15 Fascinating Vintage Panoramic Pictures

This exhibit of panoramic photographs is but a small sample of the wide variety of panoramic images in NARA`s still picture holdings located at the National Archives Building at College Park, Maryland. The exhibit photographs date from approximately 1864 until 1937. The vast majority of the collection, however, dates from the World War. This exhibit is based on the exhibit, “The Long View: Panoramic Photography from the National Archives,” which was displayed at the National Archives at College Park from August 15, 1998 through May 1, 2000.


“The Town Square, Arras, France. February, 1919″ This panorama was taken by Fred Schutz of Washington, DC, who was commissioned after World War I to photograph some of the war`s destruction and impact, especially in northern France. The Still Picture Branch has approximately 30 of these views in its holdings. The image may have been taken with a #8 Cirkut, for the image measures 26″ x 8”.


Panoramic view of the Barcelona Exposition, Spain. 1929 The International Industrial Exposition was held in Barcelona from May to December of 1929. The U.S. Government did not have an official presence there, choosing instead the Ibero American Exposition being held in Seville that same year. However, American businesses were present in full force at Barcelona, and the Commerce Department aided with their affairs on site. The photographer and exact date are not specified. The print measures 9″ x 38″.


“Co. H, 347th Inf., Capt. T. R. Mobley Com`d`g. Am. Expeditionary Force. Camp Dix, New Jersey. January 1919″ This photograph was shot by F. C. Lewis of Mount Holly, NJ, and shows unusual creative skill in its composition. It measures 38″ x 8”.


View of soldiers from the 331st Machine Gun Battalion performing exercises at Camp Grant in Rockford, Illinois This panorama was taken by the Duce & McClymonds Studio of Rockford, IL. The date was November 1917, not long before these soldiers pictured were sent off to fight in World War I. It measures 28″ x 10″. Records of the War Department General and Special Staffs – Panoramic Views of Army Units, Camps, and Related Industrial Sites (165-PP-69-9)
“Camp Meigs, Washington, DC. July 20, 1918.” Named in honor of the Union Quartermaster General from the Civil War, Camp Meigs was located at Florida Avenue and Fifth Street, NE, and was used as a training facility for the Quartermaster Corps during World War I. The photo is by H.M. Brown of Washington, DC, and measures 9″ x 44″. Records of the War Department General and Special Staffs


View of Chattanooga, Tennessee from hilltop The photographer and date are unknown, though it was probably taken after the Union Army captured the city in 1864. This is a composite panorama pieced together from three separate images to give a panoramic effect. It is printed on albumen paper. The entire size of the image is 39″ x 10″. Records of the Office of the Chief of Engineers


“Civilian Guards of the National Shipyard; Orange, Texas.” Orange lies on the Sabine River near the Louisiana border. During the World War I era, many wooden-hulled ships were produced there as part of the Emergency Fleet Corporation`s (EFC) mandate to equip the U.S. with a first-rate merchant fleet. The guards pictured were probably contracted by the National Shipbuilding Company to provide security for the area. The photographer and date are not specified. The image is 7″ x 22″. Records of the United States Shipping Board


View of Havana harbor, Cuba, with vessels of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet in the distance The photograph was taken by C. E. Doty. His studio location is unspecified as is the date, though it was probably the early 1910s. The image measures 52″ x 10″. Records of the War Department General and Special Staffs – Panoramic Photographs of Cuba


“Boat Exercises – Naval Training Station, Hampton Roads, Va. September 19, 1918″ Begun as a small training and receiving station in the early 1900`s, the Naval Training Station in World War I would become one of the premier training centers for naval personnel. By Armistice Day in 1918, more than 34,000 men had been assigned there. The photo was taken by G. L. Hall Optical Company of Norfolk. It measures 7 x 57”. Records of the Bureau of Naval Personnel


Ground-level view of the (Mardi ?) excavation, looking south, during the initial construction of the Panama Canal The photographer and date are unknown, but other images from this series, showing similar views, date from around 1909. The image measures 36″ x 10″. Records of the Panama Canal


