60 Rare Historical Photos That You Probably Haven't Seen Before
A picnic at the California Alligator Farm in the 1920s, located in the Lincoln Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles between 1907 and 1953. The farm had 20 ponds for the trained alligators where patrons could mingle freely with them.
We got a gallery potpourri for you. Yes, all in one photo gallery, we got Clint Eastwood skateboarding the streets of Rome. I'm not kidding. We also got a 1950s guide on how to use the telephone. Seriously, kids had to be informed on how to use this device back in old-timey days. We also got Elvis Presley as a toddler (Baby King), World War II homing pigeons, and a walking library. So close your eyes, then open them again - and get ready to be visually thrilled. We got 60 outstanding photos that will leave you wanting more.
Do you know what Los Angeles needed in the 1920s? More alligators. Believe it or not, a major city tourist attraction in La-La land between 1907 to 1953 was The Los Angeles Alligator Farm. It was later rebranded to be known as the California Alligator Farm. And this is where tourist could frolic among "trained" alligators. The California Alligator Farm was an unregulated park where kids could play among alligators without those bothersome fences and gates. This tourist enclave had 20 ponds for alligators - who would also perform daily to large crowds. Visitors were told not to "throw stones at the alligators, spit on, punch or molest them in any way."
A vision of the future from a German magazine, was painted in 1930.
Oh my god! These German's of the 1930s future predicted that they would have smart phones and Face Time! Germans always had a interesting view of the future. Who could forget the 1927 movie, Metropolis? Directed by Fritz Lang, the German sci-fi movie is regarded as a pioneering film of the genre. Much like predicting our current climate, Metropolis is set in a dystopian future - where the wealthy control the masses. And do you know what happens? The workers unit and overthrow the evil wealthy class who live in the city above. Look out!
WWII plane washed up on a beach in Wales after 65 years- An American Lockheed P-38 "Lightning" fighter plane emerged from the surf and sand on a Welsh beach in 2007 with its distinctive twin-boom design.
It took 65 years after it crash landed on a beach in Wales, for an American P-38 fighter plane to emerge in 2007 from the watery sand where it was once buried. The fighter jet remained hidden under the the sands and waves since it crashed in 1942 off the coast of Wales. Known as the Maid of Harlech has been described as one of the most important WWII finds in recent history. The fighter jet crashed on the Gwynedd coast when the engines cut out while taking part in training exercises. The good news was pilot Lt Robert Elliott walked away from the crash without a scratch. The bad new was, he went missing in action just three months later serving in the American's Tunisia campaign in North Africa.
A model during a photo shoot distracted by the first plane hitting the twin towers.
September 11th, 2001 started out like an ordinary day in New York City. If you were a tourist, you were probably snapping photos of the city's favorite landmarks; including the Twin Towers. Then, that morning, came a series of coordinated terrorist attacks by the Islamic terrorist group against the United States. The attacks killed 2,996 people and injured over 6,000 others - causing over $10 billion in in damage. If you were working as a model, doing a shoot that morning, there was no way you could fathom that a commercial airliner would go crashing into the Twin Towers.
The cost of living in 1938.
You could really get by in old-timey days if you were paying in 2019 money. For example, how much would we all love to pay $27 a month in rent? I know I would. It would give me extra money to spend on my 27 cent movie ticket. Sure, this all took place during the middle of the Great Depression, when prices were low. But still it makes you image a world where you could get a Harvard education for $420 a year. In 1938, a recession hit that caused unemployment to rise to 19% while minimum wage was at 25 cents an hour. If you look at the list, you were almost being paid one egg per hour of work.
The reaction at this bar the night Congress repealed Prohibition in 1933.
Yes, there was once a time when drinking alcohol was illegal in the United States. And this era was called: Prohibition. Did it work? No. What happened? It gave rise to gangsters selling illegal alcohol and vicious gangland murders occurring because of turf wars. But on December 5th 1933, Prohibition ended. Yes, on this date the 21st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified, repealing the 18th Amendment, and bringing an end of national prohibition in America. And how did people celebrate? By getting rat-assed drunk. Prohibition fully failed to enforce sobriety, cost the country billions, rapidly lost popular support throughout the 1930s.
A WW1 homing pigeon saved 194 men by still flying after losing a leg, an eye, and having been shot through the chest.
