November 30, 2016

Victorian Life – 43 Amazing Cyanotypes That Show Everyday Life Before 1900

Cyanotype is a photographic printing process that produces a cyan-blue print. Engineers used the process well into the 20th century as a simple and low-cost process to produce copies of drawings, referred to as blueprints. The process uses two chemicals: ammonium iron(III) citrate and potassium ferricyanide.

The English scientist and astronomer Sir John Herschel discovered the procedure in 1842. Though the process was developed by Herschel, he considered it as mainly a means of reproducing notes and diagrams, as in blueprints. These 43 amazing cyanotypes that show what life was in Victorian era.

15 Stunning Vintage Portrait Photos of Veterans of the Napoleonic Wars, 1858

Napoléon Bonaparte's final defeat was the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. Even after his death in 1821, the surviving soldiers of Grande Armée revered his historic leadership. Each year on May 5, the anniversary of Napoléon's death, the veterans marched to Paris' Place Vendôme in full uniform to pay respects to their emperor.

These fascinating portraits are believed to be the only surviving images of French veterans who fought in the Napoleonic Wars of 1803–1815 wearing the uniforms they fought in.

The photographs were taken on one of these occasions, possibly in 1858. All the men — at this time in their 70s and 80s — are wearing the Saint Helena medals, issued in August 1857 to all veterans of the wars of the revolution and the empire.

The blurring on some of the pictures shows how hard the ageing subjects found it to stand still for several seconds while the plates were exposed.

Monsieur. Verlinde of the 2nd Lancers.

Monsieur Vitry of the Departmental Guard.

Monsieur Dupont who was fourier for the 1st Hussar.

Quartermaster Fabry of the 1st Hussars.

Monsieur Schmit of the 2nd Mounted Chasseur Regiment.

17 Fascinating Black and White Photos of Youthful Hollywood Star Audrey Hepburn Exploring London's Parks in 1950

During the spring of 1950, Hepburn was relatively unknown to the world. She didn’t become globally famous until she was 24, with the starring role in movie Roman Holiday.

These rare, fascinating pictures show Hepburn three years earlier, on the cusp of super-stardom. They were taken by Picture Post magazine photographer Bert Hardy when she worked as a chorus girl for production Sauce Piquante in London’s West End.

Hardy shot them in London’s Kew Gardens and Richmond Park for a feature called "We Take A Girl To Look For Spring". The images reveal how, even at this early age, Hepburn had true star quality, with seductive looks and a magnetic, coquettish personality.

This Is What Christmas Looked Like in the 1920s

The 1920s ushered in significant changes in American life. They were years when most Americans acquired their first radios and automobiles, and achieved the highest standard of living in the nation's history.

The celebration of the Christmas holiday in the 1920s changed as well. The first national Christmas tree originated during the administration of President Calvin Coolidge. This sixty-foot balsam fir was lit in an impressive ceremony in 1923. Cotton ornaments, inexpensive and unbreakable, were at the peak of their popularity.

By the late 1920s, however, spectacular glass ornaments were being imported from Germany. The popular image of Santa Claus, originally created by German-American cartoonist Thomas Nast, was standardized by advertisers in the 1920s.

This rare vintage footage below shows what Christmas looked like in the 1920s.

Yuri Gagarin: The First Man in Space – 60 Everyday Photos of the Soviet Hero in the 1960s

Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin (1934 – 1968) was a Russian Soviet pilot and cosmonaut. He was the first human to journey into outer space, when his Vostok spacecraft completed an orbit of the Earth on 12 April 1961.

Gagarin became an international celebrity, and was awarded many medals and titles, including Hero of the Soviet Union, the nation's highest honour. Vostok 1 marked his only spaceflight, but he served as backup crew to the Soyuz 1 mission (which ended in a fatal crash). Gagarin later became deputy training director of the Cosmonaut Training Centre outside Moscow, which was later named after him.

Gagarin died in 1968 when the MiG-15 training jet he was piloting crashed. The Yuri Gagarin Medal is awarded in his honor.

Although to be a famous person, he also had a normal life with friends and his family. These old photos captured lovely everyday moments of Gagarin in the 1960s.

November 29, 2016

Flapper Fashion – 49 Incredible Colorized Postcards of Cool Girls in Swimsuits during the 1920s

The 1920s was marked by the strong breakthrough of fashion, especially for women, and bathing suits were also among them. There were swimsuits made of wool, and they also became shorter. These made women easier to swim, but also showed off more of their curves.