“President Harding and the National Academy of Sciences at the White House, Washington, DC, April 1921″ Note that Albert Einstein is standing to the left of the President. This group shot was taken by Fred Scut of Washington, DC, one of the most prolific of panoramic photographers. The print size is 38″ x 10”. Records of the Office of the Secretary of Agriculture
Shipbuilders at the Gray`s Harbor Yards of the Grant-Smith-Porter Co., Aberdeen, WA Wooden-hulled vessels for the Emergency Fleet Corporation were constructed here at the Gray`s Harbor Yards in the late 1910s. The ship near completion is the Fort Seward, which was first launched in early 1919, dating the photograph. This panorama measures 7″ x 25″. No photographer was specified. Records of the United States Shipping Board


“View of Washington. Looking East from Washington Monument” (Top) This panorama is dated November 1916 and was taken by the H. W. Brown of Washington, DC. The image could not have been taken with a rotating panoramic camera from inside the monument, so it has been theorized that Mr. Brown was on scaffolding on the outside. This scaffolding had presumably been erected because cleaning or repair work was being performed on the Monument. The image measures 36″ x 10″. Records of St. Elizabeth`s Hospital (418-P) Below the Brown photograph is a comparison photograph taken by Richard Schneider of NARA`s Preservation Branch in January 1996. It was shot through the window on the observation level using a fixed lens camera producing a panoramic effect. It shows some of the many changes that have occurred on the Mall during the past 83 years. The Monument is scheduled for another cleaning and repair work before the end of this century, creating an opportunity for modern Cirkut shots of DC from this vantage point.


“White Trucks in Service at Fort Riley” The White Sewing Machine Company, as it was originally called, manufactured the Standard Class “A” Truck for the U.S. Army during World War I. Trucks bearing the White/GMC name are still being manufactured by the General Motors Corporation. Though not dated, the image is undoubtedly from 1917-1918. The photo was taken by O. M. Holt of Manhattan, KS, and measures 7″ x 63″. Records of the Office of the Quartermaster General


“Wreck of the U.S.S. Maine, June 16, 1911″ The photograph shows the raising and salvage operation of the ship, 13 years after it sank. After the salvage operation was completed, the ship was resunk offshore. The image was taken by the American Photograph Company of Havana, Cuba, and measures 34″ x 9”. Records of the Office of the Chief of Engineers

9 Amazing Color Photos of New York Taken From Air At Night

Amazing arial photos of New York at night that will leave you breathless!

For 15 years, Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Vincent Laforet has been participating in aerial photo missions around the world, putting his life in the hands of pilots and aircraft to make photographs nobody else can.

And yet, he’s never felt as vulnerable as he did on Nov. 8, 2014, harnessed into a helicopter 7,500-feet above New York City.
On assignment for Men’s Health, Laforet proposed the daring nighttime photo mission as a means to capture images he’s been dreaming of taking for 20 years.

“Everyone looks out the window when you land over New York, right? Because it’s so freaking beautiful,” Laforet tells Mashable. From above, the city at night has always reminded him of brain synapses or a computer chip.

Laforet has amassed connections with highly skilled pilots throughout his career, but he says that it took a week to get clearance for the shoot. The helicopter had to fly at a higher altitude than the planes taking off from and landing at airports in the area.

“One of the veteran pilots who flies with me — that’s comfortable flying 50 feet off the water and flying underneath the Brooklyn Bridge — actually refused to fly these altitudes,” says Laforet. “He just says helicopters aren’t meant to be up there.”

Laforet and his assistant, who accompanied him on the flight, had to take several precautions to ensure nothing would fall out of the aircraft, particularly themselves.

“Anything that falls out, especially at that altitude, becomes a projectile,” he says. “I want to make sure that people understand this is a very careful thing that you do with the right people, the right pilots.”

Of course, the high winds and vibration at two kilometers off the ground had even Laforet — a man who once climbed the needle of the Empire State building unharnessed — fearing for his safety.

“You’re relying on that turbine. Its not a plane, its not going to glide down, you know?,” says Laforet, laughing. “The scariest part was how absolutely vulnerable you felt once you’re up there.”

Wearing a harness, Laforet says he sat on the edge of the helicopter, leaning out of the open door to make sure the skid was out of frame.