Long before there were cell phones, homing pigeons played an important role in the military - especially during World War I and its sequel, World War II. These birds were used as military messengers due to their homing ability, speed and altitude. Carrier pigeons of the Racing Homer breed were the most often used during life in wartime. In fact, 32 of these type of pigeons were presented with the Dickin Medal. But it wasn't an easy task for homing pigeons. Enemy soldiers would try to shoot them down. The homing pigeons were so effective that they stayed in use for military messages up until 1957.
Dr. James Naismith, who invented the game of basketball, practices with his wife Maude in 1928.
Yes, basketball was originally played with hoop baskets mounted on a wall. The game existed for a while, until someone got the bright idea to cut out the bottom of the hoop basket so the ball could go through. The game was invented in December 1891 by college teacher James Naismith. He created it for his students who were forced inside due to the winter. Unable for them to play football outside, he created basketball as a sport to play in the indoor gym. The inspiration for Naismith was remembering a rock-tossing game he played as a child. The first carnation involved players tossing a ball at target and the team that tossed the most balls into the target would win. Naismith then wrote up 13 rules for the game of basketball. And the rest is NBA history...
David Isom, 19, broke the color line in a segregated pool in Florida which resulted in officials closing the facility (1958).
Another photo example of the history of our racist, racist country, where at one time people who weren't white had to use a separate swimming pool. Yes, there were segregated swimming pool. In 1958, David Isom was only 19-years old when he broke the color line in Florida one of this city's segregated public pools. This resulted in officials closing the facility. On some occasions, when African Americans used White Only pools - the pool would be closed and the water would be drained. For Florida, this was the second time in a 72 hour period when such an incident had happened - which also resulted in the pool being closed.
Boris Karloff in the make-up chair getting worked on by Jack Pierce and assistant for the film Frankenstein in 1931.
There's nothing like seeing the monster in the chair. Here's Boris Karloff taking time out to be made up pretty for his role in the 1931 horror classic, Frankenstein. Karloff was great in the film. Bela Lugosi was originally offered the role, and had strong resentment to Karloff afterwards. But the real man of the hour in this photo is makeup artist, Jack Pierce. He was an unsung hero of early horror films. Pierce also did the makeup for Lon Chaney Jr. in the movie, The Wolfman, and The Mummy. For Frankenstein, Karloff had to spend four long hours sitting the makeup artist's chair.
Darling photo of a toddler Elvis with his parents Vernon and Gladys Presley.
Here is the man who would be king, or rather, The King - Elvis Presley. In 1935, Elvis was born to Vernon and Gladys Presley. In this photo, three-year old Elvis posed with this parents and the shot captured the flavor of the Presley home life. The family shot turned up in a photograph collection of the Official Elvis Presley Fan Club in Leicester, England. After research, it was determined by the white concrete way, that the photo was taken at the Lee County jail in Tupelo. Vernon had been arrested on November 16, 1937 for forging a check. The jail had been built as part of the New Deal - as an effort to employ the unemployed.
Instructions for "How To Use a Telephone" in 1951.
Okay, there was once a time when instructions were needed on how to talk on a telephone. I know, crazy, right? But back in old-timey days, they felt there was a need to provide this type of information. This was part of a 1951 pamphlet called: The Telephone and How We Use It. And as you can see, on Page 5 - kids were being told which part of the phone to talk into. This was back in the days when there were only rotary phones - so there's a whole section on how those contraptions used to be operated. There were also Party Lines - back in those times; where you would share the lines with neighbors. Yikes! But what they didn't teach kids, once they mastered the phone's use, was what to talk about.
Henry Ford and his first automobile, 1896.
Notorious racist/automobile inventor, Henry Ford, exhibits his first creation The Quadricycle. In 1896, this was Ford's first attempt at building a gasoline-powered automobile. It utilized commonly found materials in its construction: angle iron for the frame, a leather belt and chain drive for the transmission, and a buggy seat. Sounds like that would have trouble passing safety standards here in 2019. Ford devised the ignition system and sold his Quadricycle for $200. What did he do with the cash made from the vehicle? He used to to manufacture his second automotive creation. I'm surprised we don't see hipsters today riding around in a Quadricycle.
Groucho Marx dances with a 22 year-old Diana Ross at a barbecue hosted by Bobby Darin at his Bel Air home. (1966)
Wow! What the hell do you think these two icons are talking about? The year was 1966 and Groucho Marx shared a dance with Diana Ross. It gets better; all this is taking place at former pop star, Bobby Darin's Bel Air home. Groucho was 70-years old at the time while Ross was only 22 . She was the lead singer of the legendary girl group, The Supremes. Groucho showed he was still spry and youthful by dancing The Frug with music star. After the party, Groucho admitted that this was the first time he danced in over 20 years. I wish I was around to cut in on the dance - but not sure who I would rather dance with more?
