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Building Manhattan Bridge (Without a Safety Harness) 1908

Building Manhattan Bridge (Without a Safety Harness) 1908

Wow, you’d certainly need a head for heights to do this job!  Back in 1908-9 when the Manhattan bridge was under construction there was no such thing as health and safety. You could wander the boards of the half-built bridge with your camera snapping photos of the workers without any questions being asked at all…(…)

Retro Gifts For Summer Fun

Retro Gifts For Summer Fun

My thoughts have definitely turned to summer after the last week or glorious sunshine, so I thought I’d share some of my favourite retro ideas for having fun this summer. Go on, re-live your happy childhood memories in the garden this summer! Plastic Potato Gun Blasting friends and family with tiny chunks of potato never(…)

Angela Lansbury before Murder She Wrote

Angela Lansbury before Murder She Wrote

We all know and love Angela Lansbury from Murder She Wrote, plus she was the voice of Mrs. Potts in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. However she didn’t start out in life as a middle-aged crime-solving widow (or a singing teapot). Back in the 40s and 50s she looked rather different and played a huge(…)

5 Classic Hollywood Celebrities Who Rocked Statement Brows The First Time Around

5 Classic Hollywood Celebrities Who Rocked Statement Brows The First Time Around

So you think Cara Delevingne invented the bold brow? Think again! As with most fashion trends, it’s all been done before. And as with most things Audrey Hepburn did it better.  Here are five Hollywood stars from the 1940s and 50s who rocked the statement brow trend the first time around! Of course, the 1940s(…)

Is This Austen’s Real Life Mr Darcy?

Is This Austen’s Real Life Mr Darcy?

Everyone has their own idea of the perfect Mr Darcy (or at least every red-blooded woman with a beating heart). Since I studied Pride and Prejudice at school I’ve been head over heels in love with him, and it’s a book I’ll still re-read fairly regularly.  At school we studied Wuthering Heights at the same(…)

Amazing Costumes from the Folies Bergère in the 1920s and 30s

Amazing Costumes from the Folies Bergère in the 1920s and 30s

I should probably point out that this might not be suitable for viewing at work. It’s not terribly risque, but there are some photos of 1920s topless showgirls, so I guess it depends on what you classify for NSFW, and I don’t want to get anyone into trouble! The Folies Bergère opened in Paris in(…)

Pre-Code Hollywood Movies Which Shocked the Censors

Pre-Code Hollywood Movies Which Shocked the Censors

The Hays Code was introduced in 1930 to regulate the morals of the US motion picture industry and influenced film production up until 1968. Before it was introduced censors were independent in each State, meaning that different films could be banned, cut or shown to differing degrees in different parts of the country. This caused(…)

10 Classic Hollywood Stars Before They Were Famous

10 Classic Hollywood Stars Before They Were Famous

We all know that the Studio System of 30s, 40s and 50s Hollywood remade and remoulded their actors and actresses, but what did they look like before they were styled by the star factory? Here are some of my favourite Classic Hollywood actresses before they were famous. Who do you think had the biggest transformation?(…)

Great Feuds from Classic Hollywood #1: Bette Davis vs Joan Crawford

Great Feuds from Classic Hollywood #1: Bette Davis vs Joan Crawford

“The best time I ever had with Joan was when I pushed her down some stairs in Whatever happened to Baby Jane.” So said Bette Davis about her rival and sparring partner Joan Crawford. The mutual dislike between Davis and Crawford is the stuff of Hollywood legend, but how did it come about? Ironically two(…)

Photos from a Victorian Mental Asylum

Photos from a Victorian Mental Asylum

During the 1850s British physician Dr. Hugh Welch Diamond took a series of haunting photographs of mentally ill patients under his care. He was one of the pioneers of early photography, starting in 1839 shortly after the medium was invented, and was one of the founding members of the Photographic Society. Diamond (pictured below) had(…)

V&A Wedding Dress Exhibition

V&A Wedding Dress Exhibition

I visited the Wedding Dresses (1775-2014) exhibition at the V&A last week. It was a fantastic display of bridal fashions ranging from incredibly wide 1700s dresses which would make you turn sideways to get through doorways (I explained that really badly, I mean this kind type of thing), to modern day celebrity wedding dresses. The(…)

What the Creature From the Black Lagoon Really Looked Like!

What the Creature From the Black Lagoon Really Looked Like!

The Creature from the Black Lagoon is one of those iconic monsters that everyone recognizes, like King Kong, Dracula and Frankensteins’s Monster. Unsurprisingly he was much better looking without his head on! Ricou Browning played the Gill-man in all 3 Creature movies, but only in the underwater scenes – different actors played the creature on(…)

Marilyn Monroe’s Wedding Dresses (Her Real Ones)

Marilyn Monroe’s Wedding Dresses (Her Real Ones)

Marilyn Monroe was married three times, once as a sixteen-year-old brunette in the 1940s, and twice more at the height of her stardom. You don’t hear much about her wedding outfits, and I think that’s because she never chose to wear a classic wedding dress. Actually she did wear a traditional white wedding gown for(…)

How Did Edwardian Ladies become Frivolous Flappers in Just 1 Decade?

How Did Edwardian Ladies become Frivolous Flappers in Just 1 Decade?

How did women go from the straight laced Edwardian era to free and easy fashions of 1920s flapper in just 1 decade? The catalyst was the same that changed not only fashion, but society and many aspects of everyday life: war. The Edwardian Era Just in case you’re not sure what Edwardian ladies looked like,(…)

The V&A: A Trip Through 19th Century Fashion

The V&A: A Trip Through 19th Century Fashion

I visited the V&A a week or so ago. One of my favourite museums in London, the Victoria and Albert Museum is an eclectic mix of sculptures, religious art, design and fashion, but on this visit I wanted to spend some time in their Fashion section. One thing which really surprised me was the size of(…)

The Downton Abbey Wedding Dresses: Did They Get It Wrong?

The Downton Abbey Wedding Dresses: Did They Get It Wrong?

I don’t profess to be any kind of historical costume expert, but I do have an interest in vintage fashions and I love a good wedding dress. Because of this I’ve spent hours both looking at old wedding photos and watching Downton Abbey, and it strikes me that they don’t seem to tally at all!(…)

Vintage Yearbook Photos: Class of 1941

Vintage Yearbook Photos: Class of 1941

Vintage high school photos taken in 1942 at McGuffey High School in Miami. Aren’t these great? I love the different hairstyles, some are so fancy. I wonder whether they wore their hair like this every day or whether it was a special effort on photo day? Can you tell from the photos who the different(…)