Fascinating Photos Collected From History

September 13, 2018 | No Comments » | Topics: History

Whitechapel slum in 1888, the year Jack The Ripper struck 


Jack The Ripper’s ‘From Hell’ letter

On October 16th George Lusk, the president of the Whitechapel Vigilance Committee, received a three-inch-square cardboard box in his mail. Inside was half a human kidney preserved in wine, along with the following letter. Medical reports carried out by Dr. Openshaw found the kidney to be very similar to the one removed from Catherine Eddowes, though his findings were inconclusive either way. The letter read as follows:

From hell.
Mr Lusk,
I send you half the Kidne I took from one woman and prasarved it for you tother piece I fried and ate it was very nise. I may send you the bloody knif that took it out if you only wate a whil longer

Catch me when you can Mishter Lusk


Mullen’s Alley, Cherry Hill, New York, 1888


Four Penny Coffin in England, 1900

The shelter was named the “four penny coffin” because its sleeping quarters consisted of rows of coffin-shaped beds where homeless people could spend the night for a sum of four pennies. The four penny coffin was popular because it was cheaper than several small shelters that existed at the time, and its clients praised it because the Salvation Army allowed them to actually lie down and sleep on their backs.

Those who could only come up with a single penny were allowed to sit on the shelter’s benches and rest, but they weren’t allowed to sleep and the shelter’s officials monitored the rooms at night to shake any poor folks who closed their eyes and drifted into a troubled slumber.


The final moments of a Japanese dive bomber, after being hit by the gunners of the USS Hornet, 1945

A Japanese plane caught squarely by antiaircraft fire leaves a trail of smoke and flame as it falls toward the ocean. The pilot might have already been dead by the time the bomber was going down; getting knocked out would probably be a small mercy compared to being burnt alive or drowning. There’s a passage from an autobiography of a Second World War British bomber crew member called “In for a Penny, in for a Pound”: he describes that if they were to survive a crash but find themselves completely stuck in a burning wreck, they were instructed to stick their face in the flames and breath in. Their lungs would be incinerated from the heat, making them pass out, allowing a quicker and less painful death than being burned alive.


Deep sea diver entering the water 1915


Eva Fridell receives the winners cup at the Washington Tidal Basin beauty contest 1922


A Chicago policewoman checking for violations of the bathing suit-length laws 1921


11 a.m. Newsies at Skeeter’s Branch, Jefferson near Franklin. They were all smoking. 1910, St. Louis, Missouri.


Strongmen at the Thule Athletic Club, Trelleborg, Sweden 1898


Baseball team composed mostly of child laborers from a glassmaking factory in Indiana 1908


A group of immigrants aboard a ship celebrate as they catch their first glimpse of the Statue of Liberty 1900


Dutch resistance members celebrate at the moment they heard of Adolf Hitler’s death over the radio, May 1945

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Major General Horatio Gordon Robley with his collection of tattooed Maori heads, 1895

Major-General Horatio Gordon Robley was a British army officer and artist who served in New Zealand during the New Zealand land wars in the 1860s. He was interested in ethnology and fascinated by the art of tattooing as well as being a talented illustrator. He wrote the book Maori Tattooing which was published in 1896. After he returned to England he built up a notable collection of 35 mokomokai (Maori tattooed heads). In 1908 he offered them to the New Zealand Government for £1,000; his offer, however, was refused. Later, with the exception of five heads, the collection was purchased by the Natural History Museum, New York, for £1,250.

Moko facial tattoos were traditional in Māori culture until about the mid 19th century when their use began to disappear, although there has been something of a revival from the late 20th century. In pre-European Māori culture they denoted high social status. There were generally only men that had full facial moko, though high-ranked women often had moko on their lips and chins. Moko tattoos served as identifying connection between an individual and their ancestors.

When someone with moko died, often the head would be preserved. The brain and eyes were removed, with all orifices sealed with flax fibre and gum. The head was then boiled or steamed in an oven before being smoked over an open fire and dried in the sun for several days. It was then treated with shark oil. Such preserved heads, called mokomokai, would be kept by their families in ornately-carved boxes and brought out only for sacred ceremonies.

The heads of enemy chiefs killed in battle were also preserved; these mokomokai, being considered trophies of war, would be displayed on the marae and mocked. They were important in diplomatic negotiations between warring tribes, with the return and exchange of mokomokai being an essential precondition for peace.

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