June 21, 2018

D-Day in Color: Stunning Retouched Photos of Brave Allied Troops Landing Normandy Beaches in June, 1944

Some 156,000 Allied troops landed on five Normandy beaches during the operation on June 6, 1944, which would ultimately lead to the defeat of Nazi Germany and the end of the Second World War. It was the largest seaborne invasion in history and saw 4,400 allied troops lose their lives.

Striking shots show men storming French beaches under ominous grey skies for the invasion, glider pilots on landing craft, and British Airborne Pathfinders at Harwell checking their watches on the night of June 5, 1944, hours before the battle commenced.

The original black and white photographs were painstakingly colorized by electrician Royston Leonard, with each snap taking between four and five hours to complete.

“As time goes by I find I am doing more World War Two pictures and giving them a bit of colour helps the younger generation to connect and not just see them as something that happened long ago,” he said. “In the images I see a world that has gone mad and men and women pulled from their lives to sort out the mess. World War Two shows people at their best and at their worst. We must look and learn and not let it happen again.”

The astonishing scale of the invasion can be seen in this image taken of the American forces arriving on Utah Beach.

U.S. troops from the USS Joseph T. Dickman wait to disembark from their landing craft as they approach Utah Beach on June 6 1944.

A craft from the USS Samuel Chase lands troops of the US Army First Division on Omaha Beach.

Glider pilots take the opportunity for a quick cigarette as they are crowded onto a landing craft.

Royal Marines descend from landing craft with their heavy backpacks, weapons and equipment on Juno beach.

Flooding in the Thames Valley, December 1915

During a House of Commons sitting in February 1915, the prime minister, Herbert Asquith, replying to a question about the damage caused by flooding, said: “The attention of the Government has been called from time to time to the serious injury caused by floods in the Upper Thames Valley and to the desirability of a careful inquiry into the matter. In 1914 a scheme was submitted to the Thames Conservancy Board by their engineer, but the cost of carrying it out was estimated at about £3,000,000. The present time hardly appears to be suitable for such an inquiry.”

A woman crossing a stile after the flooding in the Thames Valley, December 1915.

A man with a wooden leg cycles down a flooded road in Berkshire, December 1915.

A man and a boy make a journey by pony and trap on the Staines to Windsor Road after flooding in the Thames Valley, December 1915.

June 20, 2018

Street Scenes of New York in 1984 Through Italian Guys' Lens

The New York City of the 1980s is quite different from the city we know today. A time when the city was blighted by criminality and the newly-completed Twin Towers pointed towards a brighter future. A time where Times Square was a haven of pornography and prostitution and much of the riverside was derelict and crumbling.

These color pictures were captured by Italian guys named Paolo and Guglielmo when they traveled to New York in August 1984 that depict what New York City was like decades ago.

Central Park

Cars outside a restaurant in Queen

China Town

China Town

China Town

Heart-Wrenching Images Depicting Child Labor in Early 20th Century America Has Been Brought to Life After Being Expertly Colorized

Photographer Lewis Wickes Hine once said: “There is work that profits children, and there is work that brings profit only to employers. The object of employing children is not to train them, but to get high profits from their work.”

Lewis Wickes Hine was an American sociologist and photographer whose work was instrumental in changing child labor laws in the United States.

A series of heart-wrenching images depicting child labor in early 20th century America has been brought to life after being expertly colorized. These images are the work of UK-based photo colorizer Tom Marshall, 2who has painstakingly brought the photographs of Lewis Wickes Hine into the 21st century.

“I was inspired to colorize these photos following an article by my friend and fellow colorizer Sanna Dullaway,” Marshall said. “As a photo colorizer, my aim is always to try and connect with the photo subjects on another level, something not always possible with a black and white photo. Hine’s photos are perfect for this purpose as they are already very engaging pieces.”

Jennie Camillo, an 8 year old cranberry picker, Pemberton, New Jersey, 1910.

9-year-old Johnnie and the shucking-boss, in Dunbar, Louisiana, March 1911.

Michael McNelis, age 8, a newsboy.

12 year old newsboy Hyman Alpert, who had been selling newspapers for 3 years when this photo was taken in March 1909, in New Haven, Connecticut.

This photo show garment workers Katrina De Cato (6), Franco Brezoo (11) Maria Attreo (12) and her sister Mattie Attreo (5) at 4pm, 26th January 1910 in New York City.

30 Photos of the Beautiful Courtney Love When She Was Young

Photos of the beautiful Courtney Love when she was young show the Alternative Rock singer, actress and songwriter who was the lead singer in the 90s grunge band Hole. While you may know Courtney Love for her various incidents, behind those freak outs is this once young, stunning blonde.

