Thought Provoking Images That Will Make You Question History
By | June 12, 2019
Stewardess guidelines in the 1940s.
At times modern life can feel as if it’s going so fast that there’s no time to stop and look around. Technology is moving so fast that it’s hard to see up, and things come in and out of fashion so quickly that it’s impossible to know what’s cool anymore. The vintage photos, news clippings and ads collected here illustrate that things are so different today than they were even 30 years ago.
These photos of candy and cigarette ads aimed at children, and how-to guides for women looking to meet a husband will make you stop and wonder if what you’re looking at is real. Along with the photos we’ve got some helpful details to put everything in perspective. Read on!
Today, airline attendants are incredibly professional men and women who handle all kinds of problems in air transportation on a day to day basis. While that was true of stewardesses in the 1940s, they were expected to be a homogeneous group of beauty queen-type women that were a mix of “nurse, ticket-puncher, baggage-master, guide, waitress, and little mother of all the world.”
Stewardesses were trained at “charm farms” where they learned how to speak and act while on a plane, and had their hair trimmed into perfect collar-length dos that gave a sense of uniformity to every flight.
Gas prices in 1939.
Try to keep your jaw from dropping while thinking about this low low gas price from 1939. Comparing that price today is absolutely wild, but even with inflation it’s still not bad at $2.95. There definitely weren’t as many cars on the road in 1939 as there were now, and many of the cars that were on the road didn’t have turn signals until that year.
At the time drivers weren’t going to be stocking up on a ton of gas, while cars at the time held anywhere from 13 to 21 mpg it’s unclear if that mpg related to modern standards. Still it would be nice to pay for gas by using pocket change.
Ladies . . . here's 129 ways to find a husband according to a 1958 magazine!
It doesn’t matter what year it is, there’s always going to be some publication claiming that they know how to help a woman get married. While today it’s totally off base for a publication to tell a woman to plan a strategic place for their car to break down, or to “read the obituaries to find eligible bachelors,” there’s no lack of magazine advice out there.
Some of the advice that’s given to women that’s not pictured here is to “buy a convertible” because men love riding in them, to “order your steak rare,” and to “get a sunburn.”
The Isolator, a helmet invented in 1925 that encourages focus and concentration.
Whether you’ve had to prepare for a presentation, study for a test, or work on that book, everyone’s had a moment where they just want some peace and quiet for a couple of hours. In 1925 inventor Hugo Gernsback, editor of Science and Invention magazine, and member of “The American Physical Society” created the Isolator, a helmet with two eye holes that served to eliminate any and all distractions.
The helmet was soundproof, it cut down the wearers vision to exactly what they needed to see, and oxygen was piped in through a nozzle over the mouth. The Isolator never took off, but if you don’t have access to a private room or an office maybe you should consider digging one of these up.
An old instructional image showing how to properly use the telephone.
When telephones first became commonplace in the household there really was a need to educate people on how to correctly use this new piece of technology. Now, it seems as if children innately understand how to work any and all mobile technology, but the initial push for phone receivers to enter the household confused some users.
In spite of these helpful rules about how to use the phone: “hold the receiver part of the close against your ear,” everyone had someone in their life with their own must-dos when working a phone. Some reals were better than others - let the phone ring 10 times before hanging up, use the word residence as much as possible, and the best “Don’t talk on, and on, and on.”
USPS newspaper ad from 1900.
Today mail carriers have a plush job with benefits and time off. Even if they have to work through rain, sleet, or snow they’re getting rewarded handsomely and at the end of the day they can go home to their families. That wasn’t the case at the turn of the century. In 1900 mail delivery could take months to transport a letter from place to place, and danger was around every turn.
With a cut in cost of postage and paper supplies in the late 1800s there was an uptick in people sending out letters. This lead to a need of strapping young men who would risk death and injury in order to make sure the mail went out as scheduled.
A poster from 1891 which states that women need to ‘get plump’ with Professor Williams’ ‘Fat-Ten-U’ Foods.
Every decade has its own standard of beauty, and in the late 19th century the look of the day was a Rubenesque figure that supposedly meant that someone was in good health. In the Victorian era it was believed that the more plump someone was the better their well being and the more strength and energy they had. That’s a far cry from the modern day that prizes a smaller frame over anything else.
