By Flickr user: kntrty https://www.flickr.com/photos/kntrty/ – Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/kntrty/3720075234/, CC BY 2.0, Link
Hashima Island , commonly called Gunkanjima (meaning Battleship Island), is an abandoned island lying about 15 kilometers (9 miles) from the city of Nagasaki, in southern Japan. The island’s most notable features are its abandoned concrete buildings, undisturbed except by nature, and the surrounding sea wall. The island established in 1887 during the industrialization of Japan and was known for its undersea coal mines. In 1974, with the coal reserves nearing depletion, the mine was closed and all of the residents departed soon after, Interest in the island re-emerged in the 2000s on account of its undisturbed historic ruins, and it gradually became a tourist attraction. Certain collapsed exterior walls have since been restored, and travel to Hashima was re-opened to tourists in 2009. While the island is a symbol of the rapid industrialization of Japan, it is also a reminder of its history as a site of forced labor prior to and during the Second World War.
Continue reading Hashima, the Battleship Island
Florian G. [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Uyuni primarily serves as a gateway for tourists visiting the world’s largest salt flats, the Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia. One of the major tourist attractions of the area is an antique train cemetery. A place cluttered with old, rotting trains, a symbol of past greatness and also decay. It is located 3 km outside Uyuni and is connected to it by the old train tracks. The town served in the past as a distribution hub for the trains carrying minerals on their way to the Pacific Ocean ports. The train lines were built by British engineers who arrived near the end of the 19th century and formed a sizable community in Uyuni. The rail construction started in 1888 and ended in 1892. It was encouraged by the then Bolivian President Aniceto Arce, who believed Bolivia would flourish with a good transport system, but it was also constantly sabotaged by the local indigenous people who saw it as an intrusion into their lives. The trains were mostly used by the mining companies. In the 1940s, the mining industry collapsed, partly due to the mineral depletion. Many trains were abandoned thereby producing the train cemetery. There are talks to build a museum out of the cemetery.
info source: wikimedia
Continue reading The Cemetery of Trains in Bolivia
By Neil Rickards – Flickr: 004648, CC BY 2.0, Link
The Hotel du Lac in Tunis was designed in the Brutalist style by the Italian architect Raffaele Contigiani and built from 1970 to 1973. It was constructed on 190 reinforced concrete piles up to 60 m (200 ft) deep, and built from exposed concrete around a steel structure, creating a single long block with ten floors, with large windows. Projecting cantilevered stairs at each end create an inverted pyramid shape. The striking design, departing from traditional Arab and European architecture, made the hotel a symbol of modernism in Tunis. Its distinctive shape has prompted comparisons with the sandcrawler vehicle of the Star Wars films. The hotel closed in 2000. It was bought by the Libyan Arab Foreign Investment Company (LAFICO) in 2013, which proposed demolishing the building and spending up to $100m to replace it with a new five-star hotel tower. Concerns about imminent demolition were raised again in 2019.
Continue reading The upside down hotel said to have inspired the sandcrawler vehicle of the Star Wars
By User:Jgrimmer – Photo taken by original uploader, Public Domain, Link
Glass fishing floats were once used by fishermen in many parts of the world to keep the nets from sinking. Though the floats are often associated with Japan, they were invented in Norway in 1842. Christopher Faye, a Norwegian merchant from Bergen, is credited with their invention and many of them can still be found in local boathouses. From the mid-1800s to the mid-1900s, floats were made of colorful blown glass. These glass floats are no longer used by fishermen, but many of them are still afloat in the world’s oceans, primarily the Pacific.
Although the number of glass floats is decreasing steadily, occasional storms or certain tidal conditions can bring them ashore. They most often end up on the beaches of Alaska, Washington or Oregon in the United States, Taiwan or Canada.
Continue reading Gems of the ocean: Glass fishing floats
The Old Stockholm telephone tower (Swedish: Telefontornet ) was a metallic structure built to connect approximately 5,500 telephone lines in the Swedish capital of Stockholm. Constructed in 1887, the tower was damaged by a fire in 1952 and demolished the following year.
See page for author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Continue reading When cable lines lined city skies
Vinegar Valentine, circa 1900 / Public Domain
Vinegar valentines were a type of insulting cards. They are decorated with a caricature, and featured below an insulting