March 31, 2017

45 Color Photos Document the Martin Luther Film Premiere in 1953

Martin Luther is a 1953 film biography of Martin Luther. It was directed by Irving Pichel, (who also plays a supporting role), and stars Niall MacGinnis as Luther. It was produced by Louis de Rochemont and RD-DR Corporation in collaboration with Lutheran Church Productions and Luther-Film-G.M.B.H.

The National Board of Review named the film the fourth best of 1953. It was nominated for two Academy Awards, for Best Cinematography (Black-and-White) (Joseph C. Brun) and Art Direction/Set Decoration (Fritz Maurischat, Paul Markwitz).

These color slides show images of the Martin Luther motion picture world premiere at Lyceum Theater, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1953.

Amazing Vintage Photographs of Ice-Skating Waiters of the Grand Hotel les Bains, Switzerland from the 1920s and '30s

In the 1920s and '30s at the Grand Hotel les Bains in St. Moritz, Switzerland, they had the right idea: serve drinks on its ice terrace by skating waiters. It took some practice getting the rest of the staff serve cocktails successfully. For some clients, waiting for servers take a spectacular fall while balancing expensive booze on a tray was obviously half the fun.

German photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt, who was then on staff for LIFE magazine, captured the Grand Hotel servers on film - balancing serving trays all while gliding on one foot.

St. Moritz is located in the Engadine valley in the Swiss Alps, which is surrounded by mountains on all sides. The city, which is known for its ski resorts, was host to the 1928 and 1948 Winter Olympics. The 1928 Winter Olympic Games was the first true Winter Games because it was not held in conjunction with the Summer Olympic Games.

The area, which was and is still popular with the jet set, “was a popular playground for many famous people,” according to the St. Moritz Tourism board. Alfred Hitchcock, Brigitte Bardot, Charlie Chaplin and Greta Garbo were all regular guests.

See the iconic photos Eisenstaedt captured of the skating waiters:

Vivid Color Photographs of Life in the Soviet Union in the 1950s Taken by a U.S. Diplomat

American historian Douglas Smith who specializes in Soviet history discovered a collection of photographs and videos in the home of Martin Manhoff, a US diplomat who served in USSR, that he took in 1952—1954.

According to Smith, after Manhoff’s wife died he was asked to check the home of a former official for valuable memorabilia. “I was amazed at what I discovered. There are thousand of color photographs taken on the streets of Moscow, Leningrad, Murmansk, Yalta, and at points along the Trans-Siberian Railroad,” Smith says.

The archive also includes unique footage from Joseph Stalin’s funeral — it was taken from the window of the US embassy in Moscow, located in the Hotel National.

Whether shooting Moscow street scenes from a chauffeured car, or writing home about their experiences, Martin Manhoff and his wife Jan were piecing together an intimate, vivid portrait of life behind the Iron Curtain in the early 1950s.

Ostankino Palace, Moscow.

Approaching the Kremlin on Moskvoretskaya naberezhnaya, Moscow.

Driving up Moscow's Bolshaya Nikitskaya ulitsa, with the Stalinist skyscraper on Kudrinskaya ploshchad rising in background.

Driving down Novinsky bulvar, Moscow.

Log-topped housing and ramshackle sheds topped with corrugated steel in Moscow's Tagansky raion.

The Original April 1, 1957 BBC Broadcast of the Spaghetti Tree Hoax

The BBC has always been known for its highly reputable broadcasts. So it hit that much harder when, in 1957, the BBC crafted a hilarious April Fool’s Day broadcast in which they showed a family in southern Switzerland reaping fresh noodles from the family spaghetti tree.

As unbelievable as it sounds now, spaghetti was, at the time, foreign to most UK residents, and many had no idea the delectable noodles were simply made of flour and water.

After the three-minute broadcast aired, the BBC was contacted by scores of viewers who wanted to know how to obtain or grow their own spaghetti tree. It was estimated that 8 million people watched the broadcast the day it aired, making it one of the most widespread famous hoaxes in broadcasting history.

The “Ghost Town” of Vilarinho da Furna, a Drowned Roman Village

Vilarinho da Furna, also called Vilarinho das Furnas, is a Portuguese “ghost town” full of history and stories. And water… Where today flows the Albufeira de Vilarinho das Furnas once existed one of the most charming villages of the Gerês National Park.

In 1967, construction began on a dam that would flood areas of the River Homem, and provide massive hydroelectricity to the region. Amid some protest, the Portuguese Electricity Company paid off residents to leave their homes, as the dam would completely submerge the small village of 300 people. In 1971, the last resident left the town, and its barren structures awaited the deluge that would bury it beneath the river.

In 1972, the town was submerged, plunging over 2000 years of history in the village into water. According to oral accounts, the town was founded by Romans in the 1st century C.E., and was prosperous throughout its history. Today, the barren walls, windows and doors rise mysteriously when the dam water levels fall.

A museum dedicated to the lost city was built in nearby São João do Campo, and other commemoration efforts have taken place since the town was flooded 40 years ago. Recently, boats with transparent bottoms have also taken tourists near the village so the remains of the city can be seen and the history not lost forever.

Here are some old photos of Vilarinho da Furna:

... and pictures of the village emerging from under the water:

March 30, 2017

Rare Photos of Alaska Natives from the Late 19th to the Early 20th Centuries

Alaska Natives are indigenous peoples of Alaska, United States: Iñupiat, Yupik, Aleut, Eyak, Tlingit, Haida, Tsimshian, and a number of Northern Athabaskan cultures. They are often defined by their language groups.

Ancestors of the Alaska Natives are known to have migrated into the area thousands of years ago, in at least two different waves. Some are descendants of a third wave of migration in which people settled across the northern part of North America. They never migrated to southern areas.

