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 June, 2012

Growing Up

A photo series of babies at various phases of development, by Nina Leen, 1942. 

A one month baby, able to yawn as well as smile and sneeze. Source

A three-month-old baby, able to lift its head and look around. Source

A four-month-old discovering his hands. Source

28 June, 2012


The days of the Zeppelins! Mostly late 20s-30s.

The National Archives, UK

The Graf Zeppelin over St. Paul's, London, 1930. Source

San Diego Air and Space Museum

The Graf Zeppelin over Swiss mountains, c. 1930. A lovely commentator has identified the place further as: "Bürgenstock Mountain in central Switzerland near Lucerne. Mountain on the left is Stanserhorn, to the right is Pilatus, only partially visible. Village in center of pic is Obbürgen, canton of Nidwalden." Source

Nationaal Archief

A sailor waving at a friend onboard a Zeppelin, New Jersey 1936. Source

24 June, 2012

When You're a Jet

Photographs of West Side Story, today-- but not film stills, rather a set taken by photographer Gjon Mili at filming of the movie, during the opening and rumble scenes. So we have different views, different compositions, and some different shots entirely, all by a master photographer. 

From the LIFE archives, 1960 (the tag is 40s/50s because the original musical premièred in 1957). 

Riff leads the Jets in a dance down a New York street. Source

The Sharks (with Jets close behind). Source

22 June, 2012


A few of the fantastic woman flyers of the early 20th century. (For some of those I've missed, the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum  has a great online exhibit). 

From various institutions, but especially the San Diego Air and Space Museum.

Matilde E. Moisant, the second American woman to get a pilot's license, 1912.  Source

Ruth Elder, c.1920s.  Source

Lores Bonney, c. 1933. Source

17 June, 2012

Father's Day

Photos of dads and their kids, of course!

Nina Leen, LIFE © Time Inc.

A father playing with his child, undated. Source

Library of Congress

Karl Franz Josef (last Emperor of Austria-Hungary) with his son, 1913. Source

Ed Clark, LIFE © Time Inc.

A dad builds Lincoln Logs with his kids, Denver, 1953. Source

16 June, 2012

Best Friends

Pet post time! Today, people and their dogs.

Nationaal Archief

A girl with a puppy, undated. Source

National Media Museum

A girl photographing a dog, c. 1910. Source

State Library of New South Wales

Huskies pulling a sledge, Antarctica, 1911-14. Source

14 June, 2012

Commuter Train

The daily suburb commute, NYC, 1961, photographed by Alfred Eisenstaedt. 

From the LIFE archives. 

Running to catch the train as it pulls out. Source

Commuters at Grand Central Station. Source

Waiting for trains. Source

12 June, 2012

Land of Ice

Photographs from Greenland, 1936.

From the LIFE photo archives (photographer unidentified).

A Greenlander in a kayak beside an iceberg. Source

A view of ships in the village harbour. Source

A fisherman cleaning and deboning fish. Source

10 June, 2012

"The America of 1960"

An incredible, 35,700 square foot model envisioning the United States in 1960 at the General Motors exhibit at the 1939 World's Fair. Called "Futurama" and designed by Norman Bel Geddes, it was the fair's hit attraction, full to capacity every day. Visitors rode on conveyor simulating an aerial journey over the model. More info is here, and a colour video is here. 

These photographs are by Alfred Eisenstaedt, turning his unsurpassed photographer's eye on the model for LIFE magazine. 

From the LIFE photo archives. 

Alfred Eisenstaedt, LIFE © Time Inc.

Pedestrian streets over top of vehicle streets filled with modernistic cars. Source

Alfred Eisenstaedt, LIFE © Time Inc.

The model's Yosemite Valley. Source

Alfred Eisenstaedt, LIFE © Time Inc.

An airport of the future. Source

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