Friday, October 31, 2014

Rare and Weird Vintage Photos of Skeletons and Dead Bodies

In the 19th Century, posing with and taking photographs of dead loved ones was a common occurrence, allowing people to have a keepsake of their departed family members. Today, this cultural phenomenon has all but disappeared. “During the early 20th Century, death was removed from everyday life and dead bodies were removed from personal photographs,” says Stanley B. Burns MD, an ophthalmologist, collector, historian and founder of The Burns Archive.

In a new photo book, Stiffs, Skulls & Skeletons: Medical Photography and Symbolism, the Burns have brought together 450 photographs that reveal the 19th Century’s fascination with body parts and the skeleton. Here are some sample images from the collection.

“A Student’s Dream” Illusion of Dissection Anxiety 1906.

Studying Skull Anatomy Albany, NY 1857.

Anatomy Class, 1910.

“It’s All Over Now” Dissection Class University of Maryland School of Medicine, circa 1915.

Dissection Room circa 1930.

Vintage Portrait of a Group in Halloween Costumes, circa early 1900s

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Casa Susanna: Candid Snapshots of Cross-dressers in the mid-1950s and 1960s

Casa Susanna, located in Hunter, New York, was a getaway for heterosexual transvestites in the mid-1950s and 1960s. Founded by Susanna, aka Tito Valenti, the resort embraced men who dressed like women, providing a safe haven for the exploration of gender roles in a time when it was not common to do so.

Discovered at a New York Flea Market by inveterate collectors Michel Hurst and Robert Swope, the snapshots, clearly taken by the participants themselves, are visually striking and intimate. From doing ordinary household tasks to vamping for the camera, the images are a candid presentation of men playing the roles of many different female stereotypes including the femme fatale, the matron and the proper lady. The collection was later published in the book, Casa Susanna (powerHouse, 2005).






Nassau Street, looking south from Fulton Street, New York City, 1926

Nassau Street, looking south from Fulton Street, on March 3, 1926 (Courtesy NYC Municipal Archives)

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Beautiful Fashion Photography by Edward Steichen from the 1920s and 1930s

As chief photographer for Vogue and Vanity Fair, Edward Steichen profoundly shaped the look of celebrity and fashion photography in the 1920s and 1930s. He immortalized leading writers, artists, actors, dancers and politicians in striking portraits. Fashion photography was revolutionized when he began depicting the creations of all the great designers of the age.

Carlotta Monterey, wearing a diamond head bandeau by Cartier, 1924

English stage actress Mary Taylor, 1933

Princess Nathalie Paley wearing sandals by Shoecraft, 1934

Chanel cocktail dress, Vogue May 1926

Two models on the deck of the cruise ship liner Lurline, 1934

Pictures of Canadian College Students Go Berserk over Football Win in 1954

Sixty years ago, LIFE magazine tapped into the joys and tortures of football fandom by traveling north of the American border, where collegians in Ontario were positively freaking out over a rare win on the gridiron.

Gail Thorson soars off the street as she leads victory procession through Kingston.

Parody pugilist performs during the Queen's half-time sketches.

Queen's University (Ontario) cheerleaders at football game, 1954.

Queen's University (Ontario) cheerleaders at football game, 1954.

Head cheerleader Al Hart and his kilted helpers look on in amazement after Queen's gain.

A stylish woman at the Longchamp races in Paris, 1929

Amazing Vintage Photographs of British in World War I

The collection consists of photography of every aspect of World War I - from cadet training to soldiers' graves. Every theatre of war is represented, but the majority of prints were taken in Europe, particularly on the battlefields of France and Belgium.

Original members still serving with a Canadian infantry brigade, 1914.

A bad road, 1914.

A car in trouble after the thaw, 1914.

Wood on its way upcountry, 1914.

A few kilometers behind our line, 1914.

Flooded at Beach & Imperial, La Habra, California, 1938

The intersection of Beach Blvd. and Imperial Hwy. in La Habra, California.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Wonderful Color Portraits of Women War Workers in Britain during WWII

Head and shoulders portrait of Mrs Chaulkey, a war worker in Britain, 1943.

Miss M Greatorex, a war worker involved in the manufacture of 17-pdr anti-tank guns, 1943.

Mrs C Graham, a war worker involved in the manufacture of 17-pdr anti-tank guns, 1943.

Mrs Lusby, a part-time worker at a small workshop, levelling off and making the firing pin during the first stages of breech block production, 1943.

Woman war worker milling breech blocks, 1943.

A voluntary domestic science course for service women based in the London area, organised by the London District of the Army Education Scheme, with the co-operation of the London County Council, at Avondale Park School, Notting Hill Gate, London. In this picture Corporal Jean Russel using a mangle during the course.

A voluntary domestic science course for service women based in the London area, organised by the London District of the Army Education Scheme, with the co-operation of the London County Council, at Avondale Park School, Notting Hill Gate, London. In this picture the Chief Instructor of the course, Mrs Evans, shows Corporal Margaret Dener how to make a salad.