Friday Favourites

Friday is here and so is the start of the 2012 London Olympic Games.

As we eagerly await what director Danny Boyle has in store for the Opening Ceremony tonight, here is a photo of the Ceremony the last time London hosted the Olympics back in 1948:

Baron de Coubertin's motto hovers over the stadium: “the important thing in the Olympic games is not winning but taking part. The important thing in life is not conquering but fighting well.”

King George VI was on hand to open the 1948 ceremony, which was followed
by a parade of nations, declaration of opening, Olympic torch arrival, choral singing and Olympic oath swearing.

Pin of the week

Young Vancouverites outside the Village Bistro, 1967.

Pin of the Week comes from contributor Daniel Ross in Canada, with a wonderful photo documenting a changing neighborhood in 1960’s Vancouver. 4th avenue in the Kitsiliano neighborhood, today a busy shopping area with clothing stores, restaurants, and yoga studios, was the place to be for hip young Vancouverites in the 1960’s. This photo shows an evening scene outside the Village Bistro, one of several coffee shops and music venues that drew large crowds in the summer of 1967. Many locals were less than delighted by the changes in their neighbourhood, and did their best to make things difficult for the so-called “hippies.” See the photo in Street View here.

Pinner of the Week

Diane Bertke, participates in the beer barrel rolling contest at Oktoberfest in MainStrasse Village, Covington Kentucky.

Pinner of the week goes to Kenton County Public Library, with their great collection of local history and genealogy materials. It’s one of the largest Kentucky history and genealogy collections in the nation with thousands of photographs and reels of microfilm, hundreds of maps, an extensive on-line newspaper index and the on-line geNKY genealogy database. This week they have been pinning some fantastic photos of local Kentucky history over the past forty years, from having fun at the fairgrounds to watching local parades. Check out their Channel here.

Story of the week


Story of the week is from the US National Archives, picturing a landmark moment in American history. On August 6, 1965 President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act, which outlawed discriminatory voting practices that had been largely responsible for the disenfranchisement of African Americans. The federal government were given the power to oversee voter registration and elections in counties that used tests to determine voter eligibility, banning discriminatory literacy tests and expanding voting rights for non-English speaking Americans.

The law had a huge impact. By 1968, nearly 60 percent of eligible African Americans were registered to vote in Mississippi, and other southern states showed a similar rise in numbers. Overall, the Voting Rights Act re-enfranchised black southerners, helping elect African Americans at the local, state, and national levels.

President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Voting Rights Act, while prominent civil rights leaders, including Martin Luther King, Jr., watch.

Pin your Olympic Memories!

Athletics at the 1st Olympiad in 1896

The Games are about to begin and we’ve launched our Olympic Memory Collection to collect the amazing photos, videos and stories from previous Olympiads and from this year’s extravaganza in London.

Browse the map to explore photos from every Olympics since the first in one way back in 1896. Some highlights include the 10 Mile Walk in 1908 (don’t forget your top hat if you’re an official), Jesse Owens at the 1936 Berlin Games and Usain Bolt winning gold at the 2008 Olympics.

Over the decades there have been some very amusing outfits (from athletes and fans!) and some unusual events. Have a flick through our Weird and Wonderful Collection to see some of our faves.

Been watching the Olympic flame travel around the UK? Take a Tour and follow the 1948 Torch Relay which only visited a dozen places in before the Austerity Games.

Slide through our timeline for a potted history of the Olympic Games featuring some little known facts and fun photos.

Are you a teacher or youth worker looking for activities? Download our free activities pack which includes a game, lesson plans and tipsheets for gathering photos.

Have you got photos and memories of previous Olympics? A snap of the Torch passing through your area? Add them to our Collection.

And if you’re lucky enough to be going to this years sporting extravaganza, don’t forget to add your images, videos and stories!

Historypin on the Radio, plus how-to’s in Australian!

We’ve been getting lots of love in Australia lately! Most recently, one of our partners, Museum Victoria, did a radio interview about their contributions to Historypin.

The fabulous Ely Wallis alerted us to it with a Tweet.  Thanks Ely and Gerard Callinan at the ABC! You can have a listen to it here: gc-history-pin-23-7.