“You cant help but look out and let your imagination run out a little bit and think about how long that fall would be,” he says. “I’ve been in some pretty crazy places and this is one of the few times where I’ve been like ‘Oof, wow.'”

You can check out more of Laforet’s images from his photo series entitled “Gotham 7.5K” on Storehouse, and get an idea of what the mission itself was like in a mini documentary on Vimeo.

(Via Mashable)

If you enjoyed these amazing arial photos of New York at night check out these 1940s Kodachrome images of New York City.

The Secret History of Hunky Male Beefcakes

In the same way that porn magazines are often hidden under pillows or locked away on the top shelves of closets, the history of “beefcake” photography has been highly secretive. The photographers and models who created the hunky, hypermasculine work beginning in the 1940s right up to the pre-disco age did it on the sly, often dodging strict obscenity laws that landed some of them in prison, forced them to endure harassment and attacks, and kept almost all of them hiding deep in the closet.

For Petra Mason, the editor of 100% Rare All Natural Beefcake, published by Rizzoli, trying to track down the images and, more significantly, the holders of the copyrights, turned out to be a bit like falling down a rabbit hole.

“It was an amazing journey in terms of many months of research to try to find the right people,” Mason said. “A lot of this was a secret history, tucked away in shoeboxes or under beds. The photographers were all fascinating characters of varying shapes and sizes who were brave enough to risk for their art by breaking the law. The models were doing it for a couple of bucks and they were either spotted at the gym or pulled from the streets so there isn’t much documentation about them.”

In the end, roughly 50 photographers were included in the book, some of whom are well-known, including Bob Mizer, and a number of photographers who worked under pseudonyms tied to their locations: Bruce of Los Angeles, Douglas of Detroit, and Lon of New York.

Left: Howard Eastman and Benny Piekaiski, 1950s. Right: Rollie Hawk and Leroy Hoffman, 1950s.
Walter Kundzicz’s Champion Studios, New York, 1963-64
Walter Kundzicz’s Champion Studios, New York, 1963

While doing research, Mason encountered some serious collectors who owned a significant amount of work and also had tracked down many of the models’ and photographers’ names.

“Beefcake collectors take collecting beefcake more seriously than cheesecake collectors,” Mason said. “Men in general take collecting more seriously it seems, a bizarre but true fact. I was seriously surprised to get to chat to one of the original photographers who is still going strong, Chuck Renslow whose KRIS Studio shots I think are really hot. Chuck’s a legend and his collection is now in the Leather Archives and Museum in Chicago which I would never have heard otherwise, an amazing source of material for a very secret history.”

The book divides the images into various categories including  “Duals in the Sun,” “Figure Studies,” “Neptune’s Boys,” and the somewhat cringe-worthy “Cowboys and Indians.” While a lot of beefcake is often associated with having a gay sensibility, as a heterosexual woman, Mason said she felt the work has a universal appeal.

“I think one of the many things we’re constantly reminded by the media and elsewhere is what we don’t have in common, we actually do. There is a shared appreciation to the overall hotness of the material that is hard to resist for anyone.”

Lady Bunny, a legend in the drag world who wrote the foreword to the book, agrees about the universal appeal.

“I am from the South, so it was not uncommon to meet married women who had never had an orgasm,” Bunny wrote via email. “Women weren’t supposed to enjoy sex too much, so I always rejoiced when I met women who thought about sex the way gay men did, i.e., they wanted lots of it and were concerned with penis size. I think one of the reasons Sex and the City was so popular is that it was one of the first portrayals of women objectifying men for a change. Perhaps Petra was ahead of her time and had been objectifying men for ages! Or, perhaps she’s just a slut who has found a way to mix business with pleasure and call smut art! It works for me!”

Mason added that while there is certainly a humorous aspect to the images, especially seen from a modern-day perspective, there is also a profoundly sad aspect tied to the history of the photographs.

“Our intention is to strike a balance, to give meaningful historical information among all of the gorgeous eye candy.”

(Via Slate)

Never Before Seen Photos of Vivian Maier

Since Vivian Maier’s photographs were unearthed at an auction several years back, her work and her story have captivated people across the world. The idea that a lifelong nanny was secretly an astoundingly good street photographer—that the greatest collection of photos of Chicago from the 1950s through the 1970s had been sitting undiscovered in storage unit on the South Side—prompted blog post after blog post, story after story, exhibit after exhibit. Most of these offered very little in terms of biographical information about the highly private Maier, who didn’t seem to have any family or close friends.

