1920s

Vintage: Carnival Costumes in Berlin (1928)

Vintage: Carnival Costumes in Berlin (1928)

While Germany’s carnival traditions are mostly celebrated in the predominantly Roman Catholic southern and western parts of the country, the Protestant North traditionally knows a festival under the Low Saxon names Fastelavend, Fastelabend and Fastlaam. This name has been imported to Denmark as Fastelavn and is related to Vastenoavond in the Low-Saxon-speaking parts of the Netherlands. It is traditionally connected…
Vintage: Portraits of Marion Davies – Silent Movie Star

Vintage: Portraits of Marion Davies – Silent Movie Star

Marion Davies (1897 – 1961) was an American film actress. By the mid-1920s, however, Davies’ career was often overshadowed by her relationship with William Randolph Hearst and their social life at San Simeon and Ocean House in Santa Monica. The latter was dubbed by Colleen Moore “the biggest house on the beach—the beach between San Diego and Vancouver”. According to…
Vintage: Bugatti Cars (1920s and 1930s)

Vintage: Bugatti Cars (1920s and 1930s)

Founder Ettore Bugatti was born in Milan, Italy, and the automobile company that bears his name was founded in 1909 in Molsheim located in the Alsace region which was part of the German Empire from 1871 to 1919. The company was known both for the level of detail of its engineering in its automobiles, and for the artistic manner in…
Vintage: Marlene Dietrich, Leni Riefenstahl and Anna May Wong at the Pierre Ball in Berlin, 1928

Vintage: Marlene Dietrich, Leni Riefenstahl and Anna May Wong at the Pierre Ball in Berlin, 1928

Two beautiful and ambitious Berliners, born just eight months apart—Marie Magdalene Dietrich, on December 27, 1901; Bertha Helene Amalie Riefenstahl, on August 22, 1902—both bound to shape the fantasies and touch the histories of their time. Two girls growing up amid the fear and chaos of the Great War, two artists committed to impossible ideals of physical beauty, two women…
Vintage: Portraits of Fay Wray (1920s)

Vintage: Portraits of Fay Wray (1920s)

Fay Wray (1907 – 2004) was a Canadian-American actress most noted for starring as Ann Darrow in the 1933 film King Kong. In 1923, Wray appeared in her first film at the age of 16, when she landed a role in a short historical film sponsored by a local newspaper. In the 1920s, Wray landed a major role in the…
Vintage: Portraits of Gloria Swanson – Silent Movie Star

Vintage: Portraits of Gloria Swanson – Silent Movie Star

Gloria Swanson (1899 – 1983) was a star in the silent film era as both an actress and a fashion icon, especially under the direction of Cecil B. DeMille. Throughout the 1920s, Swanson was Hollywood’s top box office magnet. Swanson starred in dozens of silent films and was nominated for the first Academy Award in the Best Actress category. She…
Vintage: Clémentine Delait – French bearded lady

Vintage: Clémentine Delait – French bearded lady

Clémentine Delait (1865 – 1939) was a French bearded lady who kept a café. Delait and her husband kept a café in Thaon-les-Vosges, in Lorraine, France. According to later accounts, Clémentine Delait visited a carnival, saw a bearded woman with some stubble and boasted that she could grow a better beard herself. Her husband bet 500 francs to back her.…
Vintage: Portraits of Mary Pickford – Silent Movie Star

Vintage: Portraits of Mary Pickford – Silent Movie Star

Mary Pickford (1892 – 1979) was known in her prime as “America’s Sweetheart” and the “girl with the curls”. She was one of the Canadian pioneers in early Hollywood and a significant figure in the development of film acting. Pickford was one of the earliest stars to be billed under her own name, and was one of the most popular…
Vintage: Portraits of Lucette Desmoulins by Biederer Brothers (1920s)

Vintage: Portraits of Lucette Desmoulins by Biederer Brothers (1920s)

Lucette Desmoulins was a French actress known for a few movies: Le bossu (1934), Un soir de réveillon (1933) and 77 rue Chalgrin (1931). She also appeared in muscials: Ma Femme (1927), Flossie (1929), Arsène Lupin, banquier (1930), Un soir de réveillon (1932), Loulou et ses boys (1933). Below her photos when she posed for Jacques and Charles Biederer.
Vintage: Portraits of Rudolph Valentino (1920s)

Vintage: Portraits of Rudolph Valentino (1920s)

Rudolph Valentino, byname of Rodolfo Alfonso Raffaello Pierre Filibert Guglielmi di Valentina d’Antonguolla, Alfonso also spelled Alfonzo, Raffaello also spelled Raffaelo, Pierre also spelled Pietro, and Filibert also spelled Filiberto (1895 – 1926), Italian-born American actor who was idolized as the “Great Lover” of the 1920s. When Guglielmi was 11, his father, a veterinarian, died from malaria. After being rejected…
Vintage: Ivyhurst (early 20th Century)

Vintage: Ivyhurst (early 20th Century)

Ivyhurst’ was the home of Robinson Franklin Downey (1849-1923) and his wife, Ella Jean ‘Jennie’ (Wilson) (Lindsey) Downey (1860-1934), prominent citizens with influential political ties. ‘Ivyhurst’ played host to such celebrities as President William H. Taft, Woodrow Wilson’s Vice President Thomas Marshall, William Jennings Bryan, and Mrs. Calvin Coolidge. After the death of Mrs. Downey, Ivyhurst passed into the ownership…
Vintage: Everyday Life of Guatemala (1910s and 1920s)

Vintage: Everyday Life of Guatemala (1910s and 1920s)

After the assassination of general José María Reina Barrios on 8 February 1898, the Guatemalan cabinet called an emergency meeting to appoint a new successor, but declined to invite Estrada Cabrera to the meeting, even though he was the designated successor to the Presidency. There are two different descriptions of how Cabrera was able to become president. The first states…
Vintage: Portraits of Lillian Gish (1920s)

Vintage: Portraits of Lillian Gish (1920s)

After 10 years of acting on the stage, she made her film debut opposite Dorothy in Griffith’s short film An Unseen Enemy (1912). At the time established thespians considered “the flickers” a rather base form of entertainment, but she was assured of its merits. Gish continued to perform on the stage, and in 1913, during a run of A Good…
Vintage: Margaret Gorman, The First Miss America (1920s)

Vintage: Margaret Gorman, The First Miss America (1920s)

Gorman was a junior at Western High School in Washington, D.C. when her photo was entered into a popularity contest at the Washington Herald. She was chosen as “Miss District of Columbia” in 1921 at age 16 on account of her athletic ability, past accomplishments, and outgoing personality. As a result of that victory, she was invited to join the…
Vintage: Portrait Postcards of the German Actresses (1910s-1920s)

Vintage: Portrait Postcards of the German Actresses (1910s-1920s)

The German film industry (during Weimar Republic), which was protected during the war by the ban on foreign films import, became exposed at the end of the war to the international film industry while having to face an embargo, this time on its own films. Many countries banned the import of German films and audiences themselves were resisting anything that…
Vintage: Death Valley Road Trip in 1926

Vintage: Death Valley Road Trip in 1926

The Death Valley Automobile Trip photograph album containing 76 prints appears to be the record of a sightseeing trip made from Los Angeles to Death Valley in 1926. A written record–in the form of diary entries–is also included and consists of a series of detailed captions describing the landscape, landmarks, and individuals encountered in Death Valley. Neither the diarist nor…