This Online Page Showcases How Weird Our Ancestors Were, Posts 30 Pics As Proof
Maybe it's just the smell of old people and moth balls, but vintage items have a certain charm that new things will never have. Well, they might have it in 50 years, but that charm takes time to acquire. Whether it’s a hundred-year-old coffee table from a flea market or a wool sweater from the 1970s, vintage items are so special, and they help us reminisce on the “good old days”. Unfortunately, I cannot offer you a chaise longue that’s older than you to lay on or an ornate light fixture from my grandmother’s home, but I can provide you with a list of quirky photos from back in the day that might bring you a bit of joy.
We’ve gone through the Vintage Weird Facebook group and found some of our favorite images from simpler, yet possibly stranger, times to share with all of you vintage enthusiasts out there. So slip into that dress your grandmother gave you, get those Elvis tunes playing, and enjoy this list of some of peculiar blasts from the past. Below, you'll also find an interview with Lisa Barrow, one of the creators and admins of Vintage Weird, where you can hear a bit more about the background of the page, and an interview with vintage expert and creator of the blog It's Beyond My Control, Dominique de Merteuil. Be sure to upvote your favorite pics, and then if you’re interested in checking out some bizarre vintage ads, we’ve got the perfect Bored Panda piece for you to read next right here.
In 1916, Sisters, Adeline And Augusta Van Buren Became The First Women To Travel Across The USA On Two Solo Motorcycles. They Made It Despite Frequently Being Arrested For Wearing Pants!!!
We reached out to one of the creators of Vintage Weird, Lisa Barrow, to hear a bit more about how the page came to be. "Vintage Weird started in 2018 when my friend Paul and I started talking about how cool a group about weird stuff would be," Lisa told Bored Panda. "Though he later had to bow out of running the group, it grew very rapidly and now has a membership of over 400k. The growth was immensely gratifying, but also presented a huge challenge as the admin team worked to verify that information in posts was correct and that members were treating each other with decency."
When asked why she thinks Vintage Weird took off, Lisa told us, "Across the board, people love vintage things. I think it's because there are so many ways to approach the past, whether through nostalgia, amusement, curiosity, or a desire to better understand why the present is the way it is. What I do think is underrated is a sense of responsibility about posting factual information," Lisa noted.
1939 Schlörwagen... Built By German Engineer Hans Schlör Von Westhofen Dirmstein To Resemble The Shape Of An Airplane Wing. This Car Was More Aerodynamicaly Efficient Than Most 21th Century Cars With A Cw Value Of Just 0,15!
"The small, hardworking admin group of Vintage Weird (aka, my Weirdmins) spent huge amounts of time tracking down the original sources and dates of images, stories, articles, anecdotes, and other claims. As the group developed, we became pickier about the accuracy of what we allowed to be posted, because we could see that a group like VW had an opportunity to be a real resource for the genuine weirdness that is to be found in the past," Lisa explained. "But if we didn't take that opportunity, if we weren't careful, we'd just end up perpetuating the same phony, photoshopped, mis-labeled, inaccurately described nonsense that is so widely shared on Facebook and the rest of the internet. We were never after growth for the group—we wanted truthful, accurate posts that would show how weird reality really can be. The growth took care of itself."
17-Year-Old Bianca Passarge From Hamburg Dances On Wine Bottles In A Cat Costume, 1958
Lisa also noted that Vintage Weird is currently on hiatus, and she is unsure if she has plans to bring it back yet. "So many things about it were an absolute joy, especially working closely with the Weirdmin team, the many smart/kind/hilarious/brilliant members, and the constant wonder of discovery. But we also faced challenges on many fronts, most especially a heavy workload in verifying the accuracy of submitted posts. So for almost three years the Weirdmins volunteered hours and hours every week, but it got to be too much."
"I'm happy to see there's still interest in the group, though," Lisa added. "And the many fantastic, strange things people posted there. I loved running it, and I do miss it. Maybe there'll come a time when I can pull together a larger team of Weirdmins that can better handle the kind of nuanced behind-the-scenes work needed to run a group like that."
