More Random Photos From History

Camberley Kate, (Kate Ward) and her stray dogs in England, 1962. She never turned a stray dog away, taking care of more than 600 dogs in her lifetime.

Miss America winner, 1924.

Times Square, New York City, 1945. Crowds celebrate VE Day.

The Mercury Streamliner, an Art-Deco inspired train photographed in Chicago, 1936.

Wedding rings taken from concentration camp victims, 1945.

Electric vehicles are nothing new. These are shown being charged, in 1917.

Japanese children in traditional woven raincoats, 1956.

A country general store in North Carolina, 1939.

In-flight meal service on Scandinavian Airlines, 1969.

Seaforth Highlanders and their dog. Waiting to go into action in France, 1915.

The gardener at Stonehenge mowing the grass, 1955.

A wedding photo taken in Mongolia, 1920.

Construction workers above the North Tower of The World Trade Centre, 1973.

Some Strange Old Photos

I spend a lot of time looking for photos online. Sometimes, I find some that make me wonder why they were ever taken. Here are some that seem very strange to me.

Riding an Ostrich. I didn’t even know you could do that.

Standing on a stuffed alligator. That has to be a ‘Why’?

Small boy smoking a cigarette next to his pet chicken. Strange indeed, and just wrong.

Wearing a face mask that holds ice cubes. I presume there must be some purpose to that.

Balancing tea cups on her ample bosom. Is ‘T’ a cup size in bras, I wonder?

Lots of women dressed as mermaids. A still from an old film perhaps?

A stuffed cat dressed as a child and carrying a small mouse toy. Horrible!

Celebrating becoming engaged to be married, with the man dressed in his Diving Suit. Surreal!

Siamese twin ladies with one smooching with her boyfriend. Not very pleasant for her sister!

Radio Days: 1920-1960

Following WW1, there was a boom in affordable radios. Very soon, almost every home in developed countries owned a radio, and it was normal for families to sit around listening to their favourite programmes or news, just as they do now with televisions.

Younger readers under a ‘certain age’ might find this amusing to see, but until televisions became widely available in the 1960s, this was what passed as entertainment for most families. Performers on the radio were real stars and celebrities, no less so than the most famous TV stars of modern times. Advertising was common on some radio stations too, with whole shows sponsored by a particular brand.

Sports fans would listen to live events, and tune in for the results of the leagues and teams. Once pop music became increasingly popular, smaller radios powered by batteries and using transistors instead of valves were sold as ‘Portable Radios’ that could be taken anywhere outside the home. With the facility to combine record players and radios in one unit, ‘Radiograms’ were also sold in large numbers.

These stylish young women from the 1920s are enjoying some contemporary music.

Listening alone, and adjusting the volume.

Children using headphones. Not all radios had speakers at the time.

Getting ready to listen to their favourite show as dad tunes into the right station.

The whole family sitting close to the radio so they don’t miss anything.

A young girl delighted to be able to hear her radio.

A rural family gather round to enjoy a programme.

During WW2, this family are listening to war news while keeping their gas masks handy.

This nurse is listening to some music during her break at the hospital.

The baby twins hear their first sounds on the family radio.

This lady has brought her reel-to-reel tape recorder close to the radio so she can tape the music.

A young woman next to her radiogram.

Freedom to listen outside, on a trip to the country with her transistor radio.

Unusual Historical Photos: 1890s-1960s

Some more old photos found online that appealed to me.

An early type of SCUBA diving equipment, 1940.

Native Americans of the Blackfoot tribe photographed in Glacier national Park, 1913.

Learning to drive in a static driving school. Kenya, 1943.

Two circus performers ride a tandem bicycle. One man was born with no arms the other with no legs. 1896.

Mount Rushmore, before and after the famous carving.

Lumberjacks pose on a huge pile of trees that they had felled by hand. New York State, 1907.

Anne Frank relaxing on holiday before WW2. 1939.

American soldiers about to land on a North African beach during Operation Torch. 1942.

Archaeologists in Ukraine excavating a 15,000 year-old settlement made from Mammoth bones. 1966.

Hattie McDaniel with her Oscar for ‘Gone With The Wind’, in 1940. The Ambassador Hotel had a ‘No Blacks’ rule at the time, so before the presentation Hattie had to sit alone at a table at the back of the room. Her agent, a white man, went and sat with her.

One of the earliest known photographs of a surfer. Waikiki Beach, 1898.

Child Chess prodigy Samuel Reshevsky defeats ten chess masters in France, 1920. He was 8 years old at the time.

1950s England: Manchester

The Guardian Newspaper began its life in 1821 as The Manchester Guardian, and was based in that northern city until moving to London in 1976. Over the decades, it has acquired a vast library of photos, taken by staff photographers and also freelancers selling to the newspaper. These are some of the photos of Manchester from that archive, taken between 1954 and 1959.

