‘Phenakistoscope’ a popular Victorian Toy, 1833.

The Phenakistoscope — a popular Victorian parlour toy, generally marketed for children — is widely considered to be among the earliest forms of animation and the precursor to modern cinema. The device was operated by spinning the cardboard disc, and viewing the reflection of the image in a mirror through a series of moving slits. […]

The Daddy Long Legs of Brighton.

The Brighton and Rottingdean Seashore Electric Railway was a unique coastline railway in Brighton, England that ran through the shallow waters of the English Channel between 1896 and 1901. Magnus Volk, its owner, designer and engineer, had already been successful with the more conventional Volk’s Electric Railway, which had then not been extended east of […]

Unusual Old Typewriters.

Article by M. Christian and A. Abrams Horse and buggies, hoop skirts, steam engines, bustles … oh, yes, life around the turn of the previous century was a delight of simplicity and workmanship. But that doesn’t mean that the artisans and engineers of way-back-when didn’t at least have their hearts and minds in the right […]

Weird, Wonderful Photos From Another Era.

Original caption, from April 4, 1934: “The word Si, or yes, fills every bit of this large election billboard, except for the space taken by a huge modernistic conception of Premier Benito Mussolini. The great placard covers the front of the Palazzo Braschi, the most modern of Rome’s office buildings and home of the Fascist […]

Migrants arriving in Sydney -1966 photo by David Moore.

‘Migrants arriving in Sydney, 1966’ by David Moore. Image courtesy of Lisa, Michael, Matthew and Joshua Moore. davidmoorephotography.com.au. It was a time when Australia reached out to the rest of the world to populate or perish. Mike Bowers Source: Great Australian photographs: Migrants by David Moore – an audio essay | Art and design | […]

The Story of ‘Hobson-Jobson,’ the Anglo Indian dictionary.

In 1872 two men began work on a lexicon of words of Asian origin used by the British in India. Since its publication the 1,000-page dictionary has never been out of print. Hobson-Jobson is the dictionary’s short and mysterious title. The subtitle reveals more: “A glossary of colloquial Anglo-Indian words and phrases, and of kindred […]

Dressing Up for the Telephone, c. 1900.

How to Dress When Using Your Telephone, ca. 1900s. These beautiful vintage black and white photograph show young women posed using telephones in the early 20th century. See more Images via vintage everyday: fashion

1950s Men’s Hairstyles.

All I can say as an old Aussie who was a youngster in the 1950s is that I wish our Aussie barbers were as good as these American barbers back then. So I put I put a picture on the front of  Vincent D. “Gomer Pyle” from Stanley Kubrick’s “Full Metal Jacket” which is more […]

Edwardian Women & their Gigantic Hats.

Looking at the favourite Fashion Style of Women From the early Years of the 20th Century one feels that women from the Edwardian era favoured very weighty looking-fashion styles, from big gowns to giant hats. Although diverse in shapes, it’s really hard to wear these hats now. Beautiful? Take a look… Source: vintage everyday: Giant […]

Vintage 19th Century Washing Machine.

A Compressed-air washing machine (manufactured in the late 19th century) by Friedrich Wolter & Hans Echberg. Image Credit: Photograph by Benjamin Healley. Source: Museums Victoria, Copyright Museums Victoria / CC BY (Licensed as Attribution 4.0 International) Source: Washing Machines Collection