But surely there had been someone. A secret lover? A neighbor turned confidant, who would turn up and explain what drove Maier to carry a camera around her neck every day of her life, to capture beautiful, moving, and humorous portraits and scenes and share them with no one? Co-authors Richard Cahan and Michael Williams spent the last year attempting to fill the gaps in the story of Vivian Maier. They contacted just about every home she’d worked in, interviewed the children she cared for, the neighbors who watched her with skepticism as she pointed her camera into garbage cans. They found the people who repaired her cameras and those who sold her film. And the answer, sadly, for those of us hoping to get even further into Vivian Maier’s brain, is no. There was no one. Maier’s only partner in life, her only confidant, was her camera.

The images below, along with the majority of the other images in Cahan and Williams’ book Vivian Maier: Out of the Shadows have never before been seen. She kept them locked away from the families she worked for, never sharing them with anyone—even herself. The images come from 20,000 scanned negatives that don’t appear ever to have been printed during her lifetime.

Coney Island, New York, 1950s. (Photograph by Vivian Maier/Courtesy Cityfiles Press.)
Coney Island, New York, 1950s. (Photograph by Vivian Maier/Courtesy Cityfiles Press.)
Wilmette Beach, 1968. (Photograph by Vivian Maier/Courtesy Cityfiles Press)
Wilmette Beach, 1968. (Photograph by Vivian Maier/Courtesy Cityfiles Press)
Wilmette Beach, 1968. (Photograph by Vivian Maier/Courtesy Cityfiles Press)
Wilmette Beach, 1968. (Photograph by Vivian Maier/Courtesy Cityfiles Press)
New York City 1950s. (Photograph by Vivian Maier/Courtesy Cityfiles Press)
New York City 1950s. (Photograph by Vivian Maier/Courtesy Cityfiles Press)
New York City 1950s. (Photograph by Vivian Maier/Courtesy Cityfiles Press)
New York City 1950s. (Photograph by Vivian Maier/Courtesy Cityfiles Press)
Wilmette, 1968. (Photograph by Vivian Maier/Courtesy Cityfiles Press)
Wilmette, 1968. (Photograph by Vivian Maier/Courtesy Cityfiles Press)
The chicken man, 1967, Maxwell Street Market and skid row on west Madison Street in Chicago. (Photograph by Vivian Maier/Courtesy Cityfiles Press)
The chicken man, 1967, Maxwell Street Market and skid row on west Madison Street in Chicago. (Photograph by Vivian Maier/Courtesy Cityfiles Press)
Maxwell Street Market and skid row on West Madison Street in Chicago, 1967. (Photograph by Vivian Maier/Courtesy Cityfiles Press)
Maxwell Street Market and skid row on West Madison Street in Chicago, 1967. (Photograph by Vivian Maier/Courtesy Cityfiles Press)


Woman taunts a police officer before the start of the Democratic Conventionat the International ampitheater Chicago in 1968. (Photograph by Vivian Maier/Courtesy Cityfiles Press)
Woman taunts a police officer before the start of the Democratic Conventionat the International ampitheater Chicago in 1968. (Photograph by Vivian Maier/Courtesy Cityfiles Press)

(via Slate)

Checkout the street photos of Fred Herzog of Vancouver.

Vintage Photos Show Amazing Vancouver Neon Signs and Streets Scenes in 1950s

Man with Bandage
Self Portait 1961
Self Portait (Fred Herzog), 1961

These colorful photos show what Vancouver’s Upper East Side and downtown looked like in its’ glory days of the 1950’s.  The photographer captures a city basking in the glow of neon signs.

The Vancouver photographs of Fred Herzog are awash with vibrant color. They are complex, mysterious, exuberant, and full of life, much like the city he photographed. Fred Herzog was born in 1930 in Germany, and came to Vancouver in 1953. He was employed as a medical photographer by day, and on evenings and weekends he took his camera to the streets, documenting daily life as he observed it. Focusing his camera on storefronts, neon signs, billboards, cafes and crowds of people, he eloquently depicts the architecture of the street as a framework for human interaction, presenting a view of the city that is both critical and elegiac.

