1950s

Vintage: City Life in Poland (1959) by Gerald Howson

Vintage: City Life in Poland (1959) by Gerald Howson

In 1959, Gerald Howson was sent to Poland by The Queen magazine. He was supposed to come back to England with photographs depicting the Cold War reality. This inconspicuous Englishman who did not speak any Polish packed two Leica cameras in his backpack along with a portable darkroom. His journey began in Lublin, continued to Krakow, and ended in Warsaw.…
Vintage: Marilyn Monroe and Tom Ewell in ‘The Seven Year Itch’ (1954)

Vintage: Marilyn Monroe and Tom Ewell in ‘The Seven Year Itch’ (1954)

Richard Sherman (Tom Ewell) is a nerdy, faithful, middle-aged publishing executive with an overactive imagination and a mid-life crisis, whose wife, Helen (Evelyn Keyes), and son, Ricky (Butch Bernard), are spending the summer in Maine. When he returns home with the kayak paddle Ricky accidentally left behind, he meets a woman (Marilyn Monroe), who is a commercial actress and former…
Vintage: Coca-Cola in France (1950)

Vintage: Coca-Cola in France (1950)

After the war Coke decided to raise its profile and capitalize on the proliferation of refrigerators in French homes. In 1950, the Coca-Cola company decided the people of France were ready for the great taste of Coke. via Mark Kauffman/LIFE archives
Vintage: Standard Oil refinery fire (1955)

Vintage: Standard Oil refinery fire (1955)

On Aug. 27, 1955, an explosion at the Standard Oil refinery in Whiting, Ind., destroyed much of the plant and dozens of homes. The explosion occurred in a “hydroformer,” a 26-story-high tank used to convert low-octane gasoline into high-octane gasoline at what is now a BP refinery. The largest hydrorfomer in the country, it sat on the fourth largest refinery…
Vintage: Behind the Scenes at Disney Studios (1953)

Vintage: Behind the Scenes at Disney Studios (1953)

The Walt Disney Studios was originally designed around the animation process, with the large animation building in the center of the campus, and adjacent outlying buildings were built for the story department, the music department, the ink-and-paint departments, and the other various functions of the studio. Both above-ground walkways and tunnels connected the buildings, and the campus also included a…
Vintage: Marilyn Monroe by Carl Perutz in 1958

Vintage: Marilyn Monroe by Carl Perutz in 1958

Carl Perutz took photographs from the 1920’s through the 1970’s. This pictures included a spectrum of topics including war, peace, birth, and death. After joining the U.S. Army shortly after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, he rose to the rank of Captain through his work doing aerial reconnaissance flying in B17’s over North Africa, France, and Germany. His probably…
Vintage: Celebrities by paparazzi Elio Sorci (1950s and 60s)

Vintage: Celebrities by paparazzi Elio Sorci (1950s and 60s)

Elio Sorci, like many of the paparazzi, found his professional path by chance rather than design. Indeed it might be rightly posited that it was precisely their lack of formal training, their lack of self-consciousness towards the medium, the absence of all those aesthetic and ethical anxieties that can inhibit spontaneity, that cast them so perfectly in the role of…
Behind the Scenes: Forbidden Planet (1956)

Behind the Scenes: Forbidden Planet (1956)

Forbidden Planet (aka Fatal Planet) is a 1956 American science fiction film from MGM. Starring Walter Pidgeon, Anne Francis, Leslie Nielsen, Warren Stevens, Jack Kelly, and Robby the Robot. Forbidden Planet is the first science fiction film in which humans are depicted traveling in a starship of their own creation. It was also the first science fiction film set entirely…
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…
Love and Courtship in Japan (1950s)

Love and Courtship in Japan (1950s)

Before the war, most marriages in Japan were arranged by the bride’s and groom’s parents. Men and women rarely spent much time together prior to the wedding, let alone took part in anything that might qualify as “dating.” But during the Allied occupation of Japan—from the end of World War II until 1952—the ubiquity of the American soldier’s courtship rituals…
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.…
Formula 1 – 1954 Season

Formula 1 – 1954 Season

The 1954 Formula One season was the fifth season of FIA Formula One motor racing. The World Championship of Drivers was contested over a nine race series which commenced on 17 January and ended on 24 October 1954. The championship was won by Juan Manuel Fangio who drove, and won races, for both Maserati and Mercedes-Benz over the course of…
Afghanistan in the 1950s and 60s

Afghanistan in the 1950s and 60s

Fractured by internal conflict and foreign intervention for centuries, Afghanistan made several tentative steps toward modernization in the mid-20th century. In the 1950s and 1960s, some of the biggest strides were made toward a more liberal and westernized lifestyle, while trying to maintain a respect for more conservative factions. via The Atlantic
Vintage: Burlesque in the 1950s

Vintage: Burlesque in the 1950s

Burlesque is nothing short of an art form. Performers both male and female combine the most explosive aspects of costumery, dance, comedy and theater in a type of live entertainment that, of course, places nudity on a pedestal. Dita Von Tesse and World Famous BOB have turned the tassel-friendly genre of performance into an evolving practice that challenges everything conventional…
Abstract Nudes by Weegee (1950s)

Abstract Nudes by Weegee (1950s)

As a young freelance photographer in the 1930s, Weegee (Arthur Fellig) became mildly famous for arriving early to a crime scene, so early colleagues wondered if a greater force compelled the Austrian-born lensman to sniff out catastrophe before everyone else. He was also a creator of few unconventional techniques that brought his delightful brand of chaos into perspective. Beyond his…
Neofuturistic architecture of Eero Saarinen (1950s and 60s)

Neofuturistic architecture of Eero Saarinen (1950s and 60s)

Eero Saarinen was a Finnish American architect and industrial designer of the 20th century famous for shaping his neofuturistic style according to the demands of the project: simple, sweeping, arching structural curves or machine-like rationalism. Photographer Balthazar Korab worked for Saarinen, skillfully capturing the nuances, shapes, and lines of his structures and documenting the creative process involved. In the process,…
House moving (1960s)

House moving (1960s)

Moving a house? An Aug. 28, 1966, article in The Times gives some background: All over Southern California there are opportunities to buy houses for the moving … houses which stand in the way of such building projects as shopping centers, apartment buildings, parking lots, filling stations, churches, government construction and road projects. Approximately 700 houses are moved each year…