There were objections, and even the beach polices who patrolled the area with measuring tape in hand to measure the distance between the bottom of a woman's bathing suit and her knee. But briefly, this era was beginning days to bring the boom of fashion onwards.

Here below is a collection of colorized vintage photos that shows young girls in their swimsuits during the 1920s.

10 Icons That Defined the ’80s Fashion, the Decade With All the Style Statements

The 1980s birthed more fashion icons than any other decade. It was one of the most experimental periods in fashion history, with enduring style icons from Princess Diana to Madonna, Joan Collins to Boy George. Clothes were used to define personalities and make big statements. Shoulders were padded up to your ears courtesy of Lady Diana and the Dynasty cast. Meanwhile Boy George and the Blitz club crew were giving peacock punk a whirl.

With electro foil fabrics and power shoulders dominating, we’re taking a look back at the people who started the trends in the first place...

1. Madonna

There was nothing quite like Madonna in the eighties

Her Madge-sty burst onto the pop scene in 1983, working haute scrunchies, leathers and tutus like we’d never seen before. We fell in love (naturally) and the queen of pop reigned on for the rest of the decade, breaking style boundaries with her incredible physique and conical bras.

2. Lady Diana Spencer

Lady Diana Spencer and Prince Charles on their wedding day

It’s silly of us to even try to sum up Princess Diana’s impact on fashion and culture in one short paragraph, but if we had to, we would say this: she was the trendsetter of a generation, a champion of the power shoulder and that so 80s wedding dress has literally gone down as one of the biggest in history.

3. Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson in Thriller

This jacket is exactly what the ’80s were all about. Shall we call it eye-catching? The power jacket became a Michael Jackson style signature and one of the most copied cuts of the decade. The iconic piece went on to sell for $1.8million at auction in 2011, described by its new owner as ‘the greatest piece of rock memorabilia ever’.

4. Boy George

Boy George rocking his fluid fashion in the eighties

The leader of London’s peacock punks, Boy George saw 1980s fashion as art. With his gang of ‘Blitz kids’ including Leigh Bowery and Stephen Jones, he turned the club scene into a colorful catwalk, dressing as though their lives depended on it and partying so hard it made headlines. The only styling rule for this lot? Anything goes.

5. Joan Collins

Joan Collins in her Dynasty days

Ahhh Joan Collins. The queen of ’80s TV show Dynasty inspired thousands of big hair ‘dos and heavy make-up statements throughout the decade. Her character, the soap’s villain Alexis Colby, had a wardrobe of puff shoulder dresses and trophy jackets that was so bad, it was so so good.

Never-Before-Seen Police Photos From the Scenes of Kurt Cobain's Suicide

Dozens of never-before-seen pictures from the death investigation of Kurt Cobain, the rock legend and frontman for the band Nirvana who was found dead in his Seattle-area home in April 1994, were released by the Seattle Police Department (SPD) in March 2014.

The photographs taken at the scene at the time of Cobain's death remained undeveloped until recently. The department announced it had developed the film as part of a re-examination of the rock superstar's death investigation, which confirmed it was a suicide.

Though the pictures have a slight green tint because of deterioration, police say they show the scene more clearly than the earlier Polaroid photos taken by investigators.

"I was requested to look at the case because I'm a cold case detective and because it is 20 years later and it's a high media case," Detective Mike Ciesynski, who had the four rolls of film developed and conducted interviews, told KIRO-TV. "And there were always these conspiracy theorists out there, and so I was asked to look at the case and review it."

Police said in 1994 that the case was clearly a suicide. Ciesynski said that is still the case after reviewing evidence.

Asked if his review had given him any reason to think the grunge rocker hadn't taken his own life, Ciesynski replied, "No, nothing. But I had to clear up some issues that made people believe there was some type of a cover-up. And one of those was that I had to process some 35 mm film that never was processed before.

"At the time, in 1994, we would shoot our scenes with 35 mm cameras and we would back them up with Polaroids (photographs). That's what we did in this case. And the ... powers that be at the time decided just don't develop the 35 mm film and just use your Polaroids, because the case was labeled a suicide, and the medical examiner's office, they take photographs also, so the case actually shifts to them.

"So ... we would not have processed that 35 mm film unless we were looking for something specific that wasn't shown in the Polaroids. So I believed, 'Let's get rid of people thinking something else happened that did not happen, and developed the film."'

The final investigation report has not yet been completed, Ciesynski said.

He also said images of Cobain dead at the scene will not be released. "What are people going to gain from seeing pictures of Kurt Cobain laying on the ground with his hair blown back, with blood coming out of his nose and trauma to his eyes from a penetrating shotgun wound. How's that going to benefit anybody?

