Vintage

Vintage: Christmas Trees in the past

Vintage: Christmas Trees in the past

The relevance of ancient pre-Christian customs to the 16th-century German initiation of the Christmas tree custom is disputed. Resistance to the custom was often because of its supposed Lutheran origins. Other sources have offered a connection between the first documented Christmas trees in Alsace around 1600 and pre-Christian traditions. For example, according to the Encyclopædia Britannica, “The use of evergreen…
Vintage: Mug-shots of Prisoners (1900s)

Vintage: Mug-shots of Prisoners (1900s)

“Some years ago I discovered a cache of glass negative mug shots taken in the early 20th century; each negative was inscribed with the man’s name and alleged crime. In order to research the life of each man pictured in the 500 negatives, I spent the next three years traveling back and forth from New York to the small Northern…
Vintage: Portraits of American Ladies by Mathew Brady (1863)

Vintage: Portraits of American Ladies by Mathew Brady (1863)

During the Civil War, Mathew Brady and his associates traveled throughout the eastern part of the country, capturing the effects of the War through photographs of people, towns, and battlefields. Additionally, Brady kept studios in Washington, DC and New York City, where many influential politicians and war heroes sat for portraits. Brady photographed many subjects in the time of the…
Vintage: Santa Claus in the past

Vintage: Santa Claus in the past

In 1821, the book A New-year’s present, to the little ones from five to twelve was published in New York. It contained Old Santeclaus with Much Delight, an anonymous poem describing Santeclaus on a reindeer sleigh, bringing presents to children. Some modern ideas of Santa Claus seemingly became canon after the anonymous publication of the poem “A Visit From St.…
Vintage: Street Scenes of the Munster Region, Ireland (late XIX Century)

Vintage: Street Scenes of the Munster Region, Ireland (late XIX Century)

Munster is one of the provinces of Ireland situated in the south of Ireland. In early Ireland, the Kingdom of Munster was one of the kingdoms of Gaelic Ireland ruled by a “king of over-kings”. Following the Norman invasion of Ireland, the ancient kingdoms were shired into counties for administrative and judicial purposes. In later centuries, local government legislation has…
Vintage: The Balkans (1900s)

Vintage: The Balkans (1900s)

From the album of a prussian revenue man who was stationed in Sofia (about 1900-1918). The photographs could have been taken in any other Balkan countries, because he undertook many journeys. via Wolfgang Wiggers
Vintage: Lumberjacks of North America (1900s)

Vintage: Lumberjacks of North America (1900s)

The term lumberjack is of Canadian derivation. The first attested use of the word comes from an 1831 letter to the Cobourg Star and General Advertiser in the following passage: “my misfortunes have been brought upon me chiefly by an incorrigible, though perhaps useful, race of mortals called LUMBERJACKS, whom, however, I would name the Cossack’s of Upper Canada, who,…
Vintage: Russian Beauties in Traditional Costumes (19th Century)

Vintage: Russian Beauties in Traditional Costumes (19th Century)

These photos were taken in the end of 19th century and now are kept in the collection of the Russian Museum of Ethnography. The women in the photos are wearing traditional costumes of different regions of Russia. And though you can see many regional differences in the outfits there are two similar basic elements – sarafan and kokoshnik. Sarafan is…
Vintage: Street Views of Sweden (1900s)

Vintage: Street Views of Sweden (1900s)

Despite the slow rate of industrialisation into the 19th century, many important changes were taking place in the agrarian economy due to constant innovations and a rapid population growth. These innovations included government-sponsored programmes of enclosure, aggressive exploitation of agricultural lands, and the introduction of new crops such as the potato. Because the Swedish peasantry had never been enserfed as…
Vintage: Historic B&W photos of Peking, China (19th Century)

Vintage: Historic B&W photos of Peking, China (19th Century)

During the Second Opium War, Anglo-French forces captured the outskirts of the city, looting and burning the Old Summer Palace in 1860. Under the Convention of Peking ending that war, Western powers for the first time secured the right to establish permanent diplomatic presences within the city. In 1900, the attempt by the “Boxers” to eradicate this presence, as well…
Vintage: Historic B&W photos of Calcutta, India (1890s)

Vintage: Historic B&W photos of Calcutta, India (1890s)

Throughout the late 18th and 19th century, the city was a centre of the East India Company’s opium trade. By the 1850s, Calcutta had two areas: White Town, which was primarily British and centred on Chowringhee and Dalhousie Square; and Black Town, mainly Indian and centred on North Calcutta. The city underwent rapid industrial growth starting in the early 1850s,…
Vintage: South of India (19th Century)

Vintage: South of India (19th Century)

The appointment in 1848 of Lord Dalhousie as Governor General of the East India Company set the stage for changes essential to a modern state. These included the consolidation and demarcation of sovereignty, the surveillance of the population, and the education of citizens. Technological changes—among them, railways, canals, and the telegraph—were introduced not long after their introduction in Europe. However,…
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: Portraits of Abraham Lincoln (19th Century)

Vintage: Portraits of Abraham Lincoln (19th Century)

Abraham Lincoln’s personal secretary John Nicolay believed that no photograph could capture Honest Abe’s essence: “There are many pictures of Lincoln,” he said, “[but] there is no portrait of him.” Over 130 photographs of Lincoln exist—here are a few you may not have come across before.
Vintage: Edinburgh, Scotland in Calotype (1840s)

Vintage: Edinburgh, Scotland in Calotype (1840s)

David Octavius Hill and Robert Adamson were a pair of Scottish photographers working in the 1840s. They are best known for their wonderful portraits, but over the course of their sadly short partnership (Adamson died only five years in, aged 27) they also created quite a few city views. This blog has previously featured a selection of their photographs of…
Vintage: Decayed Daguerreotype Portraits by Mathew Brady (19th Century)

Vintage: Decayed Daguerreotype Portraits by Mathew Brady (19th Century)

Mathew Brady is one of the most celebrated 19th-century American photographers, best known for his portraits of celebrities and his documentation of the American Civil War which earned him the title of “father of photojournalism”. The Library of Congress received the majority of the Brady daguerreotypes as a gift from the Army War College in 1920. via The Public Domain…
Vinatge: Flooding in the Thames Valley, December 1915

Vinatge: Flooding in the Thames Valley, December 1915

During a House of Commons sitting in February 1915, the prime minister, Herbert Asquith, replying to a question about the damage caused by flooding, said: “The attention of the Government has been called from time to time to the serious injury caused by floods in the Upper Thames Valley and to the desirability of a careful inquiry into the matter.…