The Eagles, 1973.
The Eagles are a Los Angles band that formed in 1971. The origins of the group involve Linda Ronstadt's manager at the time, John Boylan, recruiting a group of local musicians for her band. This consisted of Glenn Frey and Don Henley. Both weren't originally from Los Angeles. Henley moved from Texas where he had an album, with his band Shiloh, that was produced by Kenny Rogers. Frey journeyed from Michigan. The two met in 1970 at the legendary The Troubadour in Los Angeles. While on tour with Ronstadt, Henley and Frey decided to form their own band. And the rest is The Eagles history.
Traffic jam in Berlin as thousands of East Germans move into West Berlin on Saturday after the Wall is torn down, 1989.
See the traffic. David Hasselhoff was responsible for that. Because he was the one who tore down the Berlin Wall in 1989. Well, not really, that's just an urban legend - but he did sing on top of the Wall as part of the celebration since Hasselhoff once had a huge musical recording career in Germany. The Berlin Wall was the symbol of the Cold War. It divided East from West Berlin. Scores of people were killed trying to get over the Berlin Wall. Now you can just walk across because it was torn down in 1989. Once again, thank you David Hasselhoff.
Jimi Hendrix playing his guitar with a friend while in the Army. (1961-62)
Private Hendrix, are you experienced? How did Jimi end up in the army. In 1961, the Seattle native had a few run ins with the law over a few stolen car matters. So he was given the choice, spend two years in prison or join the Army. Jimi was 19 years old and chose the Army. He was stationed at Fort Ord, California and completed eight weeks of basic training before being assigned to the 101st Airborne Division in Fort Campbell, Kentucky.
Hendrix told his father in a letter:
“There’s nothing but physical training and harassment here for two weeks, then when you go to jump school … you get hell. They work you to death, fussing and fighting.”
Building the bleachers at Wrigley Field in Chicago, 1937.
Wrigley Field in Chicago has got to be one of the most beloved stadiums in baseball history. It's built right in the middle of a Chicago neighborhood. And there was even a huge battle to install lights at the stadium because locals thought it would change the flavor of the field. And why would you want to change rabid Cub fan Bill Murray's favorite baseball park? Here's a shot from 1937 of the center field bleachers being constructed. Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox, is the only other baseball stadium still in existence from that era.
'Wolfman Jack' spins some classic '50s rock and roll tunes in the film, “American Graffiti” in 1973.
American Graffiti is a great film. It's the movie that put George Lucas on the film map. The story is actually based on Lucas' teen years growing up in Modesto, California during the 1950s. And Wolfman Jack played a key role in both the movie and the music scene of that era. The Wolfman's real name is Robert Weston Smith. He was a famous disc jockey known for his gravelly voice. What he credited for his success was: "It's kept meat and potatoes on the table for years for Wolfman and Wolfwoman. A couple of shots of whiskey helps it. I've got that nice raspy sound."
The aftermath of a freshman vs. sophomores snowball fight for these Princeton students in 1893.
Did you ever see the 1998 Michael Keaton movie, Jack Frost? Michael Keaton is transformed into a snowman and there's a scene where the town has a massive snowball fight. While watching, you're thinking, what's the big deal about a snowball fight. Well, look at this photo. Apparently, in 1893, a snowball fight in Princeton was for keeps. It looks more like the result of a rock fight rather than a soft, white, fluffy snowball fight. The Annual Freshman-Sophomore Snowball Fight - was a regular thing back in those days. Stories of this annual snowball fight would even be reported in the New York Times. Yeah, slow news day...
The back of the Hoover Dam before it was filled with water in 1936.
Hoover Dam rests in the Black Canyon of the Colorado River. It's located on the border between Nevada and Arizona. It was constructed during the Great Depression - between 1931 and 1936. It didn't come easy; the construction involved thousands of workers and over one hundred, of those thousands of workers, lost their lives. It was was dedicated on September 30, 1935 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt and originally named: Boulder Dam. Then it got rebranded. It was officially renamed Hoover Dam by a joint resolution of Congress in 1947 - in honor of, you guessed it, President Herbert Hoover.
Tennis rivals Björn Borg and John McEnroe, 1981.
