Apr 17 2012: Two Illustrations Showing the Atom and its Nucleus from The Boys’ Book of Radio, Television and Radar (Burke, 1957)

Following yesterday’s sequence of advertising pages from Atomics Magazine (1956) these two images cut to the heart of what all that hardware was in pursuit of: the latent power of the atom itself and its nucleus, as expressed through Einstein’s E equals MC squared equation (surely one of very few equations to be known outside … Continue reading

Apr 15 2012: Eighteen Monochrome Illustrations From Atomics Magazine (Leonard Hill Technical Publications, 1956)

Back in 1956, the progressive vision of the Festival of Britain had faded somewhat, with most of the South Bank site demolished by the Conservative governments that followed the set up of the 1945 consensus, and in place of that more whimsical and social kind of progressive ideal, a harder, more technocratic and businesslike version … Continue reading

Apr 6 2012: Eight Monochrome Photographs Showing British Parades (1940s – 1950s)

I’m not sure if these images show scenes from one or more parades and occasions, though it’s clear that the photographs fall into three basic groups, the first showing a quasi military parade (possibly made up of amateur rather than real troops), the second a series of floats trying to raise money for charity, and … Continue reading

Mar 31 2012: Colour Snapshot Featuring A Man On A New Town Concourse With A Shopping Basket (c.1970s)

I couldn’t help connecting this image to that of an unknown electrician (or at least, a man who might have been an electrician) posted here back in November. I’ve scrutinised it many times trying to work out if the same person features in both, but I can’t quite decide. Sometimes, the two portaits look like … Continue reading

Mar 21 2012: Nine Monochrome Photographs Showing Children in a Variety of Roles and Locations (1900s – 1960s)

We’ve already featured galleries of children on holiday at Butlin’s and Victorian children, 1950s or 60s childhoods and advertising for childrens’ products, so in some ways the gallery here is something of a mopping up operation, bringing together a random array of images united not by period or format, but merely by the fact of … Continue reading

Mar 19 2012: Three Monochrome Photographs Featuring Minor Architectural Structures (Dates and Locations Unknown)

The thing that unites these three otherwise random photographs is that each, in its way, shows an architectural structure that would generally pass unnoticed as architecture: an architecture without architects, perhaps even a species of ‘outsider architecture’. The cinema here, for example, is not the kind of Deco construction that was as common for its … Continue reading

Mar 14 2012: Twenty-Eight Colour Images Of England From National Geographic Magazine (1948)

As seen in the pages of America’s National Geographic Magazine three years on from the end of the Second World War, Britain was not the bankrupt victor in a struggle against Fascism, nor a place in a state of decisive transformation as it began the long process of establishing its Welfare State, relinquishing its Empire and Nationalising its key industries. Instead, … Continue reading

Mar 10 2012: A View Of The Thames Looking Towards Tower Bridge Showing Bomb Sites (c.1940s)

There’s something hugely compelling about this undated photograph, which at first glance shows a very familiar view along the River Thames, looking towards Tower Bridge, but on slightly closer inspection reveals some very unfamiliar bomb-sites and gutted buildings in the foreground. The photographer is not identified, but it’s presumably an amateur snap taken from a … Continue reading

Feb 27 2012: Cover Designs From Three Issues Of The Vauxhall Motorist Magazine (1956 – 1957)

The integration of product branding and lifestyle is sometimes thought of a fairly recent phenomenon, but it goes much further back than we tend to think: this example – a magazine produced for Vauxhall owners, crammed with advertising and features on the many and varied things that might catch the fancy of an implicitly discerning motorist … Continue reading

Feb 23 2012: Thirteen Abstract and Illustrated Dustjackets from Scientific Book Club Editions (1958 – 1962)

A large collection of these Scientific Book Club editions, dating from the later 1950s and early 1960s, appeared one Sunday morning at the Colwick car boot sale in Nottingham, and covered many more subjects than are represented here. The truth is, while the books were plentiful, some selection was necessary in order to carry those chosen … Continue reading