 1340)
“We have no apartment,
but we’re having an engagement party.”
(1020 × 824)
(464 × 656)
- Michael’s father
(630 × 1377)
(466 × 628)
in period costume
magic, 600 × 774)
- That wonderfully noirish
late-1940’s self-portrait of Michael’s
(548 × 632)
from his early days as a pro.
Move over, James Dean!
- Michael’s father in 1970:
newspaper (920 × 634);
pizza (878 × 598).
- Michael’s dachshund
(825 × 1136)
Shot with Michael’s
Pony 828 rollfilm camera
(his second camera, the one he had before his first
and processed/printed by him in his own darkroom,
later to be the first home of
- Irving Levitas
(410 × 848),
Kansas City, Missouri, 1948.
- Irving Levitas
(835 × 1043)
in late ’67 or ’68—an early
(note the grain from 1960s Tri-X
in an 8×11mm
neg 4×5 print!).
is coming online.
- Dracular Countenance
(704 × 826),
Shot with one of the studio’s 35mm Nikons as an experiment in dramatic
Michael set up the shot with Tom Wrona as stand-in,
who then snapped the photo when Michael took his place.
The sunburst effect was achieved by placing a special-effects screen
(a 4×5 inch piece of film containing the pattern)
over the negative when making the print.
Michael’s mother, when spotting (retouching) the dried print,
added some strokes to fill in his attempted moustache and thin beard.
Re-mounted on a piece of cardboard,
this picture hung proudly in Michael’s room for years.
(The phrase “Dracular Countenance”
was actually first applied to Michael by
about a year later.)
- Mark Meretzky
being beaten at chess by Lee Wertheimer’s father
in Tibbets Brook Park
(628 × 876), 1970.
- Jack Roth’s
(886 × 620), 1977.
- Report on hats, 1968–1969
The Palisades and view therefrom
(with Frank the Tank, 1395 × 460)
sewage treatment plant
(1401 × 466).
Shot from the
in June, 2006
on Michael’s trusty
with 100mm lens on good old Tri-X.
Scanned at 150 dpi from bordered 4×10 prints.
- The ruins of George Zabriski’s mansion “Cliff-Dale”
on the Palisades by the Long Path;
see articles at
Michael shot these the same day as the above Yonkers waterfront pics.
35mm Tri-X in Olympus OM-2, 24mm lens, scans from 5×7.
New England, September 2012
The last four were taken on Sidney Goldfarb’s Sanyo point & shoot.
- Michael barbecuing in his A-2 leather jacket at
iPhone photo by
(1154 × 1064)
- David atop
Michael used fill flash,
which did a great job of evening out the shadows.
It prevented the mega-bright sun
from rendering his face with too much contrast.
An old technique that still works great with digital.
(1632 × 1224)
- Looking west towards Lake Champlain from
(3264 × 1676)
- Mount Washington,
(3264 × 1668)
looking southwest towards the
Lakes of the Clouds
(3264 × 1880)
The Goldfarb Chronicles
- Fried-Louis Studio
Commercial Photography: A Yonkers Sccess Story for Over Fifty Years
- Fried-Louis Studio Portfolio:
Gems from the Early Years.
There’s loads of detail in the scans of these mostly 4×5-sheet
though the PDF file is set to display at 100%,
try looking at the images at 150% or 200%!
- Reckless Metal:
Teddy Goldfarb’s 1960s Metal Sculptures
- Michael The Magnificent,
noted Yonkers conjurer of the 1970s.
The New York Times
New York Times
on Thursday, March 24, 2005
(p. G3 in the Circuits section),
accompanied by these
Here is a
of the article.
He explains how it happened.
“I was contacted by the author of the article last week—he
must have seen
my Port Halcyon
or maybe he saw my glowing comments in the
feedback section of the
he asked if I would answer a few questions
about my interest in flight jackets and my dealings with US Authentic.
I ended up sending back long responses…
“When I was growing up, WWII was still recent
was a hit on TV,
and my friends and I often played
European theater commando games in
Despite being a lifelong pacifist,
I’ve always been partial to classic military styles: I
wore a number of flight jacket knockoffs as a kid, and I spent my high
school and college years wearing N3–B snorkel parkas.”
Links to other people