September 30, 2017

20 Beautiful Color Photos of Julie Andrews in the 1950s and 1960s

Singer and actress Julie Andrews was born Julia Elizabeth Wells on October 1, 1935, in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, England. Andrews has endured as a popular star of stage and screen for many decades. She came from a musical family; her mother was a pianist and her stepfather, from whom she took her surname, was a singer.

Andrews first found success on the English stage in the late 1940s and then moved to America, where she starred in the musical The Boyfriend during the mid-'50s. In 1956, she starred opposite Rex Harrison in My Fair Lady as Eliza Doolittle, a role that earned her a Tony Award nomination for best actress in a musical. She followed that stellar performance with another lead role in the musical Camelot in 1960, for which she earned her second Tony Award nomination.

American Photographer Recreated Some of History’s Famous Portrait Paintings As Creative Self-Portraits

Laura Hofstadter discovered the world of the photographic darkroom in 1970 in the basement of the Stanford University art gallery, where she took an introductory photo class taught by Leo Holub. After graduating with a biology degree, she held various jobs including a decade-long stint as a science writer with Stanford Medical Center's News Service. Sometimes she took photographs to accompany her articles, and these images appeared in Stanford publications as well as in local and national newspapers and periodicals.

Entitled Stages, a series of black and white self-portraits emulating classical paintings by the 66-year-old photographer, the project began while experimenting with a 4x5 camera and after discovering how little it took to evoke the classical works, she placed herself front-and-center into various icons of Western art as an expression of her feelings growing older in a youth-obsessed society and also as a reflection of her experience battling cancer.

Each photo is the result of carefully finding a suitable location or creating a set, putting together an accurate costume, gathering props, and matching the framing, angle, and lighting. Hofstadter uses her age as one of them main themes in the series.

Although the series was about coming to terms with different stages of life, loss, and aging, the images were conceived with humor and playfulness through her minimal styling and manipulation.

The Scream – Edvard Munch

Cafe Singer – Edgar Degas

Mona Lisa – Leonardo da Vinci

Dante Alighieri – Sandro Botticelli

St Agatha – Piero della Francesca

43 Color Photos of the 1986 Venice Carnival That Make You Wish to Be There Right Now

The Carnival of Venice is an annual festival held in Venice, Italy. The Carnival ends with the Christian celebration of Lent, forty days before Easter, on Shrove Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday. The festival is world famous for its elaborate masks.

With masquerade masks, and fancy costumes, these amazing color photos of the 1986 Venice Carnival from Sophie that may haunt your mind forever.

September 29, 2017

Sonny & Cher: 30 Lovely Photos of American Singer Couple in the 1960s

Sonny & Cher were an American pop music duo, actors, singers and entertainers made up of husband-and-wife Sonny and Cher Bono in the 1960s and 1970s. The couple started their career in the mid-1960s as R&B backing singers for record producer Phil Spector.

Sonny & Cher in the 1960s

The pair first achieved fame with two hit songs in 1965, "Baby Don't Go" and "I Got You Babe". Signing with Atco/Atlantic Records, they released three studio albums in the late 1960s, as well as the soundtrack recordings for two unsuccessful movies, Good Times and Chastity, with Cher contributing vocals to one cut, "Chastity's Song (Band of Thieves)".

The couple's career as a duo ended in 1975 following their divorce.

Looking back on the peak time of their career in the 1960s through these lovely color photos.

Sonny and Cher in 1965

Sonny and Cher in 1965

Sonny and Cher and The Lovin' Spoonful on the NBC TV music show ‘Hullabaloo’ on September 13, 1965 in New York City

Sonny and Cher and The Lovin' Spoonful on the NBC TV music show ‘Hullabaloo’ on September 13, 1965 in New York City

Sonny and Cher in Germany, 1966

Incredible Photos of Tourists Feeding Bears From Their Cars in Yellowstone National Park From Between the 1940s and 1960s

Once upon a time, bear feeding was as popular (if not more so) than geyser watching in Yellowstone National Park.

