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, 2012

South Pacific

Life at an American base on Tarawa in the Gilbert Islands, 1944. Just like the musical...

The American base on the atholl. Source

Servicemen chatting. Source

Ground crew working on a bomber. Source

28 April, 2012

Wales by Photochrom

Photochrom time! Today, Wales. (as a side note, I've been to most of these places-- they come highly recommended!)

c. 1890-1900. 

Dolbadarn Castle (free to visit!), Llanberis. Source

Capel Curig and Snowdon. Source

Beddgelert (an adorable town). Source

27 April, 2012

Berlin, 1950

People living their lives in postwar Berlin. By Nina Leen. 

None of these photographs come with additional captions, unfortunately. From the LIFE archives. 

[note: I just (November 22 2012) discovered the online LIFE archives did something that changed and broke all the linked URLs; I will fix this at some point, but the original sources can be found by going through this set of related images in the archives ]

Nina Leen, LIFE © Time Inc.

Nina Leen, LIFE © Time Inc.

Nina Leen, LIFE © Time Inc.

26 April, 2012

Wartime Pets Part Four

Considering how much I love this series, it's been a very long time since I had a wartime pets post. But, at last, another collection of soldiers, sailors and airmen with their animals.

 © IWM (K 554)

An Australian soldier with Joey the kangaroo, a mascot smuggled into Malaya, c. 1942. Source

© IWM (C 111)

'Alyosius', the lamb mascot of an RAF squadron, 1939. Source

Australian War Memorial

An RAAF man with a pet monkey, Algeria, ca. 1944. Source

24 April, 2012


Today, in 1915, ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) embarked on the Gallipoli campaign-- a long, bloody, and ultimately unsuccessful attack against the Turkish Empire. Like the Canadian experiences at Ypres and Dieppe, the shared sadness and pride triggered deep national sentiment that carries through to this day. On Anzac Day, we remember those who fell and those who fought. 

Photographs from Gallipoli, 1915, thanks to the National Library of New Zealand, the Australian War Memorial Collection, and the State Libraries of New South Wales and Queensland. 

6th Battalion soldiers leaving their transport ship, April 25, 1915. Source

Auckland Battalion landing. Source

Boats carrying troops to shore. Source

Reading the Papers

All kinds of papers, all kinds of time periods, all kinds of places.

A sheep ranch overseer reading a paper, Australia, 1915. Source

Women reading a paper in the Congressional Library's Reading Room, Washington, DC, 1941. Source

Senator Robert F. Wagner reading a paper, US, 1939. Source

23 April, 2012

Rangoon, 1945

Photographs of Rangoon (now known as Yangon), Burma (Myanmar) in 1945, shortly after Allied troops defeated the Japanese for control of the country.

A view of a Buddhist temple [the Sule Pagoda]. Source

A woman praying at a Buddhist shrine. Source

Men carrying water from the public wells. Source

22 April, 2012

Dream a Little Dream

People sleeping in days gone by (a part two; part one is here).

A soldier sleeping in the waiting room at Pennsylvania Station, NYC, 1943 (by Alfred Eisenstaedt, unsurprisingly). Source

No caption. Source

A woman sleeping in a train's observation lounge car, US, 1945. Source

21 April, 2012

Life in Early Colour

It's amazing how easy it is to picture the past in black and white. Even when we know of course it was as colourful as today, it's still striking to come across the shots that demonstrate this. Somehow colour makes it feel so much nearer. World War One in colour has a different effect than World War One in black and white

We've seen artistically arranged early colour photographs; today, everyday life from c.1900s to 1920s in full colour. From the collections of George Eastman House.

A woman and boy in a chair, c. 1915. Source

A woman and flowers, c. 1915. Source

Children and teachers, c. 1910. Source

19 April, 2012

War Posters on the Street

We've seen all kinds of wartime posters, from  "enlist now" to "buy war bonds" to "save food". However, seeing the nicely scanned image on the page is something different to seeing it in context. Today, a collection of World War Two posters where they were meant to be seen.

War Savings posters on the base of Nelson's Column, Trafalgar Square, London,. 1941. Source

A row of posters on an unknown street in Britain, 1942. Source

Children and posters advertising the War Savings Scheme, Canterbury, 1941. Source

18 April, 2012

San Francisco Earthquake

Today, in 1906, a massive earthquake devastated San Francisco. These photographs are a vivid view of the incredible and frightening destruction. 

From the collections of the Southern Methodist University, Central University Libraries.

Van Ness Avenue at Vallejo St. Source

O'Farrell St. from Stockton. Source

The Corner of 7th and Natoma. Source

17 April, 2012

Flappers and Philosophers

Women of the 1920s! (these come with varying amounts of info; I've included what there is, when there's anything).

The title, by the way, comes from the title of F. Scott Fitzgerald's first book of short stories. I love it.

1924. Source

1924. Source

A flapper medallion. Source

Women modelling fashion, Florida, 1929. Source

1920. Source

20s beach fun. Source

A bit of 1920s colour. Source

A young woman brushing a hat to keep it clean (thanks to Shay for letting me know that!). Source

1928. Source

Princess Mary talks to a British army officer in Belfast, 1928. Source

1924. Source

A Turkish woman in modern dress, 1925. Source

Of course, the 20s weren't all jazz and bathtub gin. A group of young women hook rugs, 1929. Source

1923. Source

Sweden, 1929. Source

1923. Source

1922. Source

Female jazz band the Ingenues arrive in Sydney, Australia, 1928-29. Source

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