Vintage

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…
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.
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…
The Boston Molasses Disaster of 1919

The Boston Molasses Disaster of 1919

The Boston Molasses Disaster occurred on January 15, 1919, in the North End neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts, in the United States. A large molasses storage tank burst, and a wave of molasses rushed through the streets at an estimated 35 mph (56 km/h), killing 21 and injuring 150. The event has entered local folklore, and for decades afterward, residents claimed…
Cats and Dogs Dressed as People (1910s)

Cats and Dogs Dressed as People (1910s)

Harry Whittier Frees (1879–1953) was an American photographer who created novelty postcards and children’s books based on his photographs of live, posed animals. He dressed the animals and posed them in human situations with props, often with captions; these can be seen as progenitors of modern lolcats.
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…
Baldwin Hills Dam collapse (1963)

Baldwin Hills Dam collapse (1963)

The Baldwin Hills Dam collapsed with the fury of a thousand cloudbursts, sending a 50-foot wall of water down Cloverdale Avenue and slamming into homes and cars on Dec. 14, 1963. Five people were killed. Sixty-five hillside houses were ripped apart, and 210 homes and apartments were damaged. The flood swept northward in a V-shaped path roughly bounded by La…
Winter Olympics in the Past

Winter Olympics in the Past

The Winter Games have evolved since its inception. Sports and disciplines have been added and some of them, such as Alpine skiing, luge, short track speed skating, freestyle skiing, skeleton, and snowboarding, have earned a permanent spot on the Olympic programme. Others (such as curling and bobsleigh) have been discontinued and later reintroduced, or have been permanently discontinued (such as…
Volcano Irazu covers Costa Rican valley in ash (1965)

Volcano Irazu covers Costa Rican valley in ash (1965)

On March 19, 1963, the Costa Rican volcano Irazu began an eruption lasting into 1965. San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica, was daily covered by additional ash. For 10 months the almost 300,000 inhabitants of metropolitan San Jose have been living in the “valley of the shadow of death.” via LA Times
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,…
Sansinena disaster in San Pedro (1976)

Sansinena disaster in San Pedro (1976)

A helicopter searchlight illuminates wreckage in Los Angeles Harbor after an explosion aboard the oil tanker Sansinena. The nighttime blast split the 810-foot vessel in two and rocked the coastline, shattering windows in Costa Mesa 21 miles away. Six crewmen died and more than 50 people were injured. Two crewmen and a dock security guard remain missing. via LA Times
Historic photos of China from 1889-1891

Historic photos of China from 1889-1891

In the 19th century, the great Chinese Diaspora began. Losses due to emigration were added to by conflicts and catastrophes such as the Northern Chinese Famine of 1876–79, in which between 9 and 13 million people died. In 1898, the Guangxu Emperor drafted a reform plan to establish a modern constitutional monarchy, but these plans were thwarted by the Empress…
Tod Browning’s Freaks (1932)

Tod Browning’s Freaks (1932)

Freaks is a rarity, a horror film that horrifies rather than frightens. It was slated on its release in 1932, has been blamed for the downhill career trajectories thereafter of the key players, and was banned in many countries for more than thirty years. Yet in 1994 it was selected for the National Film Registry’s archives, and now enjoys both…
New York City in the 70s

New York City in the 70s

Since the 1970s and 1980s, photographer Arlene Gottfried has captured the beastly city of New York in all its glory, from the muscle men of Brighton Beach to the sartorialists of Coney Island and the glam rockers of Madison Square Garden.
Muhammad Ali

Muhammad Ali

On September 9, 1966, Life magazine featured a story on Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr., the rising boxing star who’d recently changed his name to a moniker more familiar to sports devotees — Muhammad Ali. At this point, Ali had already won the gold medal at the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome and snatched the heavyweight title from Sonny Liston in…
New York World’s Fair in 1939

New York World’s Fair in 1939

The 1939–40 New York World’s Fair, which covered the 1,216 acres (492 ha) of Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, was the second largest American world’s fair of all time, exceeded only by St. Louis’s Louisiana Purchase Exposition of 1904. Many countries around the world participated in it, and over 44 million people attended its exhibits in two seasons. The NYWF of 1939–1940…