Les Invisibles: Vintage Portraits of Love and Pride
is a collection of found photographs by film-maker Sébastien Lifshitz
showing (mostly anonymous) gay couples together in the early years of the 20th century. 'He found most of his collection in the US and western Europe, but none in the UK: “Maybe the British think such photographs have no value, or are too private to sell.”
'. In 2012, Lifshitz released Les Invisibles
, a related documentary exploring the lives of 11 gay and lesbian individuals over the age of 70. [more inside]
Michael Faraday's chemical chest
, 19th century.
The end of Darwin's walking stick
Galileo’s original telescope
, c 1795 (with engraved "N“ at bottom).
Carved Olive Pit
, China (1737).
Throne of Charlemagne
(790). Until 1531, it served as the coronation throne the Kings of Germany, being used at a total of thirty-one coronations.
Ishtar Gate, ca 575 BC. Built on the orders of Nebuchadnezzar II, it was a gate to the inner city of Babylon
Tolkien's service weapon
Breastplate, North Peru
- A.D. 1000/1470. [more inside]
The American Museum of Natural History will unlock thousands of old photos from their vault, they announced this week. The new online image database (officially launching on Monday the 28th) will take you behind the curtain, delivering images that span the 145-year history of the Museum. The collection features over 7,000 images—many never before seen by the public—and includes photos, rare book illustrations, drawings, notes, letters, art, and Museum memorabilia. They say "it’s like stepping into a time machine and seeing a long ago NYC or just catching glimpses of ghosts from a forgotten world now seen only by researchers and Museum staff." Previously
. [more inside]
Old photos of the Cincinnati Public Library
before it was demolished in 1955 (Go ahead. Weep. I
Welcome to a tumblr of wonders.
Special Collections, archives, and libraries have many wonderful items, but getting to them all can be a bit like trying to walk into Mordor, unless you have unlimited time and grants. But now, thanks to Tumblr, you too can explore collections around the world, and one of the best comes to us from the University of Iowa. Want a Hamlet quote on a miniature book that unfolds into a tiny Globe Theatre? Of course you do. Actual flying squirrels
? Adventure with Alice
! Get close to illuminations
? Catch a glimpse of hipster frames circa 1504
More awesome librar* tumblrs inside. [more inside]
Top Secret: Images from the Stasi Archives A collection of images from the book, including more disguises, images of house searches, hand-to-hand combat techniques, hidden cameras, and even fake beards, is available free of charge at Simon Menner’s website. [more inside]
How the Wild West really looked: Gorgeous pictures show the landscape as it was charted for the very first time 150 years ago. Previously. [more inside]
The street photographer I share with you this week was a man born in Great Britain an entire century before Winogrand and Friedlander. His name was John Thomson (1837-1921) and it is known that he traveled the Far East taking photographs during much of the period between 1860-1879. When he returned to London, he began taking documentary photographs of everyday people on the streets of London. Via madamjujujive
Form and Landscape - Southern California Edison and the Los Angeles Basin, 1940-1990
- is a series of themed exhibitions
that tell the story of how Los Angeles 'became modern' by using photos from the comprehensive archives of Southern California Edison. The photos portray the many roles that electricity has played in the development and modernization of Californian life and culture (domestic life
, etc.). Part of the Getty's Pacific Standard Time Presents
59 marvelous photographs taken between 1903 and 1920
by Frédéric Boissonnas
(1858-1946), a franco-Swiss photographer who loved Greece. This is him being hauled up
to the Meteora monastery
in a net. Boissonnas was also a mountaineer and was the first
to scale Mt. Olympus
successfully in 1913. During the first 30 years of the 20th century he became the most influential photographer in Greece, between the two World Wars. Traveling extensively, landscapes, everyday people and life in Greece were photographed in detail for the first time. [more inside]
A collection of pictures of mailboxes in the western US
- part of the Fife Collection of Western U.S. Vernacular Architecture
, which also includes quilts, murals, tree bark graffiti, fences, gravestones, and festivals, and other examples of folklife and material culture visually recorded by folklorists Austin and Alta Fife. [more inside]
The argument over whether photography should be considered an art form seems laughable to us today. Yet, beginning in the 1880s and lasting into the 20th century, members of amateur photographic clubs and societies the world over deemed the topic of artistic photography worthy of a decades-long shouting match. PhotoSeed
, representing an evolving online record of this early fine-art photography movement, is a rich collection of photographs
representing numerous vintage processes. From delicate platinum to exquisite hand-pulled photogravures, images produced singularly or published in portfolios and journals, as well as vintage source material, investigate the roots of the online galleries with the PhotoSeed Highlights
is a website packed full of evocative, interesting and historical pictures of old ships from A
. It's a feast of all kinds of other vintage maritime images
, including ports
