Imperial Russia- Pre 1917

Self-portrait on the Karolitskhali River, ca. 1910.

Self-portrait on the Karolitskhali River, ca. 1910.

Given how many historical photos are video are shot in black and white, many of us can forget that the past was also in full color – we just don’t get to see it. However, these photos of Russia in the beginning of the 20th century by photographer Sergey Prokudin-Gorsky give us a rare glimpse into the past in full and glorious color.

Color photography, in the way that we understand it, was not possible at the time, but it was possible to create a color image for the viewer by completing three separate photographs. Prokudin-Gorsky had to take three separate photographs of the same subject – once with a red filter over the lens, once with a green filter, and once with a blue filter (red, green, blue – RGB – is a set of color channels used by many digital images as well). Later on, these three monochromatic images would be projected through filters of those same colors onto a screen and superimposed. When viewed through a final filter, they would appear as a realistic color image to the viewer.

A trained chemist and artist, Prokudin-Gorsky began creating tricolor photos after studying with German photochemistry professor Adolf Miethe. Tsar Nicholas II was so impressed by Prokudin-Gorsky’s work, including his famous portrait of Leo Tolstoy, that he commissioned the photographer to take pictures all over Russia. Though he fled Russia after the October Revolution, the negatives he took with him that weren’t confiscated were eventually purchased by the U.S. Library of Congress in 1948 and published in 1980.

Sart woman in purdah in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, ca. 1910. Until the Russian revolution of 1917, “Sart” was the name for Uzbeks living in Kazakhstan

Sart woman in purdah in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, ca. 1910. Until the Russian revolution of 1917, “Sart” was the name for Uzbeks living in Kazakhstan

Russian children sit on the side of a hill near a church and bell tower near White Lake, in Russia, 1909

Russian children sit on the side of a hill near a church and bell tower near White Lake, in Russia, 1909

Prokudin-Gorskii rides along on a handcar outside Petrozavodsk on the Murmansk railway along Lake Onega near Petrozavodsk in 1910

Prokudin-Gorskii rides along on a handcar outside Petrozavodsk on the Murmansk railway along Lake Onega near Petrozavodsk in 1910

Peasants harvesting hay in 1909. From the album “Views along the Mariinskii Canal and river system, Russian Empire”

Peasants harvesting hay in 1909. From the album “Views along the Mariinskii Canal and river system, Russian Empire”

On the Sim River, a shepherd boy. Photo taken in 1910, from the album “Views in the Ural Mountains, survey of industrial area, Russian Empire”

On the Sim River, a shepherd boy. Photo taken in 1910, from the album “Views in the Ural Mountains, survey of industrial area, Russian Empire”

General view of the Nikolaevskii Cathedral from southwest in Mozhaisk in 1911

General view of the Nikolaevskii Cathedral from southwest in Mozhaisk in 1911

General view of the wharf at Mezhevaya Utka, 1912

General view of the wharf at Mezhevaya Utka, 1912

Isfandiyar Jurji Bahadur, Khan of the Russian protectorate of Khorezm (Khiva, now a part of modern Uzbekistan), full-length portrait, seated outdoors, ca. 1910

Isfandiyar Jurji Bahadur, Khan of the Russian protectorate of Khorezm (Khiva, now a part of modern Uzbekistan), full-length portrait, seated outdoors, ca. 1910

Laying concrete for the dam’s sluice, 1912. Workers and supervisors amid preparations for pouring cement for sluice dam foundation across the Oka River near Beloomut

Laying concrete for the dam’s sluice, 1912. Workers and supervisors amid preparations for pouring cement for sluice dam foundation across the Oka River near Beloomut

Molding of an artistic casting (Kasli Iron Works), 1910.

Molding of an artistic casting (Kasli Iron Works), 1910.

