Portraits from Ellis Island

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 Wigglegrams

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.

 

1930s Criminal Mugshots

13 Vintage Mugshot Photographs from Newcastle upon Tyne

From the Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums

“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.”

Ansel Adams Landscapes

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.

1941-1942. Photograph by Ansel Adams. “Pine trees, snow covered mountains in background, “Burned area, Glacier National Park,” Montana.”
1941-1942. Photograph by Ansel Adams. “View of valley from mountain, “Canyon de Chelly” National Monument, Arizona.”
1941-1942. Photograph by Ansel Adams. “The Giant Dome, largest stalagmite thus far discovered. It is 16 feet in diameter and estimated to be 60 million years old. ‘Hall of Giants, Big Room,’ Carlsbad Caverns National Park,” New Mexico.”
1941-1942. Photograph by Ansel Adams. “Taken at dusk or dawn from various angles during eruption. “Old Faithful Geyser, Yellowstone National Park,” Wyoming.”
1941-1942. Photograph by Ansel Adams. “Front view of entrance, “Church, Taos Pueblo National Historic Landmark, New Mexico, 1942.”
1941-1942. Photograph by Ansel Adams. “Full view of cactus with others surrounding, “Saguaros, Saguaro National Monument,” Arizona.”
1941-1942. Photograph by Ansel Adams. “Sheep “Flock in Owens Valley, 1941.”
1941-1942. Photograph by Ansel Adams. “Cliff Palace, Mesa Verde National Park,”
1941-1942. Photograph by Ansel Adams. “Roadway, low horizon, mountains, clouded sky, “Near (Grand) Teton National Park.”
1941-1942. Photograph by Ansel Adams. “”Grand Teton” National Park, Wyoming.”
1941-1942. Photograph by Ansel Adams. “Close-up of leaves, from directly above, “In Glacier National Park,” Montana.”
1941-1942. Photograph by Ansel Adams. “Close in View of Mountain Side, “From Going-to-the-Sun Chalet, Glacier National Park,” Montana.”
1941-1942. Photograph by Ansel Adams. “Photograph from Side of Cliff with Boulder Dam Transmission Lines Above and Colorado River to the Left.”
1941-1942. Photograph by Ansel Adams. “Photograph of Transmission Lines in Mojave Desert Leading from Boulder Dam.”
1941-1942. Photograph by Ansel Adams. “Full side view of adobe house with water in foreground, “Acoma Pueblo”
1941-1942. Photograph by Ansel Adams. “”The Tetons – Snake River,” Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming.”

Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus Posters

10 Incredible Examples of Vintage Circus Posters

Featuring Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey “Greatest Show on Earth”

From the New York Public Library and the Library of Congress.

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.”

1915. “Barnum & Bailey greatest show on earth.”
1900. “The Barnum & Bailey greatest show on earth. The marvelous foot-ball dogs.”
1896. “The Barnum & Bailey greatest show on earth The world’s largest, grandest, best amusement institution.”
1900. “Ringling Bros, world’s greatest shows Raschetta brothers, marvelous somersaulting vaulters.”
1900. “The Barnum & Bailey greatest show on earth. Wonderful performing geese, roosters and musical donkey.”
1895. “The Barnum and Bailey greatest show on earth–The world’s grandest, largest, best, amusement institution–The great ethnological Congress of curious people …”
1895. “The Barnum & Bailey greatest show on earth Scenes in the grand water circus.”
1919-1930. “Christy Bros. 5 ring wild animal show circus poster.”
1909. “Ringling Bros presenting Schuman’s German horse circus poster.”
1908. “The Barnum Bailey greatest show on earth circus poster.”

 