We also reached out to vintage fashion expert and creator of the blog It's Beyond My Control, Dominique de Merteuil, to hear how she got into vintage fashion. "My interest in vintage fashion and art was initiated by my mom, a real style icon. The only films we would watch together were from the 1930s-1950s," Dominique told Bored Panda. "I was about six years old when I first watched The Women (1939) and The Philadelphia Story (1940). From that moment on, Hollywood glamour became my inspiration. The stylized hair and those magnificent gowns created by costume designers such as; Adrian, Edith Head, Travis Banton, Orry-Kelly helped transform every bland-looking actress into the most beautiful woman in the world. I so wanted to become THAT woman. I've been wearing vintage pieces since my teenage years. At the time, it was mainly accessories borrowed from my mom's closet. I started buying vintage clothes in my early 20s. At first, my wardrobe was a mix of contemporary designers and 1940s pieces. Now, 95% of the clothes I wear are from the 1930s, 1940s and early 1950s."
A Test Audience Reacting To The Chest Burster Scene In Alien, 1979
We also asked Dominique why she loves vintage pieces so much. "I love vintage clothes for the quality, originality and elegance," she explained. "I feel that elegance is what is lacking in mainstream fashion. I get the impression that many contemporary designers forgot that one of the main reasons women buy clothes in the first place is to look and feel beautiful."
Next, we wanted to hear Dominique's tips for people who are interested in vintage fashion but just don't know where to start. "Firstly, know your measurements and remember that when you are shopping for vintage clothes online, sellers will list the measurements of the garment itself. Pay attention to the length of the shoulders! Always leave room for comfort. I tend to buy vintage clothes almost a size bigger than my measurements."
Late Victorian Mountaineers, Including A Fully Dressed And Corseted Lady, Cross A Crevasse In The Alps (1900)
"Decide what decade in fashion interests you most and start learning about it. I wrote an in-depth article about how to date vintage clothes that might be helpful to you." Dominique also warns not to get ripped off. "There are hundreds of vintage sellers that I love, trust and can wholeheartedly recommend, but occasionally you will stumble across a bad apple. There are shops that sell 1970s garments and describe them as 1940s because that's how they justify the high price. I have an entire section on my blog devoted to vintage fashion tips where I write about how to clean, store and repair vintage clothes."
"Last but not least. When you finally find the vintage piece of your dreams, don't wait too long before you hit the add to basket button because vintage waits for no one."
Dominique also wanted to add that, "Life is too short to wear ordinary clothes!" If you'd like to hear more of her tips and check out her fabulous wardrobe, you can find her blog It's Beyond My Control right here.
A British Chamberpot With A Built-In Small Bust Of Napoleon Bonaparte, Ca.1803-05
People tend to be drawn to vintage images or photography, as they can give us insight into what our world was like before we showed up, but strange vintage photos are even more fascinating. Many of us view the past as simple, with less options available for our professions and roles in society. But seeing that there were quirky people and objects around a century ago is a great reminder that we’re not so different from our great-grandparents. Just because they didn’t have memes does not mean their lives were boring.
When it comes to the appeal of Vintage Weird, the oddities are definitely part of the draw. Seeing strange or confusing images is always interesting because we want to understand them. Most of us probably have not seen a magician tricking audiences into believing a woman is levitating on the beach or a ballerina dancing on top of glass bottles, but at one point in time, these occurrences did happen.
Department Store Wax Mannequins Melting During A Heatwave In 1929. (Via Alex Eccleston)
But aside from being strange, these vintage images appeal to audiences because of the feeling of nostalgia they evoke. Nostalgia can be a powerful feeling, and according to psychologist Dr. Krystine Batcho, it actually has a psychological purpose. “Nostalgia by motivating us to remember the past in our own life helps to unite us to that authentic self and remind us of who we have been and then compare that to who we feel we are today,” said Dr. Batcho on the Speaking of Psychology podcast.
Dr. Batcho goes on to explain that nostalgia also “gives us a sense of who we want to be down the road in the future”. It is not only about looking back. She explains that it’s a social emotion as well. “It connects us to other people. It does that in so many beautiful ways. In the beginning, when we're very young, it's part of what bonds us to the most important people in our life, our parents, our siblings, our friends. As we go through life, it can broaden out and extend to a wider sphere of the people we interact with. It's a social connectedness phenomenon, and nostalgia is in that sense a very healthy pro-social emotion.” A Facebook group like Vintage Weird may seem like a silly place online to look at photos, but the community bonds members together by their shared feelings of nostalgia, which can be a beautiful thing.
