The Tanana River, Montevideo and Smilling in Photographs

Pin of The Week

Meeting the native Peoples on the Tanana River

Meeting the native Peoples on the Tanana River, 1916

Pin of the week was pinned by the Rutherford B.Hayes Presidential Center. It was taken by Colonel Webb C. Hayes, son of the aforementioned 19th President of the United States. The Colonel was on a trip exploring Alaska and the Yukon with his two 18 year-old nephews Dalton Hayes and William Hayes. This photograph appeals to me because it is a beautiful portrait of a traditional family within a cultural group that probably had very rarely been photographed at this point. The caption accompanying the photograph tells that there were…”lines of drying salmon hanging up and some caribou and bear skins.”

Pinner of the Week

Plaza Independencia, 1936

Plaza Independencia, 1936

Pinner of the Week is Centro de Fotografía de Montevideo (the Montevideo photography centre). This organisation has a brilliant channel conserving and documenting the history of Uruguay’s capital. Their own archive has approximately 120,000 photographs from the period 1840-1990 and a growing collection of contemporary photos.  There is a wealth of historical information paired with the photos they have pinned; and even if your Spanish isn’t too hot (like mine) it’s quite fun too filter the blurbs through Google Translate and see what you can discern.

Children of Carnival, 1918

The children of Carnival, 1918

You can read about all aspects of the city’s history: the famous Carnival that takes over South America every February, the history of the buildings and the port, the creation of the city’s tourist industry and everything in between.

Rosaleda del Prado, 1920

Rosaleda del Prado, 1920

This photo shows a garden path within Rosaleda del Prado, a huge rose garden within the public park of Prado that was designed by French landscape architect Charles Racine and opened in November 1912. It was made up of 12,000 rosebushes many varieties of which Racine had had shipped over from his homeland.

Story of the Week

Smiling in photographs

Smiling in photographs

This week story regards the transition, over the timeline of photography, from seemingly non-expressive poses to today’s photo-culture of never forgetting to have your biggest smiles ready whenever a camera is near.
I decided to investigate when the change occurred and to what it was attributed. The first photograph with a person as the subject matter was supposedly in 1838. The early photographic process was a much lengthier affair than today with exposure times up to a minute long. For this reason people needed to be in a pose that was sustainable for this length of time. All kinds of apparatus was used to help, including head braces and ropes going through the clothes and chairs of young children, in an effort to lock them into position. A minute-long smile would appear unnatural, it was much easier to maintain a more relaxed face. The opportunity for a family or individual to have their photograph taken was also a rare, expensive event that would see the family dress-up in their Sunday finest. To smile and risk ruining the photo could upset the whole family and maybe stemming from this reason smiling for photos was considered insincere and undignified.

Mr and Mrs George W. Starr and family, 1902

Mr and Mrs George W. Starr and family, 1902

As time passed the photographic process improved and exposure times reduced. A crisp photo was not so reliant on sustained perfect-stillness from the subject.  People also grew more used to having their photo taken as the practice became cheaper and more commonplace. By the 1920s the informalising of photography and the informalising of many other social aspects meant that people had started choosing to smile when their image was captured. The practice has widened and today you may be accused of rudeness if you fail to offer a smile for a photo.
That is a general assessment of how smiling in photos became commonplace but I thought I would just mention a few other reasons offered when I was reading around the subject which include improvements in oral hygiene and dentistry and photographers perfecting their delivery of jokes.
I have always been more intrigued by older photos than newer ones and wondered why. Aside from the mystery that time helps nuture, I think a big part of the reason is what lies behind the smile. Having smile as the default writes a deceitful account of what is going on. The exposure time of a photo today can be infinitesimal compared to old photos.  You may capture a smile but it is such a quick snapshot of a smile that there is no time to determine its sincerity. The attempted neutral expressions of the past were exposed for seconds rather than milliseconds and allowed enough time for someones real emotions to shine through. So, although it may sound counter-intuitive, I believe if you want to show the world how happy you are; turn your face as blank as possible, sit very still and turn that exposure right up.

Thanks for the photo, which was pinned by EastMarple1.

A game of bocce, Filipino families and stereographs from Port Arthur

Pin of The Week

Party after a game of bocce, Thulimbah, ca. 1949

Pin of the Week was pinned by the State Library of Queensland. It shows a group of Italian migrants who had moved to the Stanhope District in Australia after World War Two. The description of the photo says they have just been playing bocce which is an Italian game similar to boules. Today, bocce is played in many overseas areas that have received Italian migrants, including Australia, North America and South America. Initially it was played amongst the migrants themselves but slowly has become more popular with the wider communities. For me the photo highlights this beautiful cultural interchange that the moving of communities can bring. The men can also be seen drinking; know doubt they brought a little local wine knowledge over with them as well!