Vintage Political Signs

9 Vintage Photographs of Protest and Political Signs

1915-1923. Photograph by Harris & Ewing. "Lloyd George the Anarchist and Wilson his junior partner," "Mr. Wilson is busy protecting America's enemy. The British Empire," and "Mr Wilson! Murder is Murder whether by a Turk or an Englishman"
1915-1923. Photograph by Harris & Ewing. “Lloyd George the Anarchist and Wilson his junior partner,” “Mr. Wilson is busy protecting America’s enemy. The British Empire,” and “Mr Wilson! Murder is Murder whether by a Turk or an Englishman”
1965. Photograph by Warren Leffler. "African American demonstrators outside the White House, with signs "We demand the right to vote, everywhere" and signs protesting police brutality against civil rights demonstrators in Selma, Alabama."
1965. Photograph by Warren Leffler. “African American demonstrators outside the White House, with signs “We demand the right to vote, everywhere” and signs protesting police brutality against civil rights demonstrators in Selma, Alabama.”
1964. Photograph by Warren Leffler. "African American and white Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party supporters demonstrating outside the 1964 Democratic National Convention, Atlantic City, New Jersey; some hold signs with portraits of slain civil rights workers Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner."
1964. Photograph by Warren Leffler. “African American and white Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party supporters demonstrating outside the 1964 Democratic National Convention, Atlantic City, New Jersey; some hold signs with portraits of slain civil rights workers Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner.”
1981. Photograph by Frank Espada. "Reagan la roba a los pobres Migrant farm worker at a demonstration, Washington, D.C."
1981. Photograph by Frank Espada. “Reagan la roba a los pobres Migrant farm worker at a demonstration, Washington, D.C.”
1938. Photograph by Arthur Rothstein. "Political signs. Vincennes, Indiana."
1938. Photograph by Arthur Rothstein. “Political signs. Vincennes, Indiana.”
1962. Photograph by Phil Stanziola. " 800 women strikers for peace on 47 St near the UN Bldg."
1962. Photograph by Phil Stanziola. ” 800 women strikers for peace on 47 St near the UN Bldg.”
1962. Photograph by Dick DeMarsico. "Little Denise Davidson, 5 months old, sleeps peacefully while her mother, Mrs. Donald Davidson, of 278 Clinton St., Bklyn., marches with ban-the-bomb group outside the United Nations to protest resumption of A-[bomb] tests by the United States."
1962. Photograph by Dick DeMarsico. “Little Denise Davidson, 5 months old, sleeps peacefully while her mother, Mrs. Donald Davidson, of 278 Clinton St., Bklyn., marches with ban-the-bomb group outside the United Nations to protest resumption of A-[bomb] tests by the United States.”
1918. Unknown Photographer. "People dressed as pilgrims carrying three signs for amnesty for political prisoners standing in front of the White House."
1918. Unknown Photographer. “People dressed as pilgrims carrying three signs for amnesty for political prisoners standing in front of the White House.”
1964. Photograph by Warren Leffler. "Delegates on the floor at the 1964 Democratic National Convention, Atlantic City, New Jersey; sign reading "Tennessee for LBJ."
1964. Photograph by Warren Leffler. “Delegates on the floor at the 1964 Democratic National Convention, Atlantic City, New Jersey; sign reading “Tennessee for LBJ.”

Lewis Hine’s Newsies

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.

 

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1910. Photograph by Lewis Hine. “Group of Nashville newsies. In middle of group is 7-year-old Sam. Smart and profane. He sells nights also. Location: Nashville, Tennessee.”
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1910. Photograph by Lewis Hine. “Some of the youngest newsies hanging around the paper office after school. Location: Buffalo, New York (State).”
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1910. Photograph by Lewis Hine. “11:00 A.M. Monday May 9th, 1910. Newsies at Skeeter’s Branch, Jefferson near Franklin. They were all smoking. Location: St. Louis, Missouri.”
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1910. Photograph by Lewis Hine. “Johnnie Burns a newsie who sells on Grand Avenue. 9 years old. Father says he is uncontrollable. May 9th, 1910. Father also said his 4 yr. old. twins would be selling soon. Location: St. Louis, Missouri.”
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1910. Photograph by Lewis Hine. “Boy named Gurley. An eight year old newsie. 18th & Washington Sts. Location: St. Louis, Missouri.”
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1910. Photograph by Lewis Hine. “Newsies in the paper alley, getting afternoon editions. Location: Rochester, New York (State).”
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1910. Photograph by Lewis Hine. “The Slein boys. Meyer Slein (12 yrs. old) his brother Abe (10 years old) who has just returned from Industrial School (Reform School). Another brother is in the School. Show effects of street life and are Juvenile Court boys. Location: St. Louis, Missouri.”
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1908. Photograph by Lewis Hine. “A Pool Room Branch (Chouteau & Manchester). These boys were playing pool and smoking in the Pool Room while waiting for papers. The smallest boy is 9 years old and sells until 9 P.M. (See also 1350, 1351 & 1352.) Location: St. Louis, Missouri.”
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1910. Photograph by Lewis Hine. “Truants like these may be found most any day between 11 & 12 A.M. Jefferson St. near Washington. May 5, 1910. Location: St. Louis, Missouri.”
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1908. Photograph by Lewis Hine. “One of The Newsies at The Newsboys’ Picnic, Cincinnati. Location: Cincinnati, Ohio.”
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1908. Photograph by Lewis Hine. “.”
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1910. Photograph by Lewis Hine. “11:00 A. M . Monday, May 9th, 1910. Newsies at Skeeter’s Branch, Jefferson near Franklin. They were all smoking. Location: St. Louis, Missouri..”
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1908. Photograph by Lewis Hine. “”Livers” a young newsie. Location: St. Louis, Missouri..”
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1908. Photograph by Lewis Hine. “Two 7 year old Nashville newsies, profane and smart, selling Sunday. Location: Nashville, Tennessee.”

World War 1 Recruitment Posters

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.

