A riveter at work in Burbank, California


At the link are 18 photos of Black women working during World War II


Seeing History in Color

Colorization has become increasingly popular lately, and the creators behind this new breed of updated imagery use all the technological resources of the last 20 years to strive for more than just plausibility — their aim is for historical authenticity. Image specialist Jordan J. Lloyd has achieved a way to do so that pays homage to the photo and to history.

Lloyd is a specialist at a digital image agency and his work there is something of a digital counterpart to what wax workers at Madame Tussaud’s do while making their human sculptures — he provides the nuance that creates an illusion of vitality. While anyone with a computer and the financial resources could potentially try their hand at colorization, however like most pursuits it takes someone devoted to the craft to master it, with coloring that looks natural and real:

  1. Reality standing in front of contradiction, 1930s
  2. Unemployed lumber worker, circa 1939
  3. Hindenburg Disaster – May 6, 1937
  4. Auto wreck in Washington D.C, 1921
  5. Kissing the war goodbye, V-J Day August 14, 1945
  6. Albert Einstein, Nassau Point, Long Island, NY, Summer 1939
  7. "Old Gold," country store, 1939
  8. British troops cheerfully board their train for the first stage of their trip to the front – England, September 20, 1939
  9. Thich Quang Duc, 1963

The Black Captain Ahab | 1898 on Flickr.

Portait of Captain William T. Shorey and family, Oakland, CA 1898.

William T. Shorey (1859-1919) was a famous captain in the last days of whaling. He was born in Barbados, the son of a Scottish sugar planter and an Indian creole woman. Shorey began seafaring as a teenager and in 1876 he made his first whaling voyage.

Whaling brought him to California and he married the daughter from a leading African American family in San Francisco. In 1886 he became the only black West Coast ship captain. Known for his skill and leadership, Shorey experienced many adventures and dangers at sea with multiracial crews before his retirement in 1908.

Over time, larger, steam-powered vessels took the place of obsolete sailing ships and black seamen were forced to accept inferior employment on ships as cooks and stewards. The era of significant participation by blacks in whaling ended in 1923 when the Wanderer went aground off Nantucket, MA.


Man with the World’s Longest Beard Died From It

Austrian Hans Steininger was famous for having the world’s longest beard (it was 4.5 feet or nearly 1.4 m long) and for dying because of it. One day in 1867, there was a fire in town. In haste to get there he forgot to roll up his beard. He accidentally stepped on it causing him to lose his balance.  The resulting fall broke his neck and died.

Curious History:  Scariest Vintage Family Portrait Ever, 1880s                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

The Mysterious Death of Russian Mystic Rasputin

According to legend, Russian mystic Grigori Rasputin (1869-1916) was first poisoned with enough cyanide to kill ten men, but he wasn’t affected. So his killers shot him in the back with a revolver. Rasputin fell but later revived. He was shot again three more times, but Rasputin still lived. He was then clubbed, and for good measure, thrown into the icy Neva River.  Since his body was never recovered, without an autopsy, the cause of death was never proven.  Some say he survived the river and was reported being seen in various parts of Europe.