Photographer Charles C. Ebbets - Rockefeller Center, 1932
These snapshots show moments of societal change, but they also show people taking it easy and spending time with their loved ones. Something that sounds pretty nice right about now. Each shot shows a different take on history that what you already know, showing the nuance in a well known story that only a rare photo can. Charles C. Ebbets (above) was a pioneer in photography from the 1930s-1970s, his most famous image being that of the workmen lunching on a beam above the Rockefeller Center in 1932. When America was back to work and New York City was growing up into the sky someone had to document the work that was happening, no matter how dangerous, and that photographer was Charles C. Ebbets. Most well known for taking the 1932 photo “Men on a Beam” of 11 steelworkers eating lunch high above the city, Ebbets was more than just a pioneering photographer. He had a lust for adventure and when he wasn’t hunting big game he was flying airplanes and racing cars. With a pedigree like that it makes sense that Ebbets had no problems getting out on a small steel beam and getting whatever shot he needed. Today, photos like “Men on a Beam” would be taken with a drone, but in the 1930s the only way to get a shot like this was to climb a building and take it yourself.
Raquel Welch - 1963
In 1963, Raquel Welch auditioned for the role of Mary Ann for a new TV show called Gilligan's Island. However, the role went to Dawn Wells. Can you imagine how the show would have been different if they ended up casting Raquel? It’s hard to imagine anyone else other than the extremely wholesome Dawn Wells playing Mary Ann, but during the casting process of Gilligan’s Island none other than the very fiery Raquel Welch was brought in for the part. Welch was brought in after producers decided to change one of the characters from a secretary to a farm girl, and who better to give off sexy farm girl vibes than Raquel Welch? The thing is, Welch doesn’t exactly have the “girl next door” appeal that producers were looking for in the role, so they sent her on her way.
The 12 Russian Snipers Responsible for the Deaths of 775 German Soldiers - World War II, 1945
During World War II, Russia was one of the few countries who actually had women going into battle and carrying out some of the more dangerous missions. These young women specifically targeted the Nazis and they didn’t let anyone get in their way. Over 2,000 women were trained as sharpshooters by the Soviet Army, and they were all sent into some of the most dangerous parts of Europe to help take out the Germans. Following the war, sharpshooter Lyudmila “Lady Death” Pavlichenko said of her job, “We mowed down Hitlerites like ripe grain.” Pavlichenko was pulled from field duty after a blast of shrapnel hit her in the face, but in a single year of service she took out 309 German soldiers, including 36 enemy snipers.
Charles Bronson and Jill Ireland - Santa Monica, California 1971
Charles Bronson is easily one of the most manly men who ever graced the silver screen. People talk about Chuck Norris, but the real heads know that it’s Charles Bronson who sits at the head of the tough guy table. As tough as he was, Bronson was also a total sweetheart. After he married English bombshell Jill Ireland he made sure that she was at his side on as many of his films as possible. After the duo started having kids he continued bringing his family everywhere with him, often piling them in an RV and driving to the film location. While Bronson wasn’t a man of many words, he clearly loved Ireland which is something that feels so refreshing in this day and age. Sadly, Ireland passed away from breast cancer in 1990 at the home she and Bronson shared in Malibu.
Burger King in the 1960s was a lot Different than the Burger King of Today
In the 1960s, Burger King came onto the fast food scene with an ad campaign that pronounced them as “delightfully different.” They offered a dining experience where there were no waiters, and there was no drive-in. At the time this was a new way to do burgers and fries. Other fast food joints at the time were still offering meals in a drive-in setting, if the family was going to sit down anywhere it would be in an actual restaurant. The King created a median experience, one that we often take for granted. With its flame-broiled Whopper and big shakes, Burger King pushed fast food culture into the late 20th century.