Author Daniel Brinton described people with a “scrawny bony figure” as being “intolerable to gods and men.” Thankfully this product from “Fat-Ten-U Foods” was around to help people gain weight and “fleshiness.”
Men protesting prohibition, 1925.
Over the course of the 13 years that prohibition was in place in America the country split into a great divide over an adult’s right to drink alcohol. Throughout the prohibition era it wasn’t illegal to own or consume alcohol, it was just against the law to buy it and transport it. Normal people were turned into criminals overnight because they dared to buy a pint of beer.
People wanted to drink and didn’t think their personal tastes should be policed. They took to the streets in protest against the government’s crackdown, but that’s what changed the government’s mind. It was the fact that a huge illegal alcohol operation popped up in the wake of the 18th amendment.
If A Woman Needs It, Should She Be Spanked news clipping from the New York Daily Mirror. (1950s)
Readers wouldn’t be seeing this kind of headline in the morning paper today, but these are the kinds of articles that were run in the 1950s. Obviously not every piece of journalism in the ‘50s was about corporal punishment in the home, but it wasn’t out of the question for question like this to be posed. At the time spankings were seen as a completely normal way to discipline one’s wife, although that doesn’t make it right.
During the 1950s spankings weren’t considered to be a form of spousal maltreatment like they are today. It’s fascinating to see just how much changes in the span of a few decades.
In 1918, you could buy a home from a Sears catalog for under $1300.
Buying and building a new house is not only expensive, but there’s miles of red tape to cut through and that’s after you figure out what kind of house you actually to own. That wasn’t a problem back in 1908 when the Sears catalog sold homes that were waiting to be assembled. All you had to do was order the house of your dreams and the company would send it to you in bits and pieces along with blueprints. Preservationist Eric Dobson explained to NPR:
You would order everything from your light fixtures, to your lamp, [the wall covering], kitchen cabinets, the whole thing, whether you get a garage or not. And then it just shipped to you.
I Am DEATH poster by the Indiana State Board of Health. (1912)
In the early 1900s Dr. John N. Hurty wanted to make sure that everyone knew that they were mere moments away from death. According to the Indy Star this former head of the Indiana State Board of Health was obsessed with educating the public about their health and he would go out of his way to not only show people how to live longer but to make sure they followed the letter of the law when dealing with friends and relatives when they passed away.
Aside from commissioning this truly upsetting sign, Hurty once dug up a corpse and performed an autopsy to prove the point that only take a couple of minutes for a doctor to do their due diligence. Former State Health Commissioner Dr. Richard Feldman explained that Hurty was out there, but he just wanted the best for people. Feldman said, “We were living in filth. He did everything he could to get their attention, visually and verbally.”
An upset little patient after a visit to the dentist, 1920s.
Whenever a doctor or dentist advertises themselves as being “painless” it’s clear that they have to be hiding something, or at the very least fibbing a little. This young man looks like he had a tooth pulled and was under the impression that it wouldn’t hurt a bit, sorry buddy. It’s clear that he got his revenge on the dentist.
Today, dental anesthesia has made leaps and bounds from when this photo was taken. While there’s still pain during the healing process, patients don’t feel a lot of pain during dental surgery. Whether this was done to make patients more comfortable or to curb office graffiti is unclear.
A man promoting himself during The Great Depression, 1930s.
Finding a job during the Great Depression wasn’t like today. A person couldn’t just hop online and send out a million resumes, they had to put their feet to the pavement and find something. Unfortunately, in many instances even incredibly skilled workers weren’t able to find a position at a company, there just weren’t any jobs.
From 1929 to 1939 the industrialized world went into shock as consumer spending and investments dropped heavily, which resulted in major declines across every market. By 1933 15 million Americans were without a job. It took World War II to bring the country out of this deep recession.
1958 Plymouth model and price chart.
It turns out that finding a car has always been a bit of a puzzle for the nascent car buyer. While it might feel like there’s an over-saturation of cars on the market now, even in 1958 there were so many automobiles to choose from that this nifty chart was required. Now, drivers can look online or they go down to the lot to find their next family chariot, but in 1958 Plymouth provided this gorgeous visual aid.
The models on this price chart aren’t the only relics of the past, look at those prices. $2,400 for a new car? That’s unheard of today. With inflation these Plymouths work out to around $21,000 which is still pretty good for a new car.
