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(Source: doudoroff.com)


MITS Altair front panel


MITS Altair front panel


Development of the Braun shaver, 1958-95. Source



“There was a place near an airport, Kowloon, when Hong Kong wasn’t China, but there had been a mistake, a long time ago, and that place, very small, many people, it still belonged to China. So there was no law there. An outlaw place. And more and more people crowded in; they built it up, higher. No rules, just building, just people living. Police wouldn’t go there. Drugs and whores and gambling. But people living, too. Factories, restaurants. A city. No laws.

William Gibson, Idoru

It was the most densely populated place on Earth for most of the 20th century, where a room cost the equivalent of US$6 per month in high rise buildings that belonged to no country. In this urban enclave, “a historical accident”, law had no place. Drug dealers, pimps and prostitutes lived and worked alongside kindergartens, and residents walked the narrow alleys with umbrellas to shield themselves from the endless, constant dripping of makeshift water pipes above….

Kowloon ‘Walled’ City lost its wall during the Second World War when Japan invaded and razed the walls for materials to expand the nearby airport. When Japan surrendered, claims of sovereignty over Kowloon finally came to a head between the Chinese and the British. Perhaps to avoid triggering yet another conflict in the wake of a world war, both countries wiped their hands of the burgeoning territory.

And then came the refugees, the squatters, the outlaws. The uncontrolled building of 300 interconnected towers crammed into a seven-acre plot of land had begun and by 1990, Kowloon was home to more than 50,000 inhabitants….

Despite earning its Cantonese nickname, “City of Darkness”, amazingly, many of Kowloon’s residents liked living there. And even with its lack of basic amenities such as sanitation, safety and even sunlight, it’s reported that many have fond memories of the friendly tight-knit community that was “poor but happy”.

“People who lived there were always loyal to each other. In the Walled City, the sunshine always followed the rain,” a former resident told the South China Morning Post….

Today all that remains of Kowloon is a bronze small-scale model of the labyrinth in the middle a public park where it once stood.

This isn’t to say places like Kowloon Walled City no longer exist in Hong Kong….

— from Anywhere But Here: Kowloon “Anarchy” City


1957: The Miller House


(Source: folklifestyle)






Margaret Bourke-White:  The First Woman to Fly on a Combat Mission with the US Air force

Margaret Bourke-White has the unique distinction of not only being the first woman to fly aboard a US bombing mission but more importantly of being the first female war correspondent and combat photographer.

By the outbreak of World War Two Margaret was already a well established photojournalist, becoming LIFE magazine’s first female photographer in 1935, having documented Depression-era America during the 1930s.  She produced one of the most iconic photographs of the period while covering the impact of floods in Kentucky with her photograph ‘Kentucky Flood’.  Which showed a breadline juxtaposed against a billboard boasting America’s high living standard becoming one of the period’s most powerful images.

'Kentucky Flood' victims, 1937 (source)

During the late 1930s she had travelled Europe extensively documenting Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia.  It was in Russia that Bourke-White took her first combat photographs - of a German air-raid on Moscow on 22nd June 1941.   The US Government was reluctant to allow a woman to act as a war correspondent covering US military operations, however she persevered, lobbying tirelessly to cover combat operations, and was eventually allowed to join US forces in Europe. 

In 1942, Bourke-White began covering US bomber crews stationed in England during their day-time raids on Nazi Germany.  On the 22nd January 1943, she became the first woman to fly on board a US combat mission.  Some of the photographs she took can be seen above (images #3, 4 & 5).  A month later she boarded the Africa-bound troopship SS Strathallan to cover the Allied campaign in North Africa however, the ship was torpedoed on the 22nd February - she continued to photograph as the ship was evacuated and sank.   When the Allies invaded Europe Margaret accompanied US forces during the Spring 1945 campaign and was one of the first journalists to reach the Buchenwald concentration camp, documenting the horror on film (see image #6), she later described “using a camera was almost a relief. It interposed a slight barrier between myself and the horror in front of me.”

Bourke-White preparing to photograph a wagon load of Concentration Camp victims at Buchenwald, april 1945 (source)

Her work was widely published and featured heavily in LIFE magazine, during the late 1940s she travelled to India and captured an iconic photograph of Gandhi reading during the partition of India.

Gandhi & His Spinning Wheel (source)

Sadly, in 1953 she was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease which eventually ended her photography career, although she went on to become a successful author writing half a dozen books before she passed away at the age of 67 in 1971.  Margaret Bourke-White was undoubtedly one of the most groundbreaking female journalists of the 20th century paving the way for many women who would follow her.  Her skill as a photographer and the iconic images she captured, many of which remain instantly recognisable today, mean that she has an almost unparalleled legacy.


Image One Source

Image Two Source

Image 3-5 Source

Image Six Source

Glass Warriors: The Camera at War, Duncan Anderson, 2005

You can view more of Margaret Bourke-White’s brilliant work on LIFE’s website here.

(Source: historicalfirearms)

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