Friday, 28 February 2014

Oliver Hardy

Oliver Hardy, in 1914, the year he made his first movie. Born Norvell Hardy, he took his stage name from his father, who had died less than a year after Norvell's birth. At the time of this photo, he was billed as O.N.Hardy and, because of his height and his heavy build, was usually cast as heavies and villains.

Original B&W photo.

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Stan Laurel

Arthur Stanley Jefferson. better known to the world as Stan Laurel, in character for a solo film role without his famous comedy partner Oliver Hardy. I'm not sure of the date of this one, but I think it's around 1927, which would mean it was around the time the two men first met.

Original B&W photo.

Louis Désiré Blanquart-Evrard

French chemist, printer and photographer, and inventor of the albumen print process in photography, Louis Désiré Blanquart-Evrard in a self-portrait in 1869.

Original albumen print.

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Crown Prince Wilhelm

Crown Prince Wilhelm in September of 1867, at the age of eight. He would later be crowned Kaiser Wilhelm II.

Original albumen photograph.

Duke and Duchess of York Wedding

The Duke and Duchess of York (later King George VI and his queen, Elizabeth) on their wedding day, 26th April 1923.

 Black & White.


Original glass negative from the studio of Alexander Bassano.

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Vladimir Lenin


Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, better known as Lenin, around 1887, the year his elder brother was hanged for taking part in an attempt to assassinate Tsar Alexander III. The execution is thought by some to have been a turning point for young Vladimir, though he was already quite radical anyway.

Original B&W photo.

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Desiree Lubowska

  Russian dancer Desiree Lubowska, in 1924. The photo may have been taken to promote, or to commemorate, her performance in Igor Stravinsky's ballet, "The Rite of Spring", at Carnegie Hall.

Original B&W photo.

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Louis Daguerre

Louis Daguerre, in 1844.
Anyone who has an interest in old photos, whether for colourising or not, will have heard the name of Louis Daguerre, or at least of the daguerreotype photographic process he invented.

Original daguerreotype by photographer Jean-Baptiste Sabatier-Blot..

Gioachino Rossini

Gioachino Rossini, around 1858. By this time, his major compositions were long behind him, though he started writing small pieces of music for his own amusement. His best known piece today is probably the William Tell Overture, better known to an entire generation as the Lone Ranger theme.

 Original B&W photo.

Friday, 21 February 2014

Herbert Spencer

Herbert Spencer, towards the end of the 19th century.
Spencer coined the phrase "survival of the fittest", a phrase that Charles Darwin never used. Darwin was concerned with natural evolution, whereas Spencer wanted to apply natural selection to society. The name "Herbert Spencer" is often associated with Social Darwinism (again nothing to do with Darwin) but, to be fair, it wasn't quite the Social Darwinism used by the Nazis. They subscribed to what, in Spencer's time, was called Reform Darwinism, which promoted  eugenics programs and segregation imposed by the state. Spencer wasn't described as a Social Darwinist until the 1930s, and it's probably not a coincidence that the Nazis, and fascists elsewhere, started to gain prominence about then.

Original B&W photo.

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Errol Flynn

Errol Flynn. In this photo, he's not sporting his trademark moustache, so my guess is that this is from the mid 1930s.

Original B&W photo.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

"In Olden Days, A Glimpse of Stocking....

...Was looked on as something shocking
Now heaven knows
Anything goes."

So the song goes. In fact, artistic nudity in photographs goes back to the beginning of photography, and images far stronger than these too.

This is a small selection of pictures that were considered quite tame, until an attack of puritanism emanated from the USA in the 1930s, starting with Hollywood's "Production Code". They are from the Victorian era up to the 1920s.

1530478_10202680489713975_853545629_n Couch Erotic postcard c1920 Img119 Victorian image 148 Victorian image149 vintage_girls



Here are the original black and white and sepia photos, along with a hand tinted one:


1530478_10202680489713975_853545629_n946524_10200878748991583_1189929274_n 971879_10201363457468992_354275852_nErotic postcard c1920 Img119 Victorian image 148 Victorian image149

Saturday, 15 February 2014

ARP on Patrol

London 1940
In London, in 1940, an Air-raid Warden phones from a shattered telephone kiosk.

London 1940
Original B&W photo.

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Anselme Payen

Anselme Payen, the French chemist who discovered the enzyme diastase, and the carbohydrate cellulose.

Original 19th century engraving.

George Washington

George Washington, in 1789. The original portrait, by Gilbert Stuart, was never finished, apart from the face, which was used to make several copies. Engraver Henry Wright Smith used it, around 1879, to make the engraving I've used here.

Engraving, c 1879, by Henry Wright Smith.

Gilbert Stuart's original 1789 painting.

Wartime Evacuees

evacuees leaving London 1940
Children being evacuated from London, in 1940.

evacuees leaving London 1940
Original B&W photo.

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Asa Gray

Asa Gray in 1864. Gray is considered the most important American botanist of the 19th century, and was instrumental in unifying the taxonomic knowledge of the plants of North America, as well as championing his good friend Charles Darwin's theory of evolution. He was a religious man, where Darwin was not, but it was Darwin's correspondence with Gray that, when presented to to the Linnean Society in 1858 along with extracts from an essay, cemented Darwin's reputation, and consigned Alfred Russel Wallace to the sidelines of history.

Original sepia photo.

Bing Crosby

Bing Crosby
Bing Crosby mimicking the pose in the painting. I'm not sure of the date of this photo, but most sources tentatively cite 1938.

Bing Crosby

Original B&W photo.