From Circa 1975, An Ad For Men's Business Attire. With Western Canada Breaking Temperature Records All Over The Place, This Might Not Be A Bad Idea
Nostalgia can even bring us comfort during times of change or transition. Have you ever spent hours looking back at old photos while packing up to move or swapping stories of your favorite memories with friends right before a big life change? Dr. Batcho explains that, “It stimulates memories of the times when we were accepted and loved unconditionally. That is such a powerfully comforting phenomenon, knowing that there was a time in life when we didn't have to earn our love, or we didn't deserve it because we earned a certain amount of money or we were successful in a certain venue. Our parents, for example, or our siblings or our friends simply loved us unconditionally. That is a wonderfully comforting feeling when we're undergoing any kind of turmoil in our personal lives.”
The Unbroken Seal On King Tutankhamun's Tomb, Which Stayed 3,245 Years Untouched Until The Excavation In 1922
Up Until 1948, 7up Put Lithium In Their Soda. For Those Unaware, That Is A Mood Stabilizer And It Is Very Much Still In Use Today
But you might be wondering if the posts on this page qualify as causing nostalgia if the members were not even alive at the time the photos were taken. Well, there is actually a word for that seemingly indescribable feeling of nostalgia for something you did not personally live through: anemoia. J.W. Barlament explains anemoia in depth on his blog as, “Nostalgia for the ‘good ol’ days’; more specifically, the good ol’ days you are too young to have known. It is a sense that something was intrinsically better in the distant past than it is in the present; that we’ve lost something crucial in our ceaseless march of progress. Few haven’t felt it. Fewer still have contemplated if it really has a meaning behind senseless longing.”
A Disguised Secret Witness Testifies In A Courtroom On A Drug Case. Washington, 30 April 1952
Ford Unsuccessfully Tried To Reinvent The (Steering) Wheel
Ford Unsuccessfully Tried To Reinvent The (Steering) Wheel By Replacing With A Pair Of Twisty Dials In The 1960s. Ford Pr Geared It Towards Those “Non-Technical” People That Are Commonly Referred To As Women, Who Are Apparently Hopeless At Parallel Parking. In All Their Cockiness Though, Ford Were Apparently Oblivious To The Fact That The System Was No Easier Or Better Than A Standard Steering Wheel Anyway!
As an avid listener of 80s music and huge fan of 80’s cinema, I know the feeling of anemoia all too well. Maybe you have felt it while watching Stranger Things even though your parents were teens at that time, or perhaps you’ve flipped through enough family photo albums to feel it when you see a picture of your grandparents at your age. Why this happens is not totally clear, but J.W. hypothesizes that it has to do with our tendency to romanticize the past. And while the world certainly was not perfect “back in the day”, J.W. understands why we might wish for that time.
“It is definitely disingenuous to say that people lived in peace,” he writes. “It is very much possible, however, that people lived with peace of mind. Nowadays, while we are more connected than ever, it is well-accepted that we feel evermore alone. In comparison, our ancestors — especially our ancient ancestors — while ostensibly worse off, shared an unbreakable bond between each other that we today can barely even conceive of. This may very well be the part of the past that the people of today long for.”
The Motormat Drive-In,invented By Kenneth C.purdy,where The Food Tray Was Sent Out On Rails (1948) Los Angeles
A Couple Gets Into Their Bmw Isetta, Through The Front Door, 1950
Luna Park, Melbourne. Google It. The Place Was (And Is) Amazing
Aside from simply romanticizing and longing for the past, people tend to love incorporating vintage items into their lives for the charm, whether that be a piece of furniture, a car or their entire closet. But even if you are not an avid thrifter, there are plenty of reasons to start buying vintage. First of all, it’s probably going to save you some money. There are some places that sell high-end vintage at exorbitant prices, but for the most part, second hand items are cheaper. The low prices do not mean low quality, though. Before the days of fast fashion and mass-produced IKEA furniture, everything was built to last. Your grandparents probably have the same tables and chairs they had fifty years ago, and they are likely still in excellent condition. Don’t underestimate the value of a vintage piece. If it’s lasted this long, you can assume it will hold up for another few decades.
