30 Stunning Color Pictures of Venice From the 1890s
These astonishing images offer a rare brightly-colored glimpse of the beautiful plazas and intricate architecture of Venice in the 19th century.
The pictures show the famed canals of the Italian beauty spot that are home to boats, gondolas and buildings recognised the world over - and could disappear much sooner than we think.
Venice’s delights, as well as its ordinary citizens, are seen in full colour thanks to a process known as photochrom.
These images were taken in the 1890s and show a city that only 30 years earlier had been taken into the newly formed Kingdom of Italy. Previously belonging to Austria, Venice was offered to Italy in exchange for Italian alliance in the Austro-Prussian war.
The Grand Canal with the Rialto Bridge
Da Mulla Palace
The Grand Canal with the Rialto Bridge
The Golden House
Vendramin Calergi Palace
Grand Canal and Doges’ Palace by moonlight
Pigeons in St. Mark’s Place
Piazzetta and San Georgio by moonlight
San Georgio from Doges’ Palace by moonlight
Piazaetta and columns of San Marco
Concert in St. Mark’s Place
The Harbor, Venice, Italy
Concert in St. Mark’s Place
A court yard (Calle dell Angelo a San Martino)
Before St. Mark’s and public hospital
San Marina Canal, Venice, Italy
Columns of St. Mark’s Church, Venice, Italy
Old Venetian courtyard
The Grand Canal
On the Grand Canal
Interior of the Doges’ Palace, with the Giant’s Staircase
The Winds of Hell: Historical Photos of the 1940 Armistice Day Blizzard
Monday, November 11, 1940 was Armistice Day, the remembrance of the symbolic end of World War I. On the 22nd anniversary of the end of the war, two of the Allied powers were not at peace. France was under Nazi occupation and Britain was under siege by the Germans. Newspaper headlines in the U.S. recounted President Franklin Roosevelt’s Armistice Day message, which denounced the world’s dictators. A small story buried inside most papers told of new Japanese demands. It would not be long until America was drawn into the conflict.
Across the Upper Midwest, termperatures had been well above normal through the first weeks of fall. On the morning of the 11th, temperatures were in the fifties across the area, well above normal for the season. At 7:30 in the morning, the temperature at Chicago was 55F. It was 54F in Davenport, Iowa. Highs the day before had been in the 50s and 60s across the entire region. Hunters took advantage of the holiday and the extremely mild weather to take to lakes and rivers across Minnesota and Iowa. They were to be rewarded with an overabundance of waterfowl. Many would later comment that they had never see so many birds. The birds knew something most of the hunters didn’t. They were getting out of the way of the approaching storm.
Weather forecasting was not a very reliable thing in 1940. There were no winter storm watches or blizzard warnings. The Weather Bureau did post a moderate Cold Wave Warning on the morning of the 12th, but Forecasts were only calling for a change to colder with snow flurries.
But all it took was one look at a home barometer to know something was up. The needle was nearly off the dial at places like Des Moines, where the pressure stood at 29.09 inches. At Charles City, Iowa, it bottomed out at 28.92. While it was 54F at Davenport, Iowa, it was 12F at Sixoux City on the other side of the state.
A perfect storm was brewing, with warm Gulf air racing into the vortex, where it mxed with extremely cold Canadian air. The Weather Bureau office in Chicago, however, was not staffed at night. So no one saw the rapidly exploding storm.
As hunters sat in blinds or in their boats, a line of dark clouds approached from the west. It began to rain and the wind began to roar. The temperature dropped like a rock and the rain quickly changed to snow. The mercury would fall forty degrees in just a few hours from the 50s to the single digits. The snow fell with a vengeance. Blizzard conditions radpily developed.
When it was all said and done, 26.6 inches of snow had fallen at Collegeville, Minnesota. Furious winds up to 60 mph whipped the heavy snowfall into drift twenty feet high. A total of 154 people perished in the terrible storm. Over twenty were hunters who froze to death when they found themselves trapped in the onslaught of the ferocious storm.
The U.S. Weather Bureau was roundly criticized after the disaster. Congressional inquiries would lead to significant changes, including offices that were staffed full time.
