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Amazing Vintage Photographs of Paris in the Early 20th Century

Eugène Atget was a French photographer noted for his photographs documenting the architecture and street scenes of Paris. An inspiration for the surrealists and other artists, his work gained wide attention only after his death.

He picked up photography in the late 1880s, around the time that photography was experiencing unprecedented expansion in both commercial and amateur fields. He would go on to enter the commercial field with his photos; he sold photos of landscapes, flowers, and other pleasantries to other artists. It wasn’t until 1897 that he started a project he would continue for the rest of his life-his Old Paris collection.

He photographed Paris with a large-format wooden bellows camera with a rapid rectilinear lens. The images were exposed and developed as 18x24cm glass dry plates.

Between 1897 and 1927 he captured the old Paris in his pictures. His photographs show the city in its various facets: narrow lanes and courtyards in the historic city center with its old buildings, of which some were soon to be demolished, magnificent palaces from the period before the French Revolution, bridges and quays on the banks of the Seine, and shops with their window displays. He photographed stairwells and architectural details on the façades and took pictures of the interiors of apartments. His interest also extended to the environs of Paris.

In addition to architecture and the urban environment, he also photographed street-hawkers, small tradesmen, rag collectors and prostitutes, as well as fairs and popular amusements in the various districts. The outlying districts and peripheral areas, in which the poor and homeless sought shelter, also furnished him with pictorial subjects.

The U.S. in Autochromes – 50 Stunning Color Photographs of American Life in the Early 20th Century

These stunning photographs were taken by National Geographic Society photographers using Autochrome process. The society eventually moved on to other more advanced processes and finally to Kodachrome by 1938.

New Orleans, Louisiana - Children gather by a vendor selling "snowball" treats, c.1929.

New Orleans, Louisiana - Five boys sit together, eating large watermelon slices, 1930.

Louisiana - Four children cultivate cotton in a field, 1930.

Manhattan, New York City - The sixty-story Woolworth Building in New York's skyline stands tall, 1930.

Miami Beach, Florida - A group of people sunbathe and look out on the ocean, 1930.

With Nylon Stockings Scarce, Women Painted Their Legs Using Gravy Juice During the War Years

When America took part in World War II in 1941 that DuPont company stopped producing nylons, reorganizing its factory for the production of parachutes, airplane cords and rope and asking women to donate their used stockings to the war effort so that they soon became hard to find.

That's why thousand of women started to draw on their legs in order to obtain a 1940s nylon look, using the most creative and unthinkable brown household items they had: from gravy browning to coffee passing by cocoa powder.

Pictures of The First Moscow Beauty Contest in USSR, 1988

In the times of Mikhail Gorbachev many things started to change in the country. That period might be called a period of imitation. It came to show business too. The first beauty contest in the USSR became a sensation. Abroad the event called “Moscow beauty” was even called as loud as the flight of Gagarin into space.

Jimi Hendrix in the Army, 1961-1962

Rare and Beautiful Photos of Teenaged American Actress and Model Brooke Shields in New York City, 1978

These beautiful photographs of Brooke Shields and her mother Teri were taken in New York City by Robert R. McElroy in 1978, when Brooke Shields was 13 and already a successful child model.

Shields began her career as a model in 1966, when she was 11 months old. Her first job was for Ivory Soap, shot by Francesco Scavullo. She continued as a successful child model with model agent Eileen Ford, who, in her Lifetime Network biography, stated that she started her children's division just for Shields. In 1978, when she was 12-years-old, Shields played a child prostitute her age in the film Pretty Baby. Eileen Ford, founder of the Ford Modeling Agency, said of Brooke Shields: "She is a professional child and unique. She looks like an adult and thinks like one."

Beautiful Vintage Portraits Showing 21 National Types of Beauty from the Early 1930s

National types of beauty was a series of real photo cigarette cards distributed in the 1930s. Some of the women portrayed were well-known actresses in their country, such as Anna May Wong from China, Frances Doble from Canada and Greta Nissen from Sweden.

The photographers were unidentified but the portraits would have been taken by major studios of the time. Tellingly, no black women were represented but this may have more to do with their lack of recognition as actors in America and Europe than any deliberate exclusion on the part of the cigarette company.