When the visitors to the Knights Templar convention arrived at New Orleans, La., recently, they were greeted by the sight of a giant figure of a mounted Templar of the Middle Ages, the statue being supported on an arch across one of the principal streets. The figure was made of papier-mache and was completed in less than 30 days by workers of the city who have developed a high degree of speed and skill through making the floats for the Mardi Gras carnival. The figure of the armored knight on the white charger stood some 55 feet above the street.

From Popular Mechanics, Aug. 1922.

Interestingly, this was quite the thing to do for Templar conventions. The image below is from 1913 and shows a similar display in Denver.

If you like this image, you may enjoy visiting The Knights Templar Vault.


For code signals a glittering disk suspended by a wire a number of feet below the air craft is used. By swinging this disk, the airman can signal as though it were a flag, using the dot-and-dash”wigwag” code.  The German observation balloons, derisively called “sausages” by the allies because of their peculiar shape, use this code”


Spy pigeon (1914)

November 9, 2012

An heir to pigeon post and predecessor of modern drones — a pigeon photographer. “As the bird flies the camera operates, making numerous exposures which record details of the territory beneath.“

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Facial mask for removing and preventing wrinkles (1909)

October 13, 2012

A device which is designed to remove lines and wrinkles around the mouth, nose and eyes, to improve the shape of the nose, and to prevent the cheeks from becoming flabby and dropping so as to cause a double chin to form. Looks so good. Why take it off at all, I wonder?

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Vintage patriotic postcards

May 9, 2012

Several images from a set of postcards. Very patriotic looking young ladies pose in front of their national flags. USA, Russia, Britain, Belgium. At the top you can see what appears to be the first line of each land’s most representative song. See also: Patriotic swimwear

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Military use of a hot air balloon

April 25, 2012

During the siege of Paris in 1870 a hot air balloon was used for purposes of communication with the outside French forces. To no avail, one must add, since the French lost that war, ushering major consequences for both France and Germany. This essentially helped set up World War I. Should have used more balloons, [...]

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Punishments in the Union Army

April 25, 2012

Two images related to punishments in the Union Army during the American Civil War. The first one clearly shows soldiers being punished for minor offences. The other one is the execution of William H. Johnson, a poor fellow who decided to go cross over to the rebels’ side, supposedly without a clear intention of desertion. [...]

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So, you want to conquer England?

April 4, 2012

In the beginning of the 19th century there was no shortage of plans for the invasion of England by France.  This one probably combines at least three of them. The assault is to be carried out from the air, from the sea and let’s not forget to build a tunnel under the English Channel, so [...]

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Calvinism illustrated

February 15, 2012

Why carry your gun? If your time has come you’ll be killed. True; but maybe the Indian’s time has come. And that’s all you’ll ever needed to know about Calvinism (and life in Colonial America).

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The best savings bank – a war loan (1917)

February 8, 2012

Die beste Sparkasse: Kriegsanleihe – The best savings bank – a war loan. One of the cool things about propaganda posters is that they leave out some reasoning. It is possible to argue that giving money to the war effort is ultimately the best way to preserve one’s savings, but arguments can always be refuted. [...]

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