February 19, 2019

Cool Photos That Show What Fireplaces Looked Like From the Late 19th and Early 20th Centuries

A fireplace is a structure made of brick, stone or metal designed to contain a fire. Fireplaces are used for the relaxing ambiance they create and for heating a room. Modern fireplaces vary in heat efficiency, depending on the design.

The fireplace was a necessity in early America. As the hub of the house, a burning hearth provided heat, housed multiple fires for cooking and baking, and served as the nucleus of family gatherings. In the 1600s and early 1700s, the typical fireplace was a walk-in: a wide, deep, open recess, generally with only the briefest semblance of a mantel, or no mantel at all. The firebox was usually wider than it was tall, especially in the homes of Dutch settlers.

True mantels were rare before the 1800s. The very earliest American hearths were flush with the wall. In English colonial homes, fireplaces typically were surrounded by simple, floor-to-ceiling paneling, usually plain vertical or bead-edged planks. By the second quarter of the 18th century, the fireplace had become the centerpiece of the main gathering room. Decorative paneling and other accents in the Georgian style were book-matched on either side of the opening, sometimes for the entire width of the wall.

As the Victorian age progressed, fireplaces became more ornate, with overmantels and columns. Options included complete cast-iron combination fireplaces and fireplaces with decorative tiles running along the legs of the surround. Later, surrounds were trimmed with glazed lozenge-shaped tile in a host of colors.

In the early 20th century, fireplaces and mantels became much simpler, with those in Colonial Revival houses harking back to the motifs popularized in the late 1700s and early 1800s, sometimes liberally mixing and matching elements like 1750s Georgian moldings with 1840s Greek Revival fluting. Surrounds were simply finished with brick or stone.

Whether highly ornate or simple and rustic, a fireplace continues to be a source of warmth and comfort in the home—still one of the most desired elements in any period house today. These vintage photos below show what fireplaces looked like from the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

30 Best Vintage Photos of a Young and Handsome Karl Lagerfeld in the 1950s and 1960s

Iconic fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld dead has died aged 85 in Paris today following a short illness.

He was born Karl Otto Lagerfeldt in 1933 in pre-war Germany. Lagerfeld changed his original surname from Lagerfeldt, because he believed it sounded “more commercial”.

He emigrated to Paris as a young teenager, and became a design assistant for Pierre Balmain, before working at Fendi and Chloe in the 1960s.

The German designer was known as the creative director of the French luxury fashion house Chanel (from 1983 until his death), as well as creative director of the Italian fur and leather goods fashion house Fendi and his own eponymous fashion label.

Over the decades, he collaborated on a variety of fashion and art-related projects. He was well recognized around the world for his white hair, black sunglasses, fingerless gloves, and high starched collars.

Here, below is a gallery of 30 vintage photographs of a young Karl Lagerfeld in the 1950s and 1960s. R.I.P!

The Mandarin Marilyn Monroe: 20 Fascinating Color Photographs of Diana Chang Chung-wen in the 1950s and ’60s

Diana Chang Chung-wen, one of Hong Kong’s brightest starlets from 1960s, has passed away at the age of 82. Headline Daily reported that Chung’s family confirmed that she died in Texas on Friday, Feb. 15 of natural causes.

Chang was born in 1936 in Hubei, China, and rose to fame during the 1950s and ’60s, appearing in more than 30 films by the famed Shaw Brothers Studio.

One of her most famous film appearances was her starring role in the 1964 Shaw Brothers film The Amorous Lotus Pan about a woman in an arranged marriage who falls in love with her husband’s brother. To promote the film, Chang embarked on a three-month US tour accompanied by Bruce Lee, who would not only dance the cha-cha with her on stage each night, but also acted as her bodyguard.

Chang was known for her sex appeal, and was given many nicknames by reporters covering her tour, including “the most beautiful creature,” “the fire-breathing lass,” and “the Mandarin Marilyn Monroe.”

She retired from the film industry in 1966 after marrying a German man, and later settled in the U.S.

40 Old Snaps That Capture Everyday Life of Bangkok, Thailand in the 1960s

Bangkok is the capital and most populous city of Thailand. The city occupies 1,568.7 square kilometres (605.7 sq mi) in the Chao Phraya River delta in central Thailand.

The city grew rapidly during the 1960s through the 1980s and now exerts a significant impact on Thailand's politics, economy, education, media and modern society.

The city is known for its street life and cultural landmarks, as well as its red-light districts. The Grand Palace and Buddhist temples including Wat Arun and Wat Pho stand in contrast with other tourist attractions such as the nightlife scenes of Khaosan Road and Patpong.

Bangkok is among the world's top tourist destinations, and has been named the world's most visited city in several rankings.

Take a look at these old snaps from Santos Torres to see what everyday life of Bangkok looked like in the 1960s.