John McEnroe and Sweden's Bjorn Borg were intense tennis rivals in the early 80s. And the two couldn't be more different. McEnroe was a hot-headed tennis brat and Borg always kept Zen cool and calm. Borg and McEnroe played 16 times against each other.
"When I beat Borg in the 1981 Wimbledon final it seemed like he was a little bit relieved as his enormous success had created this intense pressure. When I faced him at the US Open a couple of months later it was almost as if he’d emotionally lost his edge, like he didn’t want to be there."
Dinosaurs transported on the Hudson River, on their way to the 1964 World’s Fair.
At one time, dinosaurs walked among the Hudson River. And that time was 1964, in order to celebrate the 1964 World's Fair - which took place at Flushing Meadows Corona Park in Queens. Sure the enjoyment of dinosaurs seems fun, but this was part of a promotion for an oil company exhibit. The Sinclair Oil Corporation sponsored "Dinoland." The exhibit featured life-size replicas of nine dinosaurs. Sounds cute right? Well of the dinosaurs was a seventy foot long version of Sinclair Oil Corporation's signature Brontosaurus. Gotcha! The Sinclair Dinoland creatures took two years to create - and were manufactured at Jonas Studios in Hudson, New York.
U.S. soldier tries on the Imperial Crown of the Holy Roman Empire that was previously worn by every emperor between the 10th and the 19th century. (1945)
This soldier is living it up. This soldier is wearing the Imperial Crown of the Holy Roman Empire. It was previous the hoop crown of the Holy Roman Emperor from the 11th century to 1806; this era was the end of the Holy Roman Empire. The crown was previously used in the coronation of the King of the Romans, and was constructed with eight hinged plates. This soldier is trying it on after the World War II conquest of the city of Nuremberg in 1945. The crown is currently kept in the Imperial Treasury at the Hofburg in Vienna, Austria. Seldom do people now get to try it on.
Telephone wires around the city of Manhattan in 1887.
Who had the avocado appliances in their kitchen back in the day?
That's a hell of a lot of avocado green.That's what Frigidaire was pushing back in the day. This has got to be the winner of the: Ugly Kitchen Contest of the 1970s. Frigidaire was founded in Fort Wayne, Indiana back in 1919. William C. Durant, a founder of General Motors, personally invested in the company. Perhaps he saw the vision that one day there would be puke green refrigerators? The brand became so well known in the mid-1900s, that many Americans referred to all refrigerators as a Frigidaire. Frigidaire was eventually sold in 1979 to the White Sewing Machine Company.
Christopher Robin Milne was the son of author A. A. Milne and as a child he was the inspiration for the character 'Christopher Robin' in his father's "Winnie-the-Pooh" stories. (1927 photo)
Imagine being the real-life Christopher Robin of Winnie-the-Pooh fame? Well, that was the case of Christopher Robin Milne was was the son of Po0-author, A. A. Milne. Either that's going to turn out really great or really horrible. Milne's son was the basis for the characters in two Winnie-the-Pooh books and assorted poems. For his first birthday, the younger Milne received an Alpha Farnell teddy bear, which became the inspiration for the Winnie-the-Pooh character. The stuffed animals owned by Christopher Robin Milne, and featured in the Winnie-the-Pooh stories, can be found on display at the New York Public Library. This has been these stuffed creature's home since 1987.
Willis Carrier was an American engineer who invented modern air conditioning, he invented the first electrical air conditioning unit in 1902.
Let's give this man some respect. Willis Carrier was an American engineer who invented air conditioning. What would we do in New York City without him? In 1902, Carrier invented the first electrical air conditioning unit. And then In 1915, he founded Carrier Corporation - and branched off into heating and ventilation systems as well. Air conditioning changed the face of New York. Previously, buildings were designed to have circular air due to the hot summer months. Air conditioning changed all that. It also increased movie ticket sales. Back when air conditioning units were still expensive, people would buy a movie ticket so they could escape the summer heat.
A photo taken from the Statue of Liberty’s torch in 1930.
The Statue of Liberty is the greatest thing given to us by the French since French fries. The copper statue was designed by French sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi and its metal framework was built by Gustave Eiffel. That's right, of Eiffel Tower fame. It was a gift from the people from France and dedicated on October 28, 1886. So who is that lady anyway? Well, the Statue of Liberty is a figure of Libertas, a robed Roman liberty goddess. Besides holding a torch high above her head, she also carries a tabula ansata inscribed in Roman numerals with "JULY IV MDCCLXXVI" (July 4, 1776). Guess what happened on that day? It was the date of the signing of the U.S. Declaration of Independence.
