The 1940s was a time when no one gave much thought to sunscreen and you could happily chain-smoke cigarettes and drink cocktails while you tanned, without so much as a thought to the health consequences. In 1948 the Senator Hotel in Atlantic City installed sunlamps in the ceilings so its patrons could tan, even when(…)
Before the structure and corsetry of the 1950s was the softer silhouette of the 1940s. These photos are from a fashion feature on summer underwear from 1949, aren’t they beautiful?
Louise Brooks with her sharply bobbed hair is one of the most iconic figures of 1920s cinema and epitomized the rebellious modern woman of the time. She started off her career as a chorus girl and dancer in 1922, and by 1925 was a dancer for Ziegfeld’s Follies. It was as a Follies girl that(…)
I don’t know very much about these fashions, except that they were captioned ‘Hermes Dresses, 1952’. I love the idea of all the detail being drawn on, although I’m not sure they would look quite this fabulous in real life rather than on super-glamorous 50s models! Does anyone know anything about the back-story to these(…)
When Princess Anne married Mark Phillips in November 1973 at Westminster Abbey, she wore a Tudor-inspired dress with a real 1970s flavour. Who would have guessed those two styles would be a good combination..? With it’s high neckline and long draped medieval sleeves, it was elegant and simple in comparison to other highly-embellished royal wedding(…)
Photos taken at the McConnell Air Hostess School which trained air hostesses for TWA in the 1940s. The training included learning the correct way to serve drinks, dealing with inebriated passengers and even learning how to change nappies (did Air Hostesses used to do that?). Even more surprisingly they are also pictured having chewing gum(…)
Curious photos from a Beautiful Legs Contest from 1949. The pictures raise lots of questions in my mind – aside from why you’d want to enter a ‘beautiful legs contest’ in the first place.
You must have heard people say that the 1950s was a time of simpler pleasures, and these pictures of Disneyland in the 50s show that perfectly. This was a much more low-tech world of stagecoaches and steam paddle boats and serious people riding on carousel horses wearing suits (if these pictures are anything to go(…)
Marilyn Monroe photographed in February 1947 when she was still a young starlet. At this time she was still called Norma Jeane, and hadn’t yet undergone her Hollywood makeover. In 1950 she had rhinoplasty (a nose-job) and a chin implant on the advice of her agent who paid for the surgery. She only changed her(…)
It’s amazing considering Liz Taylor got married 8 times that she managed to make a fashion statement every single time! This is one of my least favourite of her wedding outfits, partly because I still struggle to love 70s fashion (too many bad fashion choices as a child) but I had the most fun drawing(…)
These beautiful Victorian portraits are a type of early photograph called daguerreotypes. Invented by Louis Jacques Mandé Daguerre in the 1830s the photographic image is imprinted onto a silvered copper plate, making each portrait unique.
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(…)
50s blonde bombshell Jayne Mansfield was married 3 times before her tragic death at the age of just 34. For her second wedding to bodybuilder Mickey Hargitay she wore this sensational skin-tight dress covered with lace and sequins. (He proposed with a whopping 10-carat diamond ring which cost $5.000 at the time – something like(…)
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(…)
When Gene Tierney married costume designer Oleg Cassini in 1941 she was planning to wear this amazing lace dress, designed especially for her by her husband-to-be. Ultimately though they didn’t have time to get the dress made, as eloped to Las Vegas to get married to escape the disapproval of her family, who opposed her(…)
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(…)
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(…)
So, who knew there was a trend for body jewelry in the 50s? These photos are from 1951 of ‘Cling’ jewelry, which presumably was somehow stuck to your skin rather than pierced into your skin! Frankly I suspect these twinkling baubles would be uncomfortable, would probably fall off after a short time and also leave(…)