Vintage ad from the 1940s that accompanied an article with directions on how to apply makeup and style your hair based on the shape of your head.
Picking the right hair style has long been a bone of contention for men and women everywhere, but for some women the fear of choosing the wrong hairstyle is a real concern. Bangs may look good in the first few weeks, but what about when they grow out? And while short hair looks good on some women, it looks like a shearing accident on others.
Thankfully this ad featuring Hollywood stars of the day was released showing the hair and makeup styles that best suit specific head shapes. As goofy as this is, it’s still a little helpful. So what are you; oval, long, or diamond shaped?
In 1898, Bayer begins mass production of heroin as a remedy for coughs and colds.
Bayer, that most trusted of pharmaceutical companies, has given the public everything from medicine to take away headaches to medicine for backs and hearts, but in the late 19th century they introduced both aspirin and heroin as cough, cold and pain remedies. One of those has had a long career of helping people in pain get through the day, and the other is heroin.
It didn’t take long for Bayer to pull their plug on their heroin campaign as users began developing a tolerance for the medication - especially the children who were using it to cure their bronchitis. What medicine that we use today do you think will go the way of heroin?
Unknown man during the Great Depression. (1932)
It’s an understatement to say that the Great Depression was a dark time for the United States. Not only was the economy in a tailspin, but the morale of Americans was at an all time low. People were legitimately considering the worst options for themselves in order to get out of their sorry circumstances. But just like today there were some folks who did their best to get through the day with laughter.
This sign is obviously meant in jest even if it’s dark humor at its most bleak, but the holder is being proactive in an attempt to get out there and provide for his family.
No Beatle Haircuts (1965)
When “She Loves You” hit the airwaves in September 1963 their haircuts came along with it, and initially the kids who saw them thought the look was funny. It only took about a year for TIME magazine to start referring to their hair as “mushroom haircuts,” which suddenly every young person in the country just had to have.
There were Beatle wigs, Beatle brushes and combs, and, Beatle hairspray - the cuts started to grate on parents and hairdressers alike who didn’t think that the mop tops were becoming of an upstanding young person. If someone wanted a Beatles cut they had to do it themselves.
Instructions on How to Open a New Book.
Either because people are reading less, or because they’re doing most of their reading on electronic devices, we don’t have to worry as much about the proper way to open a new book. However, when book binding was king there was a right way to open a book in order to make sure that it maintained its shape and pages.
Even if it seems ridiculous to handle a book in this careful of a manor, it’s clear that in order to maintain its shape and to keep it around for generations that every safety precaution possible should be taken.
Jewish people protesting in Ellis Island against their deportation back to Germany. (1936)
Immigration has always been on the forefront of the conversation in America, however in the lead up to World War II many Jewish people were under the threat of being forcibly sent back to Europe after escape from Hitler’s regime. Aside from England, nowhere in Europe was a safe haven for the Jewish people, and in the United States the refuge crisis was thought to add to a worldwide economic depression.
At the time the United States wasn’t aware of the ghettos and concentration camps into which Jewish people were being herded. They were left without rights and many immigrants who were living in America were shipped back to their former homes.
Marriage Broker advertisement, 1889.
In the 19th century a marriage broker was someone who helped a U.S. citizen get married to someone looking for permanent residence in the United States. Today we’d call that a mail-order-bride, and while these kinds of relationships have been the butt of jokes for years it turns out that they’re very real and that they’ve been happening for a long time.
This ad makes it seem as if the broker is really going out of their way to help humanity by setting up a man with a “Delaware maiden of influential family” or a woman who wants to marry an “eastern gentleman of wealth and high position,” and while maybe some of these relationships worked out, but something tells us that most of them fell by the wayside.
Mister Merry's play lighter toy with bubble gum cigarettes from the 1960s.
Today toys tend to be educational above all else. Sure, there are action figures and video games with little content beyond pointing and shooting, but none of them are teaching children to pick up bad habits in the same way as the “Mister Merry’s play lighter.” Whether or not you’re a fan of candy cigarettes (there’s just something about them), it’s clear that this toy was built for grooming new customers.
Does anyone remember playing with this toy? How many parents were okay with their kids learning how to smoke from a cute little cartoon? Still, this would be cool to have around the house.
The cost of living in 1938.