Nomadic Kirghiz on the Golodnaia Steppe in present-day Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, ca. 1910

Nomadic Kirghiz on the Golodnaia Steppe in present-day Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, ca. 1910

General view of Artvin (now in Turkey) from the small town of Svet, ca. 1910

General view of Artvin (now in Turkey) from the small town of Svet, ca. 1910

Factory in Kyn, Russia, belonging to Count S.A. Stroganov, 1912

Factory in Kyn, Russia, belonging to Count S.A. Stroganov, 1912

Alternators made in Budapest, Hungary, in the power generating hall of a hydroelectric station in Iolotan (Eloten), Turkmenistan, on the Murghab River, ca. 1910

Alternators made in Budapest, Hungary, in the power generating hall of a hydroelectric station in Iolotan (Eloten), Turkmenistan, on the Murghab River, ca. 1910

A woman is seated in a calm spot on the Sim River, part of the Volga watershed in 1910

A woman is seated in a calm spot on the Sim River, part of the Volga watershed in 1910

An Armenian woman in national costume poses for Prokudin-Gorskii on a hillside near Artvin (in present day Turkey)

An Armenian woman in national costume poses for Prokudin-Gorskii on a hillside near Artvin (in present day Turkey)

A water-carrier in Samarkand (present-day Uzbekistan), ca. 1910

A water-carrier in Samarkand (present-day Uzbekistan), ca. 1910

A switch operator poses on the Trans-Siberian Railroad, near the town of Ust Katav on the Yuryuzan River in 1910

A switch operator poses on the Trans-Siberian Railroad, near the town of Ust Katav on the Yuryuzan River in 1910

A man and woman pose in Dagestan, ca. 1910

A man and woman pose in Dagestan, ca. 1910

A group of women in Dagestan, ca. 1910

A group of women in Dagestan, ca. 1910

A group of Jewish children with a teacher in Samarkand, (in modern Uzbekistan), ca. 1910

A group of Jewish children with a teacher in Samarkand, (in modern Uzbekistan), ca. 1910

A general view of Sukhumi, Abkhazia and its bay, seen sometime around 1910 from Cherniavskii Mountain

A general view of Sukhumi, Abkhazia and its bay, seen sometime around 1910 from Cherniavskii Mountain

A boy leans on a wooden gatepost in 1910. From the album “Views in the Ural Mountains, survey of industrial area, Russian Empire”

A boy leans on a wooden gatepost in 1910. From the album “Views in the Ural Mountains, survey of industrial area, Russian Empire”

A boy sits in the court of Tillia-Kari mosque in Samarkand, present-day Uzbekistan, ca. 1910

A boy sits in the court of Tillia-Kari mosque in Samarkand, present-day Uzbekistan, ca. 1910

A chapel sits on the site where the city of Belozersk was founded in ancient times, photographed in 1909

A chapel sits on the site where the city of Belozersk was founded in ancient times, photographed in 1909

A dog rests on the shore of Lake Lindozero in 1910. From the album “Views along the Murmansk Railway, Russian Empire”

A dog rests on the shore of Lake Lindozero in 1910. From the album “Views along the Murmansk Railway, Russian Empire”

Advertisements

Old China

I remember being a child and being told, ” You can dig to China.”  Well let me tell you, to a seven year old boy, it can really spark the imagination!  I have always been fascinated by the people and the culture of the east.  I found these photos thru a blog at https://www.flickr.com/photos/ralphrepo_photolog/ .  I hope you enjoy and please do let me know your favorites.  If these are popular, I have found a treasure trove of old Chinese photos which I plan to put up in the coming week or two!

Men laden with tea, Sichuan, China [1908] Ernest H. Wilson

Men laden with tea, Sichuan, China [1908] Ernest H. Wilson

Manchu Ladies Of The Palace [c1910-1925] Frank & Frances Carpenter

Manchu Ladies Of The Palace [c1910-1925] Frank & Frances Carpenter

Jade Belt Bridge & boat, Summer Palace, Peking, China [c1924] Sidney D. Gamble

Jade Belt Bridge & boat, Summer Palace, Peking, China [c1924] Sidney D. Gamble

Great Wall of China [1907] Herbert G. Ponting

Great Wall of China [1907] Herbert G. Ponting

Coal miners in mountain ridge west Of Ta Chu, China [1909] Thomas C. Chamberlin

Coal miners in mountain ridge west Of Ta Chu, China [1909] Thomas C. Chamberlin

Chinese women with fans, Canton, China [c1880] Afong Lai

Chinese women with fans, Canton, China [c1880] Afong Lai

Bridges where night-police-of-the-roofs cross the streets, Canton [1900] Underwood & Co

