1920s

Vintage: Female Firefighters (1916 – 1942)

Vintage: Female Firefighters (1916 – 1942)

Some consider fighting fires to be a man’s job, but as long ago as the bucket brigades of the 19th century, women have bravely played an important – if sometimes invisible – role in firefighting. A collection below features 23 stunning black and white photographs of female firefighters from between the 1920s and 1940s.
History of Mercedes-Benz in Motorsport

History of Mercedes-Benz in Motorsport

From the first automotive competition in history to its return to the Formula One championship with a works team for the 2010 season, the racing activities of Mercedes-Benz tell a success story that has its roots in the early days of the automobile. Since the 19th century, racing cars, racing sports cars and rally cars made in Stuttgart have consistently…
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is a 1920 German silent horror film, directed by Robert Wiene and written by Hans Janowitz and Carl Mayer. Considered the quintessential work of German Expressionist cinema, it tells the story of an insane hypnotist (Werner Krauss) who uses a somnambulist (Conrad Veidt) to commit murders. The film features a dark and twisted visual style,…
Vintage French Erotic Postcards (1920s)

Vintage French Erotic Postcards (1920s)

A French postcard is a small, postcard-sized piece of cardstock featuring a photograph of a nude or semi-nude woman. Such erotic cards were produced in great volume, primarily in France, in the late 19th and early 20th century. The term was adopted in the USA, where such cards were not legally made.
Vintage: St. Francis Dam collapse (1928)

Vintage: St. Francis Dam collapse (1928)

From the day the St. Francis Dam opened in 1926, it leaked. The folks in the farm towns downstream used to joke that they’d see you later “if the dam don’t break.” Built by William Mulholland, known as the father of Los Angeles’ municipal water system, the 1,300-foot span of concrete in San Francisquito Canyon held more than 12 billion…
40 Glass Plate Mugshots from the 1920s

40 Glass Plate Mugshots from the 1920s

These are wife killers, petty thieves, dealers of fake opium, hustlers – plucked from the street by the police of 1920s Sydney, Australia and photographed, fresh from the scene of the crime. These photographs reveal a lot more than the usual mugshot. The suspects strike poses. A few look disheveled and deranged, but some look decidedly guilty. They lean casually into…
Vehicles caught in 1920s downpours in Los Angeles

Vehicles caught in 1920s downpours in Los Angeles

The precipitation, which was general over Southern California was particularly heavy in Los Angeles, the rain gauge showing 2.53 inches for the city.  Many districts in the city were completely under water, traffic was tied up downtown, basements were flooded and motorists were marooned in streets. via LA Times
Vintage: Wall Street bombing in 1920

Vintage: Wall Street bombing in 1920

At 12:01pm on Thursday, September 16th, 1920, a blast shook the Financial District of New York City immediately killing 30 people, with another 8 to die later of wounds sustained in the blast. On top of the dead, there were 143 people seriously injured with the total number injured measuring in the hundreds. This event was the deadliest act of…
Vintage: Poland during Interwar period (1918-1939)

Vintage: Poland during Interwar period (1918-1939)

The History of interwar Poland comprises the period from the re-recreation of the independent Polish state in 1918, until the joint Invasion of Poland by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union in 1939 at the onset of World War II. The two decades of Poland’s sovereignty between the world wars are known as the Interbellum.
Vintage: Santa Barbara earthquake in 1925

Vintage: Santa Barbara earthquake in 1925

At 6:42 a.m. on June 29, 1925, the city of Santa Barbara was heavily damaged by a magnitude 6.8 earthquake. Thirteen people were killed and damage was estimated at $8 million. Few buildings on State Street escaped damage. Earthquake forced Santa Barbara’s 30,000 residents to face a night on the city’s lawns, in the public parks and along the beach.…
Vintage: Motor Racing from the 1920s-30s

Vintage: Motor Racing from the 1920s-30s

Donald James Harkness, pioneer in the Australian automotive and aeronautical industries, racing driver and record breaker, was born in Leichhardt, NSW in December 1898. On leaving school he became an apprentice in general engineering. At the age of 20 he secured employment at J.C. Hillier’s garage at Drummoyne and in 1922 the partnership of Harkness & Hillier Pty Ltd was…
Vintage: photos of Ku Klux Klan Parade in 1920s

Vintage: photos of Ku Klux Klan Parade in 1920s

The Ku Klux Klan was a secret organization; apart from a few top leaders the members never revealed their membership and wore masks in public. Investigators in the 1920s used KKK publicity, court cases, exposés by disgruntled Klansman, newspaper reports, and speculation to write stories about what the Klan was doing. Almost all the major newspapers and magazines were hostile.…
Vintage: General Strike in London, United Kingdom (1926)

Vintage: General Strike in London, United Kingdom (1926)

The 1926 general strike in the United Kingdom was a general strike that lasted 9 days, from 4 May 1926 to 13 May 1926. It was called by the general council of the Trades Union Congress (TUC) in an unsuccessful attempt to force the British government to act to prevent wage reduction and worsening conditions for 800,000 locked-out coal miners.…
Vintage: Prohibition in Boston (1920s)

Vintage: Prohibition in Boston (1920s)

Prohibition in the United States was a national ban on the sale, manufacture, and transportation of alcohol, in place from 1920 to 1933. The ban was mandated by the Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution, and the Volstead Act set down the rules for enforcing the ban and defined the types of alcoholic beverages that were prohibited. Prohibition ended with the…
Pacific Electric Subway opening celebrations in Los Angeles (1925)

Pacific Electric Subway opening celebrations in Los Angeles (1925)

Marking the beginning of a new era in transportation in Los Angeles, the city’s first section of underground electric railway was opened Nov. 30, 1925 with appropriate exercises, including a luncheon given by the Chamber of Commerce at the Biltmore at noon, and the operation of the first train immediately afterward. The passenger list included many city and county officials, H.W.…
Classic Motorcycles in the 1920s

Classic Motorcycles in the 1920s

In the ‘20s motorcycle development had continued apace, many bikes now sported internal expanding drum brakes, to slow the machines down properly. Many of the bikes produced in the ‘20s still supported the Flat Tank style of fuel tank and the sprung single seat. Passenger comfort was often restricted to a pad bolted onto the rear fender.
Vintage: Graf Zeppelin flying over Chicago in 1929

Vintage: Graf Zeppelin flying over Chicago in 1929

Ferdinand von Zeppelin was a German general and later aircraft manufacturer, who developed the Zeppelin airship. The design was patented in 1895 in Germany and 1899 in the U.S. Designed to carry passengers, the airship began commercial operations in 1910 through the company Deutsche Luftschiffahrts-AG (DELAG). By the middle of 1914, the craft had made over 1,500 flights and carried…
Vintage: historic photos of Peking, China (1920s)

Vintage: historic photos of Peking, China (1920s)

An older English spelling, Peking, is the Postal Map Romanization of the same two characters as they are pronounced in Chinese dialects spoken in the southern port towns first visited by European traders and missionaries. Those dialects preserve the Middle Chinese pronunciation of 京 as kjaeng, prior to a phonetic shift in the northern dialects to the modern pronunciation.
The Days of Prohibition

The Days of Prohibition

Prohibition in the United States was a nationwide constitutional ban on the sale, production, importation, and transportation of alcoholic beverages that remained in place from 1920 to 1933. It was promoted by “dry” crusaders movement, led by rural Protestants and social Progressives in the Democratic and Republican parties, and was coordinated by the Anti-Saloon League, and the Woman’s Christian Temperance…