In 1925 there were an estimated 30,000 to 100,000 speakeasies in New York City alone. Near the end of the ban on alcohol in 1933 Life photographer Margaret Bourke-White captured some of the city’s elite speakeasies. What an amazing time, to be forced to enjoy to your after work libations underground. It is crazy to think that for 13 years (1920-1933) religious nuts took away America’s booze. I would be scared to see what New York would be like if the liquor was gone.
In honor of Zack Galifianakis’ masterful performance in The Hangover (which is one of the most hilarious movies I have seen in some time), I present you with the Kansas City drunk test in its infancy. Do go see The Hangover, don’t drink and drive.
Anyone that has spent time in Brooklyn should know the beautiful old Eagle Clothes sign that sits atop a rectangular shaped building on 6th Street (Between 3rd & 4th Avenue) in Park Slope. I have rode my bicycle past it at least 100 times and never knew what the building and the sign were all about, except that the sign is wonderful to look at. Just recently my interest in the sign and the company collided with none other than the Life photo archive, bringing Eagle Clothes full circle.
In the summer of 1951 a Life photographer (with a leaky camera) peeked in on the Eagle factory running at full steam making suits for all those GIs that returned home and needed suits. It is interesting to see that the factory looks to be very similar to some factories that are still operating in New York. Rocco Ciccarelli in Queens is a good example of a similar set-up, only smaller and most likely better quality.
While a lot of the photographs in the Life archive are staged, there also exists an abundance of natural sartorial expression. As I sorted through the vast collection of images I started to pick up on the eyewear throughout the years on everyone from Joseph Kennedy to Le Corbusier. A group of my favorites after the jump.
The Life archive continues to yield cool shit, like every U.S. military kit worn in 1941. This is the kind of stuff that I want to print out and put in a wooden box and save forever. Safe to say I love it. Since these photos were taken in the run-up to the U.S. involvement in the conflict, it would be interesting to see how the uniforms changed by the time they got to 1945, especially the cavalry uniforms. Wouldn’t think they saw much action in the the war, especially the Pacific theater.
Break out your cable knits, white pants and saddle shoes and lets go play some squash. The Life archive produces some terrific images of the 1947 National Amateur squash tournament. Considering the style of the event, it is almost crazy to see how relevant the clothing is for today. Granted I’m not going to be wearing this to the office this summer, but it could work for some leisurely vacation activities. More photos after the jump.
Nothing like a chair shortage to spark a nationwide squatting trend. That is exactly what happened in 1959 when a bunch of University of Arkansas fraternity brothers decided to make their chair-lacking displeasure known by “hunkerin‘” all over campus. The funny looking practice spread throughout Southern colleges and then eventually throughout the entire country. There is a nice little write up over at Ivy Style — who tipped me off to the whole hunkerin’ thing in the first place — which you can read here. More photos after the jump.