A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

Recent entries:
“Pinterest is Instagram for moms” (11/17)
“How did the Mayflower show that it liked America?"/"It hugged the shore.” (11/17)
“I was told that exercise helps with your decision making” (joke) (11/17)
Night Mayor (11/17)
“A cashier asked me if I wanted paper or plastic. I said, ‘Just put the money in a bag!!‘“ (11/17)
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Entry from January 03, 2016
“If you look like your passport photo, you need the trip”

"Passport pictures are notoriously unpleasant and unflattering,” the New York (NY) Times published in September 1930. A popular line appeared in an Associated Press story in June 1954:

“Columbia, S. C. (AP)—Passport applicants at the Federal Courthouse here are greeted by this sign: ‘If you look like your passport photograph, you need the trip.’”

American humorist Erma Bombeck (1927-1996) popularized the line in the title of her book, When You Look Like Your Passport Photo, It’s Time to Go Home (1991).


4 October 1930, Morning World-Herald (Omaha, NE), pg. 4, col. 4:
Passport Pictures.
(New York Times.) (Published September 19, 1930.—ed.)
Passport pictures are notoriously unpleasant and unflattering. The mildest mannered man looks like a thug or gunman, and a brighteyed miss becomes a heavy featured half-wit. Few travelers ever feel anything but a pang of horrid surprise almost disbelief, upon first looking at the photograph which is to identify them in a foreign country.
(...)
The distortion of passport photography is illustrated by the sage reply sent by the editor of a woman’s page to a love-sick damsel who asked how she might know if her sweetheart were really true to her. The answer was: “Send him your passport picture, and if he withstands that shock, you can depend upon it he loves you.”

16 December 1935, Brandon (Manitoba) Daily Sun, pg. 4, col. 4:
Cheerful wife to seasick husband—Never mind, dear; you’re beginning to look really like your passport photo.

29 May 1937, Brandon (Manitoba) Daily Sun, “Sun Gleams,” pg. 7, col. 3:
In London you can get a portrait taken by a distorting lens that makes you look like your passport picture.

20 February 1942, Charleston (WV) Gazette, “Bearing Down On The News” by Arthur “Bugs” Baer, pg. 6, col. 6:
The physical requirements have been let down a trifle. You don’t have to look like your passport picture any more.

6 July 1953, Bradford (PA) Era, “Round the Square,” pg. 1, col. 1:
CUTE QUIPS: With a credit line to Maurice Franks and “Partners Magazine,” we present these for a chuckle or two:

“Cheer up, chum—you’re beginning to look like your passport picture.”

18 June 1954, Morning World-Herald (Omaha, NE), “Picture Story,” pg. 1, col. 3:
Columbia, S. C. (AP)—Passport applicants at the Federal Courthouse here are greeted by this sign: “If you look like your passport photograph, you need the trip.”

30 July 1957, Aberdeen (SD) American-News, “Earl Wilson’s New York,” pg. 4, col. 5:
WISH I’D SAID THAT: “If you look like your passport photo, you probably need the trip.”

Google Books
Abroad :
British Literary Traveling Between the Wars

By Paul Fussell
New York, NY: Oxford University Press
1980
Pg. 28:
Twenty years later a cartoon in the New York Times for Feb. 26, 1978, depicts a man at the rail of a liner (it must be a cruise ship merely, by this time) with a woman looking ill. He: “Are you O.K., Sylvia? Suddenly you look like your passport photo.”

OCLC WorldCat record
When you look like your passport photo, it’s time to go home
Author: Erma Bombeck
Publisher: New York, NY : HarperCollins, ©1991.
Edition/Format: Print book : Biography : English : 1st ed
Database: WorldCat
Summary:
The author tells of her travel experiences around the world, addressing the questions of travelers everywhere.

Google Books
20,000 Quips & Quotes
By Evan Esar
New York, NY: Barnes & Noble Books
1995, ©1968
Pg. 597:
If you look like your passport photograph, you need the trip.

Google Books
The Mammoth Book of Comic Quotes
By Geoff Tibballs
London: Constable & Robinson Ltd.
2004
Pg. ?:
Airplane travel is nature’s way of making you look like your passport photo.
AL GORE

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityTransportation • Sunday, January 03, 2016 • Permalink