Pinner of the Week

People power revolution, Quezon City, 23 February 1986

Pinner of the Week is Angkang Pilipino (meaning Filipino Family), a site representing The Philippine Genealogocial Society online ‘that offers articles, resources, biographies and photos that may help and inspire enthusiasts to embrace genealogy with scholarly diligence.’

Check out their Channel and explore their contributions which span many decades and topics.

The Chapel of St. Pancratius, Manila, 1900

We just need Google’s Street View cars to run through Manila and the rest of the Phillipines and we’re sure to have some great overlays to create a compelling comparison with today’s cities and landscapes.

Children play in flooded Niconyor Reyes Street, Manila, 1975

Story of the Week

Japanese officer instructing his men how to scale the walls of the deadly forts, Port Arthur, 1904

This week’s story is inspired by some photos pinned by the pierlociop and is the story of the stereograph and stereoscopy.

Stereoscopy is a technique used to create the illusion of depth within a 2D scene. The easiest way to do this is to provide the eyes of the viewer with two different images that differ very slightly; just enough to mimic the perspectives that both eyes naturally have in binocular vision. This is then produced as a stereograph, as seen above, which lays the two photos side by side and ocular apparatus is then used that splits which eye sees which photo. As the brain receives the images they are combined to give the perception of a 3D scene.

A Holmes Stereoscope

You can read on the side of the stereographs pinned by pierlociop that they were produced by Underwood and Underwood Publishers. The company was founded by two brothers, Elmer and Bert Elias Underwood, and ran from 1881 till the 1940s. At one time they were the largest publisher of stereoviews in the world, producing 10 million views a year.

Professor Ricaiton, with Japanese officers of 11th Division, at foot of Takushan, Port Arthur, 1904

These particular stereographs show scenes from Port Arthur, now known as Lüshunkou, in China,1904. Port Arthur was the site of the longest and most violent battle of the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905.

Some ‘Remember When’ Friday Favourites

This week, we launched our exciting new project ‘Remember When We Used To,’ an archive of memories showing how energy has transformed our lives. Below are just a few ‘Remember How’ memories that have been shared with us:


Card Catalog Inside the Covington Library, 1980.

Do you remember how we used to look for books with a card catalogue? This photo of a student inside the Covington Library in Kentucky, pinned by the Kenton County Public Library, demonstrates the concentration required to search for books manually before computers became common search tools. I especially like the fun detective drawing helping kids to find books by author and title.

Finding books used to be a more engaging process; the searching was certainly an event in itself. I remember our teacher taking us to our school library and showing us how to search for books in the card catalogue, and making up games to see who could search for the right book the fastest. There was also always that one trouble-maker in the class who would mix up all of the cards in the drawers, making it a nightmare for the poor librarian to reorganise.

With computers as commonplace search tools, studying in the library or browsing for books in a bookstore is now less about the work involved in searching and more about the varied results one can get in a short amount of time.

Do you remember those pesky card catalogues? Share your memories with us here!


Cambridge United vs. Burton Playoffs, May 2008.

User Richard Nurse recently shared his favourite celebratory moment, of a pitch-invasion moment at Abbey Stadium, Redditch, UK in 2008. Here he captures the moment after his team, Cambridge United, beat Burton Albion in the semi-finals to get to Wembley Stadium in the Conference Play-Off Finals. It’s a great shot that captures a cherished personal memory.

For my fellow sports fans out there, you will know that some of the best celebratory moments are the ones when your home team celebrates a crucial win; whether its a family football game or professional match, whether player or spectator, the pride in bringing home a victory is something that can stick with you for a long time.

Did your home team ever grab a win after trailing? Have you or someone you know score the winning point? Share them with us and let us know how you celebrated afterwards.


Saturday Night Fever, June 1978.

Now technically this photo is not of people playing, but I believe dancing can definitely fall under this category. User AndyT shared this great photo memory of a campus dance demo at the University of York in 1978. As with many universities today, York had a special day when people were encouraged to visit the campus. In June 1978 the attractions on offer included what AndyT describes as “very cool” students showing off the latest dance moves, seen here outside Central Hall. Anyone familiar with the disco dances of the 1970’s will know that the style above was best-demonstrated by this guy:

John Travolta on the Saturday Night Fever (1977) film poster.

