The Royal Air Force Museum London will be launching in Summer 2013 a signature exhibition commemorating and celebrating the national institution that is Airfix. This will chart the history of this Great British Institution by displaying original Box Art as well as Airfix’s most popular models from the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s in the Museum’s Art Gallery. In preparation, this post will focus upon the history* of the company, its founding in the late 1940s by a Hungarian immigrant, through its boom years in the 1960s, the later years of decline and under investment, and finally its current resurgence in the market place. Look at the ways in which Airfix products are developed, including the painstaking research and the cutting edge technology used to design and manufacture modern kits. (text inspired by numerous sources) [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.
A harpsichord automaton. Malcolm Messiter: "After hours of struggling with a soldering iron, suddenly it all became worth it when the system just worked flawlessly. The sheer joy and satisfaction of seeing and hearing it work for the first time was extraordinary. It played Soler’s Fandango, Brandenburg 5, the Goldberg Variations, and even the Flight of the Bumble Bee, late into that first night!" [Project direct link (PDF, from p.27)].
...magazines depicting lesbianism, homosexuality, sodomy, transvestism, sadism, bestiality, masochism - all the abnormal perversions!
The Citizens for Decent Literature want you to join their fight against PRINTED POISON. (possibly NSFW.)
GRiZ - Mad Liberation. Take a 21 year old bedroom producer from Michigan, raise them on the the internet with a near complete access to the history of modern music with a focus on electronic/dance and apparently you get this incredibly humanistic and cross-cultural album that's both homage, monument and appropriation of hundreds of influences in modern music in an incredibly dubby dubstep framework. (Free album download here.)
Jeff Altman has posted several stunning examples of his grandfather's Kodachrome 40 8mm home movies.
Previously with less, but now with more!! [more inside]
Previously with less, but now with more!! [more inside]
Old Ships is a website packed full of evocative, interesting and historical pictures of old ships from A to Zambesi. 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]
Ten vintage advertisements that definitely wouldn't fly today.
The Art of Vogue Covers details the illustrated covers of British Vogue from 1909 through 1940, including the entire collection of covers between 1920-1930. Most of the work showcased is by seasoned Vogue illustrators Helen Dryden, Georges Lepap, Harriett Maserol, George Plank and Eduardo Benito amongst others. Look for continuing additions at the Flickr set. This is literally just the tip of the iceberg.
In my unending search for just the right vintage images for our articles, I have looked through thousands of photographs of men from the last century or so. One of the things that I have found most fascinating about many of these images, is the ease, familiarity, and intimacy, which men used to exhibit in photographs with their friends and compadres. Male Affection: A Photographic History Tour
motor life blog is Charlie Beesly's fun collection of (mostly) found photos celebrating cars and their owners. Don't miss the winsome training wheels post and the early Kodacolor collection. We've seen some of Charlie's other themed found photos here previously.
RetroWebMatic provides real-time vintage photo effects for websites, with five presets: toasted, lo-brow, tool shed, parchment and vinaigrette. If you'd like to stick with filtering photos, Pixlr's O-Matic does just that, with tons of preset filters, photo "aging" effects, and frames. If you have Photoshop handy, here are 16 tutorials, two tutorial videos, 14 vintage/grunge texture packs, and 16 action packs.
Vintage meezers. NSFW.
Eveready Harton in Buried Treasure, from 1928, is considered to be one of the first pornographic cartoons. It is certainly one of the strangest (NSFW)
Once upon a time in Dubai — Gallery of vintage photos showing Dubai as it once was
Nichelle Gainer (whose Vintage Black Glamour blog was seen previously on MeFi) responds insightfully to a NY Times editorial by author Alice Randall called "Why Black Women Are Fat."