Margaretha Geertruida Margreet MacLeod a.k.a. Mata Hari - 1906
There’s quite possibly no figure that’s as well known and as misunderstood as Mata Hari. This sensual, beautiful dancer worked as a spy and double agent during World War I, and through a series of missteps she ended up paying with her life for her desire to be a part of the solution to the Great War. Mata Hari began dancing in Paris in 1905, but it was her trip to The Hague in 1915 that changed the course of her life forever. After meeting Karl Kroemer, the honorary German consul of Amsterdam, she was paid 20,000 francs to work as a spy for Germany. She took on the job but quickly fell into a trap laid out by French intelligence officers. Upon arrival in Paris in 1916, Mata Hari was arrested for espionage. It’s unclear whether or not she was set up by the German military or if she actually was a double agent, but whatever the case, when the French found out about 20,000 franc payment she was charged and convicted of eight counts of espionage. In 1917 Mata Hari was put to death by firing squad. The former dancer refused to be tied to a stake and stood her ground while awaiting her fate.
Bill Paxton, Liam Neeson and Patrick Swayze - "Next of Kin," 1989
These three good looking guys may look like brothers, but that’s just because they were hired to act like family. Liam Neeson may be from England but he’s really pulling off the good ol’ boy look, don’t you think? If it seems odd that Neeson would play a regular American guy, it’s important to remember at this point in his career he wasn’t the vaulted actor that he is now. In the late ‘80s and early ‘90s he was starring in a ton of thrillers and B-movies with a sizable budget. This intense action/mystery film may have been only a step in the careers of each of these guys, but it’s well worth your time.
Billy the Kid and His Gang - 1878
This photo of outlaw Billy the Kid and his gang - the Regulators - playing croquet in New Mexico in 1878 was found in a California thrift shop for $2 and is worth over $5 million. When we think of Billy the Kid the last thing we imagine is the young outlaw playing a game of croquet. However, this photo is proof that he enjoyed knocking around the old wooden balls as much as an upper crust WASP in Connecticut. This photo was taken in 1878, following a wedding that Billy and his gang had attended about a month after the Lincoln County war, a rather bloody affair. Billy the Kid’s gentile past time was discovered in a junk shop in Fresno in 2010. Randy Guijarro, the lucky guy who found the tintype, paid $2 for it and now it’s estimated to be worth millions. Remember to keep your eyes peeled for the photos the next time you go to the flea market.
Dolly Parton - 1979
It’s safe to say that even if you’re not a fan of Dolly Parton’s music, you’re definitely a fan of her looks. And to hear Parton tell it she’s totally fine with that, because she’s in control of the situation. In an interview with Barbara Walters from 1977, Parton dusts off the assumption that Walters makes that Parton shouldn’t look the way she does out of some strange sense of decorum: Oh I know they make fun of me, but all these years the people have thought the joke was on me, but it’s actually on them. I am sure of myself as a person. I am sure of my talent. I’m sure of my love for life and that sort of thing. I am very content, I like the kind of person that I am. So, I can afford to piddle around and do-diddle around with makeup and clothes and stuff because I am secure with myself.
The Old Cincinnati Library - 1955
The Old Cincinnati Library is the kind of library that bibliophiles dream about. A massive structure dedicated to learning, fiction, and spending your time with your nose buried in a good book.Built in 1874, the building was meant to be an opera house before the project went bankrupt, wit is why the heads of William Shakespeare, John Milton and Benjamin Franklin watched over the main entrance.Full of cast-iron book alcoves and multi-level spiral staircases, the library is a gorgeous maze that unfortunately is no more. This beautiful building was destroyed in 1955 after its contents were moved to a modern building a few blocks away.
Davy Jones and Kurt Russell, 1967
This shot of Davy Jones hanging out with a young Kurt Russell is absolutely one of the coolest shots of the era. Not only were The Monkees genuinely one of the most fun groups of the time, but it’s cool to see stars just hanging out in the wild like this. Even though it looks a little weird for Jones and Russell to be hanging out, it actually makes perfect sense. Russell was born into a Hollywood family while Jones was a seasoned professional who made plenty of appearances on TV, Broadway, and London stages for half a decade before he was a Monkee. Perhaps Jones was the one Monkee who the most suited to the rigors of the group’s schedule. He fell right into the 12 hours days on set and the rehearsal that could last for up to four hours after that very long day. That being said, everyone he worked with said that he never complained.