Try not to get too stressed out while looking at this run down of the cost of living, these figures were put together towards the tail end of the Great Depression, and with inflation these numbers are somewhat less upsetting. Still, it’s fascinating to see that it was only a quarter to go to the movies and that you could buy a new house for less than four grand.
That being said, with inflation these numbers don’t reflect the prices that things cost today. For instance, $420 in 1938 works out to $7,628.27 in 2019, and that figure definitely won’t get anyone into Harvard these days.
Vintage Swanson ad featuring a variety of frozen dinners you can eat while watching TV.
What do you do when you’re just in from work and don’t have time to prepare a home cooked meal? Today you just pull up an app and order whatever you want, but in the ‘70s and ‘80s Swanson’s TV dinners reigned in unprepared households. Even though they didn’t have the limitless options that can surround us today, they still had plenty of tastes to choose from.
Swanson’s created a series of multi-cultural meals that captured the spirit of the food even if it didn’t nail the experience of visiting the country with your own personal guide. Which flavor did you prefer, German, Italian, Mexican, or Chinese?
Harley Davidson Mobile Booking Cage, 1920
Getting pulled over by the police is never a laughing matter, but in 1920 there was an extra indignity added to the matter thanks to these mobile booking cages. The booking cage was a combination sidecar and jail cell used for transporting prisoners, and aside from being very uncomfortable they look wildly dangerous.
It’s unclear if there was a “time served” aspect to these mobile cells, or if anyone caught just had to deal with their fate on the ride to the lock up. While this wouldn’t fly today, it’s an interesting look at how police work has changed over time.
World War 2 propaganda poster created by the United States government that encouraged carpooling among American citizens to conserve gasoline for the war.
Even though there were no battles fought on American soil in World War II the war still had a profound effect on the way of life of every U.S. citizen. In order to make sure the military as much food, fuel, metal, and even rubber that they needed Americans back home were asked to conserve their uses of daily items, some of them necessities.
There were weekly allotments of specific items, and sometimes there simply wasn’t anything available to people in certain areas. Today there’s less of an issue with rationing, as the military has better funding than they did in the 1940s. It’s one of the many way that the modern world has taken a big step forward.
McDonalds advertisement from 1961.
This McDonald’s ad from 1961 shows what the fast food company is all about - feeding people for cheap with good fast food. While you can’t feed a family of five on less than three dollars today, the sentiment is still something to be in awe of. In the early ‘60s food costs were down, inflation wasn’t out of control, and there was still a novelty to having fast food for dinner.
Life was changing in big ways in the early 1960s. People were cooking at home less and less, and the nuclear family was quickly dissolving. McDonald’s gave families a place to get together quickly without having to make a big deal about things.
Prohibition in America. (circa 1920)
One of the groups who lead the charge into the prohibition was the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU), a women’s group that was started in 1874 based labor laws, prison reform and suffrage. Towards the tail end of the 19th century the the WCTU broke off from many feminist groups and started focusing purely on prohibition.
Interestingly enough, after the passage of the 18th Amendment the WCTU’s membership declined rapidly but they continued to operate throughout the 20th century. The group moved onto focusing on drug reform and tobacco after prohibition was repealed, and even though people thought they were sticks in the mud they never stopped fighting for what they believed in.
They didn't mince words on this anti-smoking sign in Illinois from 1915!
There are anti-smoking advertisements and then there’s this anti-tobacco sign from 1915 that’s basically a mic drop on anyone trying to light up in this Illinois town. Although people have been using tobacco for generations, the adverse effects of smoking and chewing have been well documented going back for quite some time.
We tend to think that people only got hip to tobacco's adverse effects in recent years, but it’s clear that at least one small town in Illinois knew exactly how bad cigarettes and smoking are, and they weren’t afraid to tell anyone about it. Which is your favorite part of the sign, the "cut it out, you fool" part, or the use of the word "filthy?"
Picketing for miniskirts in 1966.
Mini skirts first began turning heads during the era of "Swinging London” when designers like Mary Quant and Yves Saint Laurent started releasing eye raising skirts that saw hemlines rising higher and higher. The skirts went from being a trend to a mainstay of the feminist movement when Dior refused to show them on the runway.
Groups of women formed to protest Dior and proclaim “Mini skirts forever.” Even though the skirts came about in the ‘60s their popularity never faded, and they can still be seen on the streets of every city to this day. Even Dior has ended up designing a few of them.
