It is no secret that I love the nostalgia of the vintage lifestyle so it is always interesting to meet people who immerse themselves in it entirely. I stumbled across 1940s Ben (A.K.A Ben Morgan) whilst searching instagram and instantly fell in love with his photographs. His images are not only stunning but also so realistic of the time period. I knew I had to pick this man’s brain…
What sparked your passion for the 1940s?
From a young age I always looked at photographs of my great grandparents in the 30s-40s and I said one day I will be like my Grampy Bool. And now I’m getting there.
Is your home life as authentic as your work?
Yes. I use products that are still available today. I use 30s hoovers, razors, listen to shellac 78s and dress fully authentic to the era 24/7. My bedroom at home, well let’s just say it’s like a bombs hit it, as I have that many original items. I do intend to have a fully authentic 1930s home in a few years.
There must be a lot research involved in your lifestyle; where do you get your knowledge and influences from?
Well I get it from a number of places; from photographs, films, talking to those who lived in that era and talking to fellow people like myself.
You have a large network of friends who also immerse themselves in the vintage lifestyle, where do you meet all these interesting people?
I meet them all from events and most know me through my page 1940s Ben.
Your photography portrays something of timeless beautiful, how do you get your photographs looking so genuine?
I know what’s correct from the era. I pick the lady or gent who is the most authentic looking, along with the most authentic backdrop and I only use pre 1940s cameras.
My favourite subjects to photograph are people who are true to the era and spend their own time researching in order to be correct
What camera do you use?
Well that would be telling, but I have 16 that I use.
Tell us more about your acting career and aspirations?
I’ve been in two films so far, ‘Girls Night Out’ and a film for the Battle of Britain museum in Folkestone. On both occasions I received good comments on my authenticity.
Working on ‘Girls Night Out’ is a big deal, what was it like working on set with the likes of Rupert Everett and Emily Watson?
Unfortunately I didn’t personally work with them but filming felt normal as I am always in front of the camera anyway. Sarah Gadon and I talked a lot as she was interested about my lifestyle and called me Harry Potter due to the glasses.
What are some of your favourite Past times?
I like restoring period items in my past time and visiting locations such as The Black Country Living Museum and Whitby.
What do you think people can take away from living in the past?
Respect is the major value that modern life doesn’t have.
Would you consider yourself to be an old fashion romantic? Do you feel this is an important aspect of life?
Yes. Ladies say I’m the perfect Gent yet none want it. Women in this century want one night stands and aren’t looking for love in the same way they did back then. I get called odd as I’m a true gent
Isn’t it unfair to say that all women nowadays want one night stands and don’t believe in love, especially when women were becoming more empowered during the second world war and even after the first with the flapper movement? I’m sure there were some women back then who didn’t have wholesome values just as today, but it doesn’t make them the majority. I wonder whether it is the way modern media portrays men and women which has changed the idea of what a real man should be. Do you feel this could be the case for why women don’t want a real gent anymore?
I feel that most don’t and yes it probably is modern society that has made it this way. The saying ‘the one and only’ should still be as relevant as it was back then.
What is your most treasured possession?
My most treasured possessions are my Rolleicord camera and my great granddad’s watch which he received in 1964 for long service, it makes me feel as though he is with me.
What do you dislike most about modern life?
The lack of respect and the way people dress. I do often get told I am born in the wrong era and to them I say get me a time machine
All photos courtesy of 1940sBen