1920s

Vintage: Portraits by James Abbe (1920s)

Vintage: Portraits by James Abbe (1920s)

James Abbe (1883 – 1973) was an American photographer. His career as international photographer was first boosted by the Washington Post, which commissioned him to travel and take photographs of a 16-day voyage with the American battleship fleet to England and France in 1910. Many years later he traveled throughout Europe as a young photojournalist in the late 1920s and…
Vintage: Portraits of Blanche Sweet – Silent Movie Star

Vintage: Portraits of Blanche Sweet – Silent Movie Star

Blanche Sweet (1896 – 1986) was an American silent film actress who began her career in the earliest days of the Hollywood motion picture film industry. Sweet was known for her energetic, independent roles, at variance with the ‘ideal’ Griffith type of vulnerable, often fragile, femininity. After many starring roles, her first real landmark film was the 1911 Griffith thriller…
Vintage: Vietnamese Lunar New Year – Tet Holiday (1920s)

Vintage: Vietnamese Lunar New Year – Tet Holiday (1920s)

Vietnamese Lunar New Year or Tet Holiday, is the most important celebration in Vietnamese culture. Vietnamese people usually return to their families during Tết. Some return to worship at the family altar or visit the graves of their ancestors in their homeland. They also clean the graves of their family as a sign of respect. Although Tết is a national…
Vintage: Portraits of Colleen Moore – Silent Movie Star

Vintage: Portraits of Colleen Moore – Silent Movie Star

Colleen Moore (1899 – 1988) was an American film actress who began her career during the silent film era. At age 15 she was taking her first step in Hollywood. Her uncle arranged a screen test with director D.W. Griffith. She wanted to be a second Lillian Gish but instead, she found herself playing heroines in Westerns with stars such…
Vintage: The Last Laugh (1924)

Vintage: The Last Laugh (1924)

The Last Laugh is a 1924 German silent film directed by German director F. W. Murnau. Jannings’ character is a doorman for a famous hotel, who takes great pride in his work and position. His manager decides that the doorman is getting too old and infirm to present the image of the hotel, and so demotes him to a less…
Vintage: Sherlock Jr. (1924)

Vintage: Sherlock Jr. (1924)

Sherlock Jr. is a 1924 American silent comedy film directed by and starring Buster Keaton. A movie theater projectionist and janitor (Buster Keaton) is in love with a beautiful girl (Kathryn McGuire). However, he has a rival, the “local sheik” (Ward Crane). Neither has much money. The projectionist buys a $1 box of chocolates, all he can afford, and changes…
Vintage: Greed (1924)

Vintage: Greed (1924)

Greed is a 1924 American silent film, written and directed by Erich von Stroheim and based on the 1899 Frank Norris novel McTeague. John McTeague is a miner working in Placer County, California. A traveling dentist calling himself Dr. “Painless” Potter visits the town, and McTeague’s mother begs Potter to take her son on as an apprentice. Potter agrees and…
Vintage: Pandora’s Box (1929)

Vintage: Pandora’s Box (1929)

Pandora’s Box is a 1929 German silent melodrama film based on Frank Wedekind’s plays Erdgeist (Earth Spirit, 1895) and Die Büchse der Pandora (1904). Lulu (Louise Brooks) is the mistress of a respected, middle-aged newspaper publisher, Dr. Ludwig Schön (Fritz Kortner). One day, she is delighted when an old man, her “first patron”, Schigolch (Carl Goetz), shows up at the…
Vintage: Portraits of Bebe Daniels – Silent Movie Star

Vintage: Portraits of Bebe Daniels – Silent Movie Star

Bebe Daniels (1901 – 1971) was an American actress. In the 1920s, Daniels was under contract with Paramount Pictures. She made the transition from child star to adult in Hollywood by 1922 and by 1924 was playing opposite Rudolph Valentino in Monsieur Beaucaire. Following this she was cast in a number of light popular films, namely Miss Bluebeard, The Manicure…
Vintage: The Wind (1928)

Vintage: The Wind (1928)

The Wind is a 1928 pre-code American silent romantic drama film directed by Victor Sjöström. An impoverished young woman named Letty Mason (Lillian Gish) travels west by train from Virginia to live at her cousin Beverly’s isolated ranch in Sweetwater, Texas. On the way, she is bothered by the constantly blowing wind. Fellow passenger and cattle buyer Wirt Roddy (Montagu…
Vintage: Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1927)

Vintage: Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1927)

Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans is a 1927 American silent romantic comedy-drama directed by German director F. W. Murnau (in his American film debut) and starring George O’Brien, Janet Gaynor, and Margaret Livingston. A vacationing Woman from the City (Margaret Livingston) lingers in a lakeside town for weeks. After dark, she goes to a farmhouse where the Man (George…
Vintage: The General (1926)

Vintage: The General (1926)

The General is a 1926 American silent comedy film released by United Artists. Western & Atlantic Railroad train engineer Johnnie Gray (Buster Keaton) is in Marietta, Georgia to see one of the two loves of his life, his fiancée Annabelle Lee (Marion Mack)—the other being his locomotive, The General—when the American Civil War breaks out. He hurries to be first…
Vintage: Portraits of Dorothy Gish – Silent Movie Star

Vintage: Portraits of Dorothy Gish – Silent Movie Star

Dorothy Gish (1898 – 1968) was an American actress. In Hearts of the World (1918), a film about World War I and the devastation of France, Dorothy found her first foothold, striking a personal hit in a comedy role that captured the essence of her sense of humor. As the “little disturber”, a street singer, her performance was the comic…
Vintage: American Beauty Queens (1920s)

Vintage: American Beauty Queens (1920s)

Beauty contests became more popular in the 1880s. In 1888, the title of ‘beauty queen’ was awarded to an 18-year-old Creole contestant at a pageant in Spa, Belgium. All participants had to supply a photograph and a short description of themselves to be eligible to enter and a final selection of 21 was judged by a formal panel. Such events…
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…