UCLA just launched a profoundly awesome historical archive of news photographs from the Los Angeles Times and the Los Angeles Daily News.
Of the 5,124 images in this database, the oldest is from 1914. One fun way to search is typing in a year, say "1921" or "1928," and browse by date.
I spent about 4 hours straight on Friday poring through by keyword, related themes, and date, and found the two images you see in this post.
Photo above: the first generation of Trekkies, a bunch of Caltech students, protest the rumored cancellation of Star Trek at NBC's studios. I love how that one guy's sign says, "IT IS TOTALLY ILLOGICAL TO CANCEL STAR TREK."
These, dear BoingBoing reader, are our ancestors.
Photo at bottom: "Research assistant in automobile simulator during drug and alcohol experiment at Southern California Research Institute, 1977."
Try keyword-searching by "prohibition", or "zoot suit riot," for incredible images from specific political eras. For instance, "draft" will yield images related to Vietnam, but also protests from 1948.
Here's a list of more photos I found and was fascinated by, in no particular order:
1965: A beatnik robot that "ferrets out the undesirables-including censors, book-burners."
1959: Beatniks with tikis!
1959: The "Miss Beatnik 1959" finalists!
1966: Walt Disney with "Pirates of the Caribbean" ride heads.
1973: Disney imagineers with Space Mountain model.
1964:"Miss Formula", a computer created rendering of the "perfect female."
1965: "Gyro jet hand gun," a rocket-propelled personal weapon "not regulated by existing laws."
1949: A cross-dressing man in jail identified as "Sidney Cochin, The Nutty Housewife." (no more information available, what's this guy's story?)
1941: A transgendered person and companion.
1948: Hollywood hookers getting busted.
1950: Hollywood actors simulating nuclear blast preparation.
1980s: Proto-punks! More punks!
1971: Custom conversion vans!
1980: Lesbian Navy Nurses!
1965: Astronaut food!
1950: Librarian robots!
1964: Thalidomide baby.
1947: Opium chocolates!
1969: Indian re-possession of Alcatraz.
1938: movie marquee says "closed tonight to protest Nazi horror." 1948: Nazi graffiti on Jewish community sign.
1965: a bank computer.
1930s: People dancing in a black nightclub. A black couple doing the jitterbug.
1948: Chicks with guns.
1964: "outer space influenced" furniture.
1947: Chinese-American pyro-baby! See also this lovely 1939 shot of actors in a Chinatown theater.
1970s: Muhammad Ali in Watts. Stormtroopers prepare to beat the shit out of people in Watts. Child next to funky soul art in Watts.
1965: An early computer network for police.
1961: an early voice recognition computer.
1965, a man working at a computer with a circular display.
1986: Quotron, the stock market computer.
1965: Credit processing computer.
(via blogging.la and LA Observed, thanks also to BB reader Eric "Pocho!" Jasso.)
Reader comment: Ole Squirrelly Eyes says,
I found the gubner! Link to Arnold Schwarzenegger, in 1975.
Neglected public payphones in New York City are being turned into “GuyFi” stations: a place where one can rub one out for the sake of “stress relief.” Annalee Newitz reports on the wank booths from a company named “Hot Octopus”… The company reported that at least 100 men used the booth on its opening day […]
You’d be forgiven for thinking the videocassette format long-dead, but it turns out that Betamax is still around. Sony is finally going to withdraw tapes from sale, bringing a 40-year story to an end. The last recorders were sold in 2002. ベータビデオカセットおよびマイクロMVカセットテープ出荷終了のお知らせ [Sony; via The Verge]
A leaked Comcast memo discloses that the company’s consumer data caps have nothing to do with network congestion, contrary to its public claims. The internet service provider has often complained (such as when lobbying against net neutrality) that it must impose limits on service to prevent network congestion. The argument suggests that these measures are […]
Remember back to the time when people thought java was just a hip way to talk about coffee? Or you vaguely remembered from geography class that it’s an island in the South Pacific? We’ve come a long way since then and now that we’ve rocket blasted into the tech future, you’re going to need to […]
Plastic is so 2013. You don’t want to buy something only to throw it away or lose it and barely care. You like nice things and want to hang onto them. The Plazmatic lighter here is a high quality, high tech alternative to the typical cheap, plastic lighter you get at the old gas station. […]
Real engineers build things. Super cool engineers build things with their hands and fingers, like our engineering forefathers did. No idea where to even begin to do that? This step by step Arduino course is now 92% off and is going to get you up and running, from zero to hero, in no time. So […]