Tag: Life

Time Capsule: Idlewild Airport, 1961

Time Capsule: Idlewild Airport, 1961

Capsules, Featured Posts, History
The mammoth facility now known as John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) was once known as Idlewild Airport. Idlewild, officially designated as New York International Airport, Anderson Field, received its first commercial flight on July 1, 1948. It was renamed after the late President Kennedy on December 24, 1963, just one month after he was assassinated in Dallas. Life magazine photographer Dmitri Kessel traveled to Idlewild in 1961 to capture some outstanding photographs of the facility for their September 22 issue. What he found -- especially with the interiors -- was a marvel of mid-century decor and airlines gone by. To look at this photo gallery is to walk right into an episode of Mad Men. So grab your fedora and your suitcase, and let's go to Idlewild! (And for more time
Coca-Cola’s Contribution to the Civil Rights Movement of the ’60s

Coca-Cola’s Contribution to the Civil Rights Movement of the ’60s

Retrotisements
And now for a little advertising history lesson... The year was 1967, and the American Civil Rights Movement was at its zenith. After years of struggle to seek equality in the United States, African-Americans had won a series of stunning legal and moral victories. What they had not yet won, apparently, was the right to not be imitated by white people in advertising. Huh? Let me set the stage first. Here’s an ad for Coca-Cola that ran in the August 18 issue of Life magazine: OK, so what’s the problem you ask? Well, usually when a company wants to sell their product to different racial or ethnic groups, they use people from those groups. Like these Coke ads from black magazines in the same year: But apparently there was a severe shortage of African Americans with t
Time Capsule: Broadway Joe’s Restaurant, 1969

Time Capsule: Broadway Joe’s Restaurant, 1969

Capsules, Football Friday
This week's edition of Football Friday heads south to the city where the New York Jets and Joe Namath enjoyed their greatest triumph. That is of course where they won Super Bowl III, so naturally the next step was to open a Namath-themed restaurant. Behold -- Broadway Joe's, circa 1969! I'll take a shake and a football hero, please. (All photos by Lynn Pelham of Life magazine.) Related articles Football Friday: What Steve Sabol Meant to Me (grayflannelsuit.net) Almost Ads - Tupperware, 1969 (grayflannelsuit.net)
Vintage Photo Wednesday, Vol. 14: The Kitchen of Tomorrow (Life, 1943)

Vintage Photo Wednesday, Vol. 14: The Kitchen of Tomorrow (Life, 1943)

Vintage Photo Wednesday
This week's edition of Vintage Photo Wednesday comes from the August 9, 1943 issue of Life magazine. Specifically, a delightful photo essay called "Kitchens of Tomorrow May Look Like This." You can probably guess what these pictures will look like before you even see them. As far as I can tell from the article, "futuristic" basically means better designed storage and lots of built-in appliances that can be hidden by wood paneling. Oh, and apparently the kitchen doubles as a playroom when not in use. Odd. Still, it's always neat to see how different people dream about the future. The experimental kitchen you see here was built in Toledo, Ohio by the Libbey-Owens-Ford Glass Company. Let's take a look! (All photos taken by Nina Leen for Life. Click on any image for a larger version.)
Football Friday: Life Magazine’s Look at the NFL of 1960

Football Friday: Life Magazine’s Look at the NFL of 1960

Football Friday, Sports
This is one of the cooler sports photo galleries I've put together for you. This is a combination of published and unpublished images for a Life magazine article on the NFL and the ascent of pro football as a spectator sport. It ran in their December 5, 1960 issue and was called "Fans Go Ga-Ga Over Pro Football." The pictures in this gallery were taken by George Silk during the 1960 NFL season and seem to come from X main sources -- four New York Giants home games (against the Philadelphia Eagles, Pittsburgh Steelers, St. Louis Cardinals, and Washington Redskins), a Giants film session, and a game between the Chicago Bears and Baltimore Colts (which I believe to be a home game for the Colts). Included here is a photo of Eagles linebacker creaming the Giants' Frank Gifford. I don'...
Car Capsule: Photos of the 1955 Ford and Mercury Lineup

Car Capsule: Photos of the 1955 Ford and Mercury Lineup

Capsules, Featured Posts
Some time in 1954, Life magazine photographer Yale Joel ventured to an unknown destination. His assignment was to photograph a group of brand new cars -- 1955 Ford and Mercury models, to be precise. I don't know how many of these pictures ended up in the magazine, as I've been unable to find any associated article in the Google Books archive, but some of these are real stunners. I wasn't sure at first if these were actually 1954 models, but the dead giveaway was the distinctive look of the '55 Ford Fairlane. That stainless steel Fairlane stripe on the side was what tipped me off, as the Fairlane debuted in model year 1955 (replacing the Crestline). Also present -- as far as I can tell -- are the Mercury Montclair and Monterey, as well as a Ford station wagon. Owing to the fact th...
Vintage Photo Wednesday, Vol. 8 — Radiation Dummy

Vintage Photo Wednesday, Vol. 8 — Radiation Dummy

Vintage Photo Wednesday
I wasn't around to witness the fallout -- no pun intended -- of the Soviet Union's detonation of Tsar Bomba on October 30, 1961. It was and still is the biggest test of a nuclear weapon, in terms of explosive yield. It packed a destructive force approximately 1,400 times the combined power of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atom bombs. Needless to say, America was a little spooked. So in its November 10, 1961 issue, Life magazine ran a story on the bomb, and a companion piece on nuclear fallout. To demonstrate the effect of radiation on a human body, a plastic skeleton partially filled with fluorescent fluid was used. Here's the photo of the dummy used in the article: As the article explains, [the] thyroid gland in neck becomes a repository of iodine 131. Strontium 90 lodges in th
Time Capsule: An Old-Fashioned 4th of July, 1954

Time Capsule: An Old-Fashioned 4th of July, 1954

Capsules, Photography
I don't think I need to offer much commentary on this gallery. It was taken by Life magazine photographer N.R. Farbman on the 4th of July, 1954, in an unknown town in America. All the classic Independence Day scenes are here -- a family picnic, a parade complete with fire trucks, kids buying fireworks and holding sparklers, and smiles all around. Click on any thumbnail for a larger image. Related articles Time Capsule: Los Angeles Smog, 1954(grayflannelsuit.net) Photo Gallery: Memorial Day Army Parade, Washington, D.C., May 1942(grayflannelsuit.net) Car Capsule: Life Magazine 1949 Ford Photo Shoot(grayflannelsuit.net)
Time Capsule: “That Crazy Bop Joke Craze” (Life Magazine, 1952)

Time Capsule: “That Crazy Bop Joke Craze” (Life Magazine, 1952)

Capsules, History
In its September 29, 1952 issue Life magazine ran a piece on a new fad called "bop jokes," which sounds absolutely awful. When you think of the popular cultural image of bebop jazz fans of the early '50s (some of which went on to become the first Beatniks), you imagine someone really hip and into swingin' tunes, but sort of detached and reserved at the same time. I guess dignity is implicit. But not so much here. From the article, with photography by Yale Joel: From the world of jazz musicians and bebop players has come a new brand of humor: the bop joke. Until the last few months bop jokes have been limited, perhaps mercifully, to people in show business. But now bop humor is becoming something of a fad, and Life, feeling its readers should be warned of this wayward form of wit, offers a...