1940s

The hardships which were caused by a world at war dictated the fashions of the 1940s. Once again Hollwood had a major influence of the style of everyday women who were encoraged to look good despite rationing and shortages to keep up morale.

Smiling Slum Children of the 1940s

Smiling Slum Children of the 1940s

Most of the children pictured here lived in the Surrey Hills slum of Sydney, Australia which was a notorious den of organized crime, drug dealing and prostitution. As an area it fell into decline and poverty during the Depression of the late 1890s and despite undergoing some regeneration in the 1930s, an influx of American(…)

7 Astonishing Vintage Daredevils

7 Astonishing Vintage Daredevils

There’s a lot to be said for the time when we weren’t all glued to our smartphones, but not everything people did to relieve their boredom was a good thing.  After WW2 lots of young men with flying experience and a desire for adrenalin-fueled excitement had limited ways to enjoy themselves. So there came about(…)

Vintage Fashion Photographers: Toni Frissell

Vintage Fashion Photographers: Toni Frissell

Following on from talking about Toni Frissell’s photos of children during WW2 I wanted to share some of her breathtaking fashion photos with you. She started photographing for Vogue in 1931 and was best known for her fashion photos showing active and independent women in outdoor settings, which contrasted starkly with other male photographers of(…)

2 Incredibly Moving Photos of London in WW2

2 Incredibly Moving Photos of London in WW2

Both of these photos were taken by American photographer Toni Frissell who was best known for her fashion photography for Harpers Bazaar and Vogue. During WW2 she travelled with the American Red Cross where she photographed nurses, front-line soldiers, American airmen and civilians. Her photos are very evocative and powerful, especially those of children caught(…)

1940s Maternity Dummy

1940s Maternity Dummy

As strange as this photo might seem I couldn’t resist sharing it. Not only does it prove my theory that all dummies are creepy (whether ventriloquist’s dummys or otherwise), it also would appear to show that people in 1940s America believed women gave birth through a convenient doorway in their abdomen*. Thankfully medicine has advanced(…)

10 Vintage Clowns Guaranteed to give you Nightmares

10 Vintage Clowns Guaranteed to give you Nightmares

Did you think clowns couldn’t get more disturbing than ‘Cho-Cho the health clown‘ who terrified young children into good dental hygiene habits in the 1920s? Well it turns out they can be a darn site scarier. I don’t think any of these clowns were intended to terrify but they’ll certainly haunt my dreams. Wish I’d(…)

1940s Movie Icons: Greer Garson

1940s Movie Icons: Greer Garson

Greer Garson (or Eileen Evelyn Greer Garson Fogelson as she was christened) was a huge 1940s movie star who has rather faded from public memory. She was one of MGM’s biggest stars and also one of the biggest box-office draws during the mid 1940s. She also received an impressive 7 Oscar nominations! She was born(…)

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Lauren Bacall

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Lauren Bacall

This week we heard the sad news that Lauren Bacall died aged 89. Famous for her husky voice and relationship with Humphrey Bogart (both on and off-screen) she was one of the most iconic screen presences of the 40s and 50s. Above: Armed Forces Radio Services broadcaster Jack Brown interviews Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall(…)

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Cary Grant

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Cary Grant

For me Cary Grant will always be the ultimate leading man. Sophisticated, debonaire and witty (not to mention a bit of a goof-ball at times) he was a Hollywood icon millions of women fell in love with. He acted alongside the greatest leading ladies from 3 decades of Hollywood, from Greta Garbo to Mae West,(…)

Movie Friday: The Gay Falcon (1941)

Movie Friday: The Gay Falcon (1941)

A movie called The Gay Falcon today would be a very different movie from this! Far from being what you might expect, this is the first in a series of detective movies starring the debonair and rather rakish investigator Gay Lawrence “The Falcon” played by George Sanders*. *George Sanders voiced the deep enthralling tiger Shere Khan(…)

Movie Tuesday: Caesar and Cleopatra (1945)

Movie Tuesday: Caesar and Cleopatra (1945)

There are 4 major versions of Cleopatra that I know of: the silent movie version with the exotic vamp Theda Bara in the title role, the art deco masterpiece starring Claudette Colbert, the Taylor-Burton 1960s version and this: Caesar and Cleopatra. This is a very different version of the Cleopatra story to the others which(…)

The Tragic Love Story of Double Agent Dagmar Lahlum

The Tragic Love Story of Double Agent Dagmar Lahlum

After watching Triple Cross earlier in the week, I couldn’t resist looking into the story behind the movie and finding out more about notorious double agent Eddie Chapman. It sounds like he was every bit as charming in real-life as portrayed by Christopher Plummer, only with perhaps even fewer scruples. After reading up on his(…)

Gallery: Day in the Life of a Wartime Housewife (Part 2)

Gallery: Day in the Life of a Wartime Housewife (Part 2)

This is part 2 of the photo feature I ran yesterday released by the War Office in 1941 and show some of the grim realities of living in wartime Britain. Part 2 has a much happier ending though (scroll to the end!) Above: Mrs Day separates cardboard and tin from her household rubbish, ready for(…)

Gallery: Day in the Life of a Wartime Housewife (Part 1)

Gallery: Day in the Life of a Wartime Housewife (Part 1)

This series of photos were released by the War Office in 1941 and show some of the grim realities of living in wartime Britain. The lovely Mrs Day admittedly lives in a 4 storey town-house in South Kensington, so her life is probably a lot smarter than most people actually experienced in wartime London. However,(…)

Movie Monday: Citizen Kane (1941)

Movie Monday: Citizen Kane (1941)

Am I the first person to ask what all the fuss is about Citizen Kane? It has been heralded as one of the greatest movies of the 1940s.  I only watched it for the first time this week and I have to say I don’t really get it. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a perfectly(…)

The Changing Face (and Outfits) of Cheerleaders

The Changing Face (and Outfits) of Cheerleaders

Cheerleaders didn’t always look and dress they way they do today. Far from athletic girls in crop tops Cheerleaders of the 1920s looked very different (and they weren’t just women), and in the 1950s it was the band girls dressed in the sexy outfits, the cheerleaders looked very different! Here are some vintage cheerleading photos(…)

The Stories of the Male Nazi Concentration Camp Guards

The Stories of the Male Nazi Concentration Camp Guards

After discovering the stories of the Nazi female concentration camp guards last week, I wanted to share the stories of their male counterparts. It’s interesting to see how all of them tried to worm their way out of any responsibility in the war crimes trial. All the guards who herded the unfortunate people into the(…)

8 Things You Didn’t Know About Ann Miller

8 Things You Didn’t Know About Ann Miller

The first movie I watched starring Ann Miller was On The Town, and I was totally wowed by her dancing. Her legs were the longest on screen (or at least they seemed to me to be) and her tap speed was truly astonishing! Here are some facts you might not know about the lovely Ann(…)