Excellent post over at BLDBLOG on the history of Bannerman's Arsenal, a ruined island castle in the middle of the Hudson river, created by a war profiteer who was at one time the world's largest arms dealer. Bonus points for the amazing accompanying photos by Shaun O'Boyle, whose site Modern Ruins has been featured on the blue previously.
Before there were videogames, growing up in England in the late 1960s though the 70's we had Action Transfers. The Letraset company branched off its division of hand set rub-on transfer fonts into full blown action scenes, with Cowboys & Indians, famous historical battles, Vikings, natural disasters & more. This collector has dozens of sets, scanned in high resolution & never used.
Photographs of American Cities from the middle of the 20th Century.
T.R.A.N.S.I.T. is, by a wide margin, my favorite animated short ever produced. Set in the art deco Europe of the 1920's and (and released in 1997) it tells the story of a journey throughout several major vacation destinations of a wealthy tycoon, his young wife with wandering eyes, and a murderous turn of events. The story is told in reverse, from the final stage of the "vacation" back through each prior stop, and the artwork for each segment is painted in the style of the luggage travel sticker for that stop.
A Life With Jazz is a collection of the wonderful photographs of Herman Leonard, focusing on the iconic figures of 20th century jazz music.
Shorpy, the awesome photoblog of old photos has added a comics section and are now running newspaper comics from the first half of the 20th century. Via.
Shorpy is an unusual photoblog; billed as "the 100-year-old photography blog," it focuses on found images from many, many decades gone by. Some favorites, so far.
Photos from Hiroshima in August of 1945. Long supressed by the occupying U.S. forces, a highly unsettling (and decidedly NSFW) collection of photos from the days immediately after August 6th. Via.
"Tall-tale postcards emerged around the turn of the 20th century, when postcards came to function as surrogates for travel. People soon realized that postcards could be used to create or sustain a certain utopian myth about a town or region, and crafty photographers began to physically manipulate their photographs. Nowhere did these modified images, or "tall-tale postcards" as they came to be called, become more prevalent than in rural communities that hoped to forge an identity as places of agricultural abundance to encourage settlement and growth. Food sources specific to the region — vegetables, fruits, or fish — were the most common subjects."
101 Most Influential People Who Never Lived is a book chronicling the most impactful (non-religious) fictional characters throughout history. While they only tease with the first 50 characters on the book's homepage, the hard hitting investigative journalists at USA Today have uncovered the entire 101 for your arguing enjoyment.
The largely forgotten holocaust of the Ukrainian people began when Stalin imposed collectivism upon the farms, sealing state borders & refusing any seed grain until ficticious and unattainable production goals were met. The Ukrainian upper class were executed, the peasantry left to starve to death. In all, seven million people died, one out of every four citizens. At this Ukranian art site, a collection of stamps commemorating the event & a gallery of "genocide art" continue to speak for the dead.
Los Angeles in the 1900s is a collection of newspaper articles & photographs documenting life in L.A. from 1900 to 1909. Some of the articles are funny, some tragic, all informative about what life in the very young city was like prior to the explosive growth caused by Mullholland, the Film Industry, & the freeways.
Excellent gallery of early 20th century sheet music folios, including some very attractive samples, as well as some somewhat outdated images. via memepool
Like many of us, I enjoy the bad women, from your garden variety betrayed women to the problem girls, the untamed youth running wild. An all too brief gallery of documentary films about this fascinating subculture is up over at retrocrush.
The Battle of Blair Mountain. Do you know the origin of the phrase "Redneck? In 1921, in West Virginia, after brutally corrupt regional law had employed thug tactics including false imprisonment, seizure of property, and murder (or simply "disappearance") upon the local mine workers to discourage labour Unions from forming, an army of nearly 13,000 workers took to the streets, meeting up with the forces of the murderous sherrif at an area known as Blair Mountain. [More Inside]
The Year In Pizza is a review of the happenings in one of the worst years ever for the pizza industry; what's touching, and quirky about this corporate industry wrap up is the inclusion of brief memorials for pizza murder victims, those workers slain by hungry robbers for whatever little cash they had on them. It's hard to imagine a "year in printing & bindery" review listing all the victims of industrial press manglings.