Everyone wanted Travolta’s cool dance moves, so it’s no wonder young people all over the world took them up on their school campuses. My own university open-day didn’t feature disco, but there were many other ‘current’ styles on offer like hip-hop; changing dance-styles are a reflection of the times, and is also one of those things that can immediately trigger memories (some not so great) of how we used to ‘play.’

If you have some dance-filled university memories, or evidence of some now-dated moves, share them with us here.

We would love to see your personal memories of how we used to work, play, watch and listen, keep warm, celebrate. Visit the project page here.

Women at Tule Lake Internment Camp, Dutch Street Scenes, and the Sounds of 1897.

As we roll into December, we have a variety of Friday Favourites today that includes both photos and audio. Please leave your comments, we’d love to hear them!

Pin of the Week

Five Young Women in the Tule Lake Internment Camp, 1943.

Pin of the Week comes from user, who pinned this wonderful colour photo of young Japanese-American women in Tule Lake Internment Camp, 1943. One of the many internment camps that the United States government forced those of Japanese ancestry into during World War II, Tule Lake was one of the largest. It was located in Modoc County, California, and over 24,000 men, women, and children lived and worked in poor living conditions throughout the course of the war. Here is a view of the camp during this time:

A view of Tule Lake internment camp c.1942-43.

I like the photo of the women above because despite the darkness of their situation, these women maintain their personal stylishness and most importantly, their smiles.

Have a look at the rest of’s Channel for a good collection of WWII Japanese internment history.

Pinner of the Week

Kerkplein, 1900.

Pinner of the Week is Regionaal Archief Alkmaar (Alkmaar Regional Archives), a partnership of 13 municipalities in North-Kennemerland, West Friesland and North Holland. It keeps a range of archival material, from records, books, maps, photographs, films etc. The Regionaal Archief Alkmaar’s goal is to help both individuals and organisations receive help with research or any other queries within the field of archives and cultural history. It also works within the educational sector to help promote Alkmaar and the surrounding region.

Their Channel contains some wonderful street overlays of Alkmaar around the turn of the twentieth-century:

Kaasmarkt op het Waagplein, 1900.
Stoomtram Alkmaar-Purmerend, 1897.

To view more, visit their Channel here.

Story of the Week

Arthur Pryor with his trombone, c1900.

Pin of the Week is a wonderful bit of audio that I discovered through Retronaut, of a trombone solo recording from 1897. The recorder and musician of the piece is Arthur Pryor, at the time a twenty-six year old assistant conductor with John Philip Sousa’s band. He had been playing the trombone all his life – Pryor was a child prodigy and played with his older brother Walt on cornet and younger brother Sam on drums. He went on to form his own Ragtime band, become a Democrat politician, and live into the 1940s. But for now the date is Tuesday 27th July, 1897 in New York City; I imagine a hot summer’s day, with Pryor hard at work recording his trombone solo amid the bustling horse and carts on the street outside:

‘There’ll Come a Time,’ Arthur Pryor, July 27th, 1897.

Retronaut paints a vivd picture of the context in which Pryor made the recording: “Its only twenty years since Thomas Edison first recorded sound…Four months ago William McKinley became the 25th President of the United States, three months ago Oscar Wilde was released from Reading gaol, and last month Queen Victoria of Great Britain celebrated her Diamond Jubilee. There’s been a Gold Rush for ten days, up in the Klondike.” Being able to literally listen-in on the close of the 19th century is a fascinating concept of its own.

This was an exciting time for sound innovation. After Edison first recorded sound with his phonograph (1877), Emile Berliner invented the flat-disc gramophone (1888), which could be pressed from stampers and duplicated over and over again. Machines before this required a new recording session each time, which in effect limited their production capabilities. But even the first issued incarnations of Berliner’s gramophones in 1894 were no more than toys; they were either pressed with zinc, which was really noisy, or hard rubber, which tended to flatten out. With the change to shellac in 1897 records were more practical; these were usually 7 inches in diameter and running around two minutes, which was what Pryor would have recorded onto. Also, these records didn’t have paper labels, but rather a recording date pressed into the record, which is very useful for us today.

We are always encouraging more primary source audio; this particular piece came from the personal collection of writer Roger Wilmut, who was kind enough to share his rare recordings online. We also encourage more crowdsourced information-if anyone can figure out a more precise location in New York where Pryor made the recording, please comment below!

Finally, if you have any old sound recordings in which you can pinpoint time or location data, please share them on Historypin! And they don’t have to be as old as Pryor’s; even something like an old voice machine message cherished by you is something we would love to hear stories about.