Moscow of 1931 is a collection of hand-tinted lantern slides by Branson DeCou, an American photographer and travelogue lecturer who traveled the world for 30 years before his death in 1941. You can view more of the DeCou corpus online at the Branson Decou Archive at the University of California, Santa Cruz where they've been attempting to sort, preserve, identify and digitize 10,000 DeCou slides received in 1971, a gift referred to the university chancellor by photographer Ansel Adams. [more inside]
Fender Factory Tour 1959 - Leo Fender in the second shot. Freddie Tavares at 7:26. A day when "everything was done by hand... It is amazing to realize that every guitar made that year is now worth a small fortune." The 1959-63 era Stratocaster is called one of the 50 guitars to play before you die. (via the q-ster)
recto|verso is a place where the staff of F.A. Bernett Books showcase some of the more spectacular, interesting, unusual and puzzling items they have come across. Discoveries of note include: Both Sides of Broadway, Then and Now, a building-by-building sequential photographic survey of the most famous street in America. The most influential graphic arts publication of late-1920s Tokyo, Gendai Shogyo Bijutsu Zenshu. Felix Vallotton’s Reinvention of the Woodcut, credited by many art historians of his time (and ours) as having modernized and revitalized the form in Western art. [more inside]
Old Book Illustrations are vintage pictures that were originally wood engravings or woodcuts, etchings or metal engravings. Old Book Art is pictures, drawings, maps and other images from antiquarian, public-domain books and other old documents. [more inside]
AIRBOYD.tv has three Youtube channels: The eponymous AIRBOYD features 2000+ videos for "aviation and aerospace enthusiasts. Then there's the Nuclear Vault: Vintage Military, War and News Videos, with 1200+ full-length documentaries, news reels and other assorted footage, including 200 episodes of "The Big Picture (Army Signal Corps)" and a variety of Atomic and Nuclear energy films. Last but not least is US Auto Industry, an archive of over 450 vintage automobile films, including commercials from Buick, Pontiac, Chevy and Ford. [more inside]
It arrived at MIT in the middle of the night... 1988 computer virus - (via Dangerous Minds) [more inside]
The Passion of Dave Stevens — The work of the late, great Dave Stevens is known to comic book aficionados in the form of his enduring creation, The Rocketeer, and to art collectors and illustration enthusiasts for his reverently retro yet brilliantly modern renditions of vintage pulp characters, science fiction adventurers and iconic superheroes. But as dedicated Stevens fans know, the artist's true passion and inspiration manifests in his seemingly countless and unfailingly exquisite renderings of the female form, most typically in the classic pinup and "good girl art" style at which he became one of the very best. [nsfw comic art]
Old Rags is a collection of photographs of beautiful antique, historic and vintage clothing from Europe and North America. A feast of fashion history images from the 17th century to the 1920’s with a brief FAQ page here.
Vintage Posters from the Golden Age of Travel 1910-1959 BrainPickings' page of vintage poster art pertaining to travel.
He-Gassen - aka The Japanese Fart Scrolls. More at the Waseda University Library. (Alert: some ribald artsy nudity within)
Marika Rökk - Mir ist so langweilig - 1958 - this video has everything, I tell you. Monkeys. Volcanoes. Spaceflight. Sequins.(via World of Wonder)
SoftPanorama / SoftPanorama Switchboard, created by Nikolai Bezroukov, is one of those vast, practical resources with a fun side too. There is the excellent and very useful Classification of Corporate Psychopaths | Coping with the toxic stress in IT environment | Surviving a Bad Performance Review | Information Overload: How Digital Devices Deprive Brain of Needed Downtime | Science, PseudoScience and Society. But then there is the fun side of the site too: Russian Music Oldies on YouTube | economic crisis humor | Songs from Famous Russian Cartoons on Youtube. [more inside]
Le Blues De Memphis — behind the scenes at STAX & FAME Recording Studios (1969) and Hollywood Blues, a 1969 Hollywood Recording Session. Just a sample of the vintage 50s, 60s & 70s music, movies, microcode and high-speed pizza delivery at Bedazzled.tv. [sacré bleu]
Alexander Alekhine lies dead. Little Samuel Reshevksy gives a simultaneous exhibition. Mikhail Tal presents his most chilling death stare. Fischer plays Fidel. Che meets Miguel Najdorf. Reuben Fine cavorts with a beauty on a beach, showing her his moves. Anatoly Karpov hangs out with Salvador Dali. The grave of Jose Raoul Capablanca. Klaus Junge plays in his Nazi uniform. Sometimes hit and miss, but it has to be said that this a great epic thread of vintage chess photos.
