The Story In Pictures Of The Giant Hughes H-4 Hercules Made Entirely Of Wood In 1945-1947

The Story In Pictures Of The Giant Hughes H-4 Hercules Made Entirely Of Wood In 1945-1947
LIFE/Getty Images

The largest wooden airplane ever constructed, and flown only one time, the H-4 Hercules (nicknamed Spruce Goose) represents one of humanity’s greatest attempts to conquer the skies. Henry Kaiser, steel magnate and shipbuilder, conceived the idea of a massive flying transport and turned to Howard Hughes to design and build it. Continue reading »

Vintage Photos Capture Farewell Scenes At Penn Station In World War II

Vintage Photos Capture Farewell Scenes At Penn Station In World War II

At the height of the Second World War, in April 1943, LIFE photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt came to Penn Station, NYC and captured the sorrowful farewell scenes between young soldiers and their families. These forlorn figures, who were bidding goodbyes, seemed to anxiously fear that they might never have any chance to reunite with their loved ones after this departure. Continue reading »

Beautiful Vintage Noir Photos Of New York City In The 1940s

Smoggy waterfront skyline of New York City as seen from the shores of New Jersey, 1946.
Beautiful Vintage Noir Photos Of New York City In The 1940s

French-born photographer Andreas Feininger moved to the United States in 1939 and started to work at LIFE magazine in 1943. One of America’s greatest photographers of the 20th century, Feininger was well-known for his photographs of New York City, which was also his favorite subject. His grand love for New York was plainly shown in numerous photographs, both in black-and-white and in color, from viewpoints all around the city. Continue reading »

Inside A 1947 Boeing 377 Stratocruiser, The Largest And Fastest Aircraft In Commercial Service

The Stratocruiser’s lower-deck lounge had a bar where passengers could buy a cocktail or soft drink.
Inside A 1947 Boeing 377 Stratocruiser, The Largest And Fastest Aircraft In Commercial Service

After World War II, Boeing reentered the commercial market with a new long-range airliner, the Stratocruiser (Model 377). It was the first Boeing commercial transport since the Stratoliner, and like its military counterpart, the C-97, was based on the B-29 Bomber. It possessed all the speed and technical improvements available to bombers at the end of the war. Continue reading »

Harrowing Black And White Photos Show The Horrific Living Conditions In 1940s Glasgow Where Overcrowding Was Rife And Sewage Seeped Into Slums

It was the notoriously poor Glasgow slum which was rife with overcrowding and sewage running in the streets. And harrowing black and white photos have shed light on the horrific living conditions of residents living in the Gorbals in the 1940s…

Harrowing Black And White Photos Show The Horrific Living Conditions In 1940s Glasgow Where Overcrowding Was Rife And Sewage Seeped Into Slums
Two boys in the Gorbals area of Glasgow, UK on January 31, 1948. The Gorbals tenements were built quickly and cheaply in the 1840s, providing housing for Glasgow’s burgeoning population of industrial workers. Continue reading »

Wonderful Photos Of Everyday Life In Postwar Leningrad, The City That Refused To Starve In WWII

Wonderful Photos Of Everyday Life In Postwar Leningrad, The City That Refused To Starve In WWII

It was Leningrad, not Stalingrad that was the Eastern Front’s real World War II humanitarian disaster. Nazi Germany sent hundreds of thousands of civilians to their deaths through starvation and hypothermia. Continue reading »

Davis Divan Three-Wheeler: The 1940s Unique Concept Car That Lost In History

Davis Divan Three-Wheeler: The 1940s Unique Concept Car That Lost In History

Post-World War II America was ravenous for new cars and the Davis Divan featured aircraft-inspired styling details that captured imaginations. Sadly, only 13 were built and Davis’ company president, Glenn Gordon “Gary” Davis, spent two years at a “work farm” labor camp in Castaic, California for grand theft. Continue reading »

Wonderful Vintage Photos Of Female Students At Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts In 1948

Wonderful Vintage Photos Of Female Students At Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts In 1948