Sale on men's suits in 1920.
Buying a good suit today is likely to cost a guy somewhere around $500. If they want to pick up something special or need to have the suit hemmed that price jumps exponentially which makes the prices listed in this photo from 1920 all the more fascinating. In the 1920s men were wearing everything from slim fit outfits to wider Oxford cuts.
Usually men wore grey, brown, and blue suits in their every day life, and a black suit if they were doing something formal. In the summer men wore linen suits to keep cool. To make sure there were no repeats they did what they could to stock up, which is exactly what these guys are doing.
Las Vegas in 1947.
Before it was the height of glitz and glamor, Las Vegas was simply a development smack dab in the middle of the desert. Today, Vegas is one of the most fun places that a person can go to lose their shirt. There are massive buildings, amazing shows that play every day, and five star restaurants galore, but in 1947 the city was just a blip on the map.
The first Vegas resort, the El Rancho, actually opened in 1941 on a section of U.S. 91 that wasn’t actually in Las Vegas proper. Mobster Bugsy Siegel saw the opportunity to build a resorts in the area and started booking talent for shows, and even though he was snuffed out in 1947 members of the mafia picked up where he left off and that bit of road on U.S. 91 is now known as The Strip.
Just Divorced in 1934.
No matter the era, it’s rare someone would be so excited about ending their marriage - unless it was just abysmal. This fellow looks like he’s been through the wringer in his marriage and that he’s truly excited to take another swing at life. Either that or he’s begrudgingly leaving his family and trying to make the best out of it.
People tend to think of the past as a humorless place where everyone was very serious all the time, but it’s clear that even in the worst of situations that our ancestors liked to goof around no matter what they were going through.
Lucy and Desi in a Philip Morris cigarette ad, 1952.
If it’s shocking to see television stars like Desi and Lucy hocking Phillip Morris cigarettes to their young viewers it’s because we haven’t seen ads like these in decades. Today, cigarette ads are relegated to the odd e-cigarette commercial or more often than not an anti-smoking ad, but for most of the 20th century it was totally normal for celebrities to tell people about the health benefits of smoking.
Can you imagine one of today’s stars appearing in an ad for cigarettes? Aside from Johnny Depp it doesn’t seem plausible, although he wouldn’t be warning you about a “cigarette hangover.”
How babies traveled on airplanes in the 1960s.
Today, when a parent boards an airplane with their baby in tow everyone rolls their eyes and waits for the inevitable cavalcade of tears. It’s not the baby’s fault, that’s just life, but while parents have to hold their babies on modern airplanes in the 1960s that wasn’t the case at all. When air travel was a bit more interesting parents were able to store their children in an overhead cradle that was attached to the luggage bin.
Air travel during the ‘60s was much noisier than it is today, so it’s likely that it was tough to get babies to sleep. However, once they were out the sounds of the engines kept them lulled until they were safe on the ground.
Inventor C.H. Gaunt wears a gas mask and tests his patented gas-proof pet shelter on a small dog in 1940.
There’s no way any kind of animal testing remotely similar to this would fly today, but in 1940 there was no Animal Welfare Act - that wouldn’t come until 1966. Before then, anything within reason was good to go. In 1940, World War II had yet to come to American shores but as it raged in Europe fears of a gas attack grew.
While it definitely looks like C.H. Gaunt is up to no good with this dog, he’s just trying to keep animals safe in case of an attack, which is laudable. It’s just, well, does he have to be such a Bond villain about the whole thing?
Microsoft Windows 95 video guide with Friends stars Jennifer Aniston and Matthew Perry.
It wasn’t so long ago that Americans required two of their best friends to show them how to use a computer. With the help of Matthew Perry and Jennifer Aniston - aka Chandler and Rachel from Friends - Windows 95 users learned how to use the new Microsoft operating system at the hands of Bill Gates himself.
One of the greatest moments from the video is when Perry learns how to use “internet email” and Gates uses “the information superhighway” to look up photos of cats. Even though the clothing and the operating system has changed it’s clear that computer users haven’t changed much at all.
The First Meme This comic was found in a 1921 edition of the satirical magazine The Judge, published by the University of Iowa.
Expectations versus reality will always be fertile grounds for comedy, and in this meme heavy world of the 21st century it feels like that’s a lot of what goes around the internet. It turns out that this exact kind of comedy was popular way back in 1921, and thanks to The Judge - the University of Iowa’s satirical magazine - we have the proof.