A seventeen-year-old, Judy Garland poses for a test shot for her role as Dorothy in the film, The Wizard of Oz (1939).
The role of Dorothy in the 1939 movie, Wizard of Oz, catapulted a 17-year old Judy Garland into international stardom. But what you don't see in this photo is behind the scenes, Garland was forced to starve herself for the screen and was bullied by studio execs int a life of forced dieting that later led to drug addiction. By 1938, studio managers were sending memos that read: "Judy sneaked out between takes seven and eight this afternoon and had a malted milk" or "Garland gained 10 pounds. Costumes refitted." After filming Broadway Melody of 1938, Garland was told by one of Louie B. Mayer's executives that she was so fat she looked like a monster. Those working on the set said it was the cruelest thing they ever heard anyone say to a child actor.
A very happy little French girl holding her kitty, 1959.
The year was 1959 - back in a simpler time when little French girls enjoyed hugging cats. Yes, back before an image like this would get a million likes on social media, people of France had to enjoy this photo - one set of eyeballs at a time. And what was there not to be happy about in France during 1959? This was the peak of French New Wave cinema that brought the world the likes of such legendary filmmakers as Alain Resnais, Jean-Luc Godard, François Truffaut, and Éric Rohmer. New Wave was one of the most influential movements in the history of cinema; and brought to light the existential moments everyday life - such as the childhood fondness of hugging a cat.
An immigrant family get their first view of New York City from Ellis Island.
Starting in the late 1800s, America was welcoming immigrants via Ellis Island. "Come on in, immigrants," said Ellis Island - which was the gateway to 2 million immigrants to the United States. For over 60 years, between 1892 until 1954, Ellis Island was the busiest immigrant inspection station in the U.S. Immigrating to the United States, and coming into Ellis Island, was made extra dramatic by the sight of the Statue of Liberty in the harbor. Sadly for New Yorkers, in 1998 the US Supreme Court decision found that most of the Ellis Island is actually in New Jersey. Boo!
Children eating turnips and cabbage for a Holiday dinner during the Great Depression.
Ah, nothing like the joys of being a kid growing up in the heart of the Great Depression. You would have a boatload of tales - and years later you could start every story you tell your grandchildren with the phrase, "When I was your age....." While the wealthy were dining on turkey for the holidays - these poor children feasted on turnips and cabbage. In the book, A Square Meal: A Culinary History of the Great Depression, such meals for festive occasions might have consisted of lima-bean loaf or a meat-based granulated jello with canned corned beef. Bon apetit!
Clint Eastwood skateboarding around Rome, Italy.
Look at young, hipster Clint Eastwood. Not only is he on a skateboard, riding the streets of Rome, but he's doing so while wearing cool-ass Italian shoes. This all went down in 1965, just when Eastwood was rising to fame from his Spaghetti Western movies directed by Sergio Leone. He was photographed on Via Veneto, which is one of the most fancy streets of Rome. And he's on a skateboard; a good 16 years before the advent of Thrasher magazine. Holy spaghetti! After taking this photo, Clint headed to the skate park to practice some Ollies.
Drying fresh pasta at a factory in Napoli. (1950s)
So, this was how pasta was made. Back in old-timey days, this was how it was done; as soon as the pasta was cut and rolled it was quickly aired out to dry - like it were fresh laundry. The thin noodles would dry pretty quick and would be draped over a wooden dowel. If you want to try it yourself, you could improvise by actually using a laundry rack - or simply lay the pasta to dry (which will take longer). Most likely the pasta in this photo was made by machine, but traditional it was produced by hand.
Known for her beauty and talent, Maude Fealy was probably photographed more than any other actress of the early 1900s. She started her career at the age of 3 in the theater with her mother Margaret Fealy.
Wow! What an old-timey hottie. Maude Fealy was a silent film actress who also had a career in the talkies (movies that also have talking). Yes, you might remember Fealy from the 1911 silent film, Moths. Or from the 1914 silent flick, Frou Frou. Fealy first appeared in silent films in 1911 and made eighteen movies up until 1917. Then she went into semi-acting retirement. After that, she didn't perform in films again for another 14 years. During the gap in her film projects, Fealy became a playwright - and worked mostly in Chicago. Fealy died in 1971 at the Motion Picture & Television Country House and Hospital in Woodland Hills.
