January 22, 1926. Washington, D.C. “Arcade Hockey Club.” And if roller hockey isn’t your cup of tea, we also have Billiards Dancing Bowling.
Washington, D.C., circa 1919. “Sennett girls.” Producer Mack Sennett’s comedy reels featured a bevy of “bathing beauties,” among them Marvel Rea, seen here in the harlequin costume. National Photo Company.
1962, Seattle, Washington, USA – A little girl listens in on The Hearing Exhibition at the Seattle World’s Fair.
Space Pilots. Minneapolis, Minnesota: A small boy’s dream of piloting a rocket ship through outer space came as nearly true as modern science could make it for plastic-helmeted Johnny Bower (left), and Neil Smith, both seven years old. The youngsters got their big break when Minneapolis-Honeywell’s Aeronautical company invited them, among other young sons of technical employees to visit the plant and see what their dads were doing. “Pilots” Bower and Smith are manipulating special computing equipment developed to duplicate characteristics of supersonic craft and the flight conditions they might be expected to encounter.
Host Bud Collyer brings laughter and smiles to the faces of panelists Polly Bergen, Ralph Bellamy and Kitty Carlisle while Hy Gardner remains only mildly amused.
Nazis burn the library of Magnus Hirschfeld’s Institute for Sexual Science in Berlin, 1933. In doing so countless texts and documentation of early 20th century LGBTQ* history disappears. Remember, it’s never “just some books.”
Nun using card catalogue in the New York Public Library, 1944. Alfred Eisenstaedt.
THE HOWDY CLUB A lesbian bar on 3rd Street in the Village. Club was open from the 1930s-1940s. (Above picture - Howdy Club’s football team, circa 1940)
Mattachine Society Inc, of New York 1966 (Poster reads: Homosexuals are different…. but… we believe they have the right to be. We believe that the civil rights and human dignity of homosexuals are as precious as those of any other citizen… we believe that the homosexual has the right to live, work and participate in a free society. Mattachine defends the rights of homosexuals and tries to create a climate of understanding and acceptance.)
August 1942. "Inspecting thousands of drills each day, women employed by a large Midwest drill and tool company must learn to detect the tiniest flaw in these vital machine accessories. Republic Drill and Tool Co., Chicago." Medium format negative by Ann Rosener for the Office of War Information.
Rest assured, the Morris Minor is one of the world’s safest cars. 1954.
One, Inc. was the FIRST pro-gay publication in the United States. Started by members of the Mattachine Society, One, Inc. focused on gay men’s issues, health and political rights. The premier issue launched November 1952. (Above Picture: One, Inc.’s August 1958 issues (almost 11 years BEFORE Stonewall) claiming homosexual pride.)
So many great things to post about today. Shorpy has more great early 20th-century images of DC:
Washington, D.C., circa 1919. "Red Cross ambulances at Washington Monument." Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative.
September 1935. Washington, D.C. "Front of Negro home near Capitol. Interiors of these homes vary little. A chair or two and a table, a bed and perhaps an extra mattress on the floor cares for six to ten people." 35mm nitrate negative by Carl Mydans for the Farm Security Administration.
Fuck Yeah Women’s History has an anti-suffrage cartoon from 1915, the mug shot of Julia Aaron, one of the Freedom Riders, and the Motorcycle Queen of Miami, Bessie Stringfield.
An old anti-suffragist cartoon shows a white man being thrown out of a brick building onto the street. The brick building shows three white women looking out the window at the man being thrown out onto the street, and they seem pretty pleased with the situation. The man is well dressed in a top hat and coat and looks incensed at the way he has been treated as he looks back at the building and the women in the doorway that are looking happy with themselves. These women are wearing votes for women buttons and are carrying women’s rights pamphlets. On the buildings are signs that say “Man? The missing link”, “No men admitted”, “Home for lost stolen or strayed suffragettes”, “man disgraces the animal world” and “down with the men”. At the bottom of the image are red words that read “girls I didn’t marry”.
Julia Aaron, 1961. Julia Aaron didn’t just participate in the Freedom Rides, her family also housed some of the many people who arrived in New Orleans in order to integrate inter-state buses and trains.
“Known as the Motorcycle Queen of Miami, Bessie Stringfield started riding when she was 16. She was the first African-American woman to travel cross-country solo, and she did it at age 19 in 1929, riding a 1928 Indian Scout. Bessie traveled through all of the lower 48 states during the ’30s and ’40s at a time when the country was rife with prejudice and hatred. She later rode in Europe, Brazil, and Haiti and during World War II she served as one of the few motorcycle despatch riders for the United States military.”
Black Vintage has a beautiful photograph by Dorothea Lange from 1945:
It’s so exciting to own a new President refrigerator. 1954.
It’s new, it’s practical, it’s pegboard! 1954
But the winner of the “Dang, that is awesome” award for the week goes to the Library of Congress for their National Jukebox project.
The goal of the Jukebox is to present to the widest audience possible early commercial sound recordings, offering a broad range of historical and cultural documents as a contribution to education and lifelong learning.
The Jukebox contains over 10,000 recordings between the years 1901 and 1925. You can browse the collection by genre, artist, date, and even target audience, or you can listen to one of their playlists. They even feature a Day by Day search function that allows you to find songs that were recorded on a specific date. On my birthday in 1904, this version of Auld Lang Syne was recorded:
I ran across a number of these issues when I was processing Joan Biren’s papers at the Sophia Smith Collection, and they were great. Claire Bond Potter over at Tenured Radical and Historian at Wesleyan University posted about the publication and reminded me of how awesome it was.
There’s an article in The New York Times about Storme DeLarverie, one of the LGBT movement’s earliest activists. Some people believe she was the lesbian who fought back with the police during the Stonewall riots of 1969, while others remember her as a fierce bouncer at The Cubby Hole, one of New York’s lesbian bars. I first discovered Storme when I was reading JEB‘s “Making A Way: Lesbians Out Front,” one of the first visual texts documenting and making visible the lives of lesbians. I haven’t checked out Michelle Parkerson‘s film about her, “Storme: The Lady of the Jewel Box,” but I’m looking forward to checking that out soon.