This early meme shows that regardless of tastes some things never change. One of the most striking things about this early meme is how the format is the same that can be found across the internet.
Early Passenger Air Planes - 1930s
It’s no trouble to hop on a plane and travel half way around the world today, but what was air travel like in the 1930s? Planes were soaring through the sky from the onset of the 20th century, but by the 1930s Britain’s Imperial Airways shuttled passengers around the world for a fee that would make modern airlines blush.
That being said the fee was totally worth it. As the planes of the 1920s switched from wood to metal, the interiors made for a more spacious ride. Space was definitely required, because a trip to Australia could take up to 11 days and required more than 20 stops along the way. Luckily some of the planes came with comfy sleeping arrangements, passengers just had to remember to bring their own reading material.
“Crash Diet” for women published by Vogue in 1977.
Every decade seems to have its own version of crash dieting. Each generation has its own specific weight and look that it’s trying to hit, even if the current generation thinks that it’s the only one that’s obsessed with losing weight, the need to look a certain way has persisted. Whereas a current crash diet is a juice cleanse, the 1970s had this protein and white wine rich diet that claimed to help you lose 5 lbs in three days.
This diet is only meant to be used for three days because it makes the user “fuzzy” by the end of the third day, which isn’t a big shock because there’s not a lot of here. Hopefully everyone that took this diet had a big slice of pizza on day four.
A beatnik handbook advertisement from 1958.
Young people have always had a language of their own. Whether its ebonics, text speak, or beat, language always changes to fit a new generation. Sometimes young people are actively trying to be secretive in the way they speak, and sometimes they’re just on a different wavelength. The Beatnik Dictionary was a $1 pamphlet that could be ordered through the mail for anyone who wanted to learn how to rap like a hip cat.
Whether you wanted to learn how to give apple butter to a baby who’s the cat’s pajamas or you just wanted to throw some green around so you could keep your claws sharp, this one sheet was the perfect thing to have around.
A giant African land snail. Whoa!
What was life like before the western world knew about these huge, very cute snails? These big boys grow up to 15 inches in length and they fit inside of a shell that’s about 11 inches long, which put a standard garden snail to shame. A snail this big eats quite a bit, and people who have kept them as pets have noted that they have the ability to chew through an entire wall.
When a giant land snail isn’t munching through a wall it eats a lot of fruit and vegetables order to get as much calcium as possible and keep its shell nice and shiny. Be careful if you get to play with one of these big guys, their mucus can be harmful to human beings.
A scary-looking device used to curl and dry your hair back in 1946.
Today there are numerous ways to curl and dry hair that don’t require a machine that looks like a robot from a low budget science fiction movie. These contraptions were mainstays in beauty shops around the country, and even though they look retro-futuristic they were fairly simple to work. To get the style a gal was looking for their hair was wrapped around the tubes which heated up and set the locks.
Hair curling techniques have come a long way since 1946, but this piece of machinery is one of the coolest things to come out of the beauty market during the mid-century.
A snake skeleton consists primarily of the skull, vertebrae and ribs.
Whether or not you’re a snake person you have to admit that they move in truly fascinating ways. Their fluid movement comes from the fact that they’re made up of a simple skeleton that’s basically one long spine attached to a skull and a lot of ribs. One of the most interesting things about a snake’s skeleton is the way their ribs work.
Rather than attach in the front they’re actually not connected, this helps them grow and contract depending on the situation. If they need to slither somewhere small they can make themselves as small as possible (depending on the snake) and if they’re having a large meal their bodies can accomidate whatever they’re having.
A violin used as a war diary by Solomon Conn, a Civil War soldier. (1863)
Soldiers fighting during the Civil War didn’t have the ability to reach out to their friends and family the way that men and women in the armed forces are able to send emails and use Skype today. It was even hard to hold onto enough paper to keep a rudimentary journal, and in the instance of Solomon Conn he ended up using a violin that he bought in Nashville, Tennessee in 1863 to tell his story.
Conn used the violin to inscribe his travels, and he managed to fit about 30 battles onto the back of the violin along with places that he and Company B of the 87th Indiana Volunteers visited along the way. Conn survived the war and passed away in 1926, passing the violin down through his family.
