1940s

Vintage: Daily Life in the Warsaw Ghetto (summer of 1941)

Vintage: Daily Life in the Warsaw Ghetto (summer of 1941)

Average food rations in 1941 for Jews in Warsaw were limited to 184 calories, compared to 699 calories for gentile Poles and 2,613 calories for Germans. Unemployment was a major problem in the ghetto. Illegal workshops were created to manufacture goods to be sold illegally on the outside and raw goods were smuggled in, often by children. Hundreds of four-…
Vintage: Photos of American women in World War II

Vintage: Photos of American women in World War II

During World War II, approximately 400,000 U.S. women served with the armed forces and more than 460 – some sources say the figure is closer to 543 – lost their lives as a result of the war, including 16 from enemy fire. However, the U.S. decided not to use women in combat because public opinion would not tolerate it. Women…
Vintage: The Adhesive Bras (1949)

Vintage: The Adhesive Bras (1949)

In May 1949, a few short years after the end of the second world war, a daring innovation in beachwear was debuted on Jones Beach, New York. The purpose of the invention of his new brassieres, called Posĕs (pronounced “pose-ease”), was to allow a sunbather to achieve an even suntan. The adhesive brassiere, the brainchild of “Yaleman” industrialist Charles L…
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.
Vintage Photos of Rural Romania in 1940s

Vintage Photos of Rural Romania in 1940s

During the Second World War, Romania tried to remain neutral, but on 28 June 1940, it received a Soviet ultimatum with an implied threat of invasion in the event of non-compliance. Under pressure from Moscow and Berlin, the Romanian administration and the army were forced to retreat from Bessarabia as well from Northern Bukovina to avoid war. This, in combination…
Vintage Glass-Plate Portraits from Romania (1940s)

Vintage Glass-Plate Portraits from Romania (1940s)

Amazing collection of portraits by Romanian photographer Costică Acsinte. Costică Acsinte was born 4th of July, 1897 in a small village called Perieți, Ialomița County, Costică Acsinte fought in WWI. Despite his formation as a pilot, he was a official war photographer till 15th of June, 1920. As soon as the war was over he opened a studio — „Foto…
Vintage: Classic Polish Films (1940s and 50s)

Vintage: Classic Polish Films (1940s and 50s)

After the horrors of the Nazi occupation and repressive postwar Soviet domination, Polish cinema suddenly took off in the mid-50s to become a major international force. Initially, it was Andrzej Wajda’s trilogy (1954-58) on wartime resistance that attracted attention. That was followed by a wave of films approaching contemporary society with skilful circumspection before there was a further clampdown in…
Vintage: Bergen-Belsen Nazi Concentration Camp Guards

Vintage: Bergen-Belsen Nazi Concentration Camp Guards

When British and Canadian troops finally entered Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp in northern Germany they found over 13,000 unburied bodies and (including the satellite camps) around 60,000 inmates, most acutely sick and starving. The prisoners had been without food or water for days before the Allied arrival partially due to the allied bombing. In the period immediately preceding and following liberation, prisoners…
Finland during World War II

Finland during World War II

Finland during World War II encompasses three major conflicts. The first two of these – the defensive Winter War in 1939–1940, and the Continuation War alongside the Axis Powers in 1941–1944 – were waged against the Soviet Union. The third one, the Lapland War in 1944–1945, followed the signing of an armistice agreement with the Allied Powers, which stipulated expulsion…
Times Square in 1940s and 50s

Times Square in 1940s and 50s

When Manhattan Island was first settled by the Dutch, three small streams united near what is now 10th Avenue and 40th street. These three streams formed the “Great Kill”. From there the Great Kill wound through the low-lying Reed Valley, known for fish and waterfowl[14] and emptied into a deep bay in the Hudson River at the present 42nd Street.…
Glass-Plate Family Portraits from Romania (1940s)

Glass-Plate Family Portraits from Romania (1940s)

Amazing collection of family portraits by Romanian photographer Costică Acsinte. Costică Acsinte was born 4th of July, 1897 in a small village called Perieți, Ialomița County, Costică Acsinte fought in WWI. Despite his formation as a pilot, he was a official war photographer till 15th of June, 1920. As soon as the war was over he opened a studio —…
Vintage: Police archives in Sydney (1930s and 40s)

Vintage: Police archives in Sydney (1930s and 40s)

The Historic Houses Trust in Australia has a forensic photography archive at the Justice & Police Museum which contains an estimated 130,000 images created by the New South Wales Police between 1910 and 1960. Images uncovered in Justice & Police Museum’s Forensic Photography Archive, capture the spaces left behind: a moody catalogue of vacant lots, empty roads, desolate interiors, crime…
Explosion at O’Connor Electro-Plating Corp. (1947)

Explosion at O’Connor Electro-Plating Corp. (1947)

A vicious chemical blast at the O’Connor Electro-Plating Co. ripped apart a four-block area in the manufacturing district on Pico Boulevard between Stanford Avenue and Paloma Street, leaving 17 dead and 150 injured. The explosion that destroyed or damaged 116 buildings had opened a crater 22 feet wide and six feet deep. The blast shattered windows across a one-square-mile area…
Ansel Adams Captures Life on a Japanese Internment Camp

Ansel Adams Captures Life on a Japanese Internment Camp

Manzanar (which means ‘apple orchard’ in Spanish), is the site of one of ten camps where over 110,000 Japanese Americans were imprisoned during World War II. Located at the foot of the Sierra Nevada in California’s Owens Valley between the towns of Lone Pine to the south and Independence to the north, it is approximately 230 miles (370 km) northeast…
Vintage: Chinese New Year 1946

Vintage: Chinese New Year 1946

These photographs of a Chinese New Year celebration in 1946 may be devoid of color, but they are rich in detail: the precision of a calligrapher’s brush, the excitement of children receiving envelopes filled with money, the smoke of a firecracker thrown in the street. via Time
Stanley Kubrick’s Photos from the 1940s

Stanley Kubrick’s Photos from the 1940s

Stanley Kubrick—who wrote and directed Lolita, Dr. Strangelove, 2001: A Space Odyssey, A Clockwork Orange and The Shining—was one of America’s most influential filmmakers. Directors ranging from the Coen Brothers to Tim Burton paid visual homage to his works in their own films, and no less than Steven Spielberg said: “Nobody could shoot a picture better in history.” In fact…
Trick mirror in Times Square Theatre (1946)

Trick mirror in Times Square Theatre (1946)

For this assignment photographer Yale Joel set up a trick mirror in Times Square Theatre in 1946. It looked like an ordinary mirror to members of the public, but Joel was able to photograph those people through the glass. He captured a section of the New York community at their most informal, attending to items of personal grooming. Adjusting hats,…
The FBI’s fingerprint files called ‘Notorious Dead Criminals’

The FBI’s fingerprint files called ‘Notorious Dead Criminals’

Filing doesn’t have to be dull. Here is the evidence — in more ways than one. These photos picture the FBI’s overflow filing system, housed during World War 2 in the Washington, D.C. Armory. By the early 1940s, the FBI’s archive housed more than 23 million card and 10 million fingerprint records, with 400,000 new cards added each and every…
Broken Glass-Plate Portraits from Romania (1940s)

Broken Glass-Plate Portraits from Romania (1940s)

Amazing collection of broken glass-plate portraits by Romanian photographer Costică Acsinte. Costică Acsinte was born 4th of July, 1897 in a small village called Perieți, Ialomița County, Costică Acsinte fought in WWI. Despite his formation as a pilot, he was a official war photographer till 15th of June, 1920. As soon as the war was over he opened a studio…