Though Fred Herzog has been making photographs for decades, his images of city life in Vancouver in the 1950’s and 1960’s have only recently been brought to a larger public. A major retrospective at the Vancouver Art Gallery in 2007 was a revelation to those who had known his work only through slides, as well as to a generation of art lovers who had not heard of him at all. Since he was never able to satisfactorily make prints from his slides, the recent possibilities of digital inkjet printing have enabled him to finally print and exhibit this important body of early color street photography.


“Herzog’s world — especially as revealed by the abundance of signs — is simultaneously covetous and quasi religious, sensual and unworldly. Gamblers at a fair or casino gaze beyond the frame in an ecstasy of optimism, keeping faith with the idea of an against-the-odds windfall (a.k.a. a miracle).

The relatively lengthy shutter speeds necessitated by Kodachrome — a slow, not very light-sensitive film — meant that Herzog was not only temperamentally unsuited but technically unable to snap events on the fly in the sly manner of Cartier-Bresson. Drama passed him by. He waited for time either to slow down or to come to a functional standstill. In lieu of the fast time of second hands and their snatched fractions, a strong sense of photographic history can be seen to converge on Herzog’s work.

Herzog, born in Germany in 1930, immigrated to Canada in 1952. Although he took some photographs in various places in the world, Vancouver remained his colorful stamping ground from the late 1950s onward. As with Leiter, the sense of a distinct and determining sensibility is enhanced by the relatively limited geographical frame of reference. Because the same bits of real estate crop up in multiple frames, a given view can be triangulated with other shots so that we are enclosed within an artist’s world. To look at Herzog’s work is to inhabit it.”

Hastings at Columbia, 1958
Hastings at Columbia, 1958



(via Equinox Gallery)

You might like these photos of Vintage neon signs from Hollywood’s Golden Era.

Stunning Colorized construction photos of 10 global landmarks

Colorized construction photos of 10 global landmarks. These 10 photographs, in monochrome and then reconstructed color, are taken from the forthcoming book The Paper Time Machine, a collaboration between Retronaut and Jordan Lloyd of Dynamichrome. The finished book will contain 130 reconstructed color historical photographs arranged chronologically, chosen and introduced by Retronaut.

Jul. 1888
Construction of the Eiffel Tower, Paris.
Jul. 1888
Jordan: “The original colour of the Eiffel Tower during its construction in 1888 was called ‘Venetian Red’ as shown in the photograph, applied in the workshop before being assembled on site. The tower has been repainted over a dozen times since, in different shades ranging from a reddish brown to bronze.”
c. 1934
The Golden Gate Bridge under construction, San Francisco, California.
c. 1934
Jordan: “The base tower in the mid ground is rendered in a red lead primer from Bethlehem steel. That became the basis for consulting architect Irving Morrow’s studies to render the bridge in the now familiar International Orange, to increase its visibility to passing ships.”
c. 1935
Officials ride in one of the penstock pipes of the soon-to-be-completed Hoover Dam, Arizona.
c. 1935
Jordan: “Conveying the officials in the photograph is a section of 30-foot diameter steel penstock pipe nearly three inches thick. Arizona’s geology in the background remains the same as it did back in 1935.”
c. 1889
Jordan: “The 11,000 tonnes of steelwork would be eventually clad in Portland Stone and Cheesewring granite from Cornwall, which can be seen at the base of the bridge. The numerous ships and skiffs lurking in the background are all sourced from contemporaneous paintings of the era.”
c. 1889
Tower Bridge was begun in 1881 and opened in 1894, to designs by Sir Horace Jones. It was designed so that the central section could be raised to allow the passage of ships to and from the busy wharves of London.
May 31, 1932
Gutzon Borglum and supt. inspecting work on the face of Washington, Mt. Rushmore, South Dakota.
May 31, 1932
Jordan: “Contemporary references of the granite were used to help get the colour variation correct, and the object in the top left corner is part of the hand of the photographer.”
Apr. 1844
Nelson’s Column under Construction, Trafalgar Square, London. This image suggests industrious advances in the construction of the column. However, when Talbot took this photograph the building work had actually been halted while the government took over the project from the building committee whose funds had run out. Talbot invented the negative/positive process for making photographs between 1835 and 1839. Any number of prints could be made of a single image from the negative.
Apr. 1844
Jordan: “Taken at the very dawn of photographic technology, the resulting process gives the image a somewhat ghostly look as the long exposure blurs people walking down Trafalgar Square. The bold colours used in the advertising were sourced from real examples and paintings from the era.”

