XX Century

Vintage: New Year’s Eve in Soviet Russia

Vintage: New Year’s Eve in Soviet Russia

During the Soviet period, religious celebrations were discouraged by the official state policy of atheism. Christmas tree and related celebrations were gradually eradicated after the October Revolution. In 1935, in a surprising turn of state politics, the Christmas tradition was adopted as part of the secular New Year celebration.
Vintage: Christmas on London’s Streets (1908-1967)

Vintage: Christmas on London’s Streets (1908-1967)

Commercial Christmas industry was borne by Victorians in 1848 when a British confectioner, Tom Smith, invented a bold new way to sell sweets. Inspired by a trip to Paris where he saw bon bons – sugared almonds wrapped in twists of paper – he came up with the idea of the Christmas cracker: a simple package filled with sweets that…
Vintage: B&W photos from Oktoberfest (1900-1960)

Vintage: B&W photos from Oktoberfest (1900-1960)

It began with the Royal Wedding on 12 October 1810. Crown Prince Ludwig, later to become King Ludwig I, was married to Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen on 12 October 1810. The citizens of Munich were invited to attend the festivities held on the fields in front of the city gates to celebrate the happy royal event. The fields were renamed…
Vintage: Scooters (1916 – 1938)

Vintage: Scooters (1916 – 1938)

Kick scooters – a flat board on wheels with a long handle at the front, propelled by foot – have been made for at least 100 years as toys for children. Florence’s Autoped was one of the first examples of motorised kick scooters. Like a child’s scooter, it had no seat. Manufactured in New York and Germany by Krupps, the…
Vintage: Building the Sydney Opera House (1957-1973)

Vintage: Building the Sydney Opera House (1957-1973)

Planning began in the late 1940s, when Eugene Goossens, the Director of the NSW State Conservatorium of Music, lobbied for a suitable venue for large theatrical productions. The normal venue for such productions, the Sydney Town Hall, was not considered large enough. By 1954, Goossens succeeded in gaining the support of NSW Premier Joseph Cahill, who called for designs for…
Vintage: Ankle competitions (1930-1953)

Vintage: Ankle competitions (1930-1953)

Some of the earliest recorded instances of “pretty ankle contests” appear in the first decade of the 20th century as special shows within women’s “physical culture” pageants. Some pageants also judged prettiest shoulders, arms and legs. Contestants would be concealed behind a curtain, with only their ankles exposed for evaluation. Often, these shows served as promotions for hosiery companies, with…
Vintage: Contact Sheets from Hollywood Films

Vintage: Contact Sheets from Hollywood Films

Collection of contact sheets from Hollywood’s most renowned films. A contact print is a photographic image produced from film; sometimes from a film negative, and sometimes from a film positive. In a darkroom an exposed and developed piece of photographic film is placed emulsion side down, in contact with a piece of photographic paper, light is briefly shone through the…
Grand Central Terminal in New York City

Grand Central Terminal in New York City

Built by and named for the New York Central Railroad in the heyday of American long-distance passenger rail travel, it is the largest such facility in the world by number of platforms with 44 serving 67 tracks along them. They are on two levels, both below ground, with 41 tracks on the upper level and 26 on the lower, though…