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Currently Browsing: Results for Tag "retronaut"

Dueling with wax bullets was a fun and safe way to defend one's honor

Dueling with wax bullets was a fun and safe way to defend one's honor In the first decade of the 20th century, the age-old custom of pistol dueling was briefly resurrected as a non-lethal sport, even making it into the 1908 Olympics as a side event.To accurately simulate the conditions of a duel, opponents would use real dueling pistols and gunpowder.

When engineers shut down Niagara Falls' water flow and found surprisingly few corpses

When engineers shut down Niagara Falls' water flow and found surprisingly few corpses For several months in 1969, the torrent of water rushing over American Falls, one of three waterfalls that makes up Niagara Falls, was reduced to little more than a trickle.In the late 1960s, concerns were growing that further rockslides could erode the falls completely.

In World War I, British military industry was dominated by women

In World War I, British military industry was dominated by women When Britain entered World War I in 1914, thousands of women joined the workforce to fill jobs left by men sent overseas.In addition to taking over as transit workers, police, bank tellers and firefighters, women dominated the manufacturing industry which sprang up to fuel the war effort.

1940s: Classic New England summers at Cape Cod's Provincetown

1940s: Classic New England summers at Cape Cod's Provincetown Nestled on the far northern tip of Cape Cod, Provincetown, Massachusetts is a tiny resort town which swells from 3,000 to 60,000 residents during the summer months.Its deep harbor provided shelter for the Mayflower in 1620 and was the site of the Mayflower Compact’s signing.

Astounding 1800s portraits capture the diverse subjects of the Russian Empire

Astounding 1800s portraits capture the diverse subjects of the Russian Empire In 1864, young Ohioan George Kennan joined a crew of explorers scouting a possible telegraph route from the Bering Strait across Siberia to Europe as an alternative to a cable across the Atlantic.After Kennan spent two years surveying frigid wilderness and encountering myriad indigenous peoples, the planned telegraph was abandoned with the completion of the Atlantic cable.

50 years ago, the Apollo program began with a deadly tragedy

50 years ago, the Apollo program began with a deadly tragedy On March 21, 1966, NASA announced its crew selection for the AS-204 mission — the first crewed mission in the program aimed at reaching the moon.21, 1967.

How people rebuilt after the horrific firebombing of Dresden

How people rebuilt after the horrific firebombing of Dresden Over two days and nights in February 1945, American and British bombers dropped 2,400 tons of high explosives and 1,500 tons of incendiary bombs on the German city of Dresden.The barrage turned the cultural jewel of Saxony into a hellish inferno.

A gorgeous 1890 postcard tour of the Alpine land of Tyrol

A gorgeous 1890 postcard tour of the Alpine land of Tyrol These postcards of the Princely County of Tyrol, an Alpine region of the Austro-Hungarian empire, were created using the Photochrom process, an early procedure for imbuing monochrome images with surprisingly lifelike color.The light causes the emulsion to harden in proportion to the tones of the negative, forming a fixed lithographic image on the stone.

The Terra Nova expedition: An ambitious and ill-fated attempt to reach the South Pole

The Terra Nova expedition: An ambitious and ill-fated attempt to reach the South Pole In 1910, British explorer Robert Falcon Scott embarked on an ambitious expedition to Antarctica, aiming to explore uncharted wastelands, conduct scientific studies and above all else, become the first person to reach the South Pole.Ernest Shackleton had come within 100 miles of the pole the previous year, and Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen also had his sights set on reaching it first.

An ambitious young photographer captured the chaos and beauty of Greyhound buses in 1943

An ambitious young photographer captured the chaos and beauty of Greyhound buses in 1943 In 1942, Esther Bubley, a fresh graduate of the photography program at the Minneapolis School of Art, landed a job as a darkroom assistant at the Office of War Information (OWI) in Washington, D.C.

