1930s – Design You Trust

Vintage Family Photos of BMW Automobiles and Their Owners

A fellow experiencing tyre trouble with a BMW 3/15 PS on a gravel road in a forest in wintertime. The car is registered in the former German state of Oldenburg, circa 1930
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Bayerische Motoren Werke AG, commonly referred to as BMW, is a German multinational corporate manufacturer of luxury vehicles and motorcycles headquartered in Munich, Bavaria, Germany. The corporation was founded in 1916 as a manufacturer of aircraft engines, which it produced from 1917 until 1918 and again from 1933 to 1945. Continue reading »

Trapped In The 1930s: Artist Draws Popular Characters In Rubber Hose Style

Many of us feel nostalgia for certain things, be it old-school candy, clothing style, TV shows, cartoons, etc. It feels good to relive something that is remembered with a warm feeling once again. Some things, even if not experienced personally, are admired nonetheless and are wished to be brought back so that they can be enjoyed and appreciated by those who didn’t have the chance to do so. And that’s what Kev Craven does! Continue reading »

Schlörwagen: The Bizarre German Car from 1939 that Was Super-Aerodynamic but Very Impractical

The 1930s was a defining decade for automotive design, during which time the car evolved from its horse-drawn ancestry into an integrally engineered, aerodynamic, desirable product to meet the demands of the public. This was true nowhere more than in Germany, where the first autobahns were being opened. Continue reading »

Beautiful Colorized Photos of Helsinki, Finland in the 1930s

Horse and carriage in Helsinki, circa 1930

Helsinki is the capital, primate, and most populous city of Finland. Located on the shore of the Gulf of Finland, it is the seat of the region of Uusimaa in southern Finland, and the most populous urban area in Finland as well as the country’s most important center for politics, education, finance, culture, and research. Continue reading »

Captivating Vintage Photos of People in Encampment, Wyoming From Between the 1920s and 1930s

When her youngest child reached 4 years of age and the Nichols family committed to remaining in Encampment after the last of the mining and railroad work left town, Lora Webb Nichols (1883-1962) purchased a storefront and established the Rocky Mountain Studio in the center of Encampment, Wyoming. Continue reading »

Amazing Snapshots Capture Street Life in New York City From the Mid-1930s to the End of the 1940s

In the late 1930s, photographer Helen Levitt rode the New York City subway system, first as an apprentice to photographer Walker Evans, then snapping photos of aloof passengers wearing fur coats, flat-brim hats, and antique brooches. Continue reading »

Diathermy in Beauty Culture From From the 1930s

Coin-operated diathermy machine. Pay your 25 cents and stick a hot, germy mask on your face that hundreds of others have sweated into beforehand!

When the term diathermy is used in beauty culture it usually refers to ‘surgical diathermy.’ Diathermy treatments of this type – also known a thermolysis – were used from the 1930s onwards in beauty culture as an alternative to electrolysis for the permanent removal of superfluous hair, spider veins (telangiectasia), acne, warts, moles and other skin blemishes. Continue reading »

“We Were Once Alive”: 100-Year-Old Portraits from Rural Sweden by John Alinder

Sävasta, Altuna parish, 1910–20

From the 1910s to the 1930s, John Alinder portrayed the local people of rural Sweden, the landscape around them and their way of life. Alone, in pairs or in groups, the people stand facing the photographer’s camera. Continue reading »

1934 Peugeot 601 Eclipse, the First Automatic Retractable Hardtop for an Automobile

Fixed-roof cars of the early 20th century could feel claustrophobic. But convertibles of the time were often leaky, drafty, noisy, and insecure. The advanced solution came from Peugeot in 1934, with the introduction of the retractable hardtop on its luxurious 601. The self-storing roof structure automatically disappeared behind the passenger’s compartment into a space revealed by the reverse-opening rear deck in lieu of the trunk. Continue reading »

The Futuristic World as Envisioned by Echte Wagner Advertising Cards, 1930

These future fantasy collectible cards were published by the German company Echte Wagner in the first half of the 20th century. Originally Echte Wagner made margarine, and it made a lot of trade cards that were distributed all over Central Europe. In 1930, the True Wagner Margarine created a series of books designed as a display for a collection of stickers made available separately. In this book, there’s a section called Future Fantasy which has no artist or author credited.

The illustrations are beautiful, the technology is actually quite brilliant and not so far-fetched. The book is called Echte Wagner Margarine Album Nr. 3, Serien 12 und 13 (Genuine Wagner Margarine Album Nr. 3″, series 12 and 13). It was published by Elmshorn in Holstein, Germany.

Wireless Private Phone and Television

“Each person has their own transmitter and receiver and can communicate with friends and relatives using certain wavelengths. But television technology has become so advanced that people can talk and watch their friends in real-time. The transmitter and receiver are no longer bound to the location but are carried in a box the size of a photo apparatus.” Continue reading »

R-100 Airship: Inside a British “Flying Hotel”, 1929-1930

The R-100 moored in Cardington, England. 1929.