Gilded Age New York, Cairns Time Machine ™, and Filmmaker Eddie Wong

We hope that our American friends across the pond had a good Thanksgiving, and are suitably recovering from their food comas. We have a very special Friday Favourites today, as we welcome a contribution from Asian American filmmaker Eddie Wong, a founder of Visual Communications in Los Angeles, California.

Now on to some of our favourite content:

Pin of the Week

Street Scene, New York City, 1897.

Pin of the Week is one of my favourites, a street scene in New York City pinned by The Museum of the City of New York.  On the south-east corner of Central Park, this was and still is a busy plaza on swanky Fifth Avenue and East 59th Street (now the Grand Army Plaza). The rich had already begun to build their palaces in this area at the time this photo is set; the well-dressed men and women in their top hats and day dresses are a testament to the area’s fashionable background.

This was New York during the Gilded Age, so-called because the Americans who achieved wealth celebrated it as never before. Writer Mark Twain, who coined the term, described the general feeling of the era in 1871: “What is the chief end of man?–to get rich. In what way?–dishonestly if we can; honestly if we must.” Every man was a potential Carnegie or Rockefeller.

With some sleuthing, I discovered that the mansion in the far right corner of the photo was the Cornelius Vanderbilt II Mansion, a physical representation of the wealth produced during this age.

Cornelius Vanderbilt II House, between 1894-1927, Library of Congress.

Cornelius Vanderbilt II was an American socialite and businessman belonging to the prominent Vanderbilt family; it seems appropriate that his former home, now demolished, has been replaced by the upscale Bergdorf Goodman retail store. Looking at this extravagant mansion as well as the 1897 street scene, one can really see who and what lent the “gilded” to the Gilded Age.

When fading the Street View overlay below, I was surprised to find that a nostalgic part of this era’s lifestyle still remains with us today…

Street View overlay-what is surprisingly similar in the present day when you fade the historical image?

...the horse and buggies!

See more Gilded Age photos like these on the Museum of the City of New York’s Channel.

Pinner of the Week

Dr. Koch Memorial being unveiled, 1903.

Pinner of the Week is Cairns Time Machine ™, a wonderful recent Channel focused on sharing the lost history of Cairns in Queensland, Australia. Cairns Time Machine has a very specific origin story; its creator conceived of the idea of the project on November 17th, 2012 when attending the opening of the new Cairns Cruise Liner Terminal. An observation of the port area, and the shocking realisation of just how many old buildings had been torn down for redevelopment, spurred the need to document Cairns lost history. The result is a great interactive tour of the central and port area of Cairns, complete with photos and stories. The Channel contains historic images of Cairns supplied by the State Library of Queensland and the Cairns Historical Society.

Auctioneer E. Hunter, 1900.

Construction of the Central Hotel, 1909.

I love the passion here for sharing local history, and the fact that an individual has reached out to and collaborated with local institutions to help in this task. All the Cairn images are Street Viewed very nicely, and the Channel has a cool name to boot. Check out more Time Machine images and stories here.

 Story of the Week

Eddie Wong in Griffith Park, Los Angeles, 1970's.

We have a special Story of the Week, with a personal contribution from one of the founders of Visual Communications, Eddie Wong. The story begins with the Visual Communications Archives and Media Resource Library, who recently created a Channel containing stories of pioneering Asian Americans in film and beyond. Based in the Little Tokyo area of Downtown Los Angeles, the Visual Communications Archives holds one of the nation’s most comprehensive repositories of 20th Century Asian Pacific American history. In their own words, the VC’s holdings, though specific, “affirms a culturally pluralistic view of American society. This view resides in the heart of VC’s mission — to promote intercultural understanding through the preservation of our cultures, communities, and histories in America.”

Eddie Wong is one such individual who has been an important member of the Asian American community in California. Wong and his fellow founders envisioned Visual Communications as a filmmakers’ collective, one that sought to re-represent the history and culture of Asian Pacific Americans and use media for social change. This vision has helped the VC grow into a community establishment that now trains future generations of Asian Pacific American filmmakers. In truth however, Wong cannot only be called a filmmaker but also an author, arts administrator, and political campaigner. His time outside VC has seen him as a the founder of East Wind Magazine, the National Field Director of Rev. Jesse Jackson’s 1988 Presidential Campaign, and more recently the director of the Angel Island National Immigration Station Foundation among other roles.

Recently, Wong himself got in touch with Historypin to contribute further information for his VC pinned-photo, pictured above. Imagine my surprise when the person who used our “suggest more accurate details” feature was the photo’s very subject!

