History with its flickering lamp stumbles along the trail of the past, trying to reconstruct its scenes, to revive its echoes, and kindle with pale gleams the passion of former days. ~Winston Churchill

30 April, 2011

Assorted Photos I

Sometimes, in journeying through collections, one finds pictures that are great, but stand alone-- either because I've just not found others similar yet, or, sometimes, because they're just plain unique (see, for instance, the last photo of this post!). Rather than letting them languish I've decided to periodically post themeless collections. Here is the first assortment!

A soda jerker flipping ice cream into milk shakes, Texas, 1939. Source

Fox cubs being sold as pets, Wales 1956 (presumably where this little boy got his!). Source

A photo booth in the lobby of the 'United Nations service center' [this is what the caption says; from what I can tell it is at least a place servicemen could go and chill and read and sleep and shower and stuff in between trains, obviously having nothing to do with the actual 'UN', which didn't yet exist. More photos of it here], Washington DC, 1943. Source

The staff of the UK National Archives playing a game of cricket in gas masks during the Blitz. Source

A picnic amidst driftwood at a beach near Seattle, WA, c. 1915. Source

A Qantas hangar and airplane c. 1930. Care to fly? Source

A man giving a drink to a thirsty wallaby in Queensland, Australia. Undated. Source

29 April, 2011

The Seattle of Former Days

Why Seattle? Well, it follows naturally on the coffee theme, doesn't it? Actually, no, it's simply because I got into the archives of the University of Washington. Whether you know Seattle or not, I think it's terribly interesting to look at a city of today, yesterday. In the days before Starbucks, even. 

An aerial view of Seattle waterfront c. 1930. Source

Fruit and veg vendors at Pike Place Market c.1920. Source

L. C. Smith building, Seattle's oldest skyscraper, 1914.  Source A photograph of this building, now known as the Smith Tower, is here

A very early Pike Place market, c. 1908. Source

And Pike Place market slightly later, c. 1910. Source

The glorious interior of the Fifth Avenue Theatre, c. 1930. Source

28 April, 2011


The natural sequel to a post on sleeping.

Lincoln Coffee Lounge and Cafe, Sydney, Australia, c.1948-1951, a favourite haunt of young artists, writers, and intellectual types.  The man standing at the rear is John Barry, the place's proprietor. Source

A cup of coffee given to a wounded soldier, WWI. Source

Coffee shop in Lethbridge, Alberta (a fairly small town), c. 1950. Source

Dutch immigrants drinking coffee at a Canadian train station, 1953. Source

The coffee shop at Mt. Sinai hospital in Minneapolis, MN, c. 1955. Source

A coffee stall at the Front, WWI. Source

Men standing in front of Lincoln Coffee Lounge and Cafe in Syndey, Australia (see above), c. 1950. Source

27 April, 2011

Sleeping in Former Days

A rather fun way to explore collections is to come up with a keyword and see what you get. The Flickr Commons is especially good for this; you really get a whole range! 

These photographs, of course, come from me feeling tired one day and thus looking for pictures of people sleeping. Not much more to say!

People napping in Battery Park, NYC, on a hot day c. 1910. Source

Portrait of a couple (June Christy and Bob Cooper), c. 1947. Source

A dragoman asleep on his camel (his 'ship of the desert', in the caption), sometime between 1860 and 1920. Source

Americans sleeping in the London Law Courts, c. 1917-1918 (sadly I'm not sure why). Source

A woman sleeping on a sofa on the street after a fire in Hartlepool, UK, 1922. Source

Man sleeping in a tent. The very best part of this photograph is that this is the same fellow seen wearing a newspaper around his neck in the former post on silliness! (for just that photo, see here)   Source

Sailors sleeping on the flight deck of the USS Lexington, 1943. Source

Asleep on a fallen column from the Temple of Palmyra, Syria. 1860-1920. Source

25 April, 2011

Portraits for ANZAC Day

I'm not an Australian or New Zealander (despite all the Aussies featured on this blog), but I am a) Canadian (and thus cousin to Aussies and Kiwis), b) fascinated by the people of the world wars, and c) saddened by those wars so today's post is honour of it being ANZAC day.

ANZAC day is the national day of remembrance to commemorate those who have served in the military for Australia and New Zealand. ANZAC itself stands for 'Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, a force that was established in the First World War and operated in the Mediterranean, culminating in the famous battle of Gallipoli. Though the Corps and acronymic name were not long lived, the spirit endured and became a part of the Australian and New Zealand psyches. After World War Two, ANZAC day became a day not just to remember those who had fought at Gallipoli and in the Great War, but in wars generally. So for North Americans or Brits-- it's rather like Veteran's or Rememberance Day, but coloured a little more with feelings of national identity. [A much better description is on the Australian War Memorial's site, here]

It's this last reason that really causes ANZAC day to resound with me personally. The Canadians and Aussies/Kiwis had a lot of the same experience of World War One-- it meant a lot to national identity and pride, as well as national mourning.

So-- today we have another post bringing some of these individuals closer. I've included men from both world wars-- and I do apologize to all New Zealanders, because they are mostly Australians. Let me assure you it's purely because the Aussies just have damn good online collections!

Private Harold Woodman Wilson Vercoe. Source

Private R. Thompson with his bugle. Source

Lt. Alan Stewart. Source

Private Billy Lock and Private Harry Lee. Source

Captain Daniel Sydney Aarons, MC. Source

Private H. Lacey-- veteran of the Boer War and World War One, serving in World War Two. Source

An RAAF [Royal Australian Air Force] fitter. Source

A repatriated POW from the AIF [Australian Imperial Force]. Source

A member of the RAAF. Source

And-- the funeral of an ANZAC man in World War One. Source

More photographs of Australian servicemen:

Australians of World War One

A Group Portrait

Love in the Time of War

24 April, 2011

Children of Former Days

Not loads to say today-- cute pictures of cute children from a span of times and places! (Also, various collections). 

A little Inuit girl, Alaska, c.1903. Source

Little girls at a Welsh-medium school, Cardiff, Wales, 1951. Source

The proud discoverer of a  potato shaped 'V' for Victory! Ian Williams, Welshpool, Wales, 1941. Source

Heddwyn Jones with pet tame fox cub, Talysarn, Wales, 1959. Source

Little girls in raincoats c. 1910, Norway. Source

Boy with a duck 'who escaped the knife at Christmas!' Pencaenewydd, Wales, 1959. Source

Hulda Lundager with cat and doll, Mt. Morgan, Australia, c. 1900? Source


22 April, 2011

Back Him Up With War Bonds

Some more First World War War Bonds posters today. The makers of these used every tactic and every angle, it's really quite a dazzling array in a way. A favourite tactic was the direct equation of buying war bonds to fighting in the war yourself -- you're helping to win the war with your money just like those men in France are helping to win it by going over the top and getting blown up. Taken further, this implies if they're still dying and not winning, it's your fault for not buying war bonds (or victory bonds, liberty bonds, etc-- see my first war bond post). I find it interesting though really quite horrible, and I've chosen some of the starkest examples from various countries. The US seems to have used this approach the most, though Canadian propagandists weren't far behind. 

From the Library of Congress's collection of World War One posters. [I apologize for those that aren't quite straight; they are scanned posters that I didn't correct]

American. Source

American. Source

American. Source

Canadian. Source

This one almost seems like blackmail, doesn't it? Canadian. Source

Australian. Source

I think someone took this a bit too far-- apparently not buying Liberty Bonds will result in the end of the world? Source

This just seems like bad taste. Source

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