Apr 27 2012: Twenty-One Modernist Monuments, Buildings and Memorials from a Guide to the former Yugoslavia (Yugoslaviapublic Beograd, 1980)

The volume that these photographs of futuristic monuments, public sculptures and buildings were selected from is a mammoth guide to the whole territory of the former Yugoslavia (now the separate states of Croatia, Serbia, Kosovo, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Montenegro) packed with historic landscapes, landmarks and artefacts. Published in English around 1980, it’s presumably intended as a … Continue reading

Mar 23 2012: Aerial View Of A Crowd In An Unknown City Centre (Possibly Nottingham, c.1920s)

There’s something intriguingly elusive about this image, which both looks like the Market Square in Nottingham, viewed from somewhere near the dome on the roof of the present Council House while it was still under construction (if so, this would place the image at some point between 1927 and 1929), and, well, doesn’t look like … 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 22 2012: Thirty-Eight Plates from How Things Work Magazine (Marshall Cavendish, 1982)

These are mainly library and archive photographs, all featured in How Things Work, an early 1980s part-work published by Marshall Cavendish in the UK to create a week by week encyclopaedia of (then) current and recent technological developments. In some respects it’s a publication that sits somewhere between the same company’s seventies home-making and DIY … Continue reading

Feb 11 2012: Fifty-Four Photographic Plates from Surgery for Nurses by James Kemble (1949)

Following yesterday’s gallery of diagrams, radiographs and anatomical illustrations from James Kemble’s 1949 textbook, Surgery for Nurses, today presents a somewhat larger gallery of photographic plates from the same publication, mainly taken by Kemble himself, showing his own patients and hospital subjects. What’s especially powerful about these (despite the fact that I’ve omitted most of the … Continue reading

Feb 7 2012: Robertson’s Golly Jumpers Knitting Pattern (James Robertson and Sons Preserves, 1970s)

Whenever someone uses the words ‘political correctness’ in a sentence, I’ve found it useful to mentally substitute that formulation with the words ‘good manners’ instead, as the two things are pretty much synonymous and doing this reveals the true nature of most statements in which those much maligned words appear: “it’s good manners gone mad!”; … Continue reading

Jan 28 2012: Before Urbanisation: Forty-Two Photographs from The World Reader (c.1910)

A set of forty-two postcard-sized hand-coloured photographs from The World Reader, a book aimed at schoolchildren to educate them in the nature of agriculture, business and industry both within the British Empire and in places outside it. Although very badly damaged and missing many pages, the book itself is built as a kind of geographical … Continue reading

Jan 16 2012: A Folder Containing Thirteeen Small Postcards from a Former Soviet Republic (1955)

I’m not a hundred percent sure of my translation, so I’m not sure where the landscapes and views preserved in this 1955 folder of souvenir postcards from a former Soviet Republic are located, exactly, though it seems likely that they’re in the region of Azerbaijan or Armenia. The mysterious (to me, as someone unable to decipher the script, … Continue reading

Dec 4 2011: Tony Gardner – Your Labour And Co-Operative Candidate for Beeston (Election Flyer, 1970s)

This waterstained election flyer, dated to the election of October 10, 1974, outlines the basis of the candidacy of Tony Gardner, standing on a Labour and Co-operative platform in Beeston, near Nottingham. This means he stood against the Conservative party of Edward Heath in the second election that year. What’s notable are the policies and general … Continue reading