I asked if he could contribute a few words about his time at Visual Communications, as well what inspired him to become a filmmaker, and he kindly obliged. Here is what he had to say:

“When I look at that skinny, young man in the VC archives’ photo, I see someone who was thrilled to be involved at Visual Communications with such talented artists as Bob Nakamura, my mentor, and Alan Ohashi, Duane Kubo, and Pat Lau Miller (who probably took that photo).  From the very beginning, VC’s mission was to create media products (slideshows, photo exhibits, children’s books, films) that would tell the Asian American story from the inside. This process of revealing our true selves, unfiltered and uncensored, became our quest.  We had so much fun discovering the stories of ordinary people who collectively did extraordinary things like build California’s agricultural industry or found quiet moments of contemplation amid backbreaking work.
My interest in filmmaking probably stems from being the family photographer.  I loved taking snapshots with our Kodak Instamatic and was encouraged by my father, who pursued photography briefly as a young man.  Growing up in a laundry in Hollywood also whetted my appetite to explore visual images as my brother and I routinely dumpster dived looking for animation cells and celebrity photos.
Becoming a filmmaker was also enabled by the Ethnocommunications Program at the UCLA Film School.  This affirmative action program sought to increase the minority composition of the film program from a few to 50. Getting access to film equipment and instruction simply opened the door for us to create work that no one had bothered to do before: stories of Japanese gardeners, Chinese laundrymen, sewing women, Asian American youth gangs, etc. As film school wound down, several of us decided to continue working together and the rest is history.  Before there was DIY, there was “let’s give it a try.”  And it continues to this day that Asian Americans tell our own stories, recasting our images for all to appreciate.”
I thank Eddie Wong again for these inspiring words, and Visual Communications for doing what they do best.

Check out the VC Archive Channel here, as well as their blog.

1900 Girl’s Baseball, Tortosa Heritage, and Voting at 91.

Happy Friday! It is an exciting time here at Historypin, and we have many projects in the works to help better facilitate the sharing of the great histories and memories that you are contributing. Here are some of the week’s favourites:

Pin of the Week

Sports in the Eagle Rock Hills, 1900.

Pin of the Week comes from the Occidental College Archives, with this fabulous action shot of women playing baseball in 1900. Despite the long skirts, they appear to be having a great time. I imagine this as a scene from a 1900’s-era League of Their Own, without the crying of course.

Occidental College was founded on April 20, 1887, by a group of Presbyterian clergy, missionaries, and laymen; the first term began with 27 men and 13 women students. Twelve years after the above picture was taken, Occidental President John Willis Baer announced the decision to make “Oxy” an all-men’s school. However, students protested and the campus retained its co-ed population.

The College Archives were established in 1971 as a division of the Department of Special Collections in the Mary Norton Clapp Library, and serves as the institutional memory of the College. It documents the history of Occidental College by identifying, collecting, preserving and providing access to records by and about the College. Check out their Channel for more great memories like the one above!

 Pinner of the Week

Monument al General Prim (Reus), 1966.

Pinner of the Week is Arxiu Cultural de Deltebre (The Cultural Archive of Tortosa), a project of the municipality of Deltebre in Spain. Deltebre, in the province of Tarragona and by the Ebre River, was conquered by foreign invaders in 1148 during the Second Crusade; since this time it preserves significant examples of medieval, Renaissance, baroque and modernist architecture. The collaboration between Arxiu Cultural de Deltebre and Tirant lo Rall (cultural heritage center for the Ebro Delta) is an effort to build a greater appreciation for Deltebre’s local heritage, with many images from the second-half of the twentieth century. It is great to see local projects emerge from all over the world utilising Historypin to raise awareness for local heritage and history.

Cranes remove sunken barge, 1972

José Aliau on the promenade, 1980.

Tortosa today

To view more images, visit their Channel here.

Story of the Week

Grandma votes, November 1916.

With the recent US Presidential elections only shortly-passed, Story of the Week is about a lady who finally got the right to vote at the age of ninety-one. From HPHSArchivist, the photos depict Mary Brand, born in 1825, voting on a limited ballot on November, 7 1916 in Highland Park, Illinois. An emigrant from Alsace, France, Brand and her family became important figures in Highland Park society.

Although in 1916 Brand is only voting on a limited ballot, one can only imagine the feeling of participating in such an important milestone in women’s history-at ninety-one! Surrounded by family, she is affectionally called ‘Grandma Brand.’ She died in January 1921 — just a few months after the 19th Amendment’s passage gave women the right to vote in all United States elections.

At the polling place, November 1916.