Contents of a World War II Breakfast Ration - 1940
During World War II staying healthy and fit was harder than you think. Not only were soldiers in danger every day, from morning to night, but staying full and getting the nutrients they needed was a hefty task. In order to keep soldiers as fit as fiddles they were given K-rations, boxes of food designed to be an inexpensive way to make sure soldiers were full of energy for their long days and longer nights. These rations held dry sausages, hard biscuits and candy, as well as chocolate bars, gum and cigarettes. Each box provided 2,830 calories and 79 grams of protein. The nutritional aspect is all well and good, but can you imagine having to eat three of these a day?
Brigitte Bardot at Saint-Tropez in theEarly 1960s
As one of the most beautiful women of the 1960s, Brigitte Bardot really needs no introduction. At this time in her career she was consistently portrayed as a sweetheart beauty who spent all her time in Saint-Tropez, but that’s far from the truth. Whatever film that featured Bardot, you could be sure that it was going to focus directly on her sexuality, whether it be The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter or Crazy for Love. Known as a “sex kitten,” Bardot wasn’t seen as a necessarily “good” actor, but she was extremely instinctive with an “Alice in Wonderland” quality. It's this quality that allowed audiences to put whatever persona on Bardot that they wanted.
AC-DC back in 1979 in Cleveland, Ohio
Taken months before his death in 1980, Bon Scott was on top of the world with AC/DC as they took the U.S. by storm on their If You Want Blood Tour. Even though the band spent the ‘70s writing some of the best hard rock songs of the era they found it impossible to break through in the states. It was 1979’s “Highway To Hell” that pushed them to the top of the charts. With singles like “Girls Got Rhythm,” “Touch Too Much,” and its titular song “Highway to Hell,” rock audiences were aghast at the sheer power that these Aussies had. Unfortunately, Scott passed away in February 1980 and was never able to fully enjoy the success that he worked so hard for. Guitarist Angus Young told Rolling Stone after the release of Back in Black: I was sad for Bon.I didn’t even think about the band. We’d been with Bon all that time; we’d seen more of him than his family did.
Trail Pioneers During their Journey - 1860s
Traveling west in the 19th century offered the opportunity for pioneers to start a new life, to come into their own, and to see the country like no one before them had. But this kind of travel also offered unimaginable hardships for these weary travelers. Pioneers often spread out across the plains during their travels, not only to find food but to avoid following the patch of earlier wagons that left massive dust clouds. Before leaving for the west, most pioneers loaded their wagons down for anything they might come across. This over planning slowed them down and they often discarded whatever they could handle losing, which means that it’s entirely possible that some lucky travelers were able to go west and pick up what they needed as they went along.
Volvo Ad - 1973
While Volvos aren’t traditionally thought of as cool cars, there’s something about the car in this ad that begs you to hop in its two doors and go vroom vrooming to the beach. It may only have two doors, but it looks like it's perfect for piling up your friends and heading out. Maybe it’s the inherent kitsch and camp of this Volvo’s soft pink and strange, smooshed up design that makes the car so desirable. Or maybe it’s just a neat looking car, why plumb the depths of desire? It helps that the ad features a total babe who matches the car, that could be why we’re so into it.
Kiowa Girl with a Smile - 1894
The Kiowa people were nomadic for much of their early lives, but by the 19th century they settled int he Great Plains after traveling through the American Southwest and even Montana. Kiowa means the “principal people,” and this young woman has definitely taken to the modern invention of photography, which isn’t what we really think of when we picture the native people of the 19th century. It goes to show that you don’t really know anything about history until you see it in front of you. Today, the Kiowa share a reservation with the Comanche people, a group that they have been close with for hundreds of years.