One of the worst storms ever to strike the Upper Midwest was the Armistice Day blizzard of Nov. 11-12, 1940. At least 49 people died in Minnesota alone, thousands of cars were marooned by the 16.2-inch snowfall and property damage was estimated at $1.5 million.
Mountainous drifts were piled up by gusts of wind that reached a velocity of 60 miles. These cars were buried on Excelsior Blvd.
Passenger train stalled near Granite Falls, Minnesota.
The Armistice Day Blizzard in 1940 -- stalled cars.
Raymond "Ray" Sherin rests on a bed of blankets in the Fountain City boatyards before being taken to Winona General Hospital for treatment. With him is his father, Torge. In Raymond's area, more than a dozen other hunters died.
Four searchers pulled away from a rescue launch in a smaller boat to comb Mississippi River bottomlands on Nov. 13, 1940 -- dangerous and icy work.
There was large loss of life in part because the storm came early in the season and occurred on a holiday immediately following a weekend. Many hunters were caught away from adequate shelter throughout the state. Shown here are two of many duck hunters and others who died.
Rescue workers carried out the body of one of three St. Paul hunters who had taken a boat onto North Lake near Red Wing, Minn.
The storm stalled these cars near Minneapolis.
Two men stood by a chest-high snowdrift in front of a store.
The Hwy. 12 (now Interstate 394) overpass after the Armistice Day blizzard of Nov. 11-12, 1940.
The front page from the Nov. 13, 1940, Minneapolis Morning Tribune.
25 Fascinating Vintage Photographs Capture Everyday Life in East Berlin During the 1970s and the 1980s
Bernd Heyden’s photographic vision remains fascinating to this day. Viewers not only experience passers-by from a former time, but gain insights into the living conditions and everyday life in East Berlin of the 1970s and 1980s. Along with people working in the stores and on the streets, Heyden took portraits of the old, frail and stranded as well as the merry, sad, cheeky children for whom the broken-down neighbourhood around Prenzlauer Allee was a gigantic playground.
For the East Berliner photographer Bernd Heyden, Berlin is first and foremost a backdrop against which life unfolds. All of a sudden, in finely gradated tones of grey, a sense of familiarity with this lost world is there again. Heyden (1940-1984) started taking pictures in the mid-1960s; beginning in 1967, he worked in the Club of Young Photographers, founded by Arno Fischer and Sibylle Bergemann. Nearly all of his existing photographs of Prenzlauer Berg were taken between 1970 and 1980, a total of well over one thousand motifs.
The 1956 Astra-Gnome “Time and Space Car”, a Weird and Wacky Custom Development of the Metropolitan
The Astra-Gnome is concept car by industrial designer Richard Arbib using a 1955 Nash Metropolitan chassis. Described as a "Time and Space Car", it features themes influenced by the space travel forms that were popular during the 1950s. The vehicle represented Arbib's vision of what an automobile would look like in the year 2000.
Time and Space Car
A car from Mars
Interior of the Astra-Gnome
American Motors commissioned Richard Arbib, a leading industrial designer of the 1950s, to develop a futuristic concept car. Built in four months, the Astra-Gnome represented the work product stylists to create "new and exciting shapes, textures and colors in a functional car." Arbib had the wheels and tires hidden behind full fender skirts to achieve "a floating special quality" and to suggest a spacecraft or hovercraft.
The vehicle was featured on the 3 September 1956 cover of Newsweek magazine and a highlight at the 1956 New York International Auto Show. About 1,000 questionnaire cards were distributed to viewers at the auto show, with results indicating an 80% favorable response to the prototype. Numerous photos were made of the car with Arbib, most often accompanied by attractive female models who explained to the media that the concept was never intended for production.
Newsweek cover - September 3, 1956
Astra-Gnome at the New York Auto Show
Despite a 25% increase in size over the original Metropolitan body, the total weight remains under 2,000 lb (907 kg). About 400 lb (181 kg) of aluminum castings and extrusions were used, including fluted aluminum side panels that had been anodized in different blending colors. The bubble canopy provides an unobstructed vision all around; this covered the passengers, but could be raised to allow walk-in entry and exit. The Nash Metropolitan features the body work by Andrew Mazzara of New York.