The Streets of Dublin and Mexico, and Bob Dylan in Hamlet’s Castle

Hello and welcome to another round of Friday Favourites! This week I’d like to thank all the users who contributed information that helped us find more precise locations and Street Views of some great photos. A castle bridge c.1890, a railway hotel in 1913, and this Salford UK street are just a few that we’ve been able to improve. If you think that you can ‘suggest more accurate details’ of a particular pin, don’t hesitate to do so. Now on to some great content:

Pin of the Week

Junction, Rathmines, Dublin, 1911.

A closer look

Pin of the Week is a wonderful Street View from the Open University’s MA History program. The course focuses on local and regional history, and is using Historypin as a platform for sharing their interesting finds with the online community.

The turn-of-the century Dublin photo above shows streetcars, horse and carts, and some fashionable dress from the women in the foreground. A contributor on the photo’s Flickr page has done some sleuthing to discover the correct date of the scene, using the poster headlines between Retz and Rooney & Co. as clues: “And I think the poster says Saturday! However, the next word looks like August to me, so I kept searching and this looks fairly promising from Saturday, 26 August 1911:
The trial of Mr. Beattie for the murder of his wife by shooting her while travelling in a motor car, was resumed to-day…””

Many of the buildings in the present day are for the most part unchanged, which makes for a great Street View overlay with the 1911 scene. Check out a fullscreen version by clicking the first photo.

There are many school projects that utilise Historypin, and OU’s MA History program is just one of great examples.  We really encourage that Historypin become a learning tool in the classroom!

Check out OU MA History Channel here.

Pinner of the Week

Traffic controller agents, Leon, Mexico, 1922.

Pinner of the Week is user David, who has been pinning lots of great material from León, Mexico. In these photos we can see the hustle and bustle of everyday life, from train station scenes, to market shopping, to cycling on the streets. And speaking of the streets, there are so many great Street Views on this Channel, of scenes spanning multiple decades.

He has also taken a great Historypin Repeat, which I encourage anyone with the our Android App to experiment with. It is a fun way to include yourself and have fun with great historical scenes already out there!

Click the photos for a closer view, and have a look at David’s Channel here.

Train station, 1925-1945.

House built in 1883 and demolished in 1971, Leon, Mexico.

One of the many great flood photos that we have on Historypin; "One day after the flood of 1926."

A bonus repeat as well, taken May 2012.

Story of the Week

Bob Dylan at Kronborg Castle, 1966.

In May 1966, Bob Dylan visited Denmark as part of his World Tour, the first in which he travelled with an electric band. He had caused a sensation a year earlier at the Newport Folk Festival by ‘going electric,’ much disconcerting to many members of the folk movement.

While in Denmark he visited Kronborg Castle in Helsingor, a UNESCO’s World Heritage Site and one of the most important Renaissance castles in Northern Europe.  The castle is most famous as Shakespeare’s Elsinore Castle in Hamlet. Hamlet was performed in the castle for the first time in 1816 to mark the 200th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare, with a cast consisting of soldiers from the castle garrison. The play has since been performed several times in the courtyard and at various locations on the fortifications.

Dylan wrote a verse for the play’s Ophelia in his “Desolation Row”:

Now Ophelia, she is at the window, 
For her I feel so afraid 
On her twenty-second birthday 
She already is an old maid  

Thanks to Google’s efforts at Street Viewing more ‘inside’ locations, Kronborg Castle is one of the most recent additions to this growing list. This is how we could get this atypical overlay with sweeping sea views and castle grounds below. Click for a bigger view of Dylan contemplating Elsinore:

In Street View inside the castle.

Remember that you too can keep up with the latest Google Street View additions through the official blog. Maybe you’ll find some new and interesting places to pin!

The Oldest Ambulance in Ontario, a Walk With History, and Young Love.

Friday is upon us again, I hope everyone enjoys their weekends! Here is only a small portion of the great content that has gone up recently:

Pin of the Week

The Oldest Surviving Ambulance in Ontario, 1908.

Pin of the Week is from Owlinink, of the oldest surviving ambulance in Ontario, Canada. This is the original ambulance used in the oil town of Petrolia, and was built in February 1908 by the Petrolia Wagon Works Company and was used until it was replaced with a motorized ambulance about 1919. The men working in the oil industry surrounding Petrolia were particularly vulnerable to injury with their dangerous occupation, and the ambulance was often dispatched into the oil fields around town to retrieve injured workers and transport them in relative comfort.

In 2008-2009 the Paramedics of Lambton County EMS raised the funds to give the hundred year-old ambulance a proper restoration, and it is now on display at the Lambton Heritage Museum.