"It wasn't going to change my decision that this was a suicide, and actually I'm the one that makes the decision finally: Do we go forward or not? Morally I would not be able to justify that. Legally I can't justify doing that."

In this photo, Kurt Cobain's arm shows his medical bracelet from a drug rehab center in LA that he checked out of days before returning to Seattle, where the Seattle Police Department says, he committed suicide.

The box of shotgun shells recovered at the scene. SPD says one of the shells from this box was used by Cobain to shoot himself.

A number of photos show what police identify as Kurt Cobain's suicide note and how it was left.

Cobain's suicide note was on top of a planter in the greenhouse with a pen stuck through the center of the note.

This police photo shows Cobain's heroin kit complete with syringes and other paraphernalia kept in a cigar box.

Rarely Seen Obama High School Senior Prom Photos Resurface From 1979

Tucked away in someone else’s shoe box of adolescent artifacts, there might be a picture of you in garish clothes and with an outdated ‘do, your arm around a high school squeeze. The President of the United States is no different. These rearely seen photos, obtained exclusively by TIME from Obama’s schoolmate Kelli Allman (née McCormack), show a 17-year-old Barack Obama on the night of his senior prom.

From left: Greg Orme, Kelli Allman, Barack Obama and Megan Hughes at Allman’s parents’ house in Honolulu. (Kelli Allman / Contact Press Images)

From left: Greg Orme, Kelli Allman, Barack Obama and Megan Hughes at Allman’s parents’ house in Honolulu. (Kelli Allman / Contact Press Images)

Sporting a white sport coat, periwinkle tie and a big curly hairdo, Obama is pictured in the 1979 shots arm in arm with his date, Megan Hughes. The happy pair appear next to another couple, friends Greg Orme and Kelli Allman.

“It was a really fun, happy time. We were all cracking up, and everyone was smiling,” said Allman, who provided the photos, of the memorable evening at the Punahou School in Honolulu. “It was pretty typical from there out as far as what happens at prom: the dinner and the dancing and the photos,” she said.

While the future President didn’t date a lot in high school, Allman said, he made for lovely company that night.

“He was very intelligent and witty. He and I really clicked. We had great vibes between us,” she said of Obama.

So did the young Obama take the wrong woman? The admiration between Allman and he appeared to be mutual.

In Allman’s yearbook at the end the year, Obama called his friend’s date “foxy.”

Left: Kelli Allman‘s OAHUAN 1979 Yearbook. Right: Obama wrote the above note in Allman’s yearbook at the end of his senior year in 1979. (Kelli Allman / Contact Press Images)


It has been so nice getting to know you this year. You are extremely sweet and foxy, I don't know why Greg would want to spend any time with me at all! You really deserve better than clowns like us; you even laugh at my jokes! I hope we can keep in touch this summer, even though Greg will be gone. Call me up, and I'll buy you lunch sometimes ###-####. Anyways, good luck in everything you do, and stay happy.

Your Friend,

Love <3

Barry Obama”

57 Vintage Kodachrome Slides of Italy in the Mid-1950s Through American Travelers' Lens

This is a set of Kodachrome slides documenting a tour of Italy undertaken around 1955 and 1956 by a couple and a young woman who are all Americans and traveled to Europe on the SS Independence.

Take a look to see how everyday life of Italy in this time was.

Panorama of Florence from Piazzale Michelangelo, Italy

Panorama of Canale di San Marco (a South Easterly View) from Doge's Palace, Venice, Italy

Pantheon in Rome

Piazza De Ferrari, Genoa

Piazza Enrico De Nicola, Naples

A German pilot bails out from his flaming plane during the World War I

Picture shows a German rider jumping off his Albatross airplane in flames after being shot down over enemy lines. The anonymous British airman who took the picture told the context in which the snapshot was taken:
“The German aircraft began a descent and the pilot of my plane was pointed in his direction to follow him. Then I saw him go up in flames … The heat must have been terrifying. The pilot was finally thrown out …”.

November 28, 2016

Chicago in the Old Days: 41 Fascinating Photos Document Street Young People of Wicker Park in the Late 1950s

Wicker Park is a neighborhood within the West Town community area in Chicago, Illinois. Situated just west of the Kennedy Expressway, Wicker Park is known for its local hipster culture, art community, nightlife, and food scene.

These vintage pictures were taken by an American photographer named Richard. They show everyday life of street young people in Wicker Park, Chicago from 1957 to 1959.


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