magyar moon

magyar moon

Friday, April 29, 2016


A hodgepodge collection of rare photos from the past that you might not have seen.

Actually, I posted some of these on my other blog Lone Wolf Concerto about a year ago, and in this post I've added a few new ones.

  Let's begin with the queen.
"Off with my head!"

 A photo of Queen Victoria and five of her children (date unknown). For some strange reason the Queen hated how she looked in this photo - - so she personally scratched her head off of it.

I suppose queens have the authority to behead themselves if they think it's necessary

This is 94 year old Hannah Stilley.
The photo was taken in 1840.
Hannah was born in 1746!
This makes her the person with the oldest birth date to ever be photographed.

 American soldiers in an abandoned church
Exermont, France 1918

A bird's eye view of Boston in 1860.
Photo was taken from a hot air balloon.

 The funeral Hearse of Abraham Lincoln, 1865

 Abraham Lincoln's granddaughters,
Mary and Jessie.
They were the daughters of Lincoln's son Robert.

Annie Oakley
American sharpshooter

A beggar running after the carriage of
King George V and pleading for money.
The King was probably saying
"Why can't these bloody horses go any faster?"
Photo taken in 1920

Russian Tsar Nicholas II, letting his daughter
Grand Duchess Anastasia have a puff
 from his pipe.
Anastasia was fifteen at the time, so the photo was probably taken in 1916.
Tragically, Nicholas, his wife Empress Alexandra, and their five children were executed less than two years later.

 Helen Keller and her teacher Anne Sullivan.
Photo taken at Cape Cod, July, 1888.
one of my personal favorite photos

The ice berg that sunk the Titanic. Red paint is visible on it. This photo was taken on April 15, 1912 - from the German ocean liner S.S. Prinz Adalbert

How do I know it's red paint, since the photo is black & white?
Trust me. I have impeccable sources.

Supposedly the last photo ever taken of the Titanic.
This photo was taken by the Jesuit Priest Francis Browne. Browne was a passenger on the Titanic but got off in Queenstown, Ireland (before the ship sank, of course....)

 White Sheets on Ferris Wheel

 The KKK, attending a carnival in Canon City, Colorado, 1925.
(holy crap, now I've seen everything)

This is the very last photo ever taken of Hitler. April 30, 1945.
Taken only hours before his death
(or alleged death - whatever you choose to believe).

 Hitler's Bathtub
Lee Miller was a former model who later became a photographer and war correspondent. After WWII ended, she visited some of the former homes of Hitler and Eva Braun. Here she is posing in Adolph's bathtub (notice his photo, on the left)

 The last photo of Anne Frank

A very rare and extremely poignant photo
of Anne Frank (right) and her sister Margot, taken in the attic where they hid before being captured by the Nazis. 
The photo is dated 1942

Anne Frank's father Otto
revisiting the attic in 1960.
He was the only one in the family who survived
imprisonment in the Nazi death camp.

This is a menorah in a window on Chanukah
in Kiel, Germany, 1931
defying the Nazi flag outside.

On the verso of the photo is written:
"Judea will live forever"


  1. I believe I was in elementary school when I read about Helen Keller. I'm pretty sure it was a script of the play but I remember being so astounded when she finally grasped the concept of sign language when her hand was held under running water and she spoke for the first time in years. I read a lot about the Romanov family and their execution. Then there was the woman who claimed to be Anastasia who ended up in America as kind of a crazy cat lady if I remember right. Her claim was finally discredited. Anne Frank was such a tragic story that I think I only read her Diary once. I was in Europe 30+ years ago when the Berlin Wall was still in place. We were able to crane our necks and see the bunker where Hitler supposedly killed himself (and Eva Braun?) Also saw a beautiful castle (don't remember which country) that he had headquartered at. There are so many tragic instances in history. I'm surprised we survive relatively unscathed at all.

    1. I remember reading Helen Keller's autobiography when I was in high school and I was completely smitten by her remarkable story.

      Like you, I've read an enormous amount about Nicholas II. I specialized in Russian music when I was in college and was completely fascinated with that Golden era before the Revolution. Russia seemed to completely die after that and never recovered.
      I don't know how anyone could have believed the Anastasia imposture. She looked nothing like the real Anastasia.

      It's wonderful that you had the opportunity to visit Europe and see some of the great places!

  2. Fascinating photos, Jon. I'm wonder especially about the KKK Ferris wheel one. There's something peculiar about a group portrait of people hiding their identities behind sheets --I have to question their logic. But also disturbing is what seems to be a pair legs hanging out of the ticket booth, lower left.

    1. I initially thought the Ferris wheel photo was fake, but it is indeed genuine. I noticed those strange legs handing out of the ticket booth. I assumed that the ticket seller was just relaxing - - I certainly hope he wasn't dead! It's a very bizarre photo.

  3. Hannah looks a bit like my nana. I love old vintage black and white photographs. There is such depth and character to them. These pic were all amazing, each in their own way. I also love seeing things in sepia vison.

    1. Hannah looked good for being 94. I am always fascinated (actually mesmerized) by old B&W photography. There's something so artistically intriguing in them that is completely lacking in most modern-day photos. The old photographs really tell a story....

  4. I would like to see the boston pix taken of the same location today to see what's changed.

    the KKK one is creepy.

    1. I'm actually surprised that Boston looked so crowded that long ago. I'm sure most of those old buildings are now gone.
      The Ferris wheel photo is really bizarre - - and frightening.

  5. Not an original thought ... but I wonder why the Titanic's passengers didn't attempt to climb atop the iceberg until rescue arrived? That tragedy has always affected me profoundly.

    The juxtaposition in your last image is haunting.

  6. I think the Titanic had traveled far past the icberg before anyone realized the ship was damaged and in danger. It would have probably been extremely slippery to climb an iceberg.

    If I had been a passenger on the Titanic, I would have been trampling women and children to get to the lifeboats.

    1. I don't know...I would have probably put on my finery, broke out the gin, and sat in my cabin and went down with her.

  7. What an array of very interesting photos. How I missed this post I'll never know. The Anne Frank one gets me. Two years ago when I was in Amsterdam we went to the Anne Frank house. Very interesting and a privilege to see, but it was also very unsettling for me, being there knowing what happened so many years before. I posted about my visit but have no idea what it was titled. I do know it was a somber moment.

    1. I was always inspired and deeply touched by the story of Anne Frank. It's fantastic that you were actually able to see the house in Amsterdam!

  8. 100 years from now, will the world be looking at the pictures we are posting on our blogs to understand how we lived?

  9. Perhaps. But everything is so well-documented nowadays that there are few aspects of our lives that require being understood by future generations. Unfortunately, present-day photographs (at least in my opinion) seldom have the rare, intriguing quality that they did long ago.