, docks, ferries
, harbors, paintings
, canals, rivers
, maritime scenes, onboard pictures
, shipboard menus
, lots of great postcards
and other old historical nautical memorabilia
(even the ship's cat
). [more inside]
An archival photo
from The New York Times shows news pictures being sorted in the newspaper’s photo “morgue,” which houses millions of images. Here they are — several each week — for you to see. Welcome to The Lively Morgue
. [more inside]
Driving through Time
features roughly 2700 photographs and 76 interactive maps of the Blue Ridge Parkway. The website allows students, researchers, and digital tourists to uncover hidden stories, hear forgotten voices, and understand the often wrenching choices that the construction and preservation of a scenic parkway in a populated region have necessarily entailed. [more inside]
Yesterday, the Los Angeles Times
celebrated the 130th anniversary of its first issue, and marked the occasion with 130 photos from Los Angeles history
, as well as a gallery of historic front pages
The Burns Archive
is a collection of over 700,000 historical photographs that document disturbing
subject matter: obsolete medical practices and experiments, death, disease, disasters, crime, revolutions, riots and war. Newsweek posted a select gallery
this past October, as well as a video interview and walk-through
with curator and collector Dr. Stanley B. Burns, a New York opthalmologist. (Via) (Content at links may be disturbing to some.) [more inside]
Of Another Fashion
: An alternative archive of the not-quite-hidden but too often ignored fashion histories of U.S. women of color.
Just in time for the 30th anniversary of the movie's release, The Making of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back
chronicles the complete tale—from pre-release to blockbuster success — of what’s become the fan favorite of the Star Wars series. Vanity Fair presents an excerpt from the book: rarely seen photographs from the Empire Strikes Back set, annotated with behind-the-scenes details
. They also have interviews with the book’s author, J. W. Rinzler
, and the man behind Boba Fett’s mask, actor Jeremy Bulloch
." On a lighter note, how about a Wampa Throw Rug
, new from the folks at ThinkGeek?
Le blog de VelosVintage
is a gorgeous French blog chock full of detailed photographs and history of beautiful vintage racing bicycles from older
In 1937, the London News Chronicle published a photograph of five boys at the gates of Lord's cricket ground; two stood aloof in top hats and tails, with their backs to a group of three working-class lads. The resulting photograph became famous as a metaphor for the class divide in Britain, appearing in newspaper stories about school reform, inequality and bourgeois guilt and on the covers of books
. The photograph appeared in the Getty Images archive as "Toffs and Toughs
", and even was printed on a jigsaw puzzle in 2004. The identities of the three working-class boys were unknown until a journalist tracked them down in 1998; here
is an article on the history of the photograph and the lives of the five boys in it.
Glasgow's Mitchell Library
, designed by William B. Whitie
, is the largest reference library in Western Europe. Over the past decade, it has been digitising its collection of photographs, which has resulted in the Virtual Mitchell
, an unrivalled collection of photographs of Glasgow which covers the last 150-odd years of the city's history.
The photographs can be searched by area
, all of which provide a fascinating insight into life in Glasgow over the past century and a half.
Some examples: Charing Cross, 1950s
; The Mitchell Library, 1910
; Meadowside Shipyard, circa 1930
; New Astoria Cinema, Possilpark
; Royal Exchange Square, 1868
; Alexander "Greek" Thompson's church on Caledonia Road
; East End children in class in 1916
Ancient Pompeii Ruins now on Google Street View
Today on Morning Edition I head this story
The Italian government has allowed the ruins of Pompeii to be photographed for Google Street View. It's very cool. (SLGM)
As patrons begin to fill a room decorated with toy monkeys, beer posters and a silver disco ball, Mr. Seaberry
emerges in a startling suit of red with white pinstripes and a snazzy white hat, and smoking a cheroot. “Po’ Monkey is all anybody ever called me
since I was little,” he said. “I don’t know why, except I was poor for sure.” Transformed in the 1950s from a sharecropper shack that was built probably in the 1920s, Poor Monkey's Lounge
is one of the last rural juke joints along The Trail of the Hellhound
on the Mississippi Delta. [more inside]
Peace and War in the 20th Century
is an ambitious, in progress, massive assemblage of posters, photographs, propaganda, ephemera, letters, diaries, paintings, sketches, stories, letters, music and related items, from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. The collection is international in scope. Some of the nodes lack content, and the navigation is a little confusing, so the jump I list some of my favourite case studies from their site. [more inside]
"I remember having rootbeer floats on the porch swing on hot summer nights... I remember playing with my cousins and the neighbors in the side yard. I remember running to the train tracks just a few blocks away and counting the train cars (sometimes over 100!) as they streamed by. I remember 'Uncle' Bill showing me his missing finger that he lost while working the trains... This is someone else’s house now but my memories still live there.
