15 Incredibly Odd Photos From The Archives

October 4, 2013

It’s said that a single photo speaks a thousand words, but for some of the more eccentric of the bunch, a few more words of explanation will always be needed. For the last century, photographers have been snapping both beautiful and bizarre shots of everyday life. At Black and WTF, one person made it their mission to delve into the dusty, black and white photographic archives to find some of the most incredibly odd photos known to man.

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Odd Photos Egg

Taken in 1926, Dorothy Gulliver poses for a publicity shot for The Collegians, a four-year series about college life by some of Hollywood’s early masterminds.

Centipede Dancers

A troupe of dancers from Brussels perform “The Centipede” in 1929.

Odd Photos Dog Head

This photo really takes the biscuit when it comes to the bizarre. In explaining the ensemble, the dog’s owner said “I hooked a coat hanger over his shoulders to form shoulders, and newspaper stuffed into his trousers”. If you look carefully, you can also see a cat seated in his lap.

Boxing Couple

In this oddly-posed photo from the 1950’s, actress Mamie Van Doren punches her husband Ray Anthony in the nose.

Coats Hanging

One winter, a clothier from Denmark came up with an odd but effective sales scheme. He hung more than a thousand overcoats from a scaffold around his shop. So many customers turned up to see the spectacle that the police were called. He sold every single coat.

Odd Photos Crow Boy

Here, a crow tucks a boy into bed. Little else can be understood from this photo, but at least the boy doesn’t seem to mind the company of his avian caretaker.

Dog Shaving

At the peak of his career, Fritz the celebrity bulldog gets a professional shave for his TV appearance in 1961.

Horse Head

While the internet today is inexplicably filled with people wearing horse masks, have you ever wondered where the idea originally came from? Here, the horseman takes a break in between shooting the Jean Cocteau film Testament of Orpheus.

Kangaroo Bowling

The 1950’s beauty model Monique Van Vooren goes bowling with a kangaroo. How the kangaroo is able to hold the bowling ball is unknown to this day.

Odd Photos Koskimo

Taken in 1910, a person from the Native American Koskimo tribe stands in a full-body fur garment with oversized gloves and a Hami mask (aka a ‘dangerous thing’ mask) during a traditional ceremony.

Post Office Goods

While the English Post Office has been known for long delays and missing mail, it deserves credit for the incredible array of things able to be sent. In the 1930s, you could mail anything from rabbits to pheasants so long as it had a neck label with a mailing address and another which stated that ‘no liquid was likely to exude’.

Skeleton Man

We all know how important adhering to the highway code is, but “Mr. Statistic” took it to a new level in 1952. He was arrested after trying to warn drivers about traffic fatalities during Labour Day weekend in Los Angeles.

Beauty Machine Max Factor

While this machine may look a bit macabre a first glance, it is in fact an early Max Factor invention from 1934. The Beauty Micrometer was meant to detect beauty defects in women that are invisible to the naked eye.

Book Pile

Taken in the early 1910’s, a woman calls for more books to be donated to the New York Public Library on Fifth Avenue...while standing on an enormous pile of them.

Odd Photos Harley Cage

Although it never made it as a permanent part of the police force, this Harley Davidson mobile booking cage in the 1920’s certainly proved a great a talking point.

Carl Akeley, Conservation-Minded Leopard Killer

October 1, 2013

Featured above, Carl Akeley’s life is something from a Robert Louis Stevenson novel. A true survivor, neither the simultaneous charge of three rhinoceros into Akeley’s body nor an elephant’s stomping onto his chest cavity led Akeley to the pearly gates. Rather, it was his fascination with nature that led him to pioneer taxidermy as well as major facets of the conservation movement. Regarding the leopard, when attacked by his spotted foe Akeley punched it in the esophagus from the inside…and killed it.

The American Communist Party In Madison Square Garden, 1931

September 30, 2013

While the “red scare” quickly quelled the burgeoning communist movement from the United States before it could gain any longterm hold on the political debate, there was a time when communist and socialist ideologies weren’t found only in some rather dusty corners of San Francisco. The Communist Party USA played an integral role in fighting Jim Crow laws, racial injustices and founding unions to protect worker rights, and by 1919 CPUSA claimed over 50,000 registered members. Today, however, a mere 2,000 individuals belong to the party.

Babe Ruth Meeting George HW Bush

September 29, 2013

Babe Ruth Meeting George HW Bush

Two major-leaguers from different fields in one setting in 1948. Said Bush on meeting the cancer-ridden Ruth: “I was the captain of the ball club, so I got to receive him there. He was dying. He was hoarse and could hardly talk. He kind of croaked when they set up the mike by the pitcher’s mound. It was tragic. He was hollow. His whole great shape was gaunt and hollowed out.”

23 Stunning Photographs Of Santorini Greece

September 29, 2013

If you’ve ever seen a beautiful photograph of a charming Grecian village by the sea, there’s a strong chance it was taken in Santorini. Although home to only 15 thousand residents, Santorini is one of the most popular destinations in Greece. With beautiful views, stunning beaches, and amazing architecture, it’s easy to understand why:

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Santoroni White Hotel

Santorini Sunset

Greece Hotel


Santorini Fish Eye

Greek Hotel

Santorini Village

Santorini Picture

Hotel Pool

Santorini Aerial Photograph

Santorini Greece

Dog In Santorini

HDR Santorini Photograph

Santorini Hotel

Santorini Lights

Beautiful Santorini Night

Santorini Overlook

Santorini Photograph

Landscape Of Santorini

Santorini Beautiful Pool

Santorini Sea

Santorini White Photo

Early 20th Century Paris In Amazing Color

September 28, 2013

Before the days of Photoshop, Instagram filters and instant home-editing software, there was little that could be done to adequately convey the energy, mood and spirit of a moment captured in time to its viewer. Enter the Lumiere brothers in 1903 and their invention of autochrome technology (a composite of black and white emulsion passed through a series of red, blue and green filters), and you’re that much closer to showcasing the depth and dimension of subjects immortalized by film. While the Lumiere brothers’ innovative method was abandoned in 1935 in favor of Kodachrome technology, they present a dreamy, serene and richly-saturated narrative on early 20th century Paris:

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Invalides, 1918.

Early 20th Century Paris Jardin

Invalides, 1909.

53 Rue Cambon

53 rue Cambon, 1918.

Early 20th Century Paris Vendeuses

Vendeuses de Moules, 1920.

Early 20th Century Paris Saint Cloud

Porte de Saint Cloud, 1920.

Early 20th Century Paris Roquette

Rue de la Roquette, 1918.

Early 20th Century Paris Rambuteau

Rue Rambuteau, 1914.

Rue du Pot de Fer

Rue du Pot de Fer, 1914.

Pont Alexandre III

Pont Alexandre III, 1914.

Early 20th Century Paris l'Ecole Polytechnique

Rue de l'Ecole Polytechnique, 1914.

Notre Dame

Notre Dame, 1920.

Boulevard Exelmans

Boulevard Exelmans, 1920.

Early 20th Century Paris Madeleine

Madeleine, 1914.

La Seine

The Seine, 1914.

Jardins du Trocadéro

Jardins du Trocadéro, 1920.

Hotel de Ville

Hôtel de Ville, 1918.

Early 20th Century Paris Pont de la Concorde

Pont de la Concorde, 1914.


Pathé Gobelins, 1918.


Trocadéro, 1937.

Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower, 1912.

Avenue Hoche

Avenue Hoche, 1924.

Early 20th Century Paris Angle Boulevard

Angle Boulevard Raspail, 1914.

All images come courtesy of Paris 1914, which seeks to restore these rare photos to their original glory.