Bridges where night-police-of-the-roofs cross the streets, Canton [1900] Underwood & Co

Canton, China [c1880] R.H. Brown

Canton, China [c1880] R.H. Brown

Chang The Chinese Giant [c1870]

Chang The Chinese Giant [c1870]

china-old-photo-auto-race

china-old-photo-auto-race

Beggars, Beihai Park [c1917-1919] Sydney D. Gamble

Beggars, Beihai Park [c1917-1919] Sydney D. Gamble

Breakfast, movable chow shop, Canton, China [c1919] Keystone View Co.

Breakfast, movable chow shop, Canton, China [c1919] Keystone View Co.

china-old-photo-canalInterior Canal, Canton, China [c1917-1919] Sidney D. Gamble

china-old-photo-canalInterior Canal, Canton, China [c1917-1919] Sidney D. Gamble

Chinese punishment, whipping a lawbreaker [c1900]

Chinese punishment, whipping a lawbreaker [c1900]

Breakfast, movable chow shop, Canton, China [c1919] Keystone View Co.

Breakfast, movable chow shop, Canton, China [c1919] Keystone View Co.

Enhanced by Zemanta

THE Vest…..

Soviet steel breastplate SN-42. Armor = 2mm. Weight = 3.5 kg

Soviet steel breastplate SN-42. Armor = 2mm. Weight = 3.5 kg

I ran across an old picture of bulletproof vest testing.  The guy in the vest is either really brave or…….well kind of insane in my opinion.  This spurred me on to take a look at the history of the projectile proof vest which naturally led to the history of fire arms.  I had absolutely no Idea that explosive projectiles have been around for more than a thousand years.  I have included some wiki below:

Early Modern era

In 1538, Francesco Maria della Rovere commissioned Filippo Negroli to create a bulletproof vest. In 1561, Maximilian II, Holy Roman Emperor is recorded as testing his armor against gun-fire. Similarly, in 1590 Sir Henry Lee expected his Greenwich armor to be “pistol proof”. Its actual effectiveness was controversial at the time.[2] The etymology of “bullet” and the adjective form of “proof” in the late 16th century would suggest that the term “bulletproof” originated shortly thereafter.

During the English Civil War Oliver Cromwell‘s Ironside cavalry were equipped with Capeline helmets and musket-proof cuirasses which consisted of two layers of armor plate (in later studies involving X-ray a third layer was discovered which was placed in between the outer and inner layer). The outer layer was designed to absorb the bullet’s energy and the thicker inner layer stopped further penetration. The armor would be left badly dented but still serviceable.[3] One of the first recorded descriptions of soft armor use was found in medieval Japan, with the armor having been manufactured from silk.[4]

Polish inventor Jan Szczepanik. On the photo - the first (and success) test of the invention (1901) done by Mr. Borzykowski

Polish inventor Jan Szczepanik. On the photo – the first (and success) test of the invention (1901) done by Mr. Borzykowski

Industrial era

One of the first commercially sold bulletproof armour was produced by a tailor in Dublin, Ireland in the 1840s. The Cork Examiner reported on his line of business in December 1847:[5]

The daily melancholy announcements of assassination that are now disgracing the country, and the murderers permitted to walk quietly away and defy the law, have induced me to get constructed a garment, shot and ball proof, so that every man can be protected, and enabled to return the fire of the assassin, and thus soon put a stop to the cowardly conduct which has deprived society of so many excellent and valuable lives, spreading terror and desolation through the country. I hope in a few days to have a specimen garment on view at my warerooms.