Swissted New York graphic designer Mike Joyce takes vintage flyers from punk, hardcore and indie rock shows and redesigns them "into international typographic style posters. Each poster is sized to the standard swiss kiosk dimensions of 35.5 inches wide by 50 inches high and set in berthold akzidenz grotesk medium, all lowercase. Every single one of these shows actually happened."
Vintage tintype photographs of toddlers being held in place by their parents in order to get a focused image. (5 flickr pages)
The Rabbit Dreams of Dr. Freud's Niece - An illustrator of children's books, Sigmund Freud's niece Martha went by the name Tom, wore men's clothing, and died by her own hand in her late 30s, a year after her husband's suicide. BibliOdyssey recently featured some of her early work from Das Baby-Liederbuch, noting that because she was Jewish, many of her books were destroyed in the Nazi era and are scarce in the book trade. More about the artist and her work at Tom Seidmann-Freud.
What is Pink Lady? In Japan they are remembered for a string of pop hits in the 70s, but Americans might remember them either from their disco single "Kiss In The Dark" or from an attempt to sell them to the US market in 1980 via a short-lived NBC variety show Pink Lady & Jeff (TVParty summary) with comedian Jeff Altman. (Opening). The show featured their Japanese hits, UFO, MONSTER (a bit more rock and roll), and SOS along with US hits like Boogie Wonderland, McArthur Park and the occasional guest star. (with encore) Also, Roy Orbison. Sadly, the show failed to break out and the two returned to Japan for a series of farewell concerts and retrospectives. Much, much more available at this charmingly retro, utterly exhaustive fan site devoted to them. Or just read the recaps. [more inside]
The BBC broadcasted the science and technology showcase show Tomorrow's World (titles on piano) on 7 July 1965 on BBC1, it ran for 38 years until it was cancelled at the beginning of 2003. Unlike the boosterism of US science programs, Tomorrow's World was more famous for it's live stunts and wry outlook ( James Burke experiences the "convenient" office of the future and the future of home gardening and crushing ennui). The BBC has an archive of episodes and clips for UK visitors, everyone else will have to be content with clips concerning Home Computers, New Banking, Nellie The School Computer, The Elliot Light Pen, Mobile Phones, and Moog Synthesizers.
In 1978 a tiny English company called Electronic Dream Plant produced their first product, the EDP Wasp synthesizer, the first of a short-lived range of creepy-crawly-named devices. In the golden age of big wooden and metal synths the wasp was made of plastic, battery-powered, with a built-in speaker, a keyboard with no moving parts, and used a brilliantly minimalist CMOS circuit design (in fact, people are still copying the Wasp filter circuit). It was the first analog synth to be truly affordable. The Wasp's accessibility, unique sound and portability saw it quickly used by musicians ranging from buskers to rock stars. [more inside]
Vintage photographs of Toronto at night is brought to you by the same people who put out Toronto in photos from the 1850s to the 1990s, and several other sets linked within.
Melt your brain into goo on an overdose of crass 80s consumerism and TV without the TV shows at 80sCommercialVault. Superbowl 19 commercials. Commercials from Jaws. Saturday morning commercials. Daytime / evening commercials. [more inside]
Vintage Black Glamour: an underexplored avenue of 20th century beauty and style.
With almost 2,000 posts, I Heart My Art has a deep archive of contemporary art, vintage photography and creative videos.
The Ropes at Disney's - 1943 Employee Handbook. The good old days when women got twice as much sick leave, the Penthouse club was accessible by "men only! - sorry gals...", and a violation of the U.S. Espionage Act could get you fired.