Picture Power: Proof that Victorians weren’t as serious as you thought

“A photograph is a most important document, and there is nothing more damning to go down to posterity than a silly, foolish smile caught and fixed forever. “ —Mark Twain

Vacation sports at the seaside, 1897

I don’t have to tell you that Victorians aren’t exactly known for their broad smiles and light-hearted humor. Unlike today, smiling for a photo simply wasn’t a thing that people did, as Mark Twain exemplifies in the quote above. This lack of friendly grins has somewhat influenced how we view Victorians from our modern perspective, perhaps making them seem more stuffy and grave than they actually were.

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Picture power: The harrowing photos that helped end child labor in the US

“I wanted to show the thing that had to be corrected: I wanted to show the things that had to be appreciated.” — Lewis Hine

Lewis Hine 23

Although some few laws and restrictions existed beforehand, the turn of the 20th century saw a striking rise in child labor in the United States, with an estimated 1 in 6 children between the ages of 5 and 10 being engaged in “gainful occupations”. This trend alarmed many Americans, and thus began a decades-long struggle to end child labor. Photographer Lewis Hine was a driving force in the struggle, documenting child labor all over the country and giving a face to the cause.

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Is this the greatest David Bowie photo ever taken?


David Bowie first burst onto the music scene way back in 1969, when his single “Space Oddity” reached the top five of the UK charts. In the forty-five years since then he’s sold an estimated 140 million albums, but in our opinion his greatest music was produced as his flamboyant alter ego Ziggy Stardust. His album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, which tells the story of Ziggy “the human manifestation of an alien being who is attempting to present humanity with a message of hope in the last five years of its existence.” has to be one of the greatest concept albums of all time.

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