photography

Joseph Bell: The Man who was Sherlock Holmes

Joseph Bell: The Man who was Sherlock Holmes

Did you realize Sherlock Holmes was inspired by a real person? Nope, me neither! Apparently Arthur Conan Doyle (above right) based the fictional character of Sherlock on a doctor he knew called Joseph Bell (above left).  Bell was known for his powers of deduction and even helped police with investigations in Scotland. Doyle met Bell,(…)

Pin Up Pioneers: Miss Fernande (NSFW)

Pin Up Pioneers: Miss Fernande (NSFW)

Miss Fernande was arguably the very first photographic pin up star. Born during the 1890s in Paris, the lovely Fernande was a model and prostitute who posed for nude and semi-nude photographs for photographer Jean Agelou during the 1910s and 20s. Her exact identity remains a mystery. Only ever known by the moniker ‘Miss Fernande’(…)

Vintage Curiosities: What Says Happy Christmas Better Than Dead Snakes?

Vintage Curiosities: What Says Happy Christmas Better Than Dead Snakes?

Frankly, an artistic arrangement of dead snakes doesn’t really say Happy Christmas to me, but clearly it did to somebody. This photos if from a Christmas card back in 1910. I don’t have much information about it except that it was Harry Dewey’s Christmas card and the photo was taken in Big Cypress Swamp, Florida.(…)

Snow Glorious Snow!

Snow Glorious Snow!

So, it’s Boxing Day and I’m sitting here (eating chocolates) waiting for it to snow. Apparently we are due to get snow tonight, but I fully expect to wake up in the morning and see cold grey drizzle rather than a beautiful white blanket covering everything. We didn’t have any snow last winter at all,(…)

Children of the Blitz

Children of the Blitz

These photos of children living through the Blitz in London kind of speak for themselves. I just wanted to share.

Astonishing Photos of a Klu Klux Clan Parade in 1920s America

Astonishing Photos of a Klu Klux Clan Parade in 1920s America

Everything I’ve head about the Klu Klux Klan and their history has just served to reinforce what a vile and hateful organization they are which is why I find these photos so shocking. Not only because of the sheer number of people who were proudly parading as part of this group through the center of(…)

Victorian Children Sentenced to Hard Labour

Victorian Children Sentenced to Hard Labour

To try to reduce the number of criminals being sentenced to death the Victorians introduced Hard Labour as an alternative. It involved backbreaking pointless work which was designed to be soul-destroying and painful. This sentence was handed out to children and women as well as men.  It could involve anything from walking for up to(…)

Ghoulish Gifs to get us in the Hallowe’en Spirit

Ghoulish Gifs to get us in the Hallowe’en Spirit

It was with total delight that I discovered Kevin Weir’s macabre gifs. He created them using old photos from the flickr photo archive from The Library of Congress, and I thought they were perfect for getting everyone in the Hallowe’en mood! Some are creepy, some dreamy but all delightful. I particularly love Countess Minto who(…)

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(…)

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(…)

Mae West Before Her Hollywood Makeover

Mae West Before Her Hollywood Makeover

We all know what Mae West looked like (above). Her sexy on-screen image is probably one of the most iconic of all time. So much so that she had life preservers named after her during WW2 and Salvador Dali created his iconic lips sofa because of his fascination with her. But what did she look(…)

Any Helpful Photographers Out There?

Any Helpful Photographers Out There?

I hope so! I’ve got a pretty limited knowledge of photography but I really want to be able to improve my photos. I have a Canon EOS 60D, which I’ve had endless issues with – not least because you have no control over the focus point in all of their ‘automatic’ modes – it always(…)

10 Moving Crime Scene Photos from the 1940s

10 Moving Crime Scene Photos from the 1940s

I hope you don’t think these photos are too macabre, but there’s something terribly poignant about seeing these ordinary domestic scenes which have been turned upside down by a tragedy or a moment of rage. Somehow the fact that the pictures are in black and white makes them more interesting, perhaps it gives them a(…)

7 Classic Hollywood Stars Before They Were Famous

7 Classic Hollywood Stars Before They Were Famous

There’s little more fascinating than looking at stars back when they were ‘normal people’. Even Marilyn Monroe looked like any other girl before she dyed her hair, had plastic surgery and changed her name. The other transformation as equally interesting. Who do you think has changed the most? Marilyn before she was famous (above) and(…)

When Paris Was a Very Different Place

When Paris Was a Very Different Place

It’s spring, and so of course my thoughts have returned to Paris, the beautiful city of blossom and boulevards, baguettes and bicyclette *sigh*. But Paris has always had a certain charm it was a very different place when Zeppelins were in the sky or there were German soldiers on the streets. Take a look at(…)

Jackie Kennedy Aged 6

Jackie Kennedy Aged 6

A little Jackie Kennedy looking very grown up! This photo was taken in 1935 which I think would make her 6 years old. What a little lady eh? No wonder she became a style icon later in life!

23 Impossibly Stylish 1930s Photos

23 Impossibly Stylish 1930s Photos

If you were of the right class and in the right circumstances the 1930s was an incredibly stylish place to be. Even if you weren’t one of the privileged few the fashions helped you be stylish anyway. A few of these photos are of Hollywood stars or models, but the majority of them of the(…)