Prohibition, otherwise known as the Volstead Act or the 18th Amendment, was meant to bar the manufacturing, transportation and sales of all alcoholic beverages in America from 1919 to 1933.
Even though it was vetoed by President Woodrow Wilson, the Volstead Act - which prohibited the sale or transportation of alcohol - was voted into being by Congress on June 14 1919. It’s been 100 years since Americans sought to curb their alcoholism by outlawing alcohol and in that time the law has been repealed and new drugs and forms of alcohol have moved to the forefront of the abstinence conversation.
By 1933 it was clear that the 21st Amendment to the Constitution was doing more harm than good, and it was ratified. Prohibition was repealed and it was legal to drink again.
Doctors use an x-ray machine to aid in inserting a catheter into the large blood vessel of the patient's heart, 1947.
This x-ray imaging machine is really cool looking, and even though it doesn’t look like the machines that are in use today it’s a fascinating piece of technology. During a cardiac catheterization, doctors use a monitor to look for heart disease while inspecting cardiac valves and the coronary arteries.
The operation hasn’t changed that much since 1947, doctors still use a monitor to guide the catheter but now the procedure is much less invasive. The whole thing lasts about 30 minutes, although the recovery period can take a few hours depending on what the doctors find. It's the same as in 1947 as it is today, you've got to take care of your heart.
Posing in front of Mark Twain the 1,341 years old, 331 ft tall giant Sequoia, California, 1892.
As you pass through Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Park there’s an area called Big Stump Trail that passes through the forest and through a couple of babbling streams. The trail gets its name from from the giant stumps that populate the area that come from the mighty sequoias that once stood in the area. These trees can grow up to 40 feet in diameter and over 300 feet tall.
To fell one of these gigantic trees loggers spent up to a week cutting down a tree. They had to dig around the stump to make it easier for the tree to come out, and slabs from the Mark Twain tree were sent to both New York and London to for display. These slabs can still be seen to this day.
Sassy stitch-work from 1848.
Needlework isn’t easy. It’s a complicated art form that’s not for everyone, especially Edith-Anne, whose rudimentary stitch-work thumbs its nose at whomever had them work on this. While you can get needlepoint kits in this day and age, when this was made in the 19th century it was much harder to put together one piece of needlepoint.
A needlepoint artist had to focus and they were rarely working from a template. While the work pictured is definitely not a piece of art, it was still complicated and harder to put together than it looks. This would really be something to cool to have at home.
The first drive-in theater in the state of California opened in Los Angeles, 1935.
Going to the theater in this day and age requires a Sisyphean amount of effort. You’ve got to get everyone out the door on time, spends upwards of a Benjamin on tickets and snacks, and somehow find parking. At the first ever drive-in theater in Los Angeles at least one of those problems was taken care of. All a movie goer had to do was pull up, park, and get ready to enjoy the show.
The cost for getting into the drive-in was 25 cents per car and another quarter a person, which meant that a family night could cost up to a whopping one dollar.
The Good Wife's Guide from Housekeeping Monthly, 1955.
While some things never change, it’s good to see that a few things have. The “Good Wife’s Guide” from Housekeeping Monthly in 1955 is an example of one of the ways that society has developed in the decades since this was published. Even in 1955 the delineations between members of the household were becoming more oblique, rendering this guide dated even as it published.
As anachronistic as this guide is, there are some good things to glean from the text. Our homes should be a place of relaxation, and there’s nothing wrong with a home cooked meal no matter who’s putting it in the oven.
The incredible architecture of The Drunk House located in Sopot, Poland.
When visiting Sopot, Poland the warped architecture of Drunk House can’t be missed. This bold piece of construction was designed by Szotyńscy & Zaleski who were inspired by Jan Marcin Szancer an artist who drew illustrations for fairy tales, and Per Dahlbert, an artist an experimental artist. As strange as the building is, the owners are committed to its modernity.
The Krzywy Domek hosts office space and acts as a meeting place for people all over the world, it even has a “wall of fame” on which prosperous visitors are told to write their names. Maybe you can become one of them.
Veterans protest against the Vietnam War in the early 1970s in Philadelphia.
By the early ‘70s anti-war protests were a regular occurrence. They happened across the country and were made up people from all walks of life, but no protest was impactful as the Vietnam Veterans Against the War.
