Monday, May 29, 2017

Fascinating Vintage Photographs Capture the Diversity of Those Living in the Russian Empire during the 1870s and 1880s

The Russian Empire stretched from eastern Europe, across Asia to include parts of North America. Ruling this vast area was the Tsar – or emperor – who governed an incredible range of people that may come as a surprise to some.

Explorer George Kennan, from Ohio, collected hundreds of cartes de visites — picture postcards which display the wide variety of the emperor’s subjects during the 1870s and 1880s.

In 1864, he secured employment with the Russian–American Telegraph Company to survey a route for a proposed overland telegraph line through Siberia and across the Bering Strait. Having spent two years in the wilds of Kamchatka, he returned to Ohio via Saint Petersburg and soon became well known by his lectures, articles and a book about his travels.

In his book, Tent Life in Siberia, Kennan provided ethnographies, histories and descriptions of many native peoples in Siberia, that are still important for researchers. They include stories about the Koraks (modern spelling: Koryaks), Kamchatdal (Itelmens), Chookchees (Chukchis), Yookaghirs (Yukaghirs), Chooances (Chuvans), Yakoots (Yakuts) and Gakouts. During 1870, he returned to St. Petersburg and travelled to Dagestan, in the northern Caucasus region, which had been annexed by the Russian Empire only ten years previously. There he became the first American to explore its highlands, a remote Muslim region of herders, silversmiths, carpet-weavers and other craftsmen. He travelled onward through the northern Caucasus area, stopping in Samashki and Grozny, before returning once more to America in 1871. These travels earned him a reputation as an "expert" on all matters pertaining to Russia.

This Afro-Karabakh mountaineer from the Caucasus region is one of those few might associate with Russia.

A woman from Georgia, then part of the Russian Empire.

This image from between 1870 and 1886 shows an Arab from Jerusalem, taken in Russia.

This man, named as Dikofski, is a prisoner dressed in his convict clothing in Odessa, modern Ukraine.

This photo, taken between 1870 and 1886 shows a Kazakh or Buryat man.

The Girls of Summer: 61 Found Candid Snapshots Capture '40s Young Women Enjoy Their Holidays

The place is southern Ontario and the time is possibly the summer of 1944 continuing to the late 1940s. The album from gt_hawk63 full of good times shared and the optimism of those years when the world made the transition from war to peace.

Des Voeux Road, Hong Kong, 1926

Sunday, May 28, 2017

25 '80s Snapshots Of Times Square That Will Never Be Seen In Real Life Again

Mitch O’Connell is a Chicago-based photographer. As a 17-year-old, he would travel to NYC to document the now long-lost treasures that Times Square once held in the 1980s.
“As an aspiring artist, starting at 17ish, I would travel to NY every once in awhile to show my illustrations. This was before websites, emails and electricity, so you had to get your work seen the old fashioned way, pestering. I'd crash at friends/relatives apartments and spend the day cold calling and pleading.

If I was lucky I'd get an actual face to face with an art director at a magazine or comic publisher, but more often than not I'd have to do the portfolio drop off where I'd get it there by 10am and pick it up after lunch. I only had the one (didn't think to have multiples) so that left me plenty of free time to stroll the city, and what was more eye catching than 42nd Street? I wish I had taken 1000 more photos (and gone back at night) of the amazing buildings and people that could only be found there, but at least I got a handful of snapshots of the long gone cool decaying seediness of that bustling stretch of real estate!” – Mitch O’Connell
To everyone else born after the 1980s, this may be a great opportunity to get a glimpse of what Times Square was like, before Disney set foot and changed it.

A school teacher lashing a boy student over a desk, Menomonie, Wisconsin, 1905

This Elderly Couple Posed for the Same Shot Every Season for 12 Months, Then Life Happened

Photographer Ken Griffiths captured this series of photographs called “English Country Garden” back in 1973 for the Sunday Times magazine. For 12 months, this loving couple posed for the same shot in their garden outside their home in East Sussex, England. The series tells us the story of long-lived love, and in the end, the loneliness of loss.

We can see seasons pass; blossomed flowers and plants, sunshine, rain, clouds, all changing while the couple, Mr and Mrs Sweetman, stood still and loving.

Ken's works are always give us a glimpse behind the scenes of people's lives or entire communities, but this series is one of the most dramatic, giving us a real touch of the remorse of loss as we become engaged in the couple's lives and the husband’s lonely stand in the final picture.

Tatted Up in Victorian Times: Fascinating Photos Show the Work of One of Britian's First Tattoo Artists Sutherland Macdonald

Victorian pictures always show stern-looking faces with people covering their bodies from head to toe in long clothes. But vintage images have revealed how some people living in 19th century Britain had a love of huge tattoos covering their entire chests and arms. And all of the pictures from the Victorian era show the inkings carried out by one of the first ever tattoo artists – Sutherland Macdonald.

Sutherland Macdonald was considered by many to be one of the greatest artists in the history of tattooing. It is said that his first exposure to tattooing was in the British Army in the 1880s. Already being an accomplished artist, Macdonald picked up the tattoo needles with ease. It was after getting out of the army that he started tattooing professionally. He worked first with hand tools, and in 1894 received a British patent for his electric tattooing machine. An 1897 Strand Magazine article written by Gambier Bolton stated, "that for shading or heavy work Macdonald still used Japanese tools, ivory handles and all".

Macdonald's first shop was located in Aldershot, England. He later moved to London and set up shop at the #76 Jermyn Street, upstairs from a Turkish bath. He spent the rest of his career at this location.

Sutherland Macdonald was at the forefront of the early 1900s tattoo fad, and probably did his share of cosmetic tinting. Because of his years as a tattooing sergeant-major in the Royal Engineers, George Burchett felt that Macdonald had an advantage over him in the competition to tattoo the "leisured people of taste". George Burchett wrote about Macdonald in his book, Memoirs of a Tattooist.
"He had already tattooed officers in many of the famous regiments, including the Brigade of Guards. One of his earliest clients, Lord Byng of Vimy, when a young officer in the 10th Hussare, introduced Macdonald to scores of young bloods in his circle. When Macdonald exchanged his sergeant-major's uniform for the white coat of a full-time tattoo artist he was already assured of a good following."
Sutherland Macdonald's contributions to the tattoo world went farther than art and celebrity. As stated earlier, he was granted a British patent for a tattooing machine (patent #3035), although it may have had too many moving parts to be practical. He is also sometimes credited for adding blues and greens to the tattooist palate.

Sutherland Macdonald died in 1937.

In one of his most intricate tattoos, Sutherland inked two female figures on a man’s back.

An inking showing Cupid and Psyche on the back of a Victorian man.

A Victorian man proudly displays a dragon tattoo that adorns his entire chest.

This dramatic tattoo shows birds of prey swooping down on their catch.

One man appears to be so proud of his family’s coat of arms, he had it tattooed across his chest.