November 30, 2017

El Monte’s Wild Past: Incredible Vintage Photographs Capture Inside Gay's Lion Farm in the 1930s

From 1925 to 1942 El Monte was home to Gay's Lion Farm, which was established by former circus stars. The farm housed some 200 African lions (including Jackie, one of the lions that was used to introduce Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer films), and many of the lions were used in motion pictures.

Founders Charles and Muriel Gay were Anglo-French circus performers who arrived in Los Angeles in 1914. They established an attraction in MacArthur Park (then known as Westlake Park) where the public could watch Charles Gay working with three adult lions. The lions were trained as animal actors in the burgeoning motion picture industry.

Needing more room for their animals, the Gays found a large plot of un-zoned property in El Monte, east of Los Angeles, where in 1925 they opened Gay's Lion Farm, a public attraction dedicated to the breeding, training and exhibition of African lions. The Farm quickly became one of the most popular tourist attractions in the Southland, doing a brisk trade in souvenir photographic postcards.

At its high point, there were more than 200 adult lions living at the Farm. The farm closed in December 1942, when wartime rationing made it impossible to get the ton of horse meat required daily for the cats, and the lions were loaned to zoos around the country. But by the time the war ended, Charles Gay was too ill to reclaim his cats. He retired to Balboa Island, where he died in 1950. He is buried at San Gabriel Cemetery.

Vintage Photographs of Hippies and Teds Gathered at Wembley Stadium for a Rock ‘n’ Roll Revival Show in 1972

The London Rock and Roll Show was a concert held at Wembley Stadium, London, on 5 August 1972. It is often said to have been the first ever concert held at the stadium, but in fact the band Yes had performed in the Stadium on 13 July 1969.

From the late 1960s to the early 1970s, many rock and roll performers from the 1950s experienced major career revivals due to a temporary upswing of interest in their form of music. The Revival was marked by a series of major concerts in the United States, and also spread to Europe where events such as the Wembley concert attracted thousands of fans who came out to see the performers behind the music.

The concert included performances by major stars including Bo Diddley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, and Bill Haley and His Comets. The concert ended with an extended performance by Chuck Berry, who at the time was enjoying major chart success in Britain and the US with his "My Ding-a-Ling".

5th August 1972: A group of teddy boys dancing at the London rock ‘n’ roll revival show in Wembley Arena.

Rock ‘n’ roll fans who attended the Rock ‘n’ Roll Festival at Wembley, North London. (Photo by Evening Standard/Getty Images)

Teddy boys gather at Wembley Stadium for The London Rock and Roll Show, 5th August 1972. (Photo by Michael Webb/Keystone/Getty Images)

A woman standing next to a teddy-boy sells leather belts at the Rock n’ Roll Festival, Wembley Stadium. (Photo by Evening Standard/Getty Images)

Hippies and rockers together at the rock ‘n’ roll Revival Show, held at Wembley Stadium, London. (Photo by Michael Webb/Getty Images)

Amazing Vintage Portrait Photos Depict Women’s Hairstyles of the 1930s

In the 1930s, the major trends for hairstyles were all about waves. With a softer look than the sleek bob and tight ringlets of the 1920s, women began wearing their hair in more feminine styles with parts sweeping to the side or down the middle.

At the beginning of the decade, short hair still reigned with men’s hairstyles as well as women’s hairstyles. But as the 1930s marched on, women started opting for longer hair. Below is a collection of 1930s photographs, depicting some of the hairstyles of the time, like the perm, softwave bob and the coxcomb curls, and one lady even sporting a boat ornament on her head.


November 29, 2017

'Ivyhurst': The Home of American Celebrities and Politicians in the Early 20th Century

'Ivyhurst' was the home of Robinson Franklin Downey (1849-1923) and his wife, Ella Jean 'Jennie' (Wilson) (Lindsey) Downey (1860-1934), prominent citizens with influential political ties.

'Ivyhurst' played host to such celebrities as President William H. Taft, Woodrow Wilson's Vice President Thomas Marshall, William Jennings Bryan, and Mrs. Calvin Coolidge. After the death of Mrs. Downey, Ivyhurst passed into the ownership of Waynesburg College, which used it to house the Music Department until 1967, when Ivyhurst was sold and destroyed to make room for a gas station.

The home was located on the corner of Greene and Washington streets in Waynesburg, Greene County, Pennsylvania. Today the location of Community Bank.

These rarely historical photos from Greene County, Pennsylvania, Archives that show this house from between the late 1910s and early 1920s.

Helen Louise 'Nellie' (Herron) Taft, President William H. Taft, Ella Jean 'Jennie' (Wilson) (Lindsey) Downey and Robinson Franklin Downey (left-right) at 'Ivyhurst', 4 November 1919

President William H. Taft, Ella Jean 'Jennie' (Wilson) (Lindsey) Downey and Robinson Franklin Downey (left-right) at 'Ivyhurst', 4 November 1919

The 'Ivyhurst' in the late 1910s

Bedroom at 'Ivyhurst'

Bedroom at 'Ivyhurst'

A Collection of 22 'He Touched Me'-Themed Album Covers

Singer and songwriter of southern gospel music Bill Gaither had written more than fifty songs, none of which became popular, when he wrote his first big hit, "He Touched Me," in 1963. Its first recording by Doug Oldham helped to make it famous.

Bill explained in the same interview that he wrote the song during a time when he was accompanying an old preacher friend of his, Dr Dale Oldham, on some evangelistic crusades. He recalled: "He was a very eloquent speaker. One night after one of those meetings, Dr. Oldham said to me, 'Bill, the word "touch" is a very popular word. It comes up so often in the New Testament stories about Jesus touching people's eyes and healing them, or touching people's lives and changing them. It's a special, spiritual word and you ought to write a song that praises His touch.' So I did."

Elvis Presley heard the song and recorded it as the title song of his 1972 album that sold over one million copies and earned a Grammy Award. It began Presley's lifelong love for gospel music in general and Gaither songs in particular. Among the most popular and successful recordings of "He Touched Me" were those by The Imperials and the Speer Family. "He Touched Me" was first published in a hymnal in Hymns for the Family of God, 1976.

"He Touched Me" sure was a popular theme back in the day. These album covers are heartbreaking cries for help.

Amazing Then and Now Photos Merge London's Ghosts of Christmas Past

Christmas can be a wonderful time of year for friends and family, but have the modern trappings removed some of the magic from the holiday season?

Getty Images photographer Peter Macdiarmid combed through the photo service's archives and digitally combined iconic pictures of Christmas in London throughout history with recent photographs from the city. The results are delightfully eerie and a pleasant reminder that, despite how much society may change, some traditions stay the same.

Father Christmas arrives at the Arding and Hobbs store on Nov. 2, 1926 in Clapham Junction, London.

Sandbags protect a shop window at Selfridges department store in London during the first Christmas of World War II on Dec. 16, 1939.

London's St Paul's Cathedral on Dec. 19, 1950. The 1950 tree was brought from the royal estates at Windsor.

Turkeys are auctioned at Smithfield Market for Christmas trade on Dec. 21, 1968.

The statue of Lord Beaconsfield stands in front of the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben, Parliament Square, on Dec. 24, 1938.

November 28, 2017


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