Label Text: The son of a wealthy banker, Jacques Henri Lartique grew up amid the wonders of turn-of-the-century, "belle-époque" France. As a young boy, he was thrilled by airplanes and automobiles, the fashion and the farce of the world and people around him. Before the age of ten, he began to use one of these exciting inventions--the camera--to obsessively record his life, a magical moment when the world was in flux. As an amateur photographer, he captured the emerging modern world of mechanisms and movement, experienced within the hijinks of his friends and family.
Lartigue enjoyed photographing unusual, new sports and odd-looking sporting aparatuses as humorous curiosities. Even as a teenager, Lartigue often used his brother, Maurice, nicknamed "Zissou," to reveal an absurd view of both popular and obscure modern technological "advancements." Here, Zissou poses in a tweed suit to model the "rubber pocket"--an inner tube with rubber legs that was develped as an innovative aid to duck hunting. A 1926 issue of Popular Mechanics magazine describes a variation of this floating suit as "very satisfactory" in permitting a duck hunter in California to "float safely without getting wet" while allowing "free movement of the arms and hands."