" From Disappearing Places
: An archive and collective map of places that no longer exist, at least not as they once did. [more inside]
The Sidney D Gamble Photograph Collection at Duke University
consists of about 5,000 newly digitised pictures, taken predominantly in China between 1917 and 1932. Browse
by subject, category or location tags. Photos taken in 1908 are to be added in the future. [via]
The Power of Photography (might or might not be NSFW)
with accompanying articles: Stricken Child crawling towards a Food Camp 
| The Falling Man 
| The Youngest Mother 
| Born Twice 
The Secret Museum of Mankind
:: "Published in 1935, the Secret Museum is a mystery book. It has no author or credits, no copyright, no date, no page numbers, no index ... The tone of the commentary is dated, and uniformly racist in the extreme, often hilariously so. It reads like the patter of a carnival sideshow barker, from a time when the world was divided between "modern" Europeans and "savages" ... Presented here is the Secret Museum in its entirety, all 564 pages scanned and transcribed-- nothing is omitted or censored ... Treat it as entertainment instead of education (don't take it seriously and don't believe a word it says!), adjust for the blatant racial bias of the time, and enjoy."
Photographs of American Cities
from the middle of the 20th Century.
The Third View project
is a fascinating presentation of "rephotographs" of over 100 historic landscape sites in the American West that presents original 19th-century survey photographs, photographed again in the 1970s, then once again in the '90s - from the original vantage points, under similar lighting conditions, at (roughly) the same time of day and year. [Flash, and you'll probably need to allow pop-ups; a little more info inside...]
Northwestern University hosts a fine collection of historic East African photographs
, viewable as sample sets
or in their original photo-albums (requires flash)
. But the real prize is their wonderful collection of 113 historic maps of Africa
, which are zoomable to incredible detail
, also 1
A nice set
of photographic glass-plate transparencies depicting life in Japan ca. 1910. These "Yokohama photographs" were sold to foreign tourists between about 1868 and 1912. I found the Crafts and Trades section
Time travel exists. It's called old pictures.
:: True Tales of Adventure in the American West
More than 16,000 photos
related to the USGS from the years 1868 through 1992 are now available online where they may be easily searched, viewed, and downloaded free of charge.
These are old stereo pairs, sites drowned by dams, geologists and surveyers in horse drawn wagons, petroglyphs, national parks, Mount St. Helens, John Wesley
Powell, hoodoos, arches, ruins, mines...
OK, Seattleites, see the American flag here
? On the sidewalk below is where your 3rd & Pine McDonalds now sits. Man, I can see five buildings here that are still standing, but that red brick one at the lower right got replaced early
. Now here's the Northern Life Tower
. Note how the bricks lighten towards the top, so as to make it look taller from below--very subtle, that. It's one of Seattle's two Art Deco buildings, the other being the Exchange Building
. You can cut through that one, coming off the ferry at First Avenue and take the elevator to walk out on Second Ave rather than climb that steep hill, you know.
And consider on what playground equipment
our grandparents got to play. Lucky stiffs--you can't even find a decent 50s era swing set in a park in this town anymore. Penny Postcards From King County
, from Penny Postcards of Washington
, from Penny Postcards
. Man, I loves me some vintage postcards. And if you do, too, check that last link--it's got all 50 states.
I saw a feature on ESPN last night about Britt Gaston and Cliff Courtney,
two Georgia teenagers who are indelibly linked to history as the kids who ran alongside Hank Aaron
after the famous 715th home run. Then I googled around a bit and discovered Jim Leavelle,
the former Dallas cop who will forever be known as the guy in the hat
watching Ruby take care of Oswald in the precinct basement. And then there's Mary Ann Vecchio,
a 14-year-old runaway who was photographed wailing over a dead body at Kent State in 1970. And, of course, there's Afghanistan Girl.
Can anyone think of other bystanders to historical events whose faces we all know but identities remain anonymous? Is there anyone who has not yet been rediscovered?