Another soft ballistic vest, Myeonje baegab, was invented in Joseon, Korea in the 1860s shortly after the French campaign against Korea. Heungseon Daewongun ordered development of bullet-proof armor because of increasing threats from Western armies. Kim Gi-Doo and Gang Yoon found that cotton could protect against bullets if 10 layers of cotton fabric were used. The vests were used in battle during the United States expedition to Korea, when the US Navy attacked Ganghwa Island in 1871. The US Navy captured one of the vests and took it to the US, where it was stored at the Smithsonian Museum until 2007. The vest has since been sent back to Korea and is currently on display to the public.[citation needed]

Testing of new bulletproof vests, 1923

Testing of new bulletproof vests, 1923

Simple ballistic armor was sometimes constructed by criminals. During the 1880s, a gang of Australian bushrangers led by Ned Kelly made basic armour from plough blades. By this time the Victorian Government had a reward for the capture of a member of the Kelly Gang at £8,000 (equivalent to $2 million Australian dollars in 2005). One of the stated aims of Kelly was the establishment of a Republic in North East Victoria. Each of the four Kelly gang members had fought a siege at a hotel clad in suits of armour made from the mouldboards of ploughs. The maker’s stamp (Lennon Number 2 Type) was found inside several of the plates. The men used the armour to cover their torsos, upper arms, and upper legs, and was worn with a helmet.

The suits were roughly made on a creek bed using a makeshift forge and a stringy-bark log as a muffled anvil. They had a mass of around 44 kg (96 lb), making the wearer a spectacular sight yet proved too unwieldy during a police raid at Glenrowan. Their armour deflected many hits with none penetrating, but eventually was of no use as the suits lacked protection for the legs and hands.

Ned Kelly armour, located at the State Library of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia,

Ned Kelly armour, located at the State Library of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia,

World War I german Infantrie Panzer, 1918

World War I german Infantrie Panzer, 1918

In 1881, Tombstone physician George E. Goodfellow noticed that a Faro dealer Luke Short who was shot was saved by his silk handkerchief in his breast pocket that prevented the bullet from penetrating.[6][7] In 1887, he wrote an article titled Impenetrability of Silk to Bullets[8] for the Southern California Practitioner documenting the first known instance of bulletproof fabric. He experimented with[9] silk vests resembling medieval gambesons, which used 18 to 30 layers of silk fabric to protect the wearers from penetration.

Fr. Kazimierz Żegleń used Goodfellow’s findings to develop a bulletproof vest made of silk fabric at the end of the 19th century, which could stop the relatively slow rounds from black powder handguns. The vests cost $800 USD each in 1914, a small fortune at the time the modern day equivalent of $18,710 USD. On 28 June 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary, was wearing a silk bulletproof vest when he was attacked by a gun-wielding assassin. He was shot in the neck and the vest did not protect him.

Two American GIs wearing M1951 bullet-proof vests on Triangle Hill

Two American GIs wearing M1951 bullet-proof vests on Triangle Hill

Marines with Security Company, Combat Logistics Battalion 4, Combat Logistics Regiment 3, 3rd Marine Logistics Group, adjust Lance Cpl. Andrew Best’s Modular Tactical Vest

Marines with Security Company, Combat Logistics Battalion 4, Combat Logistics Regiment 3, 3rd Marine Logistics Group, adjust Lance Cpl. Andrew Best’s Modular Tactical Vest

A similar vest, made by Polish inventor Jan Szczepanik in 1901, saved the life of Alfonso XIII of Spain when he was shot by an attacker. By 1900, gangsters were wearing $800 silk vests to protect themselves.[10]

 

This all naturally led me to the history of firearms which I have included a bit of below:

The direct ancestor of the firearm is the fire lance, a black-powder–filled tube attached to the end of a spear and used as a flamethrower (not to be confused with the Byzantine flamethrower); shrapnel was sometimes placed in the barrel so that it would fly out together with the flames.[4][5] The earliest depiction of a gunpowder weapon is the illustration of a fire-lance on a mid-12th century silk banner from Dunhuang.[6] The De’an Shoucheng Lu, an account of the siege of De’an in 1132, records that Song forces used fire-lances against the Jurchens.[7]

old Chinese Hand Cannon on display at the Shaanxi history museum in Xi'An, China. The placard reads Bronze firearm, Yuan dynasty (1271-1368 ACE)

old Chinese Hand Cannon on display at the Shaanxi history museum in Xi’An, China. The placard reads Bronze firearm, Yuan dynasty (1271-1368 ACE)

