Bring back some good or bad memories


February 28, 2012

Old Pictures of People Watching TV

These interesting vintage photos show how people watched TV in the past.

Picketing workers watch TV in a tent outside the gates of a U.S. Steel plant in Gary, Indiana, during a strike in 1959

A boy watches TV in an appliance store window in 1948

An adopted Korean war orphan, Kang Koo Ri, watches television in his new home in Los Angeles in 1956

Vice President Richard Nixon and his wife, Pat, watch the 1960 GOP convention in Chicago from their hotel suite

A performing chimpanzee named Zippy watches TV in 1955

48 Vinyl Album Covers Featuring Women in Mini Skirts

How many album covers over the years featured a woman in a miniskirt? It would be like counting grains of sand on a beach. We couldn't begin to catalogue them all, but we can gather up a healthy supply for your viewing pleasure.

February 27, 2012

28 Stunning Vintage Photographs That Capture Everyday Life in London From the Late 19th and Early 20th Centuries

John Thomson (1837–1921) was a pioneering Scottish photographer, geographer and traveler. He was one of the first photographers to travel to the Far East, documenting the people, landscapes and artifacts of eastern cultures.

Upon returning home, his work among the street people of London cemented his reputation, and is regarded as a classic instance of social documentary which laid the foundations for photojournalism. He went on to become a portrait photographer of High Society in Mayfair, gaining the Royal Warrant in 1881.

After retiring from his commercial studio in 1910, Thomson spent most of his time back in Edinburgh, although he continued to write papers for the Royal Geographical Society on the uses of photography. He died of a heart attack in 1921 at the age of 84.

February 25, 2012

"People Always Called Me Blondie” – Here Are 20 Fascinating Photographs of Debbie Harry in the 1970s

“Hi, it’s Deb. You know, when I woke up this morning I had a realization about myself. I was always Blondie. People always called me Blondie, ever since I was a little kid. What I realized is that at some point I became Dirty Harry. I couldn’t be Blondie anymore, so I became Dirty Harry.”

Debbie Harry of Blondie, Coney Island, NY, 1977 — Image © Bob Gruen

Debbie Harry, NYC, 1976 – Image © Bob Gruen

Debbie Harry, New Jersey, 1978 – Image © Bob Gruen

1977 — Debbie Harry of Blondie — Image by © Lynn Goldsmith/Corbis

Debbie Harry,  c.1968

Rare Photographs From the 1958 Oscar Rehearsals

During Hollywood’s Golden Age, being a star entailed more than just acting: leading men and women had to sing, dance, play it straight, play the clown — in short, they had to know how to entertain.

Little wonder, then, that in 1958, when the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences planned its 30th Oscars ceremony — the fifth ever to be televised — it called upon the town’s multi-talented silver-screen icons to do what they did best, and put on barn-burner of a show.

LIFE photographer Leonard McCombe was a fly on the wall that year as stars from Paul Newman and Zsa Zsa Gabor to Kirk Douglas and Mae West dropped in to rehearse for the big event. As it turned out, however, only a handful of McCombe’s marvelous photos were ever published. Until now...

Kirk Douglas and Burt Lancaster with choreographer Jack Cole, practicing a mock-bitter song-and-dance number called “It’s Great Not to Be Nominated”; the tune ribbed many of the year’s Oscar contenders.

Inside Los Angeles’ RKO Pantages theater, home of the Academy Awards from 1949 through 1959, Janet Leigh and Shirley MacLaine practiced a tune.

Zsa Zsa Gabor arrived at the 1958 Oscar rehearsals in pearls and a fur stole.

Paul Newman appeared to wait for a cue, as fellow Oscar presenter Doris Day consulted with a director (gesturing toward the audience). On the big night itself, Newman’s wife Joanne Woodward won Best Actress for The Three Faces of Eve.

Mae West and Rock Hudson rehearsed the flirty pop standard, “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” as Academy president George Seaton looked on.

24 Amazing Vintage Music Billboards on Sunset Boulevard, California From the Mid-1970s

In the pantheon of American roadside messaging, billboards are perhaps the most reviled. But in Los Angeles, where high and low culture are often one and the same, what elsewhere may be derided as “sky trash” can just as easily rise to the level of art. Since at least the late 1960s, a half-mile section of Los Angeles’s Sunset Boulevard known as “Sunset Strip” has hosted a menagerie of custom-built billboards designed for gawking, turning the winding east-west corridor into a testing ground for pop records and blockbuster movies. As the home town of most major record companies and film studios, Hollywood got special attention when it came to publicly marketing new media products. And in a time before music videos and MP3s, when album art was still a thing, the look presented by hand-painted billboards were a complement to many a rock star’s cultivated image.

These music billboards below were taken by Robert Landau on Sunset Boulevard in California between 1974 and 1975. Robert Landau is a photographer who wandered the Strip with his camera, capturing images of the splashy, ephemeral billboards as they came and went.

“In the 1960s and ’70s, hand-painted billboards were the state of the art, so they’d use them in places like the Sunset Strip and maybe a few other spots like Wilshire Boulevard or Westwood Village,” Landau told Hunter Oatman-Stanford of Collectors Weekly. “They were costlier, too, but with the hand-painted ones, you could add plywood extensions: If you’re painting Rod Steward’s head, his hair could stick over the top, or painting the Beatles for their Abbey Road album, their heads could extend above the frame of the billboard. It was just another way to catch people’s attention, something you couldn’t do with a poster billboard.”

