1930s

A decade of Hollywood-inspired sophistication and grown-up glamour sandwiched in between the roaring 20s and the austerity of the 1940s.

Fay Wray: The Undisputed Scream Queen of Classic Cinema

Fay Wray: The Undisputed Scream Queen of Classic Cinema

In the golden era of Hollywood, certain stars shone brighter than others, and among them was Fay Wray, a name synonymous with beauty, talent, and an unforgettable scream. Let’s delve into the life and career of the woman who became the ultimate “Scream Queen” of classic cinema. Early Life and Career Beginnings:Fay Wray was born(…)

How The World Looked When Airships Filled The Sky

How The World Looked When Airships Filled The Sky

The airship industry effectively died with the Hindenburg disaster of 1937, but for 80 or so years previously the dream of lighter-than-air travel had gradually been becoming a reality. The sight of airships were becoming less of a novelty and were seen in the sky’s across Europe and North America. In truth though, by the(…)

Risqué Nose Art from WW2 Bombers (NSWF)

Risqué Nose Art from WW2 Bombers (NSWF)

Nose art on airplanes first became popular during WW1 when German airmen (or rather their ground-crews) started painting a mouth and teeth onto nose cones, rather like Moby Dick below. In fact a shark-face design is still painted on nose-cones of military aircraft today. During World War II the military didn’t allow nose-art, but was(…)

Back When Everybody Smoked…

Back When Everybody Smoked…

More and more smokers are becoming social pariahs. They have to stand on the street in the rain outside restaurants, bars, pubs and even their own cars (if their kids are inside). And while I don’t mind this, being a non-smoker, it does strike me as strange that in years gone by smoking was seen(…)

Scream Queens: Elsa Lanchester

Scream Queens: Elsa Lanchester

You might not recognize the name Elsa Lanchester, but you’ll definitely recognize her in her most famous role: as the Bride of Frankenstein.  Actually that film title always annoyed me, since Frankenstein was the scientist, not the monster, but anyhoo… Here she is looking spectacular: Born in 1902 Lanchester worked in theater and film for(…)

Happy Vintage New Year!

Happy Vintage New Year!

What better way to start off the new year by seeing how they celebrated in years gone by! These are some of my favourite vintage new year pin ups from the 1920s, 30s and 40s.  I love the Myrna Loy one – I’m glad I’m not the only one who struggles to stay up till(…)

Iconic Wedding Dresses #1: Wallis Simpson (1937)

Iconic Wedding Dresses #1: Wallis Simpson (1937)

The wedding of Wallis Simpson to Edward, Duke of Windsor in 1937 was one of the most scandalous marriages of the 20th Century.  In order to marry ‘the woman I love’ who was an American 2-time divorcee and therefore seen as totally unsuitable to become Queen, King Edward VIII was forced to abdicate the throne.

Queen Elizabeth II in the 1930s, 40s and 50s

Queen Elizabeth II in the 1930s, 40s and 50s

Tomorrow Queen Elizabeth II overtakes Queen Victoria as the longest serving monarch in British History.  I was born in the 1970s so she’s always seemed very much an older woman to me, so I thought it might be nice to see some photos of her as a young woman. I particularly love the photos of(…)

Let’s Dance!

Let’s Dance!

The forecast heatwave seems to have arrived in full force today and it’s far too hot to actually dance, so here are some vintage photos of people dancing their socks off to keep us all entertained. Thinking about doing exercise is almost as good as doing it, right? Oh, and I’d like to know your(…)

What 1930 Looked Like in the Movies

What 1930 Looked Like in the Movies

1930 bridged the gap between the decadent 1920s and the introduction and enforcement of the Hayes Motion Picture Code which cracked down on immorality, nudity and general fun at the movies*. Here are some of the films released in this year. They range from the sublime to the ridiculous and from racy to glamorous not(…)

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(…)

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(…)

A Moment in Time: Skirts Blowing in the Wind 1930

A Moment in Time: Skirts Blowing in the Wind 1930

I thought this photo was delightful, there’s something delicious about seeing little glimpses back in time. It looks like neither these women nor the ships officer knew this photo was being taken and I love the way the ladies are both trying to stop their skirts from flying up in the breeze.  It’s so much(…)

Hollywood Heart Throbs of the Silent Era: John Gilbert

Hollywood Heart Throbs of the Silent Era: John Gilbert

John Gilbert ‘The Great Lover’ was one of the few stars of the silent movie era who could rival Rudolph Valentino, and you can see why, handsome devil wasn’t he? Like Valentino his life ended tragically young (although not quite as young as Valentino) aged just 38. During this time he made in excess of(…)

Dinosaurs with Syphilis: Bizarre Public Heath Notices from the Past

Dinosaurs with Syphilis: Bizarre Public Heath Notices from the Past

Did you realize Dinosaurs had syphilis? Not only that but you mustn’t kiss your baby because it’s unhygienic and whatever you do DON’T mix whiskey with gas (I’m assuming they mean as a cocktail). I’m being facetious of course, but public health notices certainly told very different messages in the past compared to now. We(…)