Vintage

Vintage: Calcutta by Clyde Waddell (1945)

Vintage: Calcutta by Clyde Waddell (1945)

Mr. Waddell was a military photographer. Many of his captions seems like annotations that would be found in a typical military magazine. The album begins with several general long shots of Calcutta and ends with a picture of dhobi-s (washermen) washing clothes. The text accompanying the last photograph also sounds as if the author intended to finish with that picture…
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: Historic B&W photos of Middle East (19th Century)

Vintage: Historic B&W photos of Middle East (19th Century)

Large parts of the Middle East became a warground between the Ottomans and Iranian Safavids for centuries starting in the early 16th century. By 1700, the Ottomans had been driven out of Hungary and the balance of power along the frontier had shifted decisively in favor of the West. The British also established effective control of the Persian Gulf, and…
Vintage: Historic B&W photos of Lisboa, Portugal (1890s)

Vintage: Historic B&W photos of Lisboa, Portugal (1890s)

In the first years of the 19th century, Portugal was invaded by the troops of Napoléon Bonaparte, forcing Queen Maria I and Prince-Regent John (future John VI) to flee temporarily to Brazil. By the time the new King returned to Lisbon, many of the buildings and properties were pillaged, sacked or destroyed by the invaders. During the 19th century, the…
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: Titanic before Its Sinking in 1912

Vintage: Titanic before Its Sinking in 1912

The passenger facilities aboard Titanic aimed to meet the highest standards of luxury. According to Titanic’s general arrangement plans, the ship could accommodate 833 First Class Passengers, 614 in Second Class and 1,006 in Third Class, for a total passenger capacity of 2,453. In addition, her capacity for crew members exceeded 900, as most documents of her original configuration have…
Vintage: Historic B&W photos of India (19th Century)

Vintage: Historic B&W photos of India (19th Century)

The rush of technology and the commercialisation of agriculture in the second half of the 19th century was marked by economic setbacks—many small farmers became dependent on the whims of far-away markets. There was an increase in the number of large-scale famines, and, despite the risks of infrastructure development borne by Indian taxpayers, little industrial employment was generated for Indians.…
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: Historic B&W photos of Barcelona, Spain (1890s)

Vintage: Historic B&W photos of Barcelona, Spain (1890s)

While Cerdà’s Extension was being built and filled out, the city began to plan how it could host the 1888 Great Exhibition. This event was seen as an opportunity to put Barcelona on the world stage, to show all the other countries of the world that Barcelona could be in the same class as London and Paris. The Exhibitions had…
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: Zahra Khanom Tadj es-Saltaneh – Persian princess

Vintage: Zahra Khanom Tadj es-Saltaneh – Persian princess

Taj Saltaneh (1883 – 1936‎) was a Persian princess and memoirist of the Qajar Dynasty, a daughter of Naser al-Din Shah, the King of Persia from 1843 to May 1896 by his wife Turan es-Saltaneh. She was married to Amir Hussein Khan Shoja’-al Saltaneh and had four children, two daughters and two sons. They later divorced. She was the love…
Vintage: American Actresses Greeting New Year’s Eve

Vintage: American Actresses Greeting New Year’s Eve

Most nations of Western Europe officially adopted 1 January as New Year’s Day somewhat before they adopted the Gregorian Calendar. In Tudor England, New Year’s Day, along with Christmas Day and Twelfth Night, was celebrated as one of three main festivities among the twelve days of Christmastide. There, until the adoption of the Gregorian Calendar in 1752, the first day…
Vintage: Coney Island, New York City (1900s)

Vintage: Coney Island, New York City (1900s)

In 1824, the Gravesend and Coney Island Road and Bridge Company built the first bridge across Jamaica Ditch (by now known as Coney Island Creek), connecting the island with the mainland. The company also built a shell road across the island to the beaches. In 1829, the company also built the first hotel on the island: the Coney Island House,…
Vintage: Scotland’s Landscapes (19th Century)

Vintage: Scotland’s Landscapes (19th Century)

The whole of Scotland was covered by ice sheets during the Pleistocene ice ages and the landscape is much affected by glaciation. From a geological perspective, the country has three main sub-divisions. The Highlands and Islands lie to the north and west of the Highland Boundary Fault, which runs from Arran to Stonehaven. This part of Scotland largely comprises ancient…
Vintage: Tight Corset (Victorian era)

Vintage: Tight Corset (Victorian era)

The corset has been attributed to Catherine de’ Medici, wife of King Henry II of France. She enforced a ban on thick waists at court attendance during the 1550s. For nearly 350 years, women’s primary means of support was the corset, with laces and stays made of whalebone or metal. Other researchers have found evidence of the use of corsets…
Vintage: The Bishop’s Wife (1947)

Vintage: The Bishop’s Wife (1947)

The Bishop’s Wife is a Samuel Goldwyn romantic comedy feature film from 1947, starring Cary Grant, Loretta Young, and David Niven in a story about an angel who helps a bishop with his problems. The film was adapted by Leonardo Bercovici and Robert E. Sherwood from the 1928 novel of the same name by Robert Nathan, and was directed by…