Yakini the Baby Gorilla Gets a Check-Up at the Melbourne Zoo - 1999
It’s honestly fascinating to see such a wonder of life smiling back us through a photograph, especially when it’s such a beautiful primate. Do you remember the last time a cold stethoscope pressed against your skin? Did you make the same face? Born in 1999, Yakini grew up at the Werribee Open Range Zoo in Melbourne. And he’s come a long way, no longer a sweet little baby gorilla, he’s now the leader of his pack. His keeper Kat Thompson said: As Yakini matured, it was natural he would challenge his father for the position as leader of the group. The challenge took place over several months, but it was very subtle — a battle of wills rather than a battle of brawn. It’s a joy to see the hard work paid off.
Nurses Showing a Set of Triplets to their Surprised Father in a New York Hospital - 1946
There’s nothing like the rush of finding out that you’re going to be a parent, but finding out that you’re going to be a parent to three children all born right after another? That’s a whole other level of stress and anxiety... on top of the triple shot of happiness of course. Even if this newly minted father is hamming things up for the cameras, it’s likely that he feels some trepidation about taking care of three children with an identical need for love and parental guidance. Hopefully he got a lot of sleep before this photo was taken, because he probably never got a full night’s rest ever again.
Steve Irwin with his daughter Bindi
When crocodile hunter Steve Irwin passed away in 2006 it was a shocking moment for every one of his fans, and especially his family. While most people think of him as a goofy Aussie who had fun with animals, he was so much more than that. Irwin was a family man who loved his children. In a 2003 interview he explained that he never really cared about kids and didn’t really want to be a dad, but when he daughter, Bindi, was born he became the “proudest father,” and just seeing her brought him to tears. He said: Who would have thought someone as ugly as me could bring into the world something so beautiful... such a treasure.
Las Vegas - 1947
When we think of Las Vegas we tend to picture a glitz, glamorous city that’s practically powered by neon. But long before Vegas was the go to spot for making mistakes that need to stay in Nevada. Long before it was the go to spot losing all your money in five minutes and getting married by Elvis it was just a building development in the middle of the desert. The city’s first resort, the El Rancho, opened in 1941 on a strip of land adjacent to U.S. 91. As inauspicious as this sounds, Bugsy Siegel realized how great it was to create a reverse ATM in the middle of nowhere and he started building more places similar to the El Rancho right around it - on what we now know as The Strip.
These Brothers from West Virginia Fought on Different Sides of the Civil War and Both Survived - 1910
This photo of two brothers who fought on different sides of the Civil War not only shows the style that many early photographs had, but the eerie nature of the most bloody war to be fought on American soil. The Civil War pitted family members against one another over their personal ideals. In many ways it was a fight for land, but it was also a series of battles predicated on who believed it was okay to own another person or not. It’s hard to imagine going to war against your own brother, but it’s even harder to imagine sitting down next to them for a photo once the fighting was done.
John Candy with his Daughter Jennifer - 1983
John Candy barreled into our lives with a bevy of lovable and somewhat oafish characters who were larger than life. His unique comedy voice came with a twinkle in his eye that told the audience that there was more happening under the surface. When he wasn’t acting, Candy preferred to spend his time with his two children, Chris and Jen. According to Jen, her father loved all of his characters, but that he felt an affinity for SCTV salesman Johnny LaRue: He loved Johnny LaRue. That character was smarmy, but he was lovable. And I think that’s one of the things that was at the core of all of our dad’s characters, a likability.