(All photos copyright of The Guardian Newspaper)

The busy shopping district of Market Street.

Excited children rush into the newly-opened playground of Philips Park.

Young couples enjoying a Summer day out in Parsonage Gardens.

Children playing in an abandoned car, Moss Side.

Rush hour traffic jam, Chester Road.

A child offering an ice lolly to a goose. Pets Corner, Platt Fields.

Manchester Grammar School boys attempting to view a total eclipse of the Sun.

Preparing for Summer season at the boating lake, Platts Fields.

Children playing in an area being demolished.

This workman is enjoying a beer after the completion of The Samuel Grating Building, Quay Street.

How We Lived In England: 1970s

Photographer John Myers’ work is relatively unknown but is considered superb among his contemporaries. Myers would typically photograph men, women, and children on their own, but also occasionally in groups. This selection is from a project showing ordinary people in their own homes or workplaces during the early 1970s.

I was interested to see quite a few large indoor plants, as I remember having those in my house at the time. Some of the subjects are also smoking, which would be less common today.
(All photos are copyright of John Myers)

A teenage girl in her bedroom. Obviously a Donny Osmond fan.

This elderly man is proud of his display unit.

A fashionable lady with a good supply of cigarettes to hand.

The young girl is dwarfed by a houseplant.

The car dealer is showing his patriotism.

A young girl wrapped up well against the cold.

A teenage boy next to his large cactus plants.

This housewife is photographed in her rather bleak back yard.

In many homes, the fireplace was still the main feature of living rooms. This lady is next to hers, but her chair is too big and her feet cannot touch the floor.

The boy is playing football alone in the small back yard of his house.

Working Girls: 1863-1993

Prostitution is often called ‘The Oldest Profession’, and with good reason. Since the dawn of history, women who found themselves in need of money could sell their sexual favours to eager men willing to pay. But not all the men who were visiting prostitutes were customers. Some were interested in their stories, and also wanted to paint them.

Once cameras were invented, other men sought to keep a historical record of the women working in the sex industry. Sometimes paying them to pose, or capturing images of them at work in brothels or on the streets. They left behind a fascinating record of those working girls throughout history, and showed us the reality in contrast to the often romanticised idea.

London History: Random Photos

Before WW2, herds of sheep were kept in London parks to eat the grass to save having to use motor mowers. This is Hyde Park in the early 1930s, the sheepdog is swimming in the water to stop the sheep escaping.

The lift attendants in Selfridges Department Store, 1928.

Liberty, a famous London department store designed in a retro style and opened in 1875. (Still trading today)

The Monument to The Great Fire Of London. Opened in 1677, it is now dwarfed by much taller buildings. It is still open to visitors, if you can manage the 311 steps to the top!
(Link to the websire below)

Home Page

Tower Bridge under construction, around 1890.
(No safety equipment or harnesses back then.)

The iconic BBC building, Broadcasting House. Shown under construction in 1931.

The same building in the 1980s.

A milkman still making his deliveries through the rubble of The Blitz, in WW2.

A Jewish Synagogue in Whitechapel, 1960s.

Leadenhall Market in the City of London. It was originally opened in 1321 on the site of the centre of Roman London, and traded in poultry. The later reconstruction shown in the photo was done in 1881, and it is still open to this day, though no longer a livestock market.

Shad Thames, Bermondsey. The old wharves and warehouses were retained when the area was redeveloped into luxury apartments during the 1980s.

Seeking Shelter At The Seaside

Enjoying a healthy break by the sea in Britain was popularised by the Prince Regent, who had a palace built close to the sea in Brighton in 1787. When he became king, he continued to visit, believing the salt water would improve his health. By the Victorian era, seaside resorts were beginning to become popular all around the UK, with ease of access to them provided by the growing railway network. Many towns built piers out onto the water, and pleasure gardens for tourists to stroll in.

The problem was, and still is, that we have unreliable weather in this country. So visitors needed somewhere to shelter when it rained. Some beautiful shelters were built for this purpose, and continue to be used to this day. Later additions used more modern building materials and styles. Here are some I found online, from all around England.

More Art Deco Finds

As I have mentioned many times, I cannot get enough of this architectural loveliness!

The Addis toothbrush factory, Hertfordshire.

Another view of the De La Warr Pavilion at Bexhill, Sussex.

Two views of Marine Court, St Leonard’s-on-Sea. It was designed to look like a cruise liner.

The Midland Hotel in Morecambe, Lancashire. Featured in many TV shows, including ‘Poirot’.

An outdoor swimming pool (Lido) in Plymouth, Devon.

Surbiton Railway Station, Surrey.

A former cinema in London, now used as a religious meeting centre.