One of the most famous abandoned buildings in Portugal is an abandoned palace built during the 19th century and abandoned in 1980s.
This, my friends, is Palacio Silva Amado in Lisbon. It was built in the 1800s and was once known for it's highly-decorated interiors and panels of tiles. Now-a-days, it's very much abandoned. In 1928, Palacio Silva Amado was bought by the Portuguese state - and this once beautiful building became largely defaced and it was never renovated; left to rot. It was purchased by a real estate company in the 2000s - with the plan of partial demolition of this historic landmark - converting the rest into apartment units. But it has still yet to happen. Squatters once took over the palace for a few days - but were quickly kicked out by the police.
Paris in the 1950s.
This is a 1950s photograph of Paris, by Kurt Otto-Wasow, entitled, Ile de la Cité, Otto-Wasow was an international photographer who mostly captured images in France and Italy. In 1959, he published a collection of his Parisian photographs in a book that was simply called: Paris. He also published photo books called, Venice, Rome, Florence, and The Riviera. Paris in the 1950s was a bit chaotic. From 1946, the population grew by 50,000 per year. By 1954, it had reached a total of 2.85 million in 1954 - though new housing had not been constructed. 100,000 residential buildings that were declared uninhabitable were still crammed full. Pas bon ;(
Rod Serling narrating "The Twilight Zone" in 1964.
There's nothing like that classic theme music to the iconic TV show, The Twilight Zone. It's something to start humming whenever things go weird. And Rod Serling was the mastermind behind the show. On October 2, 1959, Serlings classic Twilight Zone series premiered on CBS. The Twilight Zone aired for five seasons and won numerous awards. Throughout the run Serling fought for complete creative control of the series - and it paid off. Also, hats off to Sterling for penning the original script to the first Planet of the Apes movie. If it wasn't for Serling, the movie wouldn't have had that twist ending with the Statue of Liberty submerged in sand. (Spoiler Alert.)
The Hexagon House Hotel was built in 1895 and dismantled in 1959 for its building materials (Mineral Wells, Texas).
A Girl and her Great Dane, "Ulric" in (1890)
1890 was a good year for girls and Great Danes. And here's both those characters...in one photo! The Great Dane's name was: Ulric. The Great Dane, by the way, is the national dog of Germany; where it's known as: Deutsche Dogge. Which is strange, because it's named after Denmark - but the breed has changed it’s name so many times that there is nothing in history to connect it to Denmark. The breed was originally used as hunting dogs in Europe, and mainly used to chase and bring down fearsome wild boars. Great Danes, as you can see, are also wonderful with children.
Abandoned Yellow House in Nova Scotia.
Nova Scotia has a lot of history. And with great history comes great abandoned houses. Throughout this eastern Canadian province you can find landmarks and houses that are hundreds of years old. One cool thing about Nova Scotia is you can find the ruins of towns that have been long deserted. Take the town of Broughton. It was one of Canada’s first planned towns and once had 10,000 residents. Know what it is now? Abandoned. Why? When mining operations shut down, the residents went elsewhere and abandoned their homes.
Cast of Dead Poets Society (1989).
This photo makes me want to stand on top of my desk and give a slow, building clap. For my money, Dead Poet's Society is Robin William's best film. It also inspired every "cool" teacher, who saw the movie, to try and emulate fictional English teacher John Keating. In fact, what attracted Robin Williams to the role is John Keating was the type of teacher he always wished he had during his school days. Crazy enough, Liam Neeson had originally slated to be in the lead role. But things changed when director Peter Weir came on board, and Williams was cast instead.
Celebrating the opening of the Golden Gate Bridge in May 1937.
The Golden Gate Bridge spans one mile across the waterway between the San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean and connects San Francisco and Marin County. It's probably the most beautiful and photographed bridge on the entire planet.
Before the bridge was built, the only way to get across this waterway was by taking a ferry. Ferry service began back in 1820. Construction of the Golden Gate Bridge commenced on January 5, 1933 - and cost more than $35 million. The construction was executed by the McClintic-Marshall Construction Company. Eleven men were killed during the construction of the iconic bridge. Ten of these men were killed on a single day: February 17, 1937.
Croce, playing mostly small venues throughout his short career, was very in tune with is audiences which were mostly small and intimate.
