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China in color pictures from 1920-30s

29 Sep

These glass slides were taken by the Russian-born photographer Serge Vargassoff (1906-1965) who established himself as a professional photographer, at the age of 20, in Peking (Beijing), China and became a long-term resident of the city. Later he established a studio ‘Serge Vargassoff Photography’ at 3A Wyndham Street Hong Kong, as well as working at “Gainsborough Studio, Morning Post Building, Hong Kong”. Vargassoff was well known to Hedda Hammer Morrision. Hedda Morrison writes fondly of Vargassoff in her book, A Photographer in Old Peking (1985), “[Serge Vargassoff] was an excellent, though not very businesslike, photographer. We enjoyed a firm friendship and it was he who brought me the news of the Japanese surrender – and a bottle of vodka with which to celebrate the event.


Wulong Ting (Five-Dragon-Pavilion) in Beihai Park

The wall of Tuan Cheng (Circular City) in Beihai Park

The Stone Pailou (Gateway) in Zhongshan Park

A glazed gateway with a pavilion in Beihai Park

Wu Men (the Meridian Gate) in the Forbidden City

Dafeng Zushi Temple

Umbrella repair man

A noodle stall on the footpath

The marble statue of a standing camel on the Sacred Way of Ming Tombs

Part of the Great Wall

A woman wearing a headdress

Horse drawn carriage

A man in his shoe repair stall

Painted clay sculptures of Ming dynasty in Dahui Si (Temple of the Great Wisdom)

Around Sweden in the 1940s and early 1950s by Fredrik Bruno

21 Sep

Fredrik Daniel Bruno (1882–1971) was a town engineer in Hudiksvall in the province of Hälsingland in the northern part of central Sweden. He was also a dedicated amateur photographer, and took colour slides during travels around Sweden in the 1940s and early 1950s.

Most of the photos show Swedish towns – with buildings, harbours, squares, monuments and public parks. Göteborg (Gothenburg) on the west coast and Stockholm, the capital, are well represented. Other photos show the countryside. A lot of the photos seem to be from official travels Fredrik Bruno made as a town engineer, and they reflect well his professional field of interest.

Junction between Götgatan and Ringvägen streets at Skanstull in the southern part of Stockholm city

Junction between Allégatan and Yxhammarsgatan streets in Borås

Kungsgatan street in Sollefteå

Stacks of firewood at Gustaf Adolf Square in Gothenburg. Statue of king Gustav II Adolf, founder of Gothenburg

Kloster church in Eskilstuna

Vasagatan street towards Tegelbacken in Stockholm city. In the background is Riddarholmen and Riddarholmen church

The Municipal Technology Association on a trip to the island of Visingsö on board the steamer “Motala Express”

Järnvägsgatan (Railway street) in Karlstad and Hotel Drott to the left

Funfair in Hudiksvall, the home town of Fredrik Bruno

Stigbergskajen quay in Gothenburg where the steamers of the Swedish American Line moored, and the port terminal “The American Shed”

Kalmar Castle in Kalmar

Västerlånggatan street in the Old Town in Stockholm

On the way to Norway. Gustaf, Carin, Lilly and a Volvo PV

View over Helsingborg. In the middle is the Town Hall. On the other side of Oeresund channel is Denmark

People at Slottsskogen (“Castle Forest”) in Gothenburg

Kungsbacka church and the Town Hall at Stortorget (the Main Square) in Kungsbacka

Slussen in the southern part of Stockholm city. View towards the Old town

Children at Östra Vintergatan street (East Winter street) in Rosta in Örebro

People at the fountain at Karlaplan square in the eastern part of Stockholm city

University College of Gothenburg. (Today the University of Gothenburg)

Forsbacka ironworks at Gavleån (or Gävelån) River

City hotel of Hässleholm, today Hotel Statt

Stockholm by night. Junction between Kungsgatan and Sveavägen streets in Stockholm city

Storgatan (High Street) in Ulricehamn

Götaplatsen square in Gothenburg. To the left is Gothenburg City Theatre, to the right is Gothenburg Museum of Art

Västerås Cathedral

Men at a bus in Eskilstuna. A conference?

Kungsgatan (King’s street) in Gothenburg

The cactus plantation in Carl Johan’s Park in Norrköping

Sailing boat outside the village on Sandhamn island in the archipelago of Stockholm

Geijersgatan street in Gothenburg. In the background is Vasa Church

People at Skansen open air museum at Djurgården in central Stockholm

Vintage Playgrounds

5 Aug

High Line in the past

13 Jun

The High Line is a 1-mile (1.6 km) New York City park built on a 1.45-mile (2.33 km) section of the former elevated freight railroad spur called the West Side Line, which runs along the lower west side of Manhattan; it has been redesigned and planted as an aerial greenway. The High Line Park currently runs from Gansevoort Street, one block below West 12th Street, in the Meatpacking District, up to 30th Street, through the neighborhood of Chelsea to the West Side Yard, near the Javits Convention Center.

Chernobyl before 1986

27 Apr

The Chernobyl disaster was a nuclear accident that occurred on 26 April 1986 at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in the Ukrainian SSR (now Ukraine). An explosion and fire released large quantities of radioactive contamination into the atmosphere, which spread over much of Western Russia and Europe. It is considered the worst nuclear power plant accident in history, and is one of only two classified as a level 7 event on the International Nuclear Event Scale (the other being the Fukushima I nuclear incident, which is considered far less serious and has caused no direct deaths). The battle to contain the contamination and avert a greater catastrophe ultimately involved over 500,000 workers and cost an estimated 18 billion rubles, crippling the Soviet economy.

The disaster began during a systems test on 26 April 1986 at reactor number four of the Chernobyl plant, which is near the town of Pripyat. There was a sudden power output surge, and when an emergency shutdown was attempted, a more extreme spike in power output occurred, which led to a reactor vessel rupture and a series of explosions. These events exposed the graphite moderator of the reactor to air, causing it to ignite. The resulting fire sent a plume of highly radioactive smoke fallout into the atmosphere and over an extensive geographical area, including Pripyat. The plume drifted over large parts of the western Soviet Union and Europe. From 1986 to 2000, 350,400 people were evacuated and resettled from the most severely contaminated areas of Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine. According to official post-Soviet data, about 60% of the fallout landed in Belarus.

Moscow in 1930s [more]

27 Apr

Anti-NEP propaganda

“Fire Protection Propaganda Station”

Sukharev Tower, blown up in 1934

The Vladimir Gate on Lubyanka square, destroyed in 1934

House of Culture of the “Kauchuk” factory

The “Zuev” House of Culture

The “Rusakov” Workers’ Club

Moiseevskaya square

Tram station on the Moiseevskaya square

New car in old Moscow

Foreigners taking photos at MosTorg

Foreigner taking photos

Kvas and mors (berry beer) seller

“A better customer service for the workers!”

Manifestation along Krasnoprudnaya street

Perhaps the interior of the TORGSIN (foreign currency shop)

Queue in front of the shop of Armenian drinks along the Pyatnitsa street

Birzhevaya square

Sokolniki, Green theatre

Sylvester Stallone’s father selling foreign currency at the wall of Kitaigorod

“Soyuzpechat”, newspaper seller at the wall of Kitaigorod

Taxi station at the Leningrad railway station

Carter along the Strominka

Yellowstone National Park 1912

18 Feb

Yellowstone National Park, famous for its hot springs and geysers.