Im Henson Helping An Old Lady ( Aughra) Cross The Street In 1982. "Aughra Is A Major Character From Jim Henson's 1982 Film The Dark Crystal And The Deuteragonist Of The Dark Crystal: Age Of Resistance Prequel Series. She Was Performed By Puppeteer Frank Oz, With The Late Billie Whitelaw Providing Her Voice. In The 2019 Prequel Age Of Resistance, She Is Performed By Kevin Clash And Voiced By Donna Kimball. "
Giant Studebaker. World's Largest Vehicle Under Construction. Chicago, 1934
Another perk of buying vintage is that you can find some amazingly unique pieces. Why would you want to dress exactly the same as everyone else in your office when you could be the only person sporting a windbreaker from the 80s. Decorating your apartment with second hand finds will also make your home feel special. Every piece has a history of its own, and you get to add to its story by proudly displaying it in your home. Even if you don’t know exactly where everything came from, it is certainly more interesting to say that you dug that painting out of a bin at a flea market and an old woman with an eyepatch sold it to you than, “Oh, it’s from H&M.”
It’s True It These Weird Trousers Were The Mad Rage In The 1920’s
It’s True It These Weird Trousers Were The Mad Rage In The 1920’s. 2 British Men Who Are Cambridge University Undergraduates Photographed There Wearing “Plus 10’s”. 1926. — Plus 10’s Are Variation On The Plus 4 Golfing Knickers. The Number Increases For How Many Inches Below The Knee The Fabric Hung. These Pants Became A Huge Look For Fashion Forward Pioneered By The Prince Of Wales , Film Stars And Was Espoused Mainly By Elite University Students And Spread. “Plus Fours” Came In Tweed Wool, Linen, Corduroy, And Flannel. They Were Worn With Sweaters , Jacket And Tie, Dress Shirts And Were Also Worn By Daring Females Or Children. Jaunty Hats Were The Norm To Complete The Look
#8 Freckle Removal. A Complicated Apparatus Is Employed. Eyes Are Covered With A Special, Air-Tight Piece, And The Nostrils Filled In. Breathing Is Done Through A Special Tube. Sensitive Parts Of The Face Must Be Treated Separately, 1930
The Berlin Gold Hat (German: Berliner Goldhut) Is A Late Bronze Age Artefact Made Of Thin Gold Leaf. It Served As The External Covering On A Long Conical Brimmed Headdress, Probably Of An Organic Material. It Is Now In The Neues Museum On Museum Island In Berlin. The Berlin Gold Hat Is The Best Preserved Specimen Among The Four Known Conical Golden Hats From Bronze Age Europe So Far. Of The Three Others, Two Were Found In Southern Germany, And One In The West Of France. (...) It Is Generally Assumed That The Hats Served As The Insignia Of Deities Or Priests In The Context Of A Sun Cult That Appears To Have Been Widespread In Central Europe At The Time. The Hats Are Also Suggested To Have Served Astronomical/Calendrical Functions
Buying vintage pieces is also great for the environment. According to the Institute of Sustainable Communication, the clothing industry is the second largest contributor to clean water pollution in the world. At the same time, the clothing industry emits 10% of the world’s carbon emissions and creates 21 billion tons of waste every year. These are harrowing facts considering that we all need clothes, so most people have no intentions of stopping their purchases. But we don’t all need to contribute to the rapid production of clothing. Instead, we can check out our local thrift stores the next time we need a new pair of jeans or sweater for the winter. Even online retailers selling vintage clothing are more sustainable options than supporting the fast fashion industry.
Frank Zappa In The Background. Ringo Starr, Playing Frank Zappa, In The Foreground. From The Movie “200 Motels” (1971) Written And Directed By Frank Zappa And Tony Palmer
Back In 1956, Magician Robert Harbin Demonstrated One Of His Levitation Tricks On A Few Beachgoers. These Women Looked Pretty Impressed And At Ease, Especially The Woman ‘Levitating’ Over Rocks. This Is Definitely Not Something You Would See At Beaches Today
We hope you're enjoying this quirky list of images from the past and the fun facts that go along with them. If you're interested in seeing even more photos like these, be sure to check out Vintage Weird on Facebook. Keep upvoting the pics that stand out the most to you, and then let us know in the comments what the strangest photo from the past you've ever seen was. Maybe you're even feeling inspired to spend some time sifting through your family photo albums now to keep that feeling of nostalgia going; I'm sure if you look hard enough, you'll find something that's "Vintage Weird worthy".