Here's Mr. Bad, Bad Leroy Brown himself, Jim Croce. The man was a popular American folk/rock singer who produced the bulk of his content between 1966 and 1973. During that time, Croce released five studio albums and had two #1 hits on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart. Croce grew up around Philly. His other huge smash hit was the ballad, Time in a Bottle. Croce got his start performing at coffee houses and at frat parties. He even did a stint as a college DJ. He financed his first album in 1966 with a $500 wedding gift. Sadly, Croce died in a plane crash on September 20, 1973.
Checking out a book at the walking library in London 1930.
Before there was the Book Mobile, there was the walking library in London. Back in 1930, the Waling Library would charge borrowers. A newspaper article from back in the day gave the true skinny on this foot-power library:
THE WALKING LIBRARY: London, England – Critics are always remarking that we in this country lag far behind those of European countries when it comes to borrowing books from libraries. Well, this enterprising girl at Rumsgate solves the problem by taking her books in a rack tied to her back round the streets and from door to door and people can borrow them for a week at the price of twopence.
Clifton Mill in Clifton, Ohio.
If you want to see how a functioning mill works, then go to Clifton Mill. This historic mill was built in 1802 by Owen Davis, a Revolutionary War soldier who also was a frontiersman miller. Not only is it historical, but the Clifton Mill is one of the largest water-powered grist mills still in existence. The location, which the mill was built, takes advantage of the natural power of the concentrated water funneled into the gorge. Five other mills were built in the same vicinity. But the Clifton Mill is the only one still standing. Way to go, Clifton Mill!
Crowded ship bringing American troops back to New York harbor after V-Day, 1945.
During World War II, the Queen Elizabeth, along with the Queen Mary, was used as troop transports during the Second World War. The crowded ship was bringing troops back to New York harbor from Europe. Here it is after after V-Day in 1945. The voyage took roughly 5-7 days to go from the British Isles to the East Coast. The ship was used due to its high speed to outrun such hazards as German U-boats. The ship could carry over 15,000 troops and had over 900 crew members. During war time, the troopship sailed over 500,000 miles.
Wedding, 1920's style.
Back in the days of the Great Gatsby, this was the elegant wedding style of the day. This couple's look could easily pass for that of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Zelda. In the era of flappers and bathtub gin, the white style kept with a black and white dress code; black tuxedos for men and white wedding dresses for women. The Gatsby look of the 1920s is so classy and sharp that many brides currently go for that look for their wedding day - with a style that could easily fit into the Roaring 20s.
Get your groceries, liquor, and cigars here at this 1800s store in Lake City, Colorado.
Here is a classic example of the old General Store back in the 1800s. For miners and mountain men, the General Store had something for everyone. From socks, gloves and hats to hardware and houseware; camping and fishing supplies. It outfitted prospects so they could head off into the mountains prospecting for gold. One such prospector ws Alfred Packer. In November 1873, Packer joined a party of 21 men, who left Provo, Utah for the gold country around in Colorado. Packer later confessed to cannibalism during the winter of 1874 after attempting to travel through the high mountains of Colorado during harsh winter. Maybe Packer should've stocked up on cans of beans at the General Store?
Gold sandals found on the mummy of the Pharaoh Heqakheperre Shoshenq II (887–885 BC).
Imagine going to the beach in sandals made of genuine gold. Sheshonq II was a very obscure Egyptian king who had some great footwear. His treasure trove was discovered in the Delta City of Tanis. The findings were part of a series of rich kingly tombs of the 21st and 22nd Dynasties. The discovery was made by French Egyptologist Pierre Montet. Though his riches live on, little is known of Sheshonq II. He was the son of Osorkon I and became the High Priest of Amun at Karnak around 924-894 BC. He was around 50 years old at the time of his death.
Jesse Owens became the first American track and field athlete to win (4) gold medals in a single Olympiad.
This is great on so many levels. Jesse Owens won four gold medals at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin. In attendance at the Olympic Games was one Adolph Hitler who had a plan about the Master Race. In your face, Hitler! Owens specialized in the sprints and the long jump. He is recognized as the greatest and most famous athlete in track and field history. His four gold medals were in the 100 meters, 200 meters, long jump, and 4 × 100 meter relay. He was the most successful athlete at the Games - and crushed Hitlers myth of Aryan supremacy.
"Just Divorced" 1934.
