1950s

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…
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.…
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,…
Life in Japan in the 1950s

Life in Japan in the 1950s

Japan continued to experience Westernization in the postwar era, much of which came about during the occupation, when American soldiers were a common sight in many parts of the country. American music and movies became popular, spurring a generation of Japanese artists who built on both Western and Japanese influences. During this period, Japan also began to emerge as an…
Street Scenes of Madrid and Barcelona in the 1950’s

Street Scenes of Madrid and Barcelona in the 1950’s

In 1948, Francesc Català-Roca began working independently as a photojournalist for magazines such as “Destino” and “Revista.” His work dealt with a variety of themes, from landscapes to cityscapes, from artistic documentation to ethnography. He is considered as one of the major photographers in Catalonia not only for his role as a pioneer in the field of avant-garde photography but…
Disneyland in Opening Day, July 17, 1955

Disneyland in Opening Day, July 17, 1955

Disneyland was dedicated at an “International Press Preview” event held on Sunday, July 17, 1955, which was only open to invited guests and the media. Although 28,000 people attended the event, only about half of those were actual invitees, the rest having purchased counterfeit tickets. The following day, it opened to the public, featuring twenty attractions. The Special Sunday events,…
Bohemian Life in Paris in 1950

Bohemian Life in Paris in 1950

Dutch photographer Ed van der Elsken was part of the scene in Paris at the time, and in 1956, he published a ground-breaking photobook called Love on the Left Bank. His gritty, sexy, black-and-white photos of bohemian life in Paris captured a reckless, carefree, decadent and hedonistic love for life. Vali Myers, the Australian artist, featured in this book as…