Indeed, the practice went beyond the occasional scrap tossed to an obliging bruin by the roadside. Bear feeding was a spectacle, with huge pits of garbage set up for bears to come root around for sustenance—to the delight of observers. And while you may think the practice as archaic, it was a central part of the Yellowstone experience (both advertised and felt) for decades.

Garbage Dumps and “Hold-Up Bears”

According to Paul Schullery, writing in Searching for Yellowstone, the spectacle of feeding bears garbage arose somewhat by accident. In the late 1880s, as hotels started cropping up around the Park, bears started hanging around hotel garbage dumps. By 1900, “the bear replaced Old Faithful as the most recognizable symbol of the park,” and bear feeding sites cropped up across the Park, rising with the number of visitors.

There, under the watchful and interpretive eye of an armed ranger, hundreds of visitors nightly watched crowds of grizzly bears paw through piles of hotel garbage, with the occasional added treat of a loud, spectacular fight to add a thrill to the evening.

Bears also started appearing along roadsides, knowing people would stop and throw out food to them. From The Birth of the National Park Service: The Founding Years, 1913-33, narrated by Albright to Robert Cahn:

There was one animal the visitors never had any trouble seeing—bears. Even though most of Yellowstone’s big population of bears stayed in the wilds, there were a number of black bears that had become what we called “beggar bears,” or “hold-up bears.” They would hang around the roadsides waiting for visitors to stop their cars and throw out food.

End of Bear Feeding

The bear feeding sites were one big publicity stunt for the Park, one we recognize with a modicum of incredulity—to put it mildly. Besides injury and death, bear feeding led to property damage, both from bears clawing up cars and tearing down fences in search of grub. According to the Yellowstone Park Foundation, between 1931 and 1969, there were an average of 48 bear-related injuries to visitors in the Park—and over 100 cases of property damage!

In today’s bearscape, feeding them table scraps, much less constructing sites for their feeding to become spectacle, is unthinkable. And not even from a safety standpoint. Feeding bears in Yellowstone runs counter to the mission currently espoused by the NPS: to let bears (and other wildlife) live as unfettered and unguided as possible within Park boundaries.

The public “bear viewing” dumpsites started shuttering during World War II, a little over a decade after the Park started tracking human-bear incidents more diligently. The practice did not really come to a full stop until much later, as “hold-up” bears lingered by the roadsides and bears still frequented garbage dumps within Park boundaries. It was not until 1970, when Yellowstone banned visitors from feeding bears and set up bearproof garbage containers around the Park, that bear feeding came to a full stop.

Mailing Babies: When It Was Legal to Send Children Through the U.S Postal Service in the Early 20th Century

Once-upon-a-time, it was legal to mail a baby in the United States. It happen more than once and by all accounts, the mailed tots arrived no worse for wear. Yes, “baby mail” was a real thing.

One of the most overlooked, yet most significant innovations of the early 20th century might be the Post Office’s decision to start shipping large parcels and packages through the mail. While private delivery companies flourished during the 19th century, the Parcel Post dramatically expanded the reach of mail-order companies to America’s many rural communities, as well as the demand for their products. When the Post Office’s Parcel Post officially began on January 1, 1913, the new service suddenly allowed millions of Americans great access to all kinds of goods and services. But almost immediately, it had some unintended consequences as some parents tried to send their children through the mail.

A staged photograph of a letter carrier with a baby.

A New York Times article from that year describes one such good—a baby boy in Ohio who was sent by mail to his grandmother:
“Vernon O. Lytle, mail carrier on rural route No. 5, is the first man to accept and deliver under parcel post conditions a live baby. The baby, a boy weighing 10-3/4 pounds, just within the 11 pound weight limit, is the child of Mr. and Mrs. Jesse Beagle of Glen Este.
“The boy was well wrapped and ready for 'mailing' when the carrier received him to-day. Mr. Lytle delivered the boy safely at the address on the card attached, that of the boy’s grandmother, Mrs. Louis Beagle, who lives about a mile distant. The postage was fifteen cents and the parcel was insured for $50.”

