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 »

Amazing Vintage Photos Of 1937 Cadillac V16 Series 90 Hartmann Cabriolet

This custom Cadillac is probably the most extreme cabriolet ever built. The car was originally commissioned by wealthy playboy Philippe Barraud. He wanted a custom car constructed on a grand scale and in late 1936 ordered a 452 cu in Cadillac V16 chassis through the Edelweiss Garage in Lausanne, Switzerland. Continue reading »

Stunning Interior Views Of The Central Social Institution In Prague, Czechoslovakia, 1937

The Central Social Institution in Prague was home to the world’s largest vertical file cabinet. It consists of 3,000 drawers, 10 feet high, reaching from floor to ceiling and covering approximately 4,000 square feet. The drawers are all equipped with roller bearings. Continue reading »

Curious Photos Of Cynthia, A Superstar Mannequin In The ‘30s

Lester Gaba dines at the Marguery, a New York restaurant, with his mannequin Cynthia, 1937.

Alfred Eisenstaedt/LIFE

In 1932, a life-like mannequin named Cynthia was created by Lester Gaba. After several shoots around New York City for Life Magazine in 1937, her career was launched, and for a matter of months, Cynthia became a household name. Continue reading »

1935 Mercedes-Benz 540K Streamline Roadster By Erdmann & Rossi

Mercedes commissioned Erdmann & Rossi to produce a special show car for the 1935 Barcelona exhibition based upon their 500K. One of the visitors was King Ghazi of Iraq, who expressed his desire to buy the car and MB built another (540K) car powered by a Straight 8-cyl 5018cc supercharged (180hp) engine with a 4/5-speed manual transmission as a special order and the car was shipped to Iraq. Continue reading »

New York City By Martin Lewis: In The 1930s An Australian Emigree Captured The Essence Of The City

Martin Lewis (7 June 1881 – 1962), the Australian-born American printmakers and artist, is best known for his etchings of New York City. Martin captured the city’s human bustle and brooding architectural menace. We see busy people in sullen places dressed in light and shade. Continue reading »

Wonderful Vintage Photos Documented Everyday Life In London In The 1930s


Londoners in bathing suits taking advantage of a heat wave at Hyde Park lido, 3rd June 1933. (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images) Continue reading »

Stunning Vintage Photos Of Swimming In New York’s Open Air Pools In 1930s


July 1935. Wading pool, Carmansville Playground.

“As you swim,” wrote Anaïs Nin,“you are washed of all the excrescences of so-called civilization, which includes the incapacity to be happy under any circumstances.” Nin wrote that whilst taking the waters off in Acapulco, Mexico, in the winter of 1947. Continue reading »

Amazing Vintage Photos Of Portuguese Women From The Azores Islands In Their Tradition Hooded Capes

The Azorean hood (in Portuguese, ‘capote e capelo’) is a traditional Azorean garment worn up until the 1930s. A large cape that covered a woman’s figure, allowing only a glimpse of her face, the origin of the ‘capote-e-capelo’ is controversial. Some say that it came from Flanders and others state that it is an adaptation of mantles and cowls that were fashionable in Portugal in the 17th and 18th centuries. Regardless, for centuries the ‘capote-e-capelo’ was a typically Azorean woman’s garment used in Faial. Continue reading »

Gorgeous Pics Of The Ordinary Swedish Residents And Karelian Orthodox Monks Photographed By Einar Erici In 1930s

Karl Oskar Lööw, Fredhäll, Uppland, Sweden, 1933. The crofter Karl Oskar Lööw in Fredhäll. Born in 1873.

Einar Erici (1885–1965) was a physician by profession, working at a tuberculosis hospital in Stockholm, even running a private medical practice. He was by then the most renowned Swedish expert of church organs and organ builders, and his archival collection is today held by the Swedish National Heritage Board. This archive includes mostly writings, such as letters and manuscripts for published articles and essays, but also more than 2 000 black and white photos – original prints, glass plates and film negatives. Continue reading »

Amazing Vintage Photos Of Betty Broadbent, The ‘Tattooed Venus’ From The Late 1930s

In 1938 Betty Broadbent, the ‘Tattooed Venus’ visited Sydney from America at the invitation of the Australian sideshow entrepreneur Arthur Greenhalg. PIX Magazine ran a story on Betty, who at that time had 465 tattoos on her body including a tattoo of the Madonna and child on her back and tattoos of Charles Lindbergh and Pancho Villa on her legs. She appeared on the cover of PIX Magazine on 23 April 1938 and she and the rest of the circus troupe performed at that year’s Easter Show in Sydney. Continue reading »

Delahaye Type 165: The Most Beautiful French Car Of The 1930s

1939 Delahaye Type 165 is viewed by many as the most beautiful French car of the 1930s, only 5 of them were ever made with this one having been fatefully chosen by the French government to represent France at the 1939 New York World’s Fair. Continue reading »

Cool Pics That Capture People Posing With Their Fiat Cars In The 1920s And ‘30s

A cheerful lady posing with a Fiat 501 Saloon in summertime, circa 1924

Fiat Automobiles is the largest automobile manufacturer in Italy. During its more than century-long history, it remained the largest automobile manufacturer in Europe and the third in the world after General Motors and Ford for over 20 years, until the car industry crisis in the late 1980s. Continue reading »

1938 Phantom Corsair: The Regret Of A Car Ahead Of Its Time

The Phantom Corsair is a prototype automobile built in 1938. It is a six-passenger 2-door sedan that was designed by Rust Heinz of the H. J. Heinz family and Maurice Schwartz of the Bohman & Schwartz coachbuilding company in Pasadena, California. Continue reading »