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Monday, August 23, 2010

Summer Fun - A Hundred Years Ago

Early films are wonderful to watch because they happily correct the erroneous impression we all get from looking at old black-and-white photographs in books:  our great-grandparents looked rather solemn when they put on their formal faces for the still cameras, for dignity's sake - "say cheese" didn't really become the norm until after World War I. 

But as these clips by Edison and others show so vividly, our collective ancestors were not carved out of stone, but just as human as we are.  Young women were just as silly and giggly then as now, and young men just as silly and show-offish as today.  Human nature does not change.  And this ought to correct another wrong idea:  just because you are loaded down with every technological gadget you can afford, and think nothing of jetting across the continent or around the world whenever the whim strikes you, does not mean you are one whit different from, or intrinsically better than, your ancestors.  Quite the opposite.

You are still just a human being, as they were.  Think about it.

Folkestone, Kent, England, 1904:

Blackpool, Lancashire:

Coney Island, New York City:


dave said...

These are great. I was thinking along similar lines recently when I came upon some pre WWII photos in color - while growing up I thought of the ear before my birth as a Black & White world...

Stan said...

I sometimes wonder how they will look and think of us in the future.

Russ Manley said...

Quaint . . . ridiculous . . . hopelessly outdated . . . primitive.

As all successive generations do.

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