January 31, 2018

22 Beautiful Kodachrome Photos That Capture American Life in the 1950s

A beautiful collection of Kodachrome photos from Bousquairol's Gallery that shows what American life looked like in the 1950s.

Beauty contest at Jantzen beach, Portland, Oregon, circa 1950

 Curtis Municipal Airport, Nebraska, September 9th, 1951

A beautiful 1952 rodeo queen, Nebraska, 1952

A Nash Ambassador car in Curtis, Nebraska, 1952

 Grocery store in Rosamond, California, July 1952





These Amazing Self-Portraits by Joseph Byron May Be the First Selfies Ever Made

Selfies are a 21st-century thing, right? Well, they certainly got popular in the 2000s, but the first selfies were taken way back. Before it was cool. Photographer Joseph Byron may be responsible for the first selfies ever taken, both individual and group.

One picture, conveniently titled “self portrait,” was taken in 1909, reportedly on the roof of the Marceau Studio on Fifth Avenue by the company’s founder Joseph Byron. Since cameras were still pretty big at the time, Byron needed both his arms in order to take the picture.

Joseph Byron, Self Portrait, 1909. (Joseph Byron/Byron Company/Museum of the City of New York)

Eleven years later, in December 1920, Byron found himself on the same roof again, but this time he took a group selfie of himself and his colleagues Pirie MacDonald, Colonel Marceau, Pop Core and Benjamin Falk, as someone else takes a “behind the scenes” shot. Joseph Byron is seen holding the camera with his right hand, and performing arts photographer Ben Falk holds the other side with his right hand.

Side view of photographers posing together for a photograph on the roof of Marceau's Studio, while Joseph Byron holds one side of the camera with his right hand and Ben Falk holds the other side with his left hand. (Joseph Byron/Byron Company/Museum of the City of New York)

Uncle Joe Byron, Pirie MacDonald, Colonel Marceau, Pop Core, Benjamin Falk. (Joseph Byron/Byron Company/Museum of the City of New York)

So is this the first actual selfie? Some people argue that it was Robert Cornelius who took the first selfie ever. He produced a daguerreotype of himself in 1839, sitting outside the family store in Philadelphia. The back of the photo reads: “The first light picture ever taken”. He took the image by removing the lens cap, then running into frame where he sat for a minute before covering up the lens again. But unlike Byron, Cornelius wasn’t actually holding the camera—and isn’t that a vital selfie element?

Joseph Byron was an English photographer, coming from a family of photographers. He immigrated to the U.S in 1888 and opened his photo studio in Manhattan in 1892. The studio named Byron Company was specialized for photographing Broadway shows and other stage productions. And thanks to the 7th and 8th generation of photographers, Thomas and Mark Byron, the studio still operates under the name Byron Photography.

The Museum of the City of New York’s digital collection contains 23,000 Byron Company prints, and these selfies are only a small part of this collection.

(via Us Weekly)



The First Film Taken of Queen Victoria, 1896

Queen Victoria at Balmoral in September 1896, on the occasion of the achievement of the longest reign in British history.

The film shows Queen Victoria in dogcart and walking in grounds of castle. With her are Tsar Nicholas II of Russia (her third cousin twice removed) and his wife, the Tsarina; Princess Beatrice and Princess Ena, Duke of Connaught.





Beautiful Life of Italy in the 1950s Through Piergiorgio Branzi's Lens

Born in Signa in 1928, Italian photographer Piergiorgio Branzi was raised in Florence, a city that “looks stern”, in which “color is just a pleasant accessory, a filler, although it may appear splendid”. A city that was “born from two stone quarries: one for ‘pietra serena’, the color of gray graphite, and the other “pietra dura”, the listless ocher of Palazzo della Signoria”.

This is how the great Tuscan photographer and journalist explains how his preference for the essential nature of black and white began, and became the means for him to represent and express the reality around him.

Branzi took his first photos with a 1950s' Galileo Condor. His works have earned him great notoriety in Italy and abroad, traveling around the world: from the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art to the Guggenheim in New York, from the Fine Art Museum in Houston to the Bibliothèque nationale de France in Paris, from the Tate Gallery in London to the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia in Madrid.

These fascinating photos were selected from his work that he documented everyday life if Italy in the 1950s.

White wall with small window, 1953

Cliff, Ischia, 1953

Boy of Ischia, 1953

Arena under the snow, Florence, 1954

Alley in Via del Corso, Florence, 1954





January 30, 2018

A Stylish Anonymous Californian at Different Ages

Women's clothes of the 1940s were typically modeled after the utility clothes produced during war rationing. Squared shoulders, narrow hips, and skirts that ended just below the knee were the height of fashion. Tailored suits were also quite popular.

Below are some fascinating found photographs of an unknown woman in California at different ages from circa the 1940s.










Portraits of Simone Segouin, the 18 Year Old French Resistance Fighter Who Captured 25 Nazis During the Fall of Chartres

Simone Segouin risked her life many times during the secret war against the Nazi occupiers, and became famous the world over when she was pictured wielding a gun in her distinctive shorts and cap. She helped de-rail a train and blow up bridges in and around the city of Chartres, 50 miles south of Paris and was present at the liberation of both cities in 1944, when aged only 18.