In due course, the proportion of saltpeter in the propellant was increased to maximise its explosive power.[5] To better withstand that explosive power, the paper and bamboo of which fire-lance barrels were originally made came to be replaced by metal.[4] And to take full advantage of that power, the shrapnel came to be replaced by projectiles whose size and shape filled the barrel more closely.[5] With this, we have the three basic features of the gun: a barrel made of metal, high-nitrate gunpowder, and a projectile which totally occludes the muzzle so that the powder charge exerts its full potential in propellant effect.[8]

The earliest depiction of a gun is a sculpture from a cave in Sichuan dating to the 12th century of a figure carrying a vase-shaped bombard with flames and a cannonball coming out of it.[1][9] The oldest surviving gun, made of bronze, has been dated to 1288 because it was discovered at a site in modern-day Acheng District where the Yuan Shi records that battles were fought at that time; Li Ting, a military commander of Jurchen descent, led foot-soldiers armed with guns—including a Korean brigade—in battle to suppress the rebellion of the Christian Mongol prince Nayan.[10]

German grenade rifles from the 16th century (wheellock) and 18th century (flintlock) in the Bayerisches Nationalmuseum, München

German grenade rifles from the 16th century (wheellock) and 18th century (flintlock) in the Bayerisches Nationalmuseum, München

Guns - Safavid dynasty- Iran (Persia) - 17AD

Guns – Safavid dynasty- Iran (Persia) – 17AD

I know that firearms in our society today are a hot point in many conversations and social circles.  I create this post solely as a purpose of history to the devices.  I sincerely hope you enjoy, please be sure to let me know your thoughts 🙂

Enhanced by Zemanta

The Baby Cage

I could never use this, but it does make for an interesting post!

Baby-cages-used-to-ensure-that-children-get-enough-sunlight-and-fresh-air-when-living-in-an-apartment-building-ca-1937

In the 1930s, London nannies lacking space for their young ones resorted to the baby cage. It’s exactly what it sounds like: a wire contraption, patented in the U.S. in 1922, that lets you claim that space outside your city window for your infant. Risky? Maybe, but so convenient.

It seems that this historical oddity is one that constantly comes in and out of the media and causes incredible public shock and outrage every time. It is amazing how attitudes change, so that something invented in the 1920s to do nothing but good now leaves us struggling to believe it ever happened.

In 1923 Emma Read patented the Portable Baby Cage. It was designed to solve the problem of large high rises in urban areas which left families with no open spaces to allow their young children to play. It was agreed that babies needed fresh air to maintain their health, so the baby cage was a simple and safe way to leave babies outside to enjoy the air. In the patent it is explained that:

“It is well known that a great many difficulties rise in raising and properly housing babies and small children in crowded cities, that is to say from the health viewpoint. “With these facts in view, it is the purpose of this invention to provide an article of manufacture for babies and young children, to be suspended upon the exterior of a building adjacent an open window, wherein the baby or young child may be placed.”

The cage could be suspended outside an open window of a flat, allowing the baby to sleep or play fully in the open air with wire mesh protecting it from falling. The baby cage was used in London during the 1930s, when in particular they were distributed to members of the Chelsea Baby Club ‘who have no gardens and live at the top of high buildings’, as documented by Getty.

baby cage

The idea didn’t really catch on for many obvious reasons. Firstly the wire mesh looks awful and must have reminded mothers constantly that they were really locking their baby in a cage: and I’m sure the name didn’t help either. Secondly they look incredibly dangerous, with babies potentially suspended 200 feet from the ground.

baby cage 1

Let me know what you think of this wacky invention!

Americans

Wishham Indian Bride. It was taken in 1910

Wishham Indian Bride. It was taken in 1910

Before My people were considered Americans.  The Indians were here.  I am fascinated with these photos.  I wander what daily life was like, if only photos could talk!