And if that wasn’t enough, we heard from our friends over at the Bright Ideas Blog, which is a fantastic resource from the School Library Association of Victoria and the State Library of Victoria.  It turns out they’ve used Storify to create an embeddable resource guide on how to get started pinning on Historypin, full of all sorts of video tips on using our site!  Thanks for creating such a great resource–you guys are the best!  We’ve embedded the videos below–very clever!

The Participatory Museum

In a blog post entitled The Participatory Museum published last week, Historypin’s Nick Stanhope and Nick Poole of Collections Trust examine the emergence of “a very simple but very important new idea about the social and professional function of museums.”

While the two Nick’s come from rather different worlds, “Nick Poole from work around cultural collections and Nick Stanhope from work in local communities,” together they look at how “web 2.0” standards are maturing into a much more sophisticated engagement approach for cultural heritage.

What emerges is a participatory museum, which uses the skills of curatorship, documentation and preservation to work with audiences to develop social capital. The museum benefits because it gets its collections digitised, tagged, shared and used. The user benefits because they can both make a material contribution to their culture and acquire new skills in the process. Society benefits because people go through their lives with a personal understanding of and attachment to the work we do.

Read the full article on the Collections Link blog.

Fred’s Friday Favourites

It’s that time of the week again for Fred’s Friday Favourites. It has been a busy week on Historypin with some great content going up, especially from the Atlanta History Center and the Hagley Museum and Library.

Pinner Of The Week though has to go to the Palace of the Governors Archive which has been pinning amazing photos ‘covering the history and the people’ of New Mexico from 1850 to the present. There have been some fantastic photos of Native Americans, Spanish colonialists and early explorers. Many of the photos pinned this week have been about the Palace of the Governors and the surrounding area. The Palace is oldest continually occupied building in the USA and was built in 1618. It was then the seat of Government for the State of New Mexico for centuries, before becoming the seat of the state archives and museum. Check their fantastic Channel out here

Harvey Indian Detour Cars, 1920

Story Of The Week comes from The Atlanta History Center. The story is of Charles Lindburgh pictured from Candler Air Field which is now Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Charles Augustus Lindbergh (1902-1974) was an American Aviator and was the first in the world fly non-stop across the Atlantic Ocean on May 20th-21st, 1927. Although other pilots had crossed the Atlantic before him, Charles was the first to make the trip non-stop and alone! See the photo pinned here.

Charles Lindbergh arriving in Atlanta, 27 October 1927

Pin Of The Week has been uploaded by the Occidental College Archives. As the Olympics are almost upon us, here is an Olympic-themed Pin of Visitors mingling in front of the administration building inside the Olympic Village at the Coliseum during the 1932 Olympic Games hosted in Los Angeles. This Olympic village was the first specially-built for the Games, and led the way for the Olympic Villages of the future. Check out the picture on Historypin here.

Olympic Village, July 1932

Today is Euston Station’s 175th Anniversary, the UK’s first Inner City railway station. It was built by the Classically-trained architect Philip Hardwick and opened on April 20th, 1837.  In 1961/2 amid a huge public outcry the station, along with Euston Arch, were demolished and a new building was built in its place in the Modern International style. Many people thought the Arch would be saved as this had been implied before the development started. However, Harold Macmillan’s government decided it was too expensive to relocate and finally gave permission for its demolition. The move has been compared to the destruction of Penn Station in New York in 1963, as both projects are thought to have hugely influenced the subsequent conservation movement in the UK and the US.

The new station has been described as ‘hideous’ and ‘concocted to induce maximum angst among passengers’. Recently, a redesign has been announced with proposals to rebuild the old Euston Arch, which was found to have been mostly discarded in an East London River. It also later emerged that Frank Velori, who had been commissioned to demolish the Arch, had used some of the stones to build his own house. Here is a link to the picture below where you can see more pics of the Old Euston Station.

Euston Arch 1960

Fred’s Friday Favourites

This is the first of a new Friday Favourites blog that will be showcasing my favourite Historypin Stories, Pics and Channels from the past week….enjoy!

Fave Story 

My fave story of the week has been pinned by Skipton Library and is a diary of the Coronation celebrations in the village of Cowling from Saturday 30th June to the day of the Coronation on Tuesday the 2nd of July. The diary charts the celebrations in the village over the four days, including a parade with wagons representing different countries in the British Empire and a Miss Coronation competition. The detail is fantastic and the story is written by the children who were involved in the different celebrations at the time. Definitely worth a look and a read here.