Simone Segouin, also known by her nom de guerre "Nicole Minet", was born in Thivars, France in 1925. During the German occupation of France, she was a member of the Francs-Tireurs et Partisans group. On 23 Aug 1944, she was credited with capturing 25 Germans and killing several more in the Chartres, France area. She was also present in Paris, France during the city's liberation. For her efforts during the war, she was promoted to the rank of lieutenant and was awarded the Croix de guerre.


“One of the best days was when we arrested 25 German soldiers towards the end of the war,” she told the Daily Express in an interview in 2016. “It felt good as we knew we would soon have our country back from occupation.”

“I was not the only woman who joined the Resistance,“ she added. “I am proud of what we all did as a team. But the proudest moment was probably going to Paris with General Charles de Gaulle. It was a wonderful feeling entering the city but my excitement was limited because it felt very dangerous.”


One of Simone’s first missions was to steal a bicycle from a German soldier which, after a respray, she rode, as her reconnaissance transport. Her MP-40 sub-machine gun was also taken from a German.

When the war was over, she was awarded the prestigious Croix de Guerre and she was promoted to lieutenant. Women made up just 10% of the Resistance, but their presence helped force a shift in the way their gender was treated.


Simone went on to become a paediatric nurse in Chartres, where her wartime exploits made her hugely popular. A street in Courville-sur-Eure was named for her.





Rare Photographs of World War I Through Vintage Tobacco Cards

The world’s first global conflict, the “Great War” pitted the Central Powers of Germany, Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire against the Allied forces of Great Britain, the United States, France, Russia, Italy and Japan. The introduction of modern technology to warfare resulted in unprecedented carnage and destruction, with more than 9 million soldiers killed by the end of the war in November 1918.

Below are some rare photographs of World War I from a set of early Spanish or Cuban tobacco cards.

WWI barbers

WWI wounded

WWI dogs

WWI trunks

WWI spy





17 Prominent Victorian Mugshots of Manchester Criminal Faces in the 19th Century

Images from the collection of Greater Manchester Police Museum and Archives that show the prominent criminal faces in the 19th century.

1. $10,000 for Boss Tweed - The World's Most Wanted Man.

$10,000 may seem a huge reward for this escaped prisoner in the 1870s, but William M Tweed was no small fish. He is alleged to have stolen between 25 and an amazing 400 million dollars from the taxpayers of New York City via various corrupt methods.


2. The Cultured Crook.

Leon Lampord, convicted of fraud at Manchester Assizes in July 1878 and sentenced to 15 months imprisonment


3. Thomas Murphy - The Reluctant Subject.

Murphy was convicted of a variety of crimes - chiefly stealing purses – by courts in Yorkshire and Lancashire from the 1880s to 1890s.


4. Liverpool Explosion.

McGrath, along with James McKevitt, were arrested after a failed attempt to blow up Liverpool Town Hall. The men - both said to be part of the Fenian movement, which was campaigning for a united Ireland – were arrested soon after the event, which only managed to cause minimal damage.Both men were tried at Liverpool Assizes the same year. On August 3rd, James McGrath, aged 32, was sentenced to life imprisonment. James McKevitt received a 15-year sentence, which he is known to have served in Chatham Prison.


5. Thomas Wallace, a man with a prolific criminal career spanning three decades of the 1800s.

Thomas Wallace was first sentenced to a month's imprisonment for larceny in 1856. On release he offended again almost immediately and was sentenced to three months for a similar crime. On April 10th, 1871 he was sentenced to seven years penal servitude for stealing cloth. He began his sentence in Leeds prison but on May 29th he escaped and went on the run.He next appears in court in December the same year and is sentenced to seven years for receiving stolen goods; sentenced to twelve months in 1881 for escaping from prison; and sentenced to ten years penal servitude for another offence of receiving stolen goods in November 1882.






January 29, 2018

Photographer Flips Gender Roles in “Mad Men” Era Ads, And Some Men Will Not Like the Result

Eli Rezkallah, a photographer and video editor from Beirut, Lebanon, recently created a photo series called In a Parallel Universe. The series takes sexist vintage ads from the mid-20th century and switches the gender roles.

Rezkallah says it all started with a conversation between his relatives.

“Last Thanksgiving, I overheard my uncles talk about how women are better off cooking, taking care of the kitchen, and fulfilling ‘their womanly duties,'” Rezkallah wrote on his site. “Although I know that not all men like my uncles think that way, I was surprised to learn that some still do, so I went on to imagine a parallel universe, where roles are inverted and men are given a taste of their own sexist poison.”










Before the Internet Porn: 14 Funny Vintage Advertisements for Mail Order Adult Entertainment From the 1960s

Before the ubiquity of Internet porn, adult entertainment was mainly sold under-the-counter from seedy shops in brown paper bags or through mail order adverts in adult magazines like these vintage ads from various American men's magazines from the pages of Follies, Frolic, Nugget, Knight, Bachelor and Adam...











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