Known for her rebellious nature and controversial lyrics and image, Love is also famous for being the wife of the lead singer from the band Nirvana, Kurt Cobain, who died in April 1994. She received a Golden Globe nomination for her performance in the movie The People vs. Larry Flint and the release of Hole’s third album, Celebrity Skin, received nominations for multiple Grammy Awards.

Love has also worked as a model and she is an excellent visual artist. She has worked with several different charitable organizations that specialize in helping victims of sexual abuse, AIDS research and domestic violence. So say what you will about the often outspoken artist but while looking through these pictures of young Courtney Love, don't forget about all the good this beauty does too.

Meet Eugen Weidmann, the Last Person Ever to Be Publicly Executed by Guillotine in 1939

The last public execution by guillotine was not as long ago as you may think. It actually took place in France in 1939, so there are plenty of people alive today old enough to have seen it.

Weidmann is placed in the guillotine seconds before the blade falls, June 17, 1939.

Eugen Weidmann (February 5, 1908 – June 17, 1939) was a German criminal who was executed by guillotine in France, the last public execution in that country

On June 17, 1939, Weidmann was beheaded outside the prison Saint-Pierre in Versailles. The “hysterical behaviour” by spectators was so scandalous that French president Albert Lebrun immediately banned all future public executions. Unknown to authorities, film of the execution was shot from a private apartment adjacent to the prison. British actor Christopher Lee – who was 17 at the time – witnessed the event. He would later go on to play headsman Charles-Henri Sanson in a French TV drama about the French Revolution, in which his character made prolific use of the device.

A mugshot of Eugen Weidmann in 1937.

Beginning with the botched kidnapping of an American tourist, the inspiring dancer Jean de Koven, Eugène Weidmann murdered two women and four men in the Paris area in 1937. His other victims included a woman lured by the false offer of a position as a governess; a chauffeur; a publicity agent; a real estate broker; and a man Weidmann had met as an inmate in a German prison. On the surface, his crimes seemed in most cases to have had a profit motive, but they generally brought him very small winnings. Born in Frankfurt-am-Main in 1908, Weidmann early showed himself to be an incorrigible criminal. He had been sent to a juvenile detention facility and then served prison terms for theft and burglary in Canada and Germany prior to his arrival in Paris in 1937.

After a sensational and much-covered trial, Weidmann was sentenced to death. On the morning of June 17, 1939, Weidmann was taken out in front of the Prison Saint-Pierre, where a guillotine and a clamoring, whistling crowd awaited him. Among the attendees was future acting legend Christopher Lee, then 17 years old. Weidmann was placed into the guillotine, and France’s chief executioner Jules-Henri Desfourneaux let the blade fall without delay.

Rather then react with solemn observance, the crowd behaved rowdily, using handkerchiefs to dab up Weidmann’s blood as souvenirs. Paris-Soir denounced the crowd as “disgusting”, “unruly”, “jostling, clamoring, whistling”. The unruly crowd delayed the execution beyond the usual twilight hour of dawn, enabling clear photographs and one short film to be taken.

After the event the authorities finally came to believe that “far from serving as a deterrent and having salutary effects on the crowds” the public execution “promoted baser instincts of human nature and encouraged general rowdiness and bad behavior”. The “hysterical behavior” by spectators was so scandalous that French president Albert Lebrun immediately banned all future public executions.

Guillotine was the only mean of execution that the French republic had ever known, the device was in service from 1792 to 1977. For almost 200 years the guillotine executed tens of thousands of culprits (or not) without ever failing to deliver a quick and painless death.

While it is easy to see the guillotine as barbaric, it is actually a lot less gruesome than it looks. Capital punishment was very common in pre-revolutionary France. For nobles, the typical method of execution was beheading; for commoners, it was usually hanging, but less common and crueler sentences were also practiced. When Dr. Joseph-Ignace Guillotin proposed the new method of execution to the National Assembly, it was meant to be more humane than previous capital punishments and also to be an equal method of death for all criminals regardless of rank.

Compared to many forms of capital punishment practiced to this day, the guillotine remains one of the best if we are judging based on pain and “cleanness”. In fact, the guillotine was developed with the idea of creating the most humane way to execute people. The condemned don’t feel pain, death is almost instantaneous and there are very few ways for things to be botched. The head of the victim remains alive for about 10-13 seconds, depending on the glucose and blood levels in his brain at the time. However, the head is believed to be more than likely knocked unconscious by the force of the blow and blood loss.

Weidmann is led away in handcuffs after his capture by police, Dec. 21, 1937.

Eugen Weidmann shows police the cave in the Fontainebleau Forest in France, where he murdered Janine Keller, June 17, 1938.

The trial, March 24, 1939.

Weidmann on trial in France, March 1939.


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