From the Archives: Exploding flashbulb

July 29, 1948: Doris Mae Normandine, attorney Werner O. Graf and a Los Angeles Examiner photographer
July 29, 1948: Doris Mae Normandine and attorney Werner O. Graf cringe as a Los Angeles Examiner photographer’s flashbulb expodes.
(Bruce Cox/Los Angeles Times)

Doris Mae Normandine was a witness in court during divorce proceedings between Dr. J. Salem Rubin and Lorraine Rubin. Normandine babysat for the Rubins.

Los Angeles Times photographer Bruce Cox reported he was trying to get a picture of Normandine when the flashbulb exploded.

This photo appeared in the July 30, 1948, Los Angeles Times. In 1952, this photo also appeared in Among Ourselves, a Times-Mirror employee newsletter.


The Los Angeles Examiner photographer remained unidentified. Both times this image was published with the photographer’s face cropped out. What’s unknown is if this was a deliberate crop or just the edge of the negative. The original print for this scan does not have the face.

Meggaflash Technologies of Ireland still makes flashbulbs. Their website includes this safety sheet.

This post originally was published on Jan. 26, 2012.