Tag: nostalgia

If you're stuck at home like I am, holed up by the icy weather that's sweeping a good portion of the country, why not spend some time browsing through Google's archive of photos from Life magazine?

And if I might offer a suggestion, try searching for "New York World's Fair," which will reveal hundreds of captivatingly nostalgic images chronicling the architecture, rides, pavilions and events from both of the state's expos, held in 1939 and 1964.

Highlights include:

Enjoy, and stay warm!

Whenever I discover a good junk shop, my final act, after exploring every other dusty crevice for oddball antiques and rare tiki finds, is to locate the inevitable box full of other people's old photographs. I'll then spend an hour or two rustling through fragile, curled bits of paper, picking out the most unusual and enigmatic shots from the lives of people I've never met.

Until now, I've simply added all my photographic finds to a collection accumulating in my closet. Starting today, however, that collection will reside at Junk Shop Photos, a new photographic blog featuring all the unusual snapshots I've liberated from dust-covered obscurity.

Check them out, rate them and, by all means, add you own captions!

When master carpenter Carlos Alberto of Portugal decided to restore an old Italian Vespa, he did it the best way he knew how: with chisels.

According to moto-blog Jalopnik, Alberto acquired the scooter in complete disrepair, so he built a whole new body for it entirely out of wood, including the seat, headlamp, kickstand, controls and wheel hubs. The whole thing is finished in steam-molded veneer, resulting in a true ligneous masterpiece. And yes, it really works.

A gallery of the work's progression is available at Alberto's Web site.

Roadside Resort reader Neil has reminded me of a terrific blog featuring articles from the now defunct Modern Mechanix, a science and technology magazine first published in the late 1920s to compete with the already successful Popular Science and Popular Mechanics.

Many articles, like those of its competitors, were simply outrageous. Two of Neil's favorites cover a 1934 plan to dam up and fill in the Hudson River to reconnect Manhattan Island with the mainland and a 1932 proposal to convert city intersections to two under-over levels topped by a high-rise, eliminating traffic signals (and also, apparently, left turns). ... Continued

For reasons I can't sufficiently justify, I've taken a picture of every motel room I've stayed in for a little more than the past four years. I haven't the slightest idea what I plan to do with all of them, but once you start an obsessive hobby, it's hard to stop.

Regardless, none of the rooms I've photographed compare to the stylish and colorful midcentury lodgings pictured in Flickr user Roadsidepictures' collection of motel-room postcards.

Few vehicles capture the classic midcentury spirit like the Italian Vespa, a time-honored mode of transport that has maintained its stylish and practical design even into the 21st century.

If my circumstances permitted, I'd get my hands on a classic model myself and use it as my primary source of transportation. Unfortunately, the sprawling layout of Texas just doesn't accommodate the use of such a practical vehicle.

Still, that won't stop me from enjoying Huro Kitty's collection of vintage Vespa imagery as recently featured on D+R.

And if you like those, you'll also like the photographs of the exhibits and collections from the Piaggio Museum, the official museum of the Vespa's manufacturer located in Pontedera, Italy.

For years I've assumed that one of mankind's greatest fantasies has been to develop a practical, personal jetpack. But if the covers of Popular Science serve as any measure for this sort of thing, then it seems that for the past few decades man's been dreaming less about rocketing through the sky than he has about riding in some kind of giant wheel.

The revelation struck me as I was skimming Google's new archive of Popular Science and Popular Mechanics magazines for interesting cover art. As I quickly realized, the magazines' covers featured some crazy new vehicle every few years eschewing the apparently pesky and cumbersome multiwheel concept in favor of one enormous gyre.

Of course, once I noticed the pattern, I had to go back and scan all the issues methodically to see just how many variations have appeared over the generations. ... Continued

Technology geeks, especially those like me who are fascinated by retrofuturism, aren't going to be getting much done lately, seeing as Google has recently made available as part of its Google Book Search entire issues of Popular Mechanics dating back to 1905 Popular Science reaching all the way back to 1872!

And when I say entire issues, I mean every page in full color, including the ads (which can be quite fascinating in themselves). Plus, each issue appears to be searchable.

Pictured here are a few of my favorite covers, which tease enticing articles like "Making Movies in a Volcano" (April 1933) and "Rocket to the Moon — No Longer a Fascinating Dream" (May 1950).

Wrap those Christmas gifts now, because the rest of your vacation is going to be spent browsing these archives.

Just a reminder that the auction for the 1956 Aerocar N103D convertible airplane car I wrote about a couple weeks ago ends in just two days.

The retrofuturistic vehicle is being listed as "Best Offer," but you still have the option to beat the rush and snatch it up for the "Buy It Now" price of $3.5 million.

The seller has also added a Web site detailing the history and technical specs of the Aerocar, along with a black-and-white newsreel of the vehicle in action, viewable below.

They've also included list of reasons you should buy the plane-car, which include:

  • It is a unique part of aviation history.
  • It is a testimony to man’s creative genius.
  • It is loved by the public.


Be sure to watch the vintage newsreel on the Aerocar below. ... Continued

Icon of the 1950s and cover girl for women's sexual freedom, Bettie Page has for generations been considered the quintessential pinup girl.

Even now, 50 years after giving up modeling, Page continues to inspire artists, models and performers with her free-spirited sensuality.

Sadly, Bettie Page passed away last night at the age of 85 after suffering a heart attack on Dec. 2. The Los Angeles Times has the story.