Man finds early 20th-century shop in condemned building, restores it with original merchandise [23 pics]

May 25, 2014 | No comments

Redditor ArtfulAusten‘s dad bought an old, condemned property an hour north of Philadelphia from a friend and set about restoring it to livable condition. The building contained a general store that had operated for about thirty years in the first half of the 20th century.

As the new owner, Austen’s dad decided to restore the facility to its original condition…

Restored General Store 02

Austen said about the project,

When my dad starts a project, he does it full-out. So he made sure that everything inside the museum is “new-old” stock, as he likes to call it, which means that they are not reproductions of any kind and (for this project) are all dated between the years 1929 to 1939.

Everything inside the museum theoretically could have been sold at the store. He even included all the same brand names that the original store had once carried. The celling is made from pressed tin and hand painted (by me), the floor is painted instead of stained (like the original), the colors he used were all from swatches that he found in the room, and the counters and shelves are all in their original places.

My dad has an insane ability to pay attention to detail.

Unfortunately, the meticulously-restored store isn’t open to the public, so these remarkable photos will have to suffice for now…

Restored General Store 03

Restored General Store 01

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Is the song Led Zeppelin borrowed for the intro to “Stairway to Heaven” also borrowed?

May 20, 2014 | 1 comment

Led Zeppelin is being accused of plagiarism again and this time it’s another official lawsuit instead of just accusations in barroom conversations between armchair music historians while the jukebox plays.

The claims are nothing new — People have noted the similarities between Jimmy Page’s riff at the beginning of “Stairway to Heaven” and Spirit’s “Taurus” ever since “Stairway” was released in 1971…

Spirit’s “Taurus” was written in 1967 and released the next year. Then Led Zeppelin opened for Spirit the year after that on their first American tour. They were certainly familiar with Spirit’s repertoire, even including a cover of one Spirit song in their set.

So when “Stairway” was released in 1971, there was little doubt in the minds of the members of Spirit that they’d been ripped off. In 1997, the year he died, Randy California, who wrote “Taurus,” said,

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Chiropractors used to hold beauty contests and the winner was named “Miss Correct Posture” [6 pics]

May 14, 2014 | No comments

Beginning in the 1920′s and going all the way through the 60′s, chiropractors across the U.S. held beauty contests that judged not only contestants’ appearance but the straightness of her spine and her overall posture as well. The winners were proclaimed “Miss Correct Posture.”

The contests were a way to get some good PR during a time when chiropractic medicine was heavily resisted by the mainstream medical community and thousands of chiropractors were being prosecuted for practicing medicine without a license. The political fight to get separate licensing for chiropractors had its first success in Kansas in 1913 and lasted all the until 1974 when Louisiana finally gave in.

During most if this period and peaking in the 50′s, chiropractor beauty contests were a simple, non-confrontational way to get the word out about chiropractics and to make the practice seem both legit and healthful.

Here are some photos from the contest held at a national convention of chiropractors in Chicago in 1956…

Chiropractors eyeball a contestant’s spine, comparing its straightness to a plumb-bob

Chiropractor's Beauty Contest, 1956 - 03

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Native-born Americans try to answer questions about the U.S. from the citizenship test

May 8, 2014 | 8 comments

When immigrants want to become citizens of the United States part of the process is a quiz about our history and government. Guess what happens when lifelong citizens try to answer some of the questions on this exam…

(via Tastefully Offensive)

How well did you do? Or do you not want to admit?

The 320-year-old, 800-page guide to every conceivable color hand-painted 271 years before Pantone [6 pics]

May 7, 2014 | No comments

Originally intended to be a guide to mixing watercolors, Dutch artist A. Boogert’s handwritten 1692 work turned into a painter’s manual as he wrote it, with tutorials on creating various hues and tones. The massive volume came in at nearly 800 pages, all handwritten and hand-painted…

Color Swatches 1

It took another 271 years before the definitive Pantone Color Guide was published. Comparisons between the two are obvious, but without the technology to replicate the book he called Traité des couleurs servant à la peinture à l’eau, Boogert’s incredible work languished in obscurity…

Color Swatches 2

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Student photographer imagines herself as a teenager from every decade in the last hundred years [20 pics]

May 3, 2014 | 19 comments

For a class project, budding photographer Annalisa Hartlaub imagined herself as a teenager in every decade since the 1920′s. In one photo she is mainstream and beside it she emulates the counter-culture of the time. And for all the photos, she filtered them to imitate how photos of each era look…


Decades of Photography - 1920s


Decades of Photography - 1930s

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Suburban decay is shown in these haunting photos of America’s abandoned shopping malls [10 pics]

May 3, 2014 | No comments

One of the hallmarks of American consumerism and prosperity has long been the shopping mall, but as the economy declined over the past decade and shoppers turned to the internet, aging malls have begun to fall by the wayside.

In Black Friday – The Collapse of the American Shopping Mall, pseudonymous artist Seph Lawless shows the decay taking over America’s abandoned shopping centers…

Abandoned Malls 01

Abandoned Malls 02

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Photos of the oldest living things on earth are captured before they disappear [7 pictures]

April 27, 2014 | 3 comments

Rachel Sussman is an artist who’s traveled around the world to compile photographs of the world’s oldest living organisms. Her work has been published in a book released this month titled The Oldest Living Things in the World

Oldest Living Things 1

Sussman’s project has taken her from deserts to oceans as she’s explored the most durable organisms in existence. However, despite the longevity these plants, trees, and other life forms have had, they’re also critically endangered. Of the 30 items she’s photographed, two have already died in just the last five years, both directly destroyed by humans.

Still, many of these subjects continue to stand against the forces of nature and the humans encroaching on their environment. These are just a few of the living things found in Sussman’s book…

Underground Baobab Forest — 13,000 years old (deceased since the photo was taken), Pretoria, South Africa

Oldest Living Things 4

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Footage of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy saying black Americans were “better off as slaves”

April 24, 2014 | 2 comments

As the Bundy Ranch continues to battle the U.S. Bureau of Land Management over unpaid grazing fees on public lands, ranch owner Cliven Bundy has had no shortage of things to say about topics ranging from the role of the federal government to abortion.

In a recent impromptu statement that was initially reported by the New York Times and has now been released on video, Bundy offered his unsolicited views on “the Negro,” speculating whether black Americans were better off under slavery or living on government subsidies.

While Bundy has since defended accusations of racism by saying he was simply “wondering” which situation was better, his characterization of the quality of life a slave had versus the quality of life someone on government subsidies today has leaves no doubt which life he feels is better…

When over a million helium balloons were released at once, beauty was followed by chaos…

April 23, 2014 | 12 comments

Cleveland’s Balloonfest ’86 was a United Way fundraiser that set a world record for the most balloons released at once — 1.5 million. Bad weather began moving into the area the afternoon of the event, so organizers released the balloons a bit earlier than scheduled to beat out the storm…

Cleveland Balloonfest

The weather system arrived shortly after the balloons were released and forced them back to earth. The ensuing chaos closed an airport runway, hampered Coast Guard efforts to save two fishermen, and made an incredible mess.

This Headline News story from 28 years ago, with incredible footage of the release, tells the story…

(via Gizmodo)

From 67 seconds to under 4 — Comparing a race car’s 1950 pit stop to how pit stops work today

April 17, 2014 | No comments

This fascinating comparison of pit stops by Formula One cars at the 1950 Indianapolis 500 and the 2013 Australian Grand Prix shows just how much the sport of auto racing has changed…

(via Laughing Squid)