This five day protest took place in Washington D.C. in 1971 with a small rally occurring on April 23 with 1,000 veterans making their way to the capitol to toss their uniforms, ribbons and other military accoutrements at the steps.
The next day over 200,000 vets stormed the Mall in Washington D.C. in protest of the war, making it one of the largest anti-war assemblages in history up until that time.
The quirky Calico House in High Falls, New York.
Originally constructed in 1840, this groovy farmhouse had fallen into disrepair when it was finally purchased by Kat O’Sullivan and Mason Brown in 2009. Rather than just return the building to its original look the couple decided to give the whole place a psychedelic makeover. Along with their friends, the duo painted the house a series of way out colors with nothing off limits. O’Sullivan said:
I am inspired by the colorful life we live, surrounded by our carnival of friends and constant revelry. I wanted a home that felt like a celebration of our beautiful community, and a monument to many years of international hitchhiking adventures.
The head of a tape worm under an electron microscope. Freaky!
Well this is absolutely unsettling. Even without the magnification tapeworms are a horrific sight. They take up residence in the bodies of their hosts and zap them of vital nutrients which can lead to malnutrition and intestinal blockages in extreme instances. And to boot these little monsters are seriously not cute.
The simplest way to contract a tapeworm is to eat undercooked meat from infected animals, and there are different types of tapeworms depending on the meat you’re eating so be careful out there. The worst case scenario for a tapeworm is to contact the creature from someone who’s preparing meat and also infected with contaminates either because they don’t wash their hands or because they’re sick.
The first flight taken by an American president was by Theodore Roosevelt at Kinloch Air Field in 1910.
This really is a sight to behold, especially in an era of presidential air travel is a normal way of life. Today it’s hard to imagine how the commander in chief would get their job done without flying from state to state, let alone across in the world. In 1910 the idea of the President taking the air was not only a novelty, but it was a question of whether or not it was possible.
At Kinloch Field in St. Louis, Missouri on October 11, 1910, President Theodore Roosevelt took the first flight of an American president when he and pilot Arch Hoxsey took to the skies in what’s now considered a primitive aircraft.
Route 66 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. (1969)
In the 1960s there was nowhere better to get your kicks that Route 66. This highway that spans nearly 2,500 miles across the United States starts in Chicago, Illinois and ends in Santa Monica, California. While it may not be the fastest way to get away to get across the country, it sure is one of the most fun.
In the 1960s Americans were on the hunt for adventure and took to the road to satiate their thirst. Tourist traps and inexpensive lodging shot up all along Route 66, which meant that travelers were never far from a good meal or a place to sleep.
Riding the chairlift at Jackson, Wyoming in 1955.
When in Jackson, Wyoming one of the best ways to take in the natural majesty of the land is to take a ride on a ski lift. Today, there are a number of lifts that can be taken up and down the mountain. These lifts offer a 360-degree view of the Tetons and Jackson Hole, what else can you ask for? The mega ski lifts available today are a far cry from the original chairlift on Snow King.
That first lift was installed in 1946 by Neil Rafferty and the ropes which held up the lifts were pulled by Army pickup truck tires. They’ve definitely come a long way since then.
General Electric television ad from 1951.
There’s nothing interesting about seeing an ad for a television in the modern era. Almost every piece of technology that we have involves a screen in one way or another, and the idea of the television is always transforming. Televisions are in doctor’s offices, our places of work, and in some cases every room in the house. In 1951 this wasn’t yet the case, but as televisions became more affordable people started picking them up.
In 1946 there were only 6,000 homes with television sets, by 1951 that number jumped to 12 million, and four years later half the homes in America had at least one television set. There hasn’t been a piece of technology that’s become so ubiquitous so fast than TV.
A vintage ad for Cracker Jacks.
Cracker Jacks, that sweet and salty mix of popcorn and molasses is one of those old timey treats that manages to never age. Even before they had “a prize in every box” Cracker Jacks were the go to treat for folks with a sweet tooth. This snack has been around since the late 1800s, but it wasn’t until 1918 that they adopted the logo with Sailor Jack and his dog, Bingo, that they still have today.
This ad that shows kids getting boxes of Cracker Jacks for Halloween is especially interesting because it tells parents that they need to be giving out full boxes of candy to kids. Who cares about a full size candy bar when you’ve got a box of Cracker Jacks?