Among its many features is a Hamilton "celestial time-zone clock permitting actual flight-type navigation."The acrylic glass bubble canopy also served as a sound chamber for the car's high fidelity radio and record player. The car included air conditioning and wrap-around bumper protection that was matched to the height of full-sized car bumpers. The 6-foot (1.83 m) width of the concept car was much greater than contemporary passenger automobiles and allowed for extra interior room, as well as storage and luggage spaces that included six pieces of matched integrated luggage.
The concept car "disappeared into oblivion" to be recovered from New York City in 1980. The car is restored and can be seen in a California museum.
Montparnasse Derailment: The Story Behind the Incredible Images of the Train That Broke Through a Building in Paris, 1895
These incredible photos of the wreck at Gare Montparnasse in Paris shows a very dramatic scene of a train that has crashed through the wall and partially tumbled to the street. The cause? Both mechanical failure and human error. The train was late, so the driver had it pull into the station at a high speed. It had two different types of braking systems: handbrakes and an air brake known as a Westinghouse brake. The conductor realized that the train was going too fast and applied the Westinghouse brake, however it didn’t work. Read on for the story behind the incredible images.
At first glance, the photos look like stills from an old disaster movie or a spectacular example of theme park scenery welcoming visitors to some wild new ride. However, these extraordinary images are actually testament to a real-life tragedy, the derailment of the Granville-Paris Express that on October 22, 1895 tore through the façade of the Gare Montparnasse, injuring a number of its conductors as well as a handful of passengers and claiming the life of a particularly unlucky mother of two.
Guillaume-Marie Pellerin had spent much of his life working the railroads. With 19 years of engineering experience behind him, the Express was in safe hands. As he fired up the engines that fateful Tuesday morning and the train pulled out of Granville station on time, there was nothing to suggest that the journey would result in one of the most infamous and instantly recognizable disasters in transportation history.
The route was a relatively simple one, roughly 400km from the seaside resort of Granville on the Lower Normandy coastline to the terminal at Paris Montparnasse. The train comprised a steam locomotive, three baggage cars, a postal car, and six passenger carriages. These days, the same journey takes around three hours, but back in 1895 it required closer to seven; despite a punctual start, Pellerin and his crew eventually realized that they were running a couple of minutes behind schedule. Keen to keep good time, the engineer made the momentous decision to approach Montparnasse at cruising speed, stoking the coals until the train was flat out at close to 60km/h.
With the station in sight, Pellerin applied the Westinghouse air brake which, unfortunately for all involved, chose that particular moment to fail. Conductor Albert Mariette, whose duty it was to apply the locomotive’s emergency handbrake, found himself temporarily indisposed, buried beneath a mountain of overdue paperwork. Failing to gauge the urgency of the situation until it was already too late, Mariette slammed on the brakes just a few feet short of the buffer and could only look on in horror as the train mounted the platform, skidded 100 feet across the station concourse before ploughing through the station facade and plummeting a final 30 feet to the Place de Rennes below.
Despite the damage to the station, the locomotive itself remained largely intact and all six passenger carriages stopped short of the obliterated façade, mercifully resulting in only a few minor injuries, a couple of squashed suitcases and some top hats knocked askew. Sadly, the sole casualty of the incident would usually have been nowhere near the scene. Marie-Augustine Aguilard, standing in for her newspaper vendor husband, was crushed by falling masonry as she stood awaiting his return.
An inquest into the disaster led to Pellerin, the engineer, being charged 50 francs for his reckless speeding while Mariette, the conductor who failed to apply brakes in a timely fashion, was also slapped with a hefty 25-franc fine. The train remained exactly where it had come to rest for two days while the investigation into its derailment was underway. An initial attempt to move it using a team of fourteen horses proved fruitless, ten men and a 250-ton winch eventually being required to lower the errant locomotive to the ground, where it was carted off for repair and found to have suffered remarkably little damage.