Ok, great to decorate your car with a Just Married sign. Not so great to decorate your car with a Just Divorced sign. From 1931 to 1970, unhappy couples would travel to Nevada to take advantage of the state’s liberal divorce laws. More than 325,000 marriages came to an end in the Silver State. This was the height of the “migratory divorce” trade. Quickie divorces were an economic boom for the State. Lawmakers lowered the residency requirement for dissolving a marriage from six months to six weeks. It was shortest waiting period in the nation. So the story has a happy, unhappy ending.
Liza Minnelli in 1969.
Liza Minnelli had a foot-up in showbiz. Her mom is Judy Garland who starred in the Wizard of Oz. Her dad is Vincent Minnelli - who was a famous film director. She was born in Hollywood and her film debut was at three-years old in the 1949 musical: Good Old Summertime. Minnelli began as a nightclub singer when she was 19-years old, at which time she made her professional nightclub debut. Liza is best known for her Academy Award-winning performance in the 1972 movie, Cabaret. But in later years, you might know her from her appearances on the TV show, Arrested Development - where she played Buster's love interest.
Sophia Loren gazes at the ‘Mona Lisa’ while visiting the Louvre in 1964.
A work of art meets a work of art. Sophia Loren is one of the sexiest women to ever grace the silver screen. Here she is, in 1964, gazing at the Mona Lisa while visiting the Louvre. Note the similar smiles. Loren's acting career began when she enrolled in acting classes after entering a beauty pageant in her native Italy. She then made the jump to film in 1950 at the age of 16. Before becoming an international sensation, she appeared in several small roles before getting a five-picture contract with Paramount in 1956. She appeared on screen with everyone from Cary Grant to Anthony Perkins.
Students in blacksmith class at the Children's Aid School, NYC. (1911)
Back in the good old days - before child labor laws, kids could learn a trade like being a blacksmith. The Children's Aid Society was founded in 1853. The purpose was to take away the burden of too many immigrants in New York City - and take care of the impoverished immigrant children who were turning to crime or barely getting by selling matches or sweeping streets. That's where learning to become a blacksmith came into play. The founders of the organization believed that society would turn New York's street kids into self-reliant members of society.The school taught such vocations as cobbling, sewing, and many other trades. In later years, newsies took the place of work for kids living in poverty.
The largest library in Ireland, Trinity College's library dates back to 1592 and houses 5 million items including journals, manuscripts, maps and music.
Trinity College, in Dublin, has a hell of a lot of old books. No, I'm serious. The library is also the home to such niceties as the Brian Boru harp - which you might know as the symbol of Ireland. It also houses a copy of the 1916 Proclamation of the Irish Republic. If that weren't enough. The Trinty Library also displays the Book of Kells. This 9th century creation is an illuminated manuscript Gospel book in Latin and it contains the four Gospels of the New Testament. Two of the four volumes of the Book of Kells are on public display at Trinty College. And no, you can't check them out with a library card.
The world’s oldest astrological clock (600 years-old) is still functioning in Prague.
This is one hell of an old clock. And time never goes out of fashion. This 600-year old time-keeping masterpiece is still ticking. Which might prompt someone to say, "They don't make them like they used to." It was 1410 when the clock was first installed. That makes it the third-oldest astronomical clock in the world. But don't fret about third place, it's also the one that's still operating. The clock s mounted on the southern wall of Old Town Hall in the Old Town Square in Prague and its clock mechanism has three main components to keep it ticking.
This man holds two Chinook salmons he caught in Waldport, Oregon that were almost as big as he was.
Sometime during the 1930s, this manly man held two Chinook Salmon that he caught in Waldport Oregon. Look at the size of those puppies. The name sounds funny, but Chinook is the name for the species that includes king salmon, Quinnat salmon, spring salmon, chrome hog, and Tyee salmon. That's a lot of salmon territory covered. It's based on the Russian name: chavycha. The Chinook range in size from 24 to 36 inches, but may be up to 58 in in length; they also average 10 to 50 lb but can reach 130 lb. Looks like the gent in this photo got the bigger end of the fish.
Women dressed in their best in the early 1900's.
It looked really uncomfortable to be a woman in the 1900s. Besides waddling around the streets in these disfiguring contraptions - this was offset by a tight corset worn underneath. Add to that a long, heavy, frilled skirts and puffy, lacy blouses. Skirts were bell-shaped, tightly hugged the hips and flared at the bottom. And holy heck - how many ostriches died to make these hats for these women. Ostrich feathers were all the rage back in old-timey days. In 1908, a new look emerged for women. This involved tailored suits, blouses, and skirts. And remember, all this was going down during the days when woman weren't allowed to vote.