12 Victorian Predictions for the Year 2000

One of the most interesting things about looking back at old predictions, is seeing how they turned out when the future date finally rolled around. As a whole, people are pretty bad at guessing what the future will look like (and especially if top hats will be in fashion), but common desires and dreams are still sometimes fulfilled in surprising ways. This set of German cards from around 1899 or 1900 are an excellent and entertaining example.

“Life in the Year 2000” was created by Hildebrands, a leading German chocolate company of the time. Certainly inspired by what the next century would hold, one card from the series was placed in each of their boxes of chocolate.

It Doesn’t Get Cooler than Motorcycle Chariots

Motorcycles have been called “Iron Steeds” for a long time, but the forgotten sport of motorcycle chariot racing really took that horse thing literally.

Yes. Motorcycle. Chariot. Racing. And it looks just as tough as it sounds.

12 Streamlined Rides from the Age of Art Deco

From the ’20s to the ’50s a streamlining craze swept the world. Inspired by the rise of the airplane and driven by the need for more efficient vehicles, automakers and dreamers around the globe began sculpting cars into aerodynamic forms with beautifully sweeping lines. Here, we’ve rounded up 12 of our favorite designs from the golden age of streamlining.

Jennifers and Michaels: Two Maps Reveal the Most Popular Girls and Boys Names Over 6 Decades

If you’ve ever been in a class surrounded by people with the same name, they were probably on this map. Jezabel put together two utterly fascinating GIFs tracking the most popular boys and girls names over the last six decades – and it’s an epic battle of popularity.

4 Lessons From the Life of Orson Welles

Orson Welles has a varied reputation depending on who you ask. He lived many lives. Some cite his egotism and success as a Broadway theater director during the Depression. Others mention his War of the Worlds broadcast which, according to legend, scared the living daylights out of the American people and convinced many that they were truly being attacked by aliens. Some cite his genius directorship of the ‘greatest movie ever made,’ Citizen Kane. Finally, others mention his uneven and difficult later years; his battles with studios, his ads for California wine and weight gain, and his lack of finished projects.

How Have We Changed? The Same Locations Filmed 100-Years-Later

A lot of the world has changed in the past 100 years, but a lot has stayed the same too. Dutch photographer Frits de Beer has re-shot the locations of a vintage film featuring his home city, Alkmaar as it appeared a century ago in 1914. This simultaneous glimpse at the past and present reveals just how much things have remained the same for certain places in the world – especially when it comes to architecture.

Crumbling Soviet-Era Architecture from a Photographer Accused of Espionage

It’s not every day people go urban exploring in Russia, but English photographer Rebecca Litchfield did it. Over 10 trips into previously Soviet regions she ducked behind fences, risked radiation exposure, was arrested, interrogated and even accused of espionage – all in the name of documenting the relics of the fallen Soviet Union. Her collection of images and the book she recently published are titled Soviet Ghosts.

Ghost Estates: Unoccupied Reminders of Ireland’s Housing Boom

For a few months in 2005, I lived in Ireland. At the time, the country was bustling with a property boom – and large 4 bedroom houses were springing up in remote towns far from centers that could provide employment for any new population. They were often called ‘holiday homes’ because nobody expected the future inhabitants to find, or even want, jobs.

From the mid-1990s to 2006 house prices in the Republic of Ireland increased, a prosperous time referred to as the Celtic Tiger. Then, in 2008 with the start of the global financial crisis, all that came to a halt.

Irish-born photographer Valérie Anex (who grew up in Switzerland) traveled the northern and western regions of the country documenting the developments that have never been occupied. The eerie places are called ‘Ghost Estates’.

30 Years of Sore Thumbs: Photographer Captures His Legendary Game Controllers

Here’s some tactile nostalgia… but it might give you seriously sore thumbs. Spanish photographer Javier Laspiur has created a trip through the game controllers of yesterday, capturing a familiar, first-person view of many well remembered systems from the last 3 decades. A long time fan of gaming, his series doesn’t record the year the device came out, but instead makes it personal, tracking the first year he laid hands on each system.

Happy 4th of July! American Flags from 1767 to the Present

Happy 4th of July, America! To celebrate, we think you’ll enjoy this fascinating look at the history of the old Stars and Stripes through history—all the way back to before it was even the Stars and Stripes at all.

This patriotic print from Pop Chart Labs traces the flag through 48 versions, beginning with the star-less “Rebellious Stripes” of 1767 and finishing with the 50-star flag we’ve flown since 1960 (too bad for people who bought the 49-star version of 1959). You’ll definitely want to check out the zoomable view of this poster here.