The Skull of a Roman Legionnaire — Killed During the Gallic Wars in 52 BC
Well this is certainly a painful way to go. Fought between 58 and 51 BC, the Gallic Wars pit the people of Gaul against Caesar and his Roman who were attempts to bring the Celtic people of Western Europe under his control. The battles that took place during the Gallic Wars were absolutely gruesome, and both armies lost men to some of the most vicious fighting that’s ever been seen. The Gauls were outmanned by the Romans, but even so they managed to put up quite the fight before finally being brought beneath the thrall of the Romans. 20 days of thanksgiving and feasts happened following the end of the war.
Groovy PSA Flight Attendants in the 1970s
When you board an airplane today it’s all fairly hum drum. Flight attendants dressed in muted tones stand at ease while you find your seat and they remind you to buckle your seat belts. But in the ‘60s and ‘70s flight attendants had pizzaz. Not only were they excited to see you but they wore some of the most over the top and groovy outfits that we’ve ever seen. Their bright colors were inspired by go-go dancers, they were definitely designed to make passengers keep an eye on them. Being a flight attendant isn’t all putting on a cute outfit and partying in the sky, it’s a lot of hard work, which is why most people in this profession only last for about a year and half. Hopefully they get to keep the outfit.
Jeff and Dad Lloyd Bridges - 1951
Has Lloyd Bridges ever looked so young? Look at that head of hair, it’s just so amazing. And to see him with a young Jeff Bridges is honestly so heartwarming. According to Jeff, he and his brother Beau didn’t really want to get into acting, but their father felt that it was such a joyous experience that he wanted everyone to do it. His love of getting in front of the camera inspired both of his sons to follow in his footsteps. Jeff told NPR: I had a lot of different interests. I wanted to get into music and painting... And my father said, 'Oh Jeff, don't be ridiculous. That's the wonderful thing about acting is you get to incorporate all of your interests in your parts.' That joy that he brought with him into the set was kind of contagious, and it would spread through the company. He really wanted all his kids to go into acting, because he loved it so much.
Groovy Street Fashion - 1969
Is there any better era for fashion than the 1960s? The skirts were short, the hair was flowing, and everyone was putting their own personal flair on their clothing. These hip chicks are showing off just a couple of the cool looks of the era, which was mostly dominated by denim and “natural” looks, but there was also plenty of cool psychedelic takes on fashion that were really the thing to wear if you wanted to stand out. If you wanted to get an idea of what to wear in the ‘60s the best bet was to go to a major city like San Francisco or London and see what hipsters were strutting around in. If nothing else you’d get some good people watching in.
Jimi Hendrix Enlisted in the Army Assigned to the 101st Airborne Division - Fort Campbell in Kentucky - 1961
Before he was the guitarist who made people like Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page reexamine their entire lives, Jimi Hendrix was just a kid in Seattle trying to make his way in the world. After getting busted for stealing a car he was given the choice of joining the military or going to jail. He enlisted in the military on May 31, 1961, and was assigned to the 101st Airborne Division. After being stationed in Fort Campbell, Kentucky, Hendrix didn’t exactly fit in with the rigor of military life. He was always a far out guy, and the military isn’t known for being “far out.” Hendrix was enlisted for three years, but after his commanding officers found him sleeping on duty they cut him loose after a year.
Cowboys at a Saloon in Tascosa, Texas - 1907
When it comes to the Wild West, the most romantic thought (for us at least) is the concept of cowboys grabbing a drink in a saloon. They played cards, talked shop while taking a break from breaking horses. Isn’t it cool to see that history really happening? Take a close look at these cowboys, don’t they look different from the cow pokes you’re used to seeing in film and television? They look cool, but they don’t look “cool,” you know? We may think of guys like Clint Eastwood as being a cowboy, but the ropers and rustlers in this photo are the real deal.
Friends Can Come and Go, but banners hang forever - Kobe Bryant
Everyone who attended Lower Merion High School knew who Kobe Bryant was. It was impossible not to realize that you were int he vicinity of greatness whenever he was around. According to high school classmate Matthew Quinn, Byrant knew that he had talent but he didn’t walk around with a puffed up ego. He was just a regular guy. Quinn told CNN: Kobe was the ultimate Big Man on Campus, but still entirely approachable. He sat sprawled on the hallway floors between classes with the rest of us. We all knew he was destined for something else. He was voted Most Likely to Succeed, after all.