The R100 airship was built as part of a British government programme to develop airships to provide passenger and mail transport between Britain and the countries of the British Empire, including India, Australia and Canada. Originally, it was proposed that two airships be constructed: one, R101, to be designed and constructed under the direction of the Air Ministry, and the other, R100, to be built by a private company under a fixed price contract. Continue reading »

Amazing Photographs of Sir Malcolm Campbell With His Stunning Blue Bird Cars in the 1920s and 1930s

Sir Malcolm Campbell (March 11, 1885 – December 31, 1948) was a British racing motorist and motoring journalist. He gained the world speed record on land and on water at various times during the 1920s and 1930s using vehicles called Blue Bird, including a 1921 Grand Prix Sunbeam. Continue reading »

Incredible Colorized Photos Show What Life of the U.S. Looked Like in the 1930s and ’40s

Street kids at play, Georgetown, Washington D.C., Summer 1935

The Great Depression was the worst economic downturn in the history of the industrialized world, lasting from 1929 to 1939. It began after the stock market crash of October 29, 1929, the “Black Tuesday”, which sent Wall Street into a panic and wiped out millions of investors. Continue reading »

Hobo Symbols From The Great Depression: The Secret Language Of America’s Itinerant Workers

In 1972 American industrial designer Henry Dreyfuss (March 2, 1904 – October 5, 1972) published The Symbol Sourcebook, A Comprehensive Guide to International Graphic Symbols. Continue reading »

Before Bikini: Cool Photos of Women in Swimsuits From the 1930s

The silhouette of the 1930s swimsuit took on direct inspiration from men’s swimsuits (which were still one pieces). Men were encouraged to build a muscular yet lean sportsman’s body. Women also needed to slim down into an athletic body that was tall, lean, and curvy up top to flatter the latest bias cut dresses. Continue reading »

Mechanical Secrets of Moving Gorillas in “King Kong”, 1933

Ever wonder how a Hollywood make-up man converts an actor into a terrifyingly realistic gorilla in those fascinating jungle pictures you watch on the silver screen? Continue reading »

Brutal 1938 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Lungo Touring Berlinetta

First shown at the 1935 London Motor Show, the 8C 2900A was a sports racer targeted to the gentleman driver, powered by a supercharged 2.9-liter inline eight-cylinder engine rated at 220 horsepower. Continue reading »

Stunning and Rare Images of The 1935 Adler Diplomat 8 Wheels

The Adler Diplomat is a substantial six-cylinder “limousine” built by the Frankfurt auto-maker, Adler. It was introduced in March 1934 as a direct replacement for the manufacturer’s Standard 6. Less directly the six-cylinder Diplomat also replaced the Adler Standard 8 since Adler’s large eight-cylinder car was discontinued in 1934 without a direct replacement of its own. Continue reading »

Stunning Artistic, Portrait and Surreal Photography by Man Ray in the 1920s and ’30s

Glass Tears, 1932

Born 1890 as Emmanuel Radnitzky in South Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, American visual artist Man Ray spent most of his career in Paris. He was a significant contributor to the Dada and Surrealist movements, although his ties to each were informal. Continue reading »

1938 Buick Y-Job, the World’s First Concept Car

It’s easy to look at the Harley Earl-designed 1938 Buick Y-Job today and dismiss it as just another neat old car. But put it in the context of 1938, and you’ll realize that it is one of the most radical, influential cars of all time. Continue reading »

1939 Pontiac Plexiglas “Ghost Car”: The First Full-Sized “See-Thru” Car Ever Made In America

Visitors to the 1939 New York World’s Fair Highways and Horizons exhibit by General Motors were dazzled by the display of a one-of-a-kind 1939 Pontiac Deluxe Six Plexiglas car. This specially fabricated see through vehicle was constructed of acrylic plastic (quite an advancement at the time) which made visible the many parts that created the Deluxe Six. All screws and fasteners were chrome-plated for dramatic effect. Continue reading »

Beautiful Vintage Black And White Photos Of New York City In The Summer Of 1938

Children on 1st Avenue

Sheldon Dick

New York City in the summer of 1938 was wet. On June 28, 1.69 inches of rain fell on the city – a record for the date. On July 23, 2.40 inches of rain fell. Minding where they stepped, photographers Jack Allison, Sheldon Dick, Walker Evans and Russell Lee photographed the city as pat of the Farm Security Administration’s aim to record American life between 1935 and 1944. Continue reading »

Incredible Futuristic-Looking 1939 Duesenberg Coupe Simone Midnight Ghost

Duesenberg ceased production in 1937 after Cord’s financial empire collapsed. However, between 1937 and 1940, one automobile put the final touch to this historical marque. It it took three years to complete both the tailor-made interior and futuristic body. Continue reading »

Stunning Black And White Photos Of A Young Katharine Hepburn In The Grass Taken By George Hoyningen-Huene In 1934

Photographer George Hoyningen-Huene captured Hepburn’s independent quality in these 1934 portraits that depict her in her element: out of doors, dressed casually, and devoid of the studio glamour trappings. Many of the images from this session were published in the September 1934 issue of Vanity Fair. Continue reading »

Amazing Vintage Photographs Documented Inca Culture And Life In Peruvian Andes, Captured By Martin Chambi In The Early 20th Century

Martin Chambi was among the first photographers of the Peruvian Andes and became the leading portrait painter in Cuzco, opened a photo Studio in 1920. But, being a native Quechua, he considered it his duty to document the lives of Indians and the legacy of the Inca culture, traveled through the Andes, shooting landscapes, the ruins of Machu Picchu and traditions of the local inhabitants. Continue reading »