12 Portraits of Ellis Island Immigrants
12 million people of every nationality imaginable passed through the doors of Ellis Island. The building opened in 1892, but five years later burned completely to the ground. A larger building was constructed to process 5,000 immigrants per day. On April 17th, 1907 11,747 immigrants were processed.
People fled to America because of war, famine and lack of opportunity. In certain cases entire villages of people packed up and moved – bringing their customs, cuisines and cultures.
The portraits in this series were taken by Augustus Sherman. Sherman worked as a clerk at Ellis Island from 1892 to 1925.
From the New York Public Library.
Timothy O’Sullivan is best known for his haunting battlefield images of the American Civil War, but after the war O’Sullivan continued his rich and lasting photography career. O’Sullivan joined the United States Geological Exploration of the Fortieth Parallel in 1867. From 1871 to 1874 he took part in a survey west of the 100th meridian. O’Sullivan’s photographs of the Southwest were used to recruit settlers, but more importantly they provide a glimpse into the lives of the Southwestern American Indian tribes, and a peek into pre-industrialized western landscapes.
The following animated gif wigglegrams were created from scans of original stereographs from O’Sullivan’s photographs using the New York Public Library’s Stereogranimator website (created by Joshua Heineman).
From the New York Public Library.
13 Vintage Mugshot Photographs from Newcastle upon Tyne
“This mug shot comes from a police identification book believed to be from the 1930s. It was originally found in a junk shop by a member of the public and subsequently donated to Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums.” -Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums
“No information is available to confirm which police force compiled it, but evidence suggests it’s from the Newcastle upon Tyne area.”
13 Historic Pictures
Ansel Adams is perhaps the most famous and recognizable photographer in American history. No person surpassed his technical mastery of film photography. Adam’s could take a picture of a white wall, and it would be the greatest picture of a white wall you’ve ever seen. He literally wrote the book on photography. His three tomes, The Camera, The Negative and The Print provide an encyclopedic explanation of film photography.
Adams started his photography career as a 14 year-old on a Yosemite vacation with his family in 1916. Adam’s father gave him a Kodak Brownie camera, and he made his first photographs on that vacation. The next year he returned with a better camera, and in the winter went to work for a photo finisher in San Francisco. By 1927 Ansel had produced his first portfolio of photography of scenes from the Sierra mountains. This first portfolio launched his career, and he would spend the next 60 years creating images of America’s iconic natural areas.
10 Incredible Examples of Vintage Circus Posters
Featuring Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey “Greatest Show on Earth”
Early 20th century circus posters conveyed the energy and absurdity of their grandiose performances. They’re packed with trained animals of all varieties, mustachioed performers and exotic reenactments. These posters showcase a masterclass in graphic design. They display movement, bold text, great contrast and layered perspective.
Some of the most compelling and stunning examples of circus posters came from the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey’s “Greatest Show on Earth.”
9 Vintage Photographs of Protest and Political Signs
The industrial boom and labor shortage that grew in the wake of World War I left manufacturers turning to an unexploited and growing workforce: children. According to the 1900 census about one in six children between the ages of five and ten were “gainfully employed.”
A sentiment grew among the American public that children were being robbed of their future and education. The National Child Labor Committee was founded in 1904. Four years later, a 34 year-old photographer named Lewis Hine was hired to document children working in factories, mills and newspaper companies across the country. Hine worked for nearly ten years with the NCLC to expose child labor. And perhaps his most iconic and enigmatic subjects were the newsies.
In Charles Loring Brac’s 1866 book ”Short Sermons to News Boys, With a History of the Formation of the News Boys’ Lodging House,” he describes a scene:
“I remember one cold night seeing some 10 or a dozen of the little homeless creatures piled together to keep each other warm beneath the stairway of The Sun office. There used to be a mass of them also at The Atlas office, sleeping in the lobbies, until the printers drove them away by pouring water on them. One winter, an old burnt-out safe lay all the season in Wall Street, which was used as a bedroom by two boys who managed to crawl into the hole that had been burnt. I was often amused at the accounts of their various lodgings.”
The weight of what these children often endured – homelessness, exploitation and horrific working conditions – adds to the already incredible quality of the photographs. The expressions on the faces of the children in Hine’s photographs are as endearing as they are diverse. Some look awkward, shy and innocent – unsure of the encounter, while others stare directly, confidently, and indignantly at Hine’s camera.
17 WW1 Posters from the United States and Great Britain
From the Library of Congress.
The scale of the First World War is almost incomprehensible. When Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia, the dominoes of allegiance began to fall, and soon the worlds largest nations were forced into involvement. More than 70 million military personnel were globally mobilized. By the end, almost 38 million civilians and soldiers would die.
The pace of global involvement and the mounting number of casualties forced governments to sway public opinion and encourage enlistment. The government propaganda machines began to churn out advertisements. These posters appealed to adventure, patriotism, and honor, and if those failed to sway their target, then shame was the goal.
The poster “Adventure and action, Enlist in the field artillery, U.S. Army” from 1919 shows a line of soldiers on galloping horses at sunset. This, surely to entice those bored young men who sought travel and adventure.
“It’s up to you–Protect the nation’s honor, enlist now” depicts a stern Uncle Sam, and a sleeping young woman draped in American flags. Uncle Sam points directly at the viewer, daring them to turn their back on the country. Similarly, the famous British poster of Lord Kitchener pointing out, challenges the viewer to confront the war.
One of the most interesting examples is the 1915 poster from the Department of Recruiting for Ireland that declares “Can you any longer resist the call?” In the scene, a farmer holding a plow has a vision of St. Patrick gesturing toward the ruins of a cathedral.
Historic and vintage prints on Photistoric.
Louis Rhead was an acclaimed English-American artist and author. He created works in a variety of mediums, but remains most known for his striking Art Nouveau posters and advertisements.
Rhead emigrated to New York City in 1883 when he was just 24 years old to work as an art director at a US firm. He later capitalized on the poster craze of the 1890s, and the growing popularity of the Art Nouveau style.
Rhead’s excellent command of the figure and composition made him a sought after illustrator in his time. While less known than Alphones Mucha, Toulouse-Lautrec, and Aubrey Beardsley, Rhead deserves a place among the pantheon of his more well-known European contemporaries.
From the Library of Congress
10 Japanese Woodcut Vintage Prints from the 1800s
Woodcut prints have a rich and lasting tradition, and the technique has been adopted in countries across the world. But some of the finest and most enduring examples come from Japan. Their masterful use of color and form has been admired for generations.
The following prints date from the middle of the 19th century, and show the Japanese woodcut masters at the height of their prowess.