This “baby in the mail” fun photograph takes the idea a step farther by having the baby be the letter carrier.

Another article, from 1915, describes a 3-year-old girl named Maude Smith who weighed 30 pounds and who was sent through the mail for 33 cents in Kentucky.
“The child was seated on a pack of mail sacks between the mail carrier's knees and was busily eating away at some candy it carried in a bag," reports The Courier-Journal. "In the other hand it carried a big red apple and it smiled when the curious folks waved their hands and called to her.”
In the next few years, stories about children being mailed through rural routes would crop up from time to time as people pushed the limits of what could be sent through Parcel Post. In one famous case, on February 19, 1914, a four-year-old girl named Charlotte May Pierstorff was “mailed” via train from her home in Grangeville, Idaho to her grandparents’ house about 73 miles away, Nancy Pope writes for the National Postal Museum. Her story has become so legendary that it was even made into a children’s book, Mailing May.

Young May Pierstorff, the most famous of the parcel post children packages.

The reasoning behind some parents' willingness to send their little ones through the Parcel Post seems to have been threefold: postage was cheaper than a train ticket, a lot of trust was placed in mailmen.

The Post Office Department officially put a stop to “baby mail” in 1915, after postal regulations barring the mailing of human beings enacted the year before were finally enforced.

Even today, postal regulations allow the mailing of live animals, including poultry, reptiles, and bees, under certain conditions. But no more babies, please.

(via Smithsonian)

Vintage Photographs Capture the Ice Cutting Process on the Ottauquechee River in 1936

Ice cutting and harvesting was a job pretty much obsolete now due to refrigeration and advances in technology. However, before freezers became the norm in households, teams of ‘icemen’ would undergo ice cutting operations during the winter months to harvest enough ice that could be sold to homes and businesses throughout the year.

These following photographs capture the ice cutting and harvesting process on Ottaqueechee River in New Hampshire in 1936.

September 28, 2017

Rare and Fascinating Photos of Harriet Quimby, the First Licensed U.S. Woman Pilot

She was a modern woman in a not-so modern age. At a time when her contemporaries were swathed in petticoats and corsets, Harriet Quimby was climbing into a cockpit, decked out in a satin flying suit, waving energetically to the crowd. She was as bold and tenacious as she was beautiful, and she displayed an innate understanding of marketing and salesmanship, selling herself and the fledgling field of aviation to an enthusiastic public.

Harriet Quimby is classified among the most famous American female aviators. Her career as a pilot did not last long but was undeniably heroic. She was the first American lady to become a licensed pilot and the first woman to fly across the English Channel. She was also a movie screenwriter. Even though she died very young, Harriet played a key influence upon the role of women in aviation.

Quimby became interested in aviation about 1910, and, following a visit to an air show at Belmont Park in October of that year, she determined to learn to fly. She took lessons at the Moisant School of Aviation at Hempstead, Long Island, in the spring of 1911, and on August 1 she became the first woman to qualify for a license (number 37) from the Aero Club of America, the U.S. branch of the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale. She was the second licensed woman pilot in the world, following the baroness de la Roche of France. For a time Quimby flew with the Moisant International Aviators, a demonstration team from the school, but she also continued to contribute articles to various periodicals.

On April 16, 1912, after nearly a month of preparation, Quimby became the first woman to pilot an aircraft across the English Channel, guiding her French Blériot monoplane from Dover, England, through heavy overcast to Hardelot, France. She was widely celebrated for her feat. In the summer, after participating in several other air meets, she flew to Boston to take part in the Harvard-Boston Aviation Meet. On July 1, 1912, while piloting her Blériot over Dorchester Bay, Quimby lost control; she and a passenger both fell from the rolling craft and were killed.

Miss Harriet Quimby, 1911, (Leslie Jones Collection, Boston Public Library)

Harriet in the cockpit of her plane in the USA, 1911.

Harriet Quimby and her Blériot XI.

Harriet Quimby and her Blériot XI. (Library of Congress)

Harriet Quimby in her purple flight suit.


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