Clint Eastwood - "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly," 1966
If you’re a fan of westerns then there’s no need to state how important Clint Eastwood’s spaghetti westerns are to the genre. Not only are movies like A Fistful Of Dollars and The Good, The Bad, The Ugly some of the coolest westerns of all time, but they changed the genre and filmmaking forever. This major change to the world of film through a few heist movies is all thanks to Clint Eastwood. In his role as the Man with No Name, Eastwood embodies the go your own way cynicism that was taking hold of Americans in the late ‘60s. Eastwood had been acting in westerns for years so he wasn’t totally excited to go to Italy to make a low budget cowboy film. When it came to The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, Eastwood had to personally convinced to work on the movie by director Sergio Leone. Eastwood was finally hired onto the film, but not before he was paid $250,000 and given a 10 percent stake in the film’s North American earnings.
Couple Reuniting After WWII - New Hope
When America entered World War II there was a major rise in weddings among young people who were desperate to show their love for one another. According to the New York Times, in 1942 1.8 million weddings took place, up 83 percent from 10 years prior. This rush to the altar may sound like its crazy, but these were people in love with one another who thought they were never going to see each other again. When these couples finally saw each other again of course they wanted to grab each other and never let go. For many of them, it the first time they’d seen each other in months, if not years.
Park Rangers on Duty at Joshua Tree - 1909
If you’ve never been, Joshua Tree is one of the most beautiful national parks that the U.S. has to offer. It preserves the beauty of the desert while allowing visitors to walk amongst its many fascinating rock and tree formations. It’s likely that even in 1909 the women who watched over Joshua Tree were in awe of its grandeur. No, it doesn’t have the giant trees of Redwood and there are no geysers, but its empty beauty is something to truly behold. We owe these women and women like them a debt of gratitude for keeping Joshua Tree safe throughout good times and bad, through storms and sun.
Roadside Beauty Service in London - 1930
During the Great Depression people had to do whatever they could to make a buck. For some, that meant toiling in the fields or working odd jobs at all hours of the day. However, there were people like this young woman who took their talents and applied them in interesting ways. Not so different from a food stand or an ice cream truck, this roadside beauty service was a catch as catch can and slightly clandestine business, which makes it all the more fascinating. Women would flag down a roadside beauty worker, tell them what they wanted, and get it right there on the side of the road. Photos like this serve to remind us that if we want something we just have to go out and get it ourselves.
1960 Cadillac Eldorado
Don’t you just love the way this car looks? It has the perfect post war design: it’s big, it’s bold, and it could only be designed and built in America. Where else can you drive a boat like this around the streets without worry that you’re going to bump into something? With its outlandish fins and kicking V-8 engine, the Cadillac Eldorado was expensive but absolutely worth it. These bad boys had plenty of horsepower, but they were so big that you wouldn’t want to race them or anything. These were best on a cross country night drive. Believe it or not, but the lengthy fins on the Eldorado are factory designed and not a custom design. They were standard on both the ’59 and ’60 editions of the vehicle.
A Young Auto Mechanic Fixing a Little Girl's Vehicle in the 1950s
There’s something sweet about the kind of play that we were able to get into in the ’50s and ‘60s. Not only was it innocent, but it was the kind of play where kids were able to use their brains and stretch their imagination. In this amazing era, kids didn’t stay inside all day glued to a set of screens, they actually had to go outside and make their own fun - even if fun was pretending to be a mechanic. Aside from the fun that kids got from playing like this, they were able to be outside with anyone watching them. What a wonderful time. There’s really nothing cuter than seeing a child walking a giant dog. Does it give you visions of Clifford? Or are you thinking about your own for legged companion right about now? It’s most likely that with this twosome that the dog was doing most of the leading while the little girl was just doing her best to keep up, hopefully this big fella was gentle while breaking out into a trot. This photo reminds us of the joy we have playing with our pets, and how crazy it would be if all of our dogs were to suddenly double in size.