There were billboards that lit up at night and ones that changed over time. Record companies spent fortunes on the billboards, which supplemented album art and built buzz for upcoming albums. Landau treasures his photographs as documents of a time before digital everything. “The painted ones have a sheen and depth to them, and a personal touch you only got from an artist hand-painting them,” he said.

February 23, 2012

John Lennon's Famous New York City Shirt Shot: How an Iconic Portrait Began With a Photographer’s T-shirt

It was August 29, 1974, midday, and John Lennon, nearly 34 at the time, was up on the roof of his rented East 52nd Street penthouse. He had been at the Record Plant all week, mixing Walls and Bridges, his fifth solo album, and generally struggling to correct course after his first commercial failure (1972’s collection of mostly protest songs, Some Time in New York City). He was also recovering from his year and a half of carousing, most notoriously in Hollywood, while estranged from his wife, Yoko Ono.

“It was kind of the Sunday night after Lennon’s ‘Lost Weekend,’ ” remembers photographer Bob Gruen, then 29. “John was back in New York, sobering up, cleaning his life up. He loved it when people treated him like a normal person rather than a Beatle, and that could happen here.”

Lennon needed a cover image and press photos for the new album, but he also wanted to get back to the studio. He’d worked with Gruen and knew he would shoot fast. “It was a beautiful, sunny day,” says May Pang, Lennon’s companion at the time. “John smoked his French Gauloises and drank lots of strong coffee.”

Gruen asked Lennon to put on a T-shirt he’d bought on the sidewalk for $5—white with NEW YORK CITY in bold black type, the black sleeves cut off with a buck knife for a tougher effect. It seemed right: “John had been in the city awhile,” says Gruen. “He was becoming a New Yorker.” One of the shots captures Lennon pale and unsmiling, his arms folded across his stomach. “That was his street stance,” says Pang. “John was self-conscious about the cutoff sleeves, but I assured him it was fine.”

Kodak No.1 Circular Snapshots: These Round Pictures Were Some of the First Candid Snapshots

Today, we take photography for granted. Anyone can take a photograph simply by pressing a button. Yet, it was not always so simple.

The invention of photography was announced in 1839, but during its first fifty years taking a photograph was a complicated and expensive business. In 1888, all this was to change following the appearance of a camera that was to revolutionise photography. Popular photography can properly be said to have started 120 years ago with the introduction of the Kodak.

The Kodak camera was the invention of an American, George Eastman (1854-1932). It was a simple, leather-covered wooden box – small and light enough to be held in the hands. Taking a photograph with the Kodak was very easy, requiring only three simple actions; turning the key (to wind on the film); pulling the string (to set the shutter); and pressing the button (to take the photograph). There wasn’t even a viewfinder - the camera was simply pointed in the direction of the subject to be photographed. The Kodak produced circular snapshots, two and a half inches in diameter.

The Kodak was sold already loaded with enough paper-based roll film to take one hundred photographs. After the film had been exposed, the entire camera was returned to the factory for the film to be developed and printed. The camera, reloaded with fresh film, was then returned to its owner, together with a set of prints. To sum up the Kodak system, Eastman devised the brilliantly simple sales slogan: ‘You press the button, we do the rest.’

Boy paddling in the sea

Girl looking in a rock pool

Two men on the deck of a ship

Woman reading

Woman in a rowing boat

February 21, 2012

Anti-American – Pictures of Soviet People Protesting Against the U.S During the Cuban Missile Crisis

Soviet people were protesting and demonstrating on the regular basis but never against their own government. Well, that’s not exactly true. At least a few Soviet people tried to demonstrate and protest against their own government but in most cases were quickly swept up and ended up with lengthy prison sentences, forced psychiatric treatment or, in the best scenario, a house arrest. At the same time anti-American or anti-imperialist demonstrations were encouraged and sometimes mandatory.

An old Soviet joke about a Russian and an American arguing about the freedom of speech, went like this:
American: In America we have freedom of speech, I can stand in front of the White House and yell “Reagan is an idiot!” and nothing will happen to me. 
Russian: No big deal, I can go to the Red Square, yell “Reagan is an idiot!” and nothing will happen to me either.
Russian students demonstrating against US blockade of Cuba. Moscow, Russia.October 1962. ©Time Inc. Stan Wayman.

Russian police keeping order during demonstration against US blockade of Cuba. Signs: "Shame on Aggressors", "Hands Off Cuba" ©Time Inc. Stan Wayman.

Demonstration At The American Embassy In Moscow. "Cuba - Yes, Yankees - No!" 1961 ©Time Inc. James Whitmore

"Shame on American Imperialism" ©Time Inc. James Whitmore

"Hands Off Cuba" ©Time Inc. James Whitmore

(via Kansas City With The Russian Accent)

February 19, 2012

The Beatles’ Abbey Road Photo Shoot Outtakes, 1969

The Beatles’ iconic (and widely imitated) album cover Abbey Road shows all four band members walking across London’s Abbey Road. At that time The Beatles were recording the majority of their songs and albums at Abbey Road Studios (was then called EMI Studios).

On August 8, 1969, Scottish photographer Iain MacMillan captured them simply walking across the street for the album’s cover. The shoot reportedly took just ten minutes but, as you can see, they had walked back and forth across the street before catching that now-famous image. Here is a gallery of outtakes from that legendary photo shoot.



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