It has been a longstanding legend here at PictureBook PartyBooths that our beloved great aunt Mildred devised the first photo booth machinery whilst crystal gazing with her dear friend Hetty back in 1929, incidentally the same year wooden bathing suits were invented for women to aid with swimming.
Mildred, or Millie to her friends, was a self-confessed eccentric and lover of all things peculiar, she would skip rather than walk and threw tea parties for dogs all of which would be dressed in the finest fashions of the day. Within a month of her vision she had set about piecing together her plans, spending day and night of the next 4 years confined to her old converted potting shed, which she used as a makeshift workshop.
The labour and late nights took their toll on poor Mildred and her neighbours began to notice changes in her appearance, not to mention the unusual sounds and flashes of light coming from her potting shed at all hours. They soon started to mock her preposterous way of life – ‘Muddled Millie’ they would call her! But that didn’t deter Mildred from her goal – to Mildred it was a mechanical masterpiece, an invention that would lift her to the heights of fame with the top inventors of the time. Inventors such as Kent H. Hoff the creator of the ‘radio buggy’ – a pram equipped with a barely noticeable, non-intrusive antenna and loudspeaker that played the latest chart hits by artists the likes of Eddie Cantor and Cab Calloway.
Unfortunately things didn’t turn out for poor old Mildred. Plagued by the concerns of her friend Rosie and the growing tension of her neighbours, Millie was forced to give up on her vision. Four years on and penniless, Mildred sold her home and moved away never to be seen again, although tales tell that she spent her remaining years in a traveling circus touring Europe. It turns out she was a skilled fortune teller and had a penchant for guessing people’s weight.
In 2012, whilst emptying out some old clutter in the loft of a passed relative’s house, we stumbled upon great aunt Mildred’s workbook containing all of her original ideas and decided to continue her work and the rest as they say is history!