Farm in the courtyard, August 1959 / J. H. Darchinger

Two images by J. H. Darchinger in this ZEIT photo essay caught my attention. They were taken in 1950s Germany and show an interesting overlap of past and present.

The first photo (above) shows a courtyard farmer in 1959. These are the same courtyards that I’ve written about in the Finding Old Berlin series, especially the last photo of this post, which shows a similar building built off the main apartment building. These smaller buildings are now something of a rarity to find. Many seem to have been taken down—when you do come across them, they are often in pretty grim states of disrepair.

Photograph: J. H. Darchinger | ZEIT ONLINE
The second photo of the kids crowding around a candy machine is kind of wonderful because you can still find these machines all over Germany. Speaking only for Berlin, they seem to be mostly neglected these days and I really wonder if they ever see action at all anymore. This might be partly due to the fact that instead of candy, they now offer cheap, faded toys. I like the idea that once they were a center attraction of the neighborhood.

Below, a few of the boxes from around our neighborhood. Note: they are only on the unrenovated buildings, so the vending machines seem to be an endangered species, too. If anybody has more information or memories about them, I’d love to hear.
German Toy Vending Machines / Field Office

German Toy Vending Machines / Field Office

German Toy Vending Machines / Field Office

German Toy Vending Machines / Field Office

Photographs by J. H. Darchinger and Rebecca Silus