The bell-tower of the Sacre Coeur Basilica under construction on the Montmartre Hill in Paris.
Jordan: “Remarkably, many of the elements in the photograph still remain the same today, including the Réservoir de Montmartre and the Saint Pierre de Montmartre to the left of the Sacre Coeur, as well as the apartment blocks on Rue Maurice Utrillo on the right.”
Workers build the Statue of Liberty inside French sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi’s workshop in Paris. The background shows the carved arm of the statue. At the back (right) are smaller models of the arm and the head.
Jordan: “The stylised look of this workshop photograph is a result of the overexposed highlights and less mid tone definition. The huge ceiling openings provide ample light for the craftsmen to beat the copper skin over wooden and plaster formwork seen in the background.”
c. 1920
A view of a trilithon being re-erected during Lieutenant-Colonel Hawley’s excavations and renovations at Stone Henge in 1919 and 1920. The monument itself dates to circa 2000 B.C., although the site was in use much earlier than this.

c. 1920
Jordan: “The trilithons of Stonehenge are well documented and the site has hardly changed in the decades since the photograph was taken.”


This is a modern interpretation of a craft that has existed since the dawn of photography. Originally, color was hand-painted on to prints by talented artisans.


c. 1942
Covered in bamboo scaffolding to disguise it from enemy bombers, the dome of the Taj Mahal, Agra, India, looks almost as if it is being built during WWII. Private First Class John C. Byrom, Jr., of Waco, Texas, trying to catch a goldfish in the marble-lined pool at the approach to the Taj Mahal. Observing are Corporal Anthony J. Scopelliti and Private First Class Ray Cherry.
c 1942
Jordan: “The lack of shadows suggest an overcast day at the Taj Mahal, softening the pink cast of the marble.”

(Via Mashable)

If you enjoyed these colorized construction photos of 10 global landmarks you might also like these photos of New York’s Flat Iron Building.

Headless Photos of the Victorian Period

Headless Photos of the Victorian Period. It’s  not easy to remember the world before Photoshop and digital photo editing. Probably some people believe that, before the advent of technology, the photographs were simple representations of reality at the time of shooting. These statements are true, but not entirely. In Victorian times, photography was a booming sector, and photographic manipulation, towards the end of the 1800s, was a new and unknown art. The possibilities of altering the reality of a photograph were endless, but a very specific competence was needed .

Headless Photos of the Victorian Period

Creating portraits made with the combination of multiple negatives, Victorian photographers tried to conquer the public, and earn more than just a photographer’s salary, offering the opportunity to be immortalized with their heads in their lap, or floating in the air.

Creating portraits made with the combination of multiple negatives, Victorian photographers tried to conquer the public, and earn more than just a photographer's salary, offering the opportunity to be immortalized with their heads in their lap, or floating in the air.

Evidently the decapitation was a theme that particularly fascinated the people of the time, and since the world had been found to apply it without the need to cut anyone’s head, it became very popular.

Evidently the decapitation was a theme that particularly fascinated the people of the time, and since the world had been found to apply it without the need to cut anyone's head, it became very popular.

Of course we needed to spend a lot of time in the darkroom, and one can imagine that this special effect is the result of a long, boring and careful process that, as the photos below show, some photographers were more able than others to realize.

Although the men and women of the Victorian era are often regarded as sad and repressed, obsessed with death, they certainly also had a rather gruesome sense of humor.

Headless wife and husband

The fun was transversal on every social scale

In a ruined photograph

The editing of the baby’s head is quite noticeable in this photo

Group decapitation

Horror Movie Style

If you liked these freaky Headless photos of the Victorian period check out  these 15 vintage freak show photos.