February 18, 2019

The Golden Age of Flying: A Look Back on Air Travel in the 1950s and '60s

The 1950 and 1960s have become known as the "Golden Age" of flying. It was a time of glamorous air hostesses and gourmet meals, and of great leg room for all.

While it might have become known as the Golden Age of flying, taking to the air in the 1950s and 1960s had its downsides. For a start it was much more dangerous, and far more expensive. Then there was the smoke from all those cigars, cigarettes and pipes. And, once you’d looked out of the window there was not a lot to do but twiddle your thumbs. But there were upsides to flying back then too – like ever-flowing drinks and a party atmosphere.

These old photos will give you a glimpse into the air travel during this era.

PanAm Boeing 747

A view from the control tower of the Greater Cincinnati Airport

American Airlines

Boeing 707 and 720

Columbia Metropolitan Airport, Columbia, SC

35 Amazing Portrait Photos of Maude Adams, the Most Famous American Theater Actress of the Early 20th Century

Maude Adams, her stage name, was born Maude Ewing Adams Kiskadden in 1872 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Her mother was Asaneth Ann Adams Kiskadden, also an actress, who went by the stage name of Annie Adams. Maude Adams was a hugely successful American stage actress of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. She was perhaps most famous for her performance as Peter Pan. When playwright J.M. Barrie needed an actress to play Peter Pan on Broadway, he turned to Maude Adams. Adams has proven herself and became a star in prior productions Barrie worked on. The choice proved an excellent one.

Adams moved to New York City at the age of 16 where she made her Broadway debut. She signed on with legendary Broadway producer Charles Frohman who elevated her career. It was only after J.M. Barrie saw Adams in a production of Rosemary that he agreed to adapt the novel The Little Minister for Frohman to produce on stage. Until seeing Adams perform, Barrie was unwilling to adapt the novel for the stage. He did not believe there was an actress available who could play the leading female role of Lady Babbie. Adams’s performance changed his mind. The production, with Adams cast, was a tremendous success. It broke box office records. The vast majority of performances being standing room only. A film version of The Little Minister based on the novel, and Barrie’s adaption of it, would be released in 1934. It starred famed actress Katherine Hepburn. Had Adams not won over Barrie with her strong performance in Rosemary, it’s possible neither the stage or film productions of The Little Minister would have ever happened. It’s also possible that Adams would have not gone on to become Broadway’s first Peter Pan.

Peter Pan debuted on Broadway in 1905 with Maude Adams in the title role. An emergency appendectomy shortly after her being cast raised doubts whether she would be able to perform. But she went on for over 1,500 performances and earning $20,000 a month; an amount unheard of at the time. Her portrayal of the character would set the example for all performing the role of Peter Pan who followed. She even helped create the costume. Adams would often reprise the role over the decade that the first production was on Broadway.

Adams worked with Barrie in many roles throughout the early 1900s. She retired from the stage after falling ill in 1918. In the 1920s, she worked with General Electric to improve stage lighting and the Eastman Company to develop color photography. She helped invent a high-powered light bulb that made color movies possible. Her retirement from the stage was short-lived. She returned to acting in 1931 and continued until 1934. At the high point of her career, Adams made over $1 million a year. She would supplement the pay of other actors in productions she was in. In 1937, she became the head of the drama department at Stephens College in Missouri.

Maude Adams never married. Frohman, her producer, used the absence of relationships with men to create a public image of her being virtuous and innocent. It is now believed that Adams was a lesbian. She enjoyed long-term relationships with two woman over the course of her lifetime. The first being with Lillie Florence until Florence’s death in 1901. The second being an over 45-year relationship beginning in 1905 with Louise Boynton. Boynton died in 1951. When Adams passed away in 1953 in New York, four months shy of 80, she was buried next to Boynton where they share a headstone.

There’s no record of her discussing her relationships with Florence or Boynton. Apart from her work on the stage, Adams was a very private person. She didn’t feel the need to open her life to anyone, including her the public who adored her. Boynton is often described by others as being Adams’s lifelong friend and secretary. It was common that women were excluded from discussions about homosexuality. She also kept her private life out of the public eye, so her relationships were not scrutinized.

Vintage Portraits of 30 Beautiful Young Actresses on Cigarettes Tobacco Cards From the Early 1900s

Tobacco cards were first included in cigarette packs in the 1870s, with the purpose of stiffening each pack to lessen the chance that it would be crushed or bent. It wasn’t long before some enterprising soul saw their potential for brand promotion and a new advertising medium was born.

By the mid-1880s, manufacturers were printing themed sets of tobacco cards, with each card in the set bearing a unique image. The idea was to encourage brand loyalty by creating consumers’ desire to complete a set — so the themes capitalized on the popularity of certain cultural interests. Baseball players, boxers, and aviators all appeared on tobacco cards. And so, of course, did beautiful young actresses.

Below is a collection of 30 portraits of stage actresses cigarette cards from the early 1900s:


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