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May 31, 2014

Britain From Above: 20 Amazing Historic Aerial Photographs of Britain Taken From Between the 1920s and 1940s

These pictures, of Britain from above, are a knockout. Featuring one of the first taken of the old Wembley Stadium, the images chronicle life from the 1920s through the Blitz.

The Britain from Above project conserved 95,000 of the most significant images held in the Aerofilms collection – which numbers more than 1.2 million negatives and 2,000 albums.

This remarkable shot of Blackpool Tower and the Winter Gardens was a speculative capture by an Aerofilms photographer and pilot as they navigated England’s north-west coastline in July 1920. Both the Blackpool Gazette and the Radio Times bought the image – most likely to advertise the town and its increasingly famous attractions to prospective tourists. The Winter Gardens first opened in July 1878 as a six-acre pleasure park made up of concert halls, skating rinks and ballrooms. The year this photograph was taken also marked the first ever staging of the Blackpool Dance Festival in the wonderfully grand Empress Ballroom. Partly hidden in the background here is the ‘Big Wheel’, a 220-foot-high ride built by the Winter Gardens as direct competition for the Tower. It remained – literally and metaphorically – in the shadow of its more celebrated counterpart, and was eventually pulled down in June 1929.

St Paul's Cathedral, London, 1921.

1921 photograph of Buckingham Palace and Queen Victoria memorial. Flight restrictions today would make this a near impossibility.

Piccadilly Circus, Westminster. Pictured here in March 1921 – before the installation of any traffic lights – Piccadilly Circus is a busy throng of pedestrians, horsedrawn carriages, omnibuses and motorcars, all revolving around the aluminium-cast statue of Eros. Even at this fledgling stage in Aerofilms' existence, the company was targeting wellknown sites and landmarks to sell to postcard manufacturers. Early clients for this kind of material included “Ludo Press” – a company that is still in business today – and “LepAerial Travel Bureau”, one of the first ever travel agencies to arrange assenger transport on aircraft. That LepAerial also had an office in Piccadilly Circus was unlikely to be a coincidence.

Crowds line the streets of Edgware Road, Hyde Park Corner and Park Lane for the homecoming procession of Edward Prince of Wales – the future King Edward VIII. 21 June 1922 marked the Prince’s return to London from his “Oriental Grand Tour”, an eight-month sojourn to India, Ceylon, the Philippines, Borneo, Malaysia, Japan and Egypt. The tour was conducted as part of Edward’s role as Britain’s “Empire Ambassador” – although it has subsequently emerged that neither the Prince nor his various hosts were enthusiastic supporters of the trip. The writer E. M. Forster even noted quite bluntly that “scarcely anyone in India wished the Prince of Wales to come” – a sign perhaps of the increasing fragility of the Empire in the aftermath of the First World War. The Prince arrived back in Plymouth on HMS Renown and, after a train journey to Paddington Station, embarked on this elaborate ceremonial procession all the way to the gates of Buckingham Palace.

May 30, 2014

A Collection of 25 Hilarious and Bad Vintage Album Covers

These days people probably don’t really even remember what a music album actually is, considering everything is done through MP3’s and downloaded online. But for the young kids out there, there used to be these things called CD’s and, even before that, cassette tapes and vinyl records. If you’re a young person and striving to be a hipster, chances are you’re familiar with vinyl even though you’re not entirely sure when the concept actually began.

Of course making a great album wasn’t the only step toward selling music back in the day. You also had to come up with a memorable album cover in hopes it would attract new fans who saw it sitting there on the shelf, and the pure awesomeness would cause them to spontaneously buy your music. Of course as you’re about to see, coming up with a good album cover is a lot easier said than done. Here are some of the most hilariously bad album covers you’re ever going to see.

Black & White Pictures of Greek Civil War in the 1940s

The Greek Civil War was fought from 1946-49 between the Greek government army—backed by the United Kingdom and the United States—and the Democratic Army of Greece, the military branch of the Greek Communist Party, backed by the USSR, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, and Albania.

It was the result of a highly polarized struggle between leftists and rightists that started in 1943 and targeted the power vacuum that the German-Italian occupation during World War II had created. One of the first conflicts of the Cold War, according to some analysts it represents the first example of postwar North European and North American involvement in the internal politics of a foreign country. (Wikipedia)

Steel-helmeted Elas troops use a corner building as a shelter as they fire at police headquarters during a civil uprising in Athens. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images). 1944

Greek government commandos near Karpenisi, equipped with British berets and American fur-trimmed jackets. (Photo by Bert Hardy/Picture Post/Getty Images). 22nd May 1948

A sentry on guard on Mount Likebetos, overlooking the city of Athens. Military forces were employed to guard the city against possible attacks from communist paratrooper guerrillas. (Photo by Chris Ware/Keystone/Getty Images). 1947

Refugee children in a filthy cellar at Piraeus during the Greek Civil War. (Photo by Haywood Magee/Picture Post/Getty Images). 1st November 1947

Greek National Guards bring prisoners from guerilla-occupied territory to Drama in northern Greece. (Photo by Bert Hardy/Picture Post/Getty Images). 22nd May 1948

Interesting Pictures of the 1964 Beatlemania, 50 Years Ago from Today

At the start of 1964, the Beatles were at the top of the charts in the UK, but had just started to attract audiences overseas with songs from their first two albums Please Please Me and With the Beatles. Radio airplay and a broad marketing campaign in the U.S. quickly drove huge record sales and enormous enthusiasm among new fans -- the band and their sound were something new and exciting, and they were coming to America.

