Selling flowers to Sikh pilgrims at the Golden Temple, Amritsar, India, January 15, 1914, by Stéphane Passet, via Archives of the Planet Collection – Albert Kahn Museum /Département des Hauts-de-Seine.
This autochrome is one of about seventy-two thousand that were commissioned and then archived by Albert Kahn, a wealthy French banker who was committed to the ideal of universal peace and who believed that “knowledge of foreign cultures encourages respect and peaceful relations between nations.”* He was also acutely aware that the 20th century was going to bring rapid material change to the world.
Accordingly, from 1909 to 1931, Kahn sent thirteen photographers and filmmakers to 50 countries “to fix, once and for all, aspects, practices, and modes of human activity whose fatal disappearance is no longer ‘a matter of time.’”† The resulting collection is called Archives de la Planète and now resides in its own museum at Kahn’s old suburban estate at Boulogne-Billancourt, just west of Paris. Since June 2016, the archive has also been available for viewing online here.
*Collections Albert-Kahn website. Also, the above photo (A 4 214) is © Collection Archives de la Planète – Musée Albert-Kahn and used under its terms, here.
†words of Albert Kahn, 1912.
Georgia family in their front yard, ca. 1899, photographer unknown, via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.
This photo was in one of the several albums depicting African-American life that W. E. B. Du Bois compiled to exhibit at the 1900 Paris World’s Fair.
Click on the image for a little better view.
Small front gardens and a sidewalk cafe on 17th Street, N.W., between H and I Streets, August 1973, by Dick Swanson for DOCUMERICA, via The U.S. National Archives Commons on flickr.
(Click on the image for a better view.)
None of these buildings remain today. The current view (from the ground) is here.
DOCUMERICA was an photography program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). From 1972 to 1977, it hired over 100 photographers to “document subjects of environmental concern.” They created an archive of about 80,000 images.
In addition to recording damage to the nation’s landscapes, the project captured “the era’s trends, fashions, problems, and achievements,” according to the Archives, which held an exhibit of the photos, “Searching for the Seventies,” in 2013.
Royal Poinciana (Delonix regia) in bloom, Key West, Florida, ca. 1945, by Joseph Janney Steinmetz, via Florida Memory (State Library and Archives of Florida) Commons on flickr.
House in Miami, Florida, July 11, 1955, via Florida Memory (State Library and Archives of Florida) Commons on flickr (cropped slightly by me).
Widely available by the 1950s, aluminum awnings were touted as longer-lasting and lower-maintenance than traditional [canvas] awnings. . . . [T]hey were especially popular with homeowners. Aluminum awnings were made with slats called “pans” arranged horizontally or vertically. For variety and to match the building to which they were applied, different colored slats could be arranged to create stripes or other decorative patterns.
— U.S. National Park Service “Preservation Brief“