Throughout the Arctic and northern areas, the ancestors of the Alaska Natives established varying indigenous, complex cultures that have succeeded each other over time. They developed sophisticated ways to deal with the challenging climate and environment, and cultures rooted in the place.

A set of 27 collected photos that shows portraits and everyday life of Alaska Natives from the late 19th to the early 20th centuries.

Myths Debunked: That Famous Photo of Teddy Roosevelt Riding a Moose is Fake!

Many of Theodore Roosevelt’s adventures seem like something out of a tall tale: he survived an assassination attempt; nearly died while exploring the Amazonian jungle; and became the first president to drive a car and fly in a plane; among many others. Despite having been a larger-than-life figure, this is one thing that Teddy Roosevelt never did: ride a swimming moose.

In 1912, Roosevelt split from the Republican Party, after having become unhappy with its increasingly conservative policies. He then ran for President as head of the newly formed Progressive Party. After forming this party, Roosevelt exuberantly proclaimed, "I'm feeling like a bull moose!" For which reason, the Progressive Party was often referred to as the "Bull Moose Party."

Two months before the election, on Sep 8, 1912, the New York Tribune ran a set of humorous pictures under the headline "The Race For The White House," showing the three main presidential candidates astride the animals associated with their parties.

William Howard Taft was shown riding an elephant (for the Republican party). Woodrow Wilson sat on a donkey (for the Democratic party). And Roosevelt rode a moose (for the Bull Moose party).

All three images were fake. They had been created by the photographic firm Underwood and Underwood.

Close inspection of the Roosevelt image reveals the signs of fakery. The firm had extracted Roosevelt's image from a photo of him riding a horse and pasted it into a shot of a swimming moose. Scratch lines are visible around Roosevelt's leg, where the photo editor tried to simulate water ripples. Also, Roosevelt's image is more sharply focused than that of the moose.

But, of course, the image was not supposed to be mistaken for a real scene. It was clearly presented as political humor.

Roosevelt lost the 1912 election to Woodrow Wilson, and the image of him riding a moose disappeared into photo archives. But in the 21st Century the image resurfaced and began circulating online where many people assumed it depicted an actual event.

(via Houghton Library Blog)

Invisible Women: 30 Spooky Studio Portraits of Victorian Babies Held by Their Mothers

With exposure times of half a minute, Victorian mothers wanting a portrait of their children had to disguise themselves as chairs, couches and curtains to hold them still. The results are often unintentionally funny.

Many of the women have made themselves more, rather than less, conspicuous. The effect is rather like children who believe that if they cover their eyes they become invisible.

These images of hidden mothers (and possibly fathers, although it’s hard to tell, of course), simultaneously absent and present, illustrate something that still resonates today. Disguised as armchairs, hiding behind pillars or crouching on the carpet, these ghostly figures remind us of the way that we all, regardless of age or circumstance, continue to be guided by that comforting, imprisoning maternal grasp.

Incredible Photos Show a Harem of Wives Taken by India’s ‘Photographer Prince’ More Than 100 Years Ago

As the Maharaja of Jaipur, Ram Singh II was famous for many things. It was during his reign that slavery, infanticide and other cruel customs were abolished. He was also known for being a rather avid photographer who captured the costumes and culture of his kingdom.

The pictures were taken between 1857 and 1865, and the collection of glass negatives were to remain untouched for more than a century. Under the watchful eye of British photographer T. Murray, the Maharaja - who became known as the country's first Photographer Prince and who often used his four wives as subjects - developed his interest in the emerging art, and took intimate shots of the ornately-dressed people who surrounded him each day.

According to accounts of his life, he spent hours in his laboratory developing photographs and recording images which proved a treasure trove for historians. These images give a rare insight into the life of a 19th Century Indian Maharajah.

Portrait of a woman in the harem of the royal palace of Jaipur, India, 1857–1865. (Photo by Maharaja Ram Singh III/Alinari via Getty Images)

Full portrait of a woman in the harem in the royal palace of Jaipur, India, 1857–1865. (Photo by Maharaja Ram Singh III/Alinari via Getty Images)

Portrait of a woman in the harem of the royal palace of Jaipur, India, circa 1857. (Photo by Maharaja Ram Singh III/Alinari Archives, Florence/Alinari via Getty Images)

Double portrait of a woman in the harem of the royal palace of Jaipur, India, 1857–1865. (Photo by Maharaja Ram Singh III/Alinari via Getty Images)

Double portrait of a woman in the harem of the royal palace of Jaipur, India, 1857–1865. (Photo by Maharaja Ram Singh III/Alinari via Getty Images)

Divas of the Italian Silent Cinema: 28 Glamorous Portrait Photos of Italian Actresses From Between the 1910s and '20s

Beautiful, talented... Elena Sangro, Francesca Bertini, Lyda Borelli... were really the divas of the Italian silent cinema. Check out these glamorous photos to see more of Italian actresses in this era.

Anna Fougez

Bianca Renieri

Carmen Boni

Claretta Rosay

Diomira Jacobini

March 29, 2017

Afro: The Popular Hairstyle of African-American People in the Late 1960s and '70s

Afro, sometimes abbreviated to 'fro' and also known as a 'natural', is a hairstyle worn naturally by people with lengthy kinky hair texture or specifically styled in such a fashion by individuals with naturally curly or straight hair. The hairstyle is created by combing the hair away from the scalp, allowing the hair to extend out from the head in a large, rounded shape, much like a cloud or ball.

In people with naturally curly or straight hair, the hairstyle is typically created with the help of creams, gels or other solidifying liquids to hold the hair in place. Particularly popular in the African-American community of the late 1960s.

Here are some beautiful photos that show this hairstyle of African-American people in the late 1960s and the 1970s.


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