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. [Read more...]
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. [Read more...]
Happy 4th of July America! In a celebratory visual fashion we think you’ll enjoy this fascinating look at the history of the old Stars and Stripes through history… in fact, 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. [Read more...]
We’ve seen a load of “Then & Now” posts sweeping the web in the past years. From photographs of World War 1 overlaid on their location today, to classic paintings atop Google Street Views, and personal photos reviving old memories, they’ve all had one thing in common – they’re looking into the past. [Read more...]
What a difference 70 years can make! 70 years ago today (June 6, 1944) World War II saw the beginning of the end as the beaches of Normandy were invaded by Allied soldiers for operation D-Day. Today the beaches are much more cheery with sunbathing tourists splashing in the water and playing in the sand. To commemorate the 70th anniversary of D-Day, Reuters photographer Chris Helgren released this series of images contrasting the Normandy Beaches then and now. [Read more...]
Long before gowns, robes, tunics, and togas were the common dress in the Roman Empire, nomadic herders in western China were pulling on pants. This pair of trousers excavated from a Yanghai graveyard in China’s Tarim Basin are between 3,300 and 3,000 years old, making them the oldest example of this form of apparel known to exist… and they look a lot like hippie pants. [Read more...]
Julia Margaret Cameron received her first camera as a gift at the age of forty-eight. It was 1863 and she was the mother of six children, but that didn’t stop her from pursuing a new found love for photography. It was a passion that is still influencing photographers today. [Read more...]
Seriously, how great are vintage photographs when people aren’t acting stiff and formal?! Sometime between 1863 and 1868 Sydney photographer Charles Percy Pickering took these absolutely informal images of drunkenness in five stages, played by one convincing fellow in his studio. It looks like someone won’t be remembering Friday night! [Read more...]
Did you know German is the third most spoken language in Colorado, or that it’s Hmong in Minnesota? What’s the third most spoken language in your state?
This map is too interesting. Yes, most people in the US speak English in daily life, followed down the list by Spanish in all but seven states… but what comes third? This map from Slate details some surprising results and points to drastically different histories of immigration across the US. [Read more...]
If you’re anything like me, you’re completely obsessed with the creative figures in history. You might find yourself thumbing through Da Vinci sketches late into the night, pondering how he imagined so many world changing ideas before they could even be realized. You might lose yourself for hours down a rabbit hole of Wikipedia exploration initiated by Isaac Asimov’s affinity for small spaces. That’s why I think this series of animated GIFs will not fail to amuse… nor will the exquisite series of T-shirts that inspired them. [Read more...]