Spooky Skeletons Riding Horses for Halloween in the 1920s
Just like today, back in the 1920s when people dressed up for Halloween they went all out - they even dressed up their horses. Even though these two characters look like the kind of people that you don’t want to bump into in a dark alley - or field - they’re just enjoying the holiday. Local Halloween carnivals were a regular part of life in the early 20th century, with everyone taking part to make autumn just a little more magical. Even so, if you bumped into two people dressed like skeletons who had also dressed their horses like skeletons on any night other than Halloween there’s enough of a reason to be freaked out. The next time we have a Halloween, who ever dresses up like this totally wins all the candy.
Candid Pose of The Addams Family - 1964
They’re creepy and they’re kooky, altogether ooky, but not really that spooky. The Addams Family was one of two monstrous families who entertained television viewers in the 1960s. While The Munsters were more of a collection of the Universal Monsters, the Addams Family was an exercise in creating an eerie tone while being funny. The standout of the series, Wednesday Addams, was played by five year old Lisa Loring who claimed that she learned to memorize her lines before she actually learned how to read. Even though it only ran for a couple of seasons, The Addams Familycreated a massive fanbase that conitues to this day.
The Pennsylvania Coal Company Mining Crew - 1910
This young mining crew might seem like an outrageous part of history, but it’s unfortunately very accurate and normal for the time this photo was taken. In the late 19th century, the coal industry was booming and people were needed to fill every role. By 1910, close to 2 million children under the age of 15 were working industrial jobs. Their wages were much lower than those of the adults they worked with, and more often than not they performed much more dangerous tasks due to their small size. It wasn’t until 1916 that the Keatings-Owen Child Labor Act was created, establishing minimum ages and maximum shift lengths for young workers. The Child Labor Act was later ruled unconstitutional, but it provided the groundwork of further laws dictating working conditions for young people.
Undergraduates at Cambridge University, 1926
The clothing of the upper-crust in the early 20th century was all about excess, whether it was with fitting as many pleats as possible onto a pair of pants, or adding enough material to a pair of trousers to make them baggy yet somehow fitted. This style of trouser is known as the “Oxford bag,” wide legs pants that were worn exclusively by young men in universities. No one knows if the trousers got their start in Oxford and went out from there, but it’s believed that their crew teams were the first people to adopt this style. As the Oxford bag became more popular, fashion-minded young men pushed the style further and further, with some versions of the pant ballooning to 44 inches in width.
1963 Chevrolet Corvette Split Window Advertising
1963 was a banner year for Chevrolet. It was the first year that the Corvette received many of its luxury options, including power brakes, power steering, air conditioning, leather interiors, and aluminum knock-off wheels, but even without those things the Corvette is one of the must-have cars of the ‘60s. Maybe it’s the shape of the Corvette, or maybe it’s the fact that they top out at speeds over 100 mph that make them such a desirable piece of metal and American ingenuity. If you were driving one of these bad boys in the ‘60s it meant that you’d made it, or that you knew someone who made and who was gracious enough to loan you the keys.
Camper Boat From the Early 1960s
There is just something so quintessentially 1960s about camper boats. By the middle of the 20th century America was far enough away from World War II to really start spending all the money we saved up through rationing, and what better way to burn some bucks than by combining two different modes of transportation? The Aqua-Trail “Terra Marina” is a little Americana, a little James Bond, and 100% 1960s kitsch. It was only in production for one year, from 1969-1970, and only 35 of them were ever made, which means that if you want to get one of these babies today you’ll have to build your own. Just make sure that you follow all safety precautions before putting a camper on a boat and sailing out into the middle of a lake.