 

Watching For Salmon. It was made in 1923

Watching For Salmon. It was made in 1923

Two Zuni Indian Girls. It was made in 1903

Two Zuni Indian Girls. It was made in 1903

Touch Her Dress. It was made in 1910

Touch Her Dress. It was made in 1910

Sund Dance Ritual Indian Ceremony in which a man is suspended by leather straps attached to sticks in his chest. It was created in 1908

Sund Dance Ritual Indian Ceremony in which a man is suspended by leather straps attached to sticks in his chest. It was created in 1908

Tipis at the Waters Edge. It was made in 1910

Tipis at the Waters Edge. It was made in 1910

Jicarilla Cowboy. It was created in 1905

Jicarilla Cowboy. It was created in 1905

Klamath Indian Warrior. It was made in 1923

Klamath Indian Warrior. It was made in 1923

Kato Woman. It was made in 1924

Kato Woman. It was made in 1924

Ndee Sangochonh, an Apache man. It was created in 1906

Ndee Sangochonh, an Apache man. It was created in 1906

One Blue Bead, an Old Indian Warrior. It was created in 1908

One Blue Bead, an Old Indian Warrior. It was created in 1908

Sioux Indian Maiden. It was made in 1908

Sioux Indian Maiden. It was made in 1908

Indian Mother holding her Child. It was taken in 1908

Indian Mother holding her Child. It was taken in 1908

Hollow Horn Bear, an Indian Brave. It was created in 1907

Hollow Horn Bear, an Indian Brave. It was created in 1907

Hupa Indian Woman. It was taken in 1923

Hupa Indian Woman. It was taken in 1923

Eskimo Family Group. It was taken in 1929

Eskimo Family Group. It was taken in 1929

Cheyenne Indian Warrior. It was taken in 1927

Cheyenne Indian Warrior. It was taken in 1927

Big Mouth Spring, an Indian wearing a scalp on his jacket. It was made in 1910

Big Mouth Spring, an Indian wearing a scalp on his jacket. It was made in 1910

Storefronts

Fairbanks-Alaska  It was made in between ca. 1900 and 1916.

Fairbanks-Alaska It was made in between ca. 1900 and 1916.

For some reason I just think that these days would have been so much better.  I know there were other trials and tribulations, but think how slow and peaceful the average day would have been.  if you look at the simplicity of the advertising, it is wonderful.  Surely we do not need blasting rap music, dancing girls and nonsense humor in order to be intrigued, do we? When did it come about that we need advertising at the gas pump, it is idiocy.  Our parents and grandparents had the right of it!

Not all of the hustle and bustle of today, people actually knew their neighbors, actually knew their family.  You could probably go into any of these stores at anytime and know everyone in it!  To me, that would just be an awesome thing.  I wish there were a way for us to get back to these times!

Schneider Electric Store. Interior. It was created between 1905 and 1945

Schneider Electric Store. Interior. It was created between 1905 and 1945

Raleigh Haberdasher show window, Washington, D.C. It was made in 1925.

Raleigh Haberdasher show window, Washington, D.C. It was made in 1925.

Window display featuring Pond's Extract products in O'Donnell's drugstore, probably in Washington, D.C. It was taken in between 1909 and 1932.

Window display featuring Pond’s Extract products in O’Donnell’s drugstore, probably in Washington, D.C. It was taken in between 1909 and 1932.

Washington Auto Exchange. It was made between 1905 and 1945

Washington Auto Exchange. It was made between 1905 and 1945

People of Deadwood celebrating completion of a stretch of railroad. It was made in 1888

People of Deadwood celebrating completion of a stretch of railroad. It was made in 1888

James Store, 12th Street, Washington DC. It was taken between 1905 and 1945

James Store, 12th Street, Washington DC. It was taken between 1905 and 1945

Atlanta, Georgia. View on Marietta Street. It was made in 1864 by Barnard, George N., 1819-1902

Atlanta, Georgia. View on Marietta Street. It was made in 1864 by Barnard, George N., 1819-1902

Mullany's Saloon. It was created in 1913

Mullany’s Saloon. It was created in 1913

North side of Chestnut Street, between Second Street and Third Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It was taken in 1842

North side of Chestnut Street, between Second Street and Third Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It was taken in 1842

Old Doughnet Shop. It was created between 1905 and 1945

Old Doughnet Shop. It was created between 1905 and 1945

Ox teams on Main St.,Sturgis, Dakota Territory. It was taken in 1887

Ox teams on Main St.,Sturgis, Dakota Territory. It was taken in 1887

Auction & Negro Sales,  Whitehall Street. It was made in 1864