Gorgeous photos capture the bygone fishing culture of 1950s Portugal

Gorgeous photos capture the bygone fishing culture of 1950s Portugal Fishing has been at the center of life on the Portuguese coast since Roman times, when the region produced the prized fish sauce garum for export to the capital.Traditionally, men dressed in checkered clothes and long wool hats fished from 15-foot open boats called saveiros, using spotlights and bait to lure schools of mackerel and horse mackerel into immense seine nets.

This goofy 1908 children's book traces the path of a bullet with a literal hole in the pages

This goofy 1908 children's book traces the path of a bullet with a literal hole in the pages In 1908, author and artist Peter Newell published The Hole Book, a fancifully illustrated children’s tale that incorporates a literal hole in the pages to trace the trajectory of an accidentally-fired bullet.The errant projectile sows chaos through a variety of scenes, shattering fishbowls, perforating hats and detonating gas tanks before coming to rest in a particularly dense cake.

The devastating 1889 Johnstown Flood killed over 2,000 people in minutes

The devastating 1889 Johnstown Flood killed over 2,000 people in minutes On the morning of May 31, 1889, Elias Unger, the president of Pennsylvania’s South Fork Fishing and Hunting Club, awoke from a night of heavy rain to an impending catastrophe.Just below his home, swollen by ongoing rainfall, the artificial reservoir of Lake Conemaugh appeared to be on the verge of overwhelming the notoriously leaky South Fork Dam impounding it.

When the Sex Pistols crashed Queen Elizabeth's Silver Jubilee with an anarchic boat concert

When the Sex Pistols crashed Queen Elizabeth's Silver Jubilee with an anarchic boat concert Not all of her subjects were keen to celebrate the monarchy, however.On June 7, at the height of the celebrations, a rented river boat, the Queen Elizabeth, shoved off from Charing Cross Pier carrying writers, artists, a film crew — and the Sex Pistols.

A new database holds the faces of the guards who oversaw the atrocities at Auschwitz

A new database holds the faces of the guards who oversaw the atrocities at Auschwitz Following the invasion of Poland by Germany in September 1939, construction began on a complex of camps to house thousands of Polish political prisoners — Auschwitz.The first prisoners began to arrive in the spring of 1940.

A neurologist captured these bizarre and creepy images to study the physics of human expression

A neurologist captured these bizarre and creepy images to study the physics of human expression He charitably described his primary model as “an old toothless man, with a thin face, whose features, without being absolutely ugly, approached ordinary triviality." Together, the physician and photographer documented a range of triggered expressions, from the sly and subtle to the horrific and grotesque.

Early tourists clambered to the top of Egypt's pyramids in fancy dresses and suits

Early tourists clambered to the top of Egypt's pyramids in fancy dresses and suits With the completion of the Suez Canal in 1869, visits by wealthy tourists increased.That same year, travel mogul Thomas Cook offered his first tour of Palestine and the Nile, and launched regular steamer trips on the great river in the following years.

1917: A young FDR gets into fighting shape with Woodrow Wilson's cabinet

1917: A young FDR gets into fighting shape with Woodrow Wilson's cabinet Walter Camp is known today as the “Father of American Football” for his contributions to the rules of the game, including the development of the line of scrimmage and the system of downs.He was also an outspoken advocate of exercise and physical fitness.

Exquisitely hand-colored portraits offer a glimpse of 1870s China

Exquisitely hand-colored portraits offer a glimpse of 1870s China Born to an aristocratic Austrian family in 1839, Baron Raimund von Stillfried spent his youth adventuring around the world before opening a photo studio in Yokohama, Japan.There, he specialized in producing hand-colored souvenir photos of traditional Japanese “types” for wealthy Western tourists to bring home.

Newly uncovered photos capture the tense atmosphere outside a 1960 Tennessee sit-in

Newly uncovered photos capture the tense atmosphere outside a 1960 Tennessee sit-in In February 1960, black activists kicked off a wave of protests against segregation across the South, beginning with sit-ins at a Woolworth’s in Greensboro, North Carolina.The sit-ins spread to Nashville and then to Chattanooga, Tennessee, where they were organized not by experienced or professional activists, but by the teenage students of Howard High School.