19??. Print by Schneck. "It's up to you--Protect the nation's honor, enlist now."
19??. Print by Schneck. “It’s up to you–Protect the nation’s honor, enlist now.”
1917. Print by James Montgomery Flagg. "I want you for U.S. Army : nearest recruiting station."
1917. Print by James Montgomery Flagg. “I want you for U.S. Army : nearest recruiting station.”
1918. Print by Montreal Litho. Co., Ltd. "We go next! Irish Canadian Rangers."
1918. Print by Montreal Litho. Co., Ltd. “We go next! Irish Canadian Rangers.”
1917. Print by American Lithograph Co. "Lend your money to your government Buy a United States government bond, second Liberty Loan of 1917, U.S. Treasury will pay you interest every six months."
1917. Print by American Lithograph Co. “Lend your money to your government Buy a United States government bond, second Liberty Loan of 1917, U.S. Treasury will pay you interest every six months.”
1917. Print by Hegman Print Company. "Uphold our honor - fight for us Join Army-Navy-Marines."
1917. Print by Hegman Print Company. “Uphold our honor – fight for us Join Army-Navy-Marines.”
1917. Print by Guenther. "Don't wait for the draft--Volunteer."
1917. Print by Guenther. “Don’t wait for the draft–Volunteer.”
1914-1918. Print by American Lithographic Co. "Our boys need sox - knit your bit American Red Cross."
1914-1918. Print by American Lithographic Co. “Our boys need sox – knit your bit American Red Cross.”
1915. Print by Parliamentary Recruiting Committee. "Join at once. Fight for the dear old flag."
1915. Print by Parliamentary Recruiting Committee. “Join at once. Fight for the dear old flag.”
1914. Print by Hill, Siffken & Co. "Another call "More men and still more until the enemy is crushed" Lord Kitchener."
1914. Print by Hill, Siffken & Co. “Another call “More men and still more until the enemy is crushed” Lord Kitchener.”
1919. Print by Harry S Mueller. "Adventure and action Enlist in the field artillery, U.S. Army."
1919. Print by Harry S Mueller. “Adventure and action Enlist in the field artillery, U.S. Army.”
1917. Print by August William Hutaf. "Treat 'em rough - Join the tanks United States Tank Corps."
1917. Print by August William Hutaf. “Treat ’em rough – Join the tanks United States Tank Corps.”
1914. Print by Alfred Leete. "Britons: Lord Kitchener Wants You. Join Your Country's Army! God save the King."
1914. Print by Alfred Leete. “Britons: Lord Kitchener Wants You. Join Your Country’s Army! God save the King.”
1917. Print by James Montgomery Flagg. "Wake up America! Civilization calls every man, woman and child!"
1917. Print by James Montgomery Flagg. “Wake up America! Civilization calls every man, woman and child!”
1915. Print by Department of Recruiting for Ireland. "Can you any longer resist the call?"
1915. Print by Department of Recruiting for Ireland. “Can you any longer resist the call?”
1917. Print by Paul R Boomhower. "Pull together men - the Navy needs us."
1917. Print by Paul R Boomhower. “Pull together men – the Navy needs us.”
1918. Print by James Montgomery Flagg. "Be a U.S. Marine!"
1918. Print by James Montgomery Flagg. “Be a U.S. Marine!”
1915. Print by The Publicity Arts, London. "The Publicity Arts, London."
1915. Print by The Publicity Arts, London. “The Publicity Arts, London.”

 

Louis Rhead’s Art Nouveau Posters

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

1890-1900. Print by Louis Rhead. "Try vio-violet a new Lundborg perfume."
1890-1900. Print by Louis Rhead. “Try vio-violet a new Lundborg perfume.”
1896. Print by Louis Rhead. "L. Prang & Co.'s holiday publications."
1896. Print by Louis Rhead. “L. Prang & Co.’s holiday publications.”
1895. Print by Louis Rhead. "Photochrome engraving company."
1895. Print by Louis Rhead. “Photochrome engraving company.”
1896. Print by Louis Rhead. "Prang's Easter publications."
1896. Print by Louis Rhead. “Prang’s Easter publications.”
1890 - 1900. Print by Louis Rhead. "The Quartier Latin. A magazine devoted to the arts / Louis Rhead."
1890 – 1900. Print by Louis Rhead. “The Quartier Latin. A magazine devoted to the arts / Louis Rhead.”
1895. Print by Louis Rhead. "The Century, midsummer holiday number."
1895. Print by Louis Rhead. “The Century, midsummer holiday number.”
1894. Print by Louis Rhead. "The Century magazine for June."
1894. Print by Louis Rhead. “The Century magazine for June.”
1894. Print by Louis Rhead. "Century Magazine - Midsummer Holiday Number / Louis Rhead."
1894. Print by Louis Rhead. “Century Magazine – Midsummer Holiday Number / Louis Rhead.”

Japanese Woodcuts

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.

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