Mercury Streamliner Passenger train in Chicago - 1936
This magnificent train that looks like it could have come out of one of Tim Burton’s Batman movies (or a left German Expressionist film) may have looked eye-catching when it was revealed in 1934, but in a way people had already seen it - or its parts. Built from scratch using older, heavyweight cars and locomotives already in service, the Mercury came about when New York Central decided that it needed to recycle old parts to give riders something new. The Mercury was such a hit that New York Central built a fleet of similar streamliners that remained in service until the 1950s.
Bran Castle (AKA Dracula's Castle) in Romania - 1920
When you think of Dracula’s home doesn’t this fit the bill? Maybe it should have some heads on spikes or bats flying around the turrets, but this is pretty much the kind of place where a spooky Transylvanian folk hero would live. According to literary legend, Bran Castle inspired Bram Stoker to write one of the most important horror novels of all time, Dracula, and by the time it was released in 1887 the castle was barely recognizable. It wasn’t until Transylvania was brought on as an official portion of Romania that the citizens were able to restore the castle using government funds, turning it from a gloomy building that was falling apart into a gloomy tourist destination. Do you think they sell souvenir fangs?
Workers Forging the Chain for the Titanic's Anchor - 1910
It was meant to be an unsinkable behemoth, but the Titanic fell victim to hubris like so many of our most fascinating inventions. More man hours went into the building of the Titanic than had ever gone into a ship before, these men wanted the ship to be their legacy. The pieces that went into this ship were seemingly larger than life, with one anchor consisting of 16 tons of steel that had to be super heated until it was red hot, that’s the only way it could be molded to form the anchor’s shaft. More than 3,000 men worked in the small English town where the anchor was made, taking two years from start to finish to complete their work. You just don’t get that kind of craftsmanship these days.
San Francisco, California 1964
San Francisco in 1964 was a magical place to be. The summers were cool in the early morning, and fog hung low over the Pacific Ocean throughout the day. And the sounds of the burgeoning psychedelic scene were wafting through the air. As dreamy as this sounds, the one thing that’s impossible to romanticize about this era of San Francisco is having to parallel park a piece of American muscle on one of those nasty uphill Northern California streets.
Prince Charles between The Queen Mother and Princess Margaret at his
Mother Queen Elizabeth's Coronation in 1953
Born in 1948, Prince Charles has lead one of the most royal lives in the history of the monarchy. Not only was he born inside Buckingham Palace, but he was baptized in the Music Room of the palace by the Archbishop of Canterbury. He became the heir apparent and Duke of Cornwall in 1953 when his mother ascended to the throne, along with her sister Princess Margaret. While that’s a lot to put on a young boy, it’s nothing compared to the spotlight that he had to deal with when it was announced that he’d be the first member of the Royal Family to attend school rather than learn from a private tutor. He later said of his schooling: I am lucky in that I believe it taught me a great deal about myself and my own abilities and disabilities. It taught me to accept challenges and take the initiative.
Pole Climbing Class for Telephone Electricians - 1918
These students from the Army Training Corps at the University of Michigan are learning how to climb telephone poles, which isn’t really a life skill that many people think about but it makes sense that there would be a class for something as important as climbing phone poles. These students were learning how to climb poles and repair phone lines at the tail end of World War I, a time when it was important for people to be knowledgeable about setting up phone lines as well as making sure methods of communication could stay open. How long do you think these students were posing?
Pasta Drying Out on the Racks Outside of a Pasta shop in Palermo, Italy - 1865
It’s an understatement to say that pasta plays a large part in the diet and income. Long before pasta was mass produced in factories it was made by hand and dried out in the open. Even though it was (and still is) incredibly inexpensive to manufacture, pasta was a part of everyone’s diet - not just the poorer sects of the country. One of the reasons that pasta was so popular in Italy was because of the country’s strict Catholic beliefs that forbid meat on certain days. Pasta became the perfect dish when Italians were looking for something filling but that wasn’t going to get them in trouble.