The Civil Rights Movement in the United States fueled the feminist movement as well. Women demanded equal rights in education on the basis that equality for all in education and under the law should include women of all races as well, not just men of all races. Like the fight against systemic racism, the fight against sexism, especially in higher education and the workplace, remains a difficult battle because the idea of the women’s role in the home and as a caretaker was deeply ingrained in United States society. Continue reading »

“A Colorful Day Out To Coney Island”: Color Photographs Of A Summer’s Escape From New York City In 1948

"A Colorful Day Out To Coney Island": Color Photographs Of A Summer's Escape From New York City In 1948

Back to the good old days, Coney Island was a place where the straight-talking working class lapped up the fun in an America founded on security and purpose. This was confident, snooty-free America, the antithesis of knowing, sneery European high-brow culture and the affected, needy good taste that thrills only to exclude. Boy, was it fabulous. Now we go back to see Coney Island on a summer’s day in 1948. Continue reading »

Cool Snaps Show What Badass Girls Looked Like In The 1940s

Cool Snaps Show What Badass Girls Looked Like In The 1940s

And good girls go to heaven, bad girls go everywhere… A cool photo collection shows what badass girls looked like from the 1940s. Continue reading »

1940s Bike Girls: Fascinating Photos Of Female Motorcyclists From 1949, Taken By Loomis Dean For LIFE Magazine

1940s Bike Girls: Fascinating Photos Of Female Motorcyclists From 1949, Taken By Loomis Dean For LIFE Magazine

These are some badass girls! In an era when it might have been strange to see woman in pants, their doing that while riding motorcycles! So inspiring in so many ways! These photos were taken in 1949 by Loomis Dean for LIFE magazine. Continue reading »

Wonderful Photos Of Postwar New York City In 1946 By Todd Webb

View from Empire State Building
Wonderful Photos Of Postwar New York City In 1946 By Todd Webb

Todd Webb (1905-2000) was discharged from the US Navy in 1945. Before fighting in the war, Todd had worked as a stockbroker, a field in which he’d enjoyed notable success til losing all his money in the 1920s crash, prospected for gold in California and Panama, and worked as a forest ranger. Continue reading »

Vintage Photos From Between The 1940s And 1970s Show How Glamorous Flying Used To Be!

Vintage Photos From Between The 1940s And 1970s Show How Glamorous Flying Used To Be!

Although flying today is cheaper, safer, and faster than it’s ever been, it’s becoming an increasingly unpleasant experience as airlines cram more passengers into planes, causing overcrowding and delays. It’s enough to make travelers wish for the golden age of aviation. Here are some vintage photos from 1946 to 1970, sourced from Iberia, KLM, Delta, British Airways and Air France, that show just how glamorous flying used to be. Continue reading »

You’ll Poke Someone’s Eye Out With Those Things: Bullet Bras From The 1940s And 1950s

You’ll Poke Someone’s Eye Out With Those Things: Bullet Bras From The 1940s And 1950s

Bullet Bra is a full-support bra with cups in the shape of a paraboloid with its axis perpendicular to the breast. The bullet bra usually features concentric circles or spirals of decorative stitching centred on the nipples. Continue reading »

Bad Girl Mugshots From Between The 1940s And 1960s

Bad Girl Mugshots From Between The 1940s And 1960s

From murderers, thieves and hookers, these are the faces of the many who were captured on camera at the lowest points of their lives. And while many people would say mugshots of the past hold a certain curiosity, one man confesses what started as an initial fascination turned into an obsession. Mark Michaelson has collected more than 10,000 photographs of men and women of all races and ages, taken after their run-ins with the law. Continue reading »

1940s Guide Shows How To Kiss Correctly

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LIFE magazine published this guide for actors in 1942, but it may still come in handy today. According to these romantic pictures from the magazine, there are some vital basic steps to follow to achieve the perfect clinch. First, the how-to guide recommends that kissers should not stand too far apart – pointing out that actors doing this on stage look ‘juvenile if they are so stand-offish’. Continue reading »