Cowling Coronation celebrations

Pinner of the Week

The title of Pinner of the Week has to go to San Francisco MTA (Municipal Transport) Archives. They have been adding to their fantastic archive over the past week which includes pictures of San Francisco going back over more than 100 years. The pictures they have pinned over the past few days are of the many Street and Cable cars that snaked their way through the city in the early to mid 20th Century. The Archive is also worth a look for the incredible pictures of the immediate aftermath of the 1906 Earthquake, on the buildings and streets of the city. See the full channel here.

San Francisco Cable Cars

Pin of the Week

Finally my fave Pin of the week is of this great shot of the Launceton Hotel in Adelaide in the early 1890’s, which has been pinned by the State Library of South Australia. The building is still standing but almost unrecognisable in its current form. Since the photo was taken the building has been stripped right back and has managed to acquire a flying saucer on its roof. I love the photo as it shows how much structures can change and the hidden history behind seemingly innocuous buildings. Check out the streetview and building in its current form here.

Launceston Hotel, Adelaide


The Olympic Torch returns to Reading

At 6.14pm today, the Olympic Torch will arrive in Reading. This will be the second time the famous flame has passed through as the town was also a stop during the 1948 Torch Relay. This marks Reading out as one of the very few places in the UK to host the Torch twice – whilst the 2012 route sees the Torch carried all around the British Isles, in 1948 the flame only went to 15 places, all of which were in southern England.

Cameras were not widely owned when the Olympic torch last visited Reading, and images of the Torch in Reading in 1948 are very rare. Reading Museum has a few of these precious images and have pinned them, including this one taken by a member of the public and lent to the museum by a private collector. It shows Cemetery Junction when hundreds of people turned out at Cemetery Junction to see the torch pass from K.R. Martin to W.O. Nichols.

K.R. Martin handing the Olympic Torch to W.O. Nichols

Did you see the 1948 Torch Relay? Have you seen the Torch in other decades or countries?

Add your photos and memories to Historypin to build up a picture of past Torch moments and stories.

Nick 'Wally' Nichols carrying the Torch through Reading.

In 1948 the torchbearers were young athletes chosen from the Reading Athletics Club for their appearance and stamina. This time the torchbearers of Reading will represent a cross section of the community and includes individuals that have raised substantial amounts for charities. With the youngest torchbearer aged just 12 and the oldest 74 Reading is also making sure all generations will be represented on this historic relay. Tonight a flame will be lit in the Madejski Stadium, home of Reading FC for a big celebration celebrating the diversity of Reading.

Are you planning to watch the Torch pass through Reading? Have you seen it pass through your area already?

Add your photos and stories to Historypin to record the Torch’s 2012 journey.

Hot Girls, Empire State Building and Trafalgar Square!

Hello, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Charlie’s Friday Faves will no longer exist – sad times. However Friday Faves will carry on with a different author. So, as this is my last post I thought I would like to choose my all time fave Historypin pins – well not all of them. So in no particular order:

First Fave

Girls, Cadillacs and Hollywood, 1956, Shared by electospark

Well, for my dedicated followers choosing this photo as one of my ultimate fave pins will be of no surprise. And to top off the amazing fashion and car, the photo is on Street View – what a beauty. So these cool cats are posing by their Chevy (For you Chevy fans check out the Chevy collection on Historypin here) and what a Chevy it is. The beautiful pastel green colour, so 50s glam, especially with that cream roof. The lady with blue slacks is my fave the triangle cut outs – so Flintstone, prehistoric! I also love the effortless tucked in shirt, bloody great combo. The lady in the red slacks, going for a more relaxed look with the slightly over sized white sunnies. These ladies are on vacation in Hollywood – I really want to visit Hollywood: all that glamour and style – although knowing me, I would faint with over excitement. This amazing photo was uploaded by electorspark.

Second Fave

Hold On To Your Hat!, Empire State Building, 1931-1941, Shared by EastMarple1

This gem was uploaded by one of my fave Historypin pinners EastMarple1. EastMarple has uploaded some great vintage photos and postcards like this beauty above – Titled ‘Hold on to your hat‘. This postcard was a find in a antiques arcade, and what a find it was. The hats, the coats the shoes ahhh! Judging by the elegant style I would say this photo is from the mid 30s. I love the angle in which the photo was taken, the epic view of the Chrysler Building along side the other sky scrapers. Amazing to think New York was so advanced in architecture construction in the 30s. I also noticed the lack of health and safety – no safety net, hehe. The telescope in the right hand corner is just gorgeous, telescopes remind me of seaside adventures as a kid. Oh my, if you loved this photo too, check out this bad boy Empire State Building, 1943.

Empire State Building, 1943, New York, Shared by Chilee

This must have been a trend, I feel. How bloody similar are they? Love it! How much of a lush (couldn’t go a whole blog without saying the word) 40s couple are they? The double breasted winter coat and beret along side his military outift. If anyone has any photos of themselves or whoever on the Empire State building do add to Historypin – I feel a collection coming on!

Third Fave

London Pigeons, 1965-1969, London, nadine britton

This was one of the first photos I was greeted with when I first started working at Historypin – which is why it has always been a firm fave. Can you believe there were so many pigeons in Trafalgar Square in the swinging 60s as there are today in 2012? Anyway, away from the vermin, how amazing is all the fashion in this photo? I don’t know where to begin? The white flare trousers (on the right of the photo) teamed with a brown jacket. To the mini skirts and Jimmy Choo inspired shoes – lush! The two main beauties Elaine and Mari Carmen we’re visiting London – hopefully they saw more than pigeons. Moving away for the 60s fashion and my jel face to The National Portrait Gallery – so many inspiring trips I have had there over the years. The building looks mega clean compared to today, and architecturally, hasn’t dated. This awesome photo was shared by nadine britton.  

As all great things come in threes, I will leave my faves here. Thanks so much for reading my weekly blog posts people. Peace out!  

Historypinner in Residence: The End

This week marks the end of my time spent working with English Heritage. These past 6 months have flown by, but over that time I have been able to browse through the largest photographic archive in the country, containing work from hundreds of photographers taken from Land’s End to John O’ Groats.

When we started the project we intended for there to be a nice spread of images across the country, and this is something I feel we have achieved. The English Heritage team had a number of photographers’ work they were keen to upload to their channel so I took the names and began search through their archives. I began with John Maltby, who’s work covers the boom of the Odeon cinema during the 30s and 40s, moved on to some larger collections from Eric De Mare and John Gay. I also selected work from smaller collections by photographers such as Rupert Potter, father of Beatrix, and S W Newbery as well loooking at some of the amazing images from the Early Photographic Print Collection.

Looking at images from the Early Photographic Print Collection

As this is my final blog I decide I would pick my all time favourite images that I took from English Heritage’s Archives, so without further ado:

St Edward's Church in front of Ferrybridge Power Station. Copyrighted © All Rights Reserved English Heritage Archives

I love the contrast between old and new in this photo, with the church in the foreground, and the power station cooling towers dominating the rest of the image. De Mare has a knack of bringing buildings to life in his images and this image is no exception. The dark, greystone gothic church is a stark opposite to the sleek modern concrete of the cooling towers, which creates a tension.

Odeon Cinema, Kettlehouse Road, Birmingham, July 1935. Copyrighted © All Rights Reserved English Heritage Archives

This image epitomises for me the art deco cinema trend that began in the 30s. Art deco was a movement that I really enjoy seeing work from, it is a shame to see most buildings from that period have been demolished or fallen in to disrepair. Luckily some are still kept in their original condition, such as the Hoover Building in West London. Whilst working on the Maltby images I found that many of the Odeon theatres were gone, but some were still in use as cinemas and bingo halls, though none held the same elegance and beauty as when originally opened. Seen in daylight this building would be covered glistening white tiles reflecting the sunlight, a shining beacon of cinematic entertainment! The night shot shows the glamourous side of the theatre with its flowing lines and bright lights, offering a piece of hollywood to the everyman.

Looking over the harbour at Portscatho, Cornwall, 1950s. Copyrighted © All Rights Reserved English Heritage Archives

Portscatho is in Cornwall, where John Gay and his wife took many of their holidays. This photo is very representative of Gay’s work that I looked at. He focused on everyday British country life, building up an extensive archive of images ranging from Country Fairs to fisherman, and beachside tourists. The sleepy side of England, which makes me think of time spent with my grandparents in Somerset.

To see my blogs from the past click here, and to see English Heritage’s great channel, click here.