Their first televised concert in the U.S. was on the Ed Sullivan Show, on February 9, 1964. 73 million viewers watched that performance -- 34 percent of the American population. Below are images of the Beatles' big year, in roughly chronological order, as the world discovered Beatlemania.

The Beatles leave London airport in 1964. From left: John Lennon, Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney and George Harrison. Enthusiastic fans welcomed the Beatles in airports and concert halls around the world in 1964, as Beatlemania swept the globe. (AP Photo)

Sightseeing in Paris, on January 15, 1964, the day before their opening at the Olympia Theatre in Paris, three of Britain's four Beatles pause for a look around on the Champs Elysees. From left John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison. In the background is the Arc de Triomphe. (AP Photo)

John Lennon, left; George Harrison, center holding guitar; and Ringo Starr from the Beatles, backstage in Versailles, France, on January 15, 1964. (AP Photo/Tellier)

The Beatles perform their first concert outside of Britain, at the Olympia in Paris, on January 17, 1964. (AFP/Getty Images)

Police hold back screaming fans fighting to get near their idols, the Beatles, when the Liverpool pop group returned to London Airport from Paris, on February 5, 1964. A strong police escort had to accompany the four Beatles from their aircraft to the customs channel. (AP Photo)

May 29, 2014

Old Portraits of Photographers in the First World War

These old photographs showing photographers' work in the war that centred in Europe from between July 1914 until November 1918.

Photographer making arrangement with Spanish Guard to get views of horses crossing bridge for purchase by A.E.F. Location: Hendaye, Basses Pyrennes, France. Date: 12/18/18.

Members of Photo Unit G.H.Q. Chaumont. Left to right: Cpl. J.S. Schlick; Pvt L.S. Pauley; Capt. C. Christie; Sgt. H.A. Nash; Pvt. Jack Estes; Lt. L.J. Rode.

Photo Unit after making pictures. Lieut. Strohmeyer (in observer's seat in plane) Sgt. A.J. Roach by movie camera; Lt. E.G. White, Signal Officer, French Sergeant-Pilot Geriet.

Lt. Sintzenich on roof of ambulance making moving pictures of crowd outside of Buckingham Palace celebrating signing of Armistice.

Running 5th Army Photographic Car off ferry. Photographer: Sgt. Eikleberg, S.C. Location: Devant, Mouzon, Ardennes, France. Date 11/18/18.

15 Amazing Vintage Photos of Truly Cowgirls

That's what truly cowgirls looked like in the past.

A shot captured in 1912 shows Florence LaDue and her fancy lasso skills. (Archive / Getty Images)

Ethelyn Dectreaux, a rodeo rider, in 1935. (General Photographic Agency / Getty Images)

Roper Jane Burmudy makes a lasso dance in 1912. (Historic Photo Archive / Getty Images)

1945: Actress and rodeo champ Betty Miles poses for an epic pic. (DeMauro/Hulton Archive / Getty Images)

Mildred Douglas Chrisman, an early cowgirl and stunt woman, rides a bull like a boss in 1930. (Vintage Images / Getty Images)

Step Into The Past: London Then and Now by Streetmuseum App

For most Londoners, the most common view they enjoy as they trudge to work is the back of another commuter's head but now, thanks to the Streetmuseum app, anyone traipsing through the capital's streets can step back in time to see what London looked like in the 19th and 20th century compared with today - all in the same image.

The pictures below are part of a series in which historic and contemporary images are blended together, allowing users to see just how much London's streets have been transformed.

An exterior shot of the completed Gloucester Road Station in 1868 and 2014. (Photo by Museum of London/Streetmuseum app)

A street seller of sherbert and water on the streets of London in 1893 and the same street in 2014. (Photo by Museum of London/Streetmuseum app)

Piccadilly Circus in 1953 and 2014. (Photo by Museum of London/Streetmuseum app)

The view north up Brick Lane in Spitalfields, close to the markets in 1957 and 2014. (Photo by Museum of London/Streetmuseum app)

People sunbathing in Hyde Park in 1956 with Marble Arch and the Odeon cinema in the background in 2014. (Photo by Museum of London/Streetmuseum app)

May 28, 2014

Debbie Harry of Blondie licking the edge of a 12 inch vinyl LP, 1972

British photographer Martyn Goddard has been reunited with a long lost Debbie Harry / Blondie image. Used on the picture disc version of Blondie's seminal LP Parallel Lines, the image features Debbie licking the edge of a 12 inch vinyl LP, with a lipstick 'kiss' on the label - as shown below.

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