The ambulance today.

According ambulance’s website, “Preservation of this ambulance has now ensured that the citizens of Ontario and all of Canada will be able to see how the sick and injured were brought to hospital so many years ago.” This is a great effort to preserve a piece of history that is now available for the community to see. To learn more about the ambulance and its restoration, visit

Pinner of the Week

Neuman's Market Building, 1950.

Pinner of the Week goes to Walk With History, who have pinned some great photos and stories of historic downtown Kennewick, Washington. This compilation, together an effective walking tour, is a collaborative effort amongst the Digital Technology and Culture Program at Washington State University, the City of Kennewick, the East Benton County Historical Museum and the Historic Downtown Kennewick Partnership. Each building photo has a lovely nostalgic story to go along with it, such as the one above: “Historical records showed that back in the day pricing for grocery items (at the Market) were: coffee $1.00/lb., pancake flour $0.49/lb., and bulk macaroni noodles $0.29/lb. No double coupons necessary!”

Cox Building, 1950. Opened for 41 years and associated with important civic leaders.

Kennewick Transfer Building, 1915. Owned by the mayor at the time, who eventually had to relocate due to financial difficulties in the town.

I like how what at first seems like a mere photo of a building makes way for wonderful anecdotes about the people and culture the make-up community life in a small American town. Experience them for yourself at Walk With History’s Channel here.

 Story of the Week

Young Love, July 1948.

Story of the Week is a nice vignette from Kerr and Porter Family Histories. Heather Acton, daughter of Bob and Betty Porter Kerr of White Bear, Saskatchewan, has pinned this wonderful photo of her parents when they were dating in 1948. Taken at Clearwater Lake, Saskatchewan, the photo is such a nice snapshot of a meaningful family memory. Bob and Betty are learning against the round dancehall that used to be right at the beach, and are about 16 or 17 in the photo. Heather writes that they saw their 50th wedding anniversary in 2002, a wonderful milestone. Here we get to see where it all began!

If you have any memories of your parent’s while they were dating like Heather’s, we’d love to see them pinned and tweeted about.

Telluride in the Mountains, A Local Somerville History Nut, and Houdini’s Escape

Hello and welcome to a special Monday edition of Friday Favorites! It has been hectic here at Historypin, but I still wanted to get the word out there about some of the great content that went up in the past week. Check them out:

 Pin of the Week

Fourth of July Parade, Colorado Street, Telluride, 1895.

Pin of the Week comes from the Telluride Historical Museum, with a scenic photo of a Fourth of July Parade in Telluride in 1895. Located in the beautiful mountains of Colorado, Telluride has a rich history as a mining town; from the local Native American Ute culture, the discovery of gold and silver, and the arrival of the railroad, the museum aims to chronicle this diverse history. The world is familiar with Telluride through the the Telluride Film Festival, held for the past forty years and on parr with Cannes and Sundance. I myself knew about Telluride through my love for film, but am glad to be able to explore the town’s history.

Unfortunately there is currently no Street View available for Telluride (get on that Google Maps!), but looking at the photo below, it seems that the intimate small-town feeling still remains:

Downtown Telluride, present day.

Telluride, surrounded on all sides by mountains

I look forward to seeing more pins from the Telluride Historical Museum; in the meantime, visit their Channel and their website.

Pinner of the Week

South End kids pose on a stone lion, Boston, MA, 1933-1943.

Pinner of the Week is user binarydreams, a self-perscribed “local history nut” from Somerville, Massachusetts. With over one-hundred pins, binarydreams shares an array of photos from not only Somerville’s past, but other cities in Massachusetts such as Boston. From sledding on underwater ice to raids on speakeasies in the latter, to child laborers in 1912 Somerville, decades of local history leading up to the present are brought vividly to life.

A yard full of homework, Sommerville, MA, 1912.

A city farmer tends his vegetables in the Fenway, Boston, 1973.

I love individuals that are so enthusiastic about their local history; there is so much to discover and learn, and the potentially more personal element involved can instill a sense of belonging and participation in the timeline of local culture. Binarydream’s Channel certainly has the scope that allows not only locals, but those from around the world to see how much has changed (or what has not) in the area, and reflect on “remember how we used to…”

Check out the Channel’s wonderful collection of photos here.

Story of the Week

Harry Houdini preparing for an escape stunt, 1912. (Library of Congress)

In the weeks leading up to Halloween, Story of the Week comes from the mysterious magician Harry Houdini. A master at his craft, Houdini defied the efforts of experts in almost every part of the world to devise a restraint from which he could not escape. He escaped from iron boxes, paper bags, bank safes, and coffins buried six feet under.

On July 7, 1912, Houdini attempted to escape from a wooden crate submerged in the East River in New York harbor. In the photo above, he shows his handcuffs and chains as he stands with the wooden crate that he will climb into, the hook for it visible on the left. The police inspected that his bindings were secure, then the large box was nailed shut and weighted down with lead weights. The box was then slowly lowered into the harbor, to the delight of a huge crowd onshore.

Here Houdini describes the mental strength necessary to complete an escape: “When I am stripped and manacled, nailed securely within a weighted packing case and thrown into the sea, or when I am buried alive under six feet of earth, it is necessary to preserve absolute serenity of spirit….If I grow panicky I am lost. And if something goes wrong; if there is some slight accident or mishap…I am lost unless all my faculties are free from mental tension or strain. The public see only the accomplished trick…”

Within a minute of being submerged in the box, Houdini’s head appeared in the water, unbound and free. When the bindings were inspected back on the pier, they were found in the exact condition they were in before the box was lowered into the water. Hat’s off to one of the world’s greatest escapists!

Funny Animals, the Swinburne Institute, and Iwo-Jima

Happy Friday! Thank you to all the institutions and individual users that have joined and started using Historypin this week, we have come across some wonderful Channels recently. Here in London, where everyone is in denial over the fact that winter has started, let’s keep warm and cozy with some Friday Favourites:

Pin of the Week

Goat stealing a horse's food, April 18, 1895.

For the Pin of the Week, I thought it would be fun to showcase two great Channels through their fun animal-themed photos. This first one, of a goat cheekily stealing a horse’s food, continues the surprising goat-themed week we have been having here at Historypin. The Samuel Butler Project, who have pinned the photo, have many more animal-centric photos from the prolific Victorian photographer of the same name, including sheep and horses on steamers and a man with a monkey. Butler travelled around Europe extensively during the 1800’s and captured the charming, humorous, and poignant slices of life, and this photo is just one great example.

Seal meets man on site of the 'Cities Service Boston' wreck, 1943.

The second is from the Shellharbour Libraries and Museum in New South Wales, Australia, of a man meeting a seal on the beach. The photo was taken on the site of a shipwreck in 1943, in which soldiers from the 6th Australian Machine Gun Battalion AIF rescued the entire crew of 62 Americans, tragically losing four soldiers in the process. A memorial to their bravery now stands on the northern side of Bass Point in Shellharbour. I like the way that this fun photo unexpectedly tells a larger story of local heroism.

Check out the Samuel Butler Project’s Channel here, and the Shellharbour Libraries and Museums’ Channel here.

Pinner of the Week

Fighting boys by the Domestic Economy Building, 1911-1917.

Pinner of the Week is the wonderful Swinburne University of Technology, who have been pinning some great photos of campus life reaching back to the early 20th century. Founded by George Swinburne in 1908, this Melbourne, Australia-based campus holds thousands of historical photographs illustrating the rich history of learning and teaching at the institution. Swinburne’s Channel provides a snapshot of retro learning, from dressmaking and laundry to blacksmith and practical plumbing classes.

Junior laundry class, 1915.

Drum-up some school nostalgia by viewing more photos on Swinburne’s Channel.

Story of the Week

The Battle of Iwo Jima, February 1945.

Story of the Week comes from the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library, who have pinned some haunting photos of The Battle of Iwo Jima in February 1945. Many capture Invasion Beach, where 61,000 American marines poured onto in one of the bloodiest and final campaigns of World War II. The battle was marked by changes in Japanese defense tactics-troops no longer defended at the beach line but rather concentrated inland; consequently, the marines experienced initial success but then got bogged down in costly attritional warfare.

The Battle of Iwo Jima, 1945.

These photos were taken by Richard H. Stotz, a combat photographer during World War II who was dispatched to Iwo Jima’s front lines to capture the battle as it was taking place. The job of a combat photographer was very dangerous because they were never heavily armed, usually carrying only a single weapon and their camera equipment. Photographs taken during a combat assault, like Iwo Jima, were rarely developed in the field.  The photographers’ film was sent out by plane or naval ship to an alternate location to be developed.  Interestingly, photographers usually never saw the actual photographs. Photos like these of Iwo Jima were used for training purposes, and to identify any mistakes that may have occurred.  Today, these images of Stotz’s comrades, Japanese prisoners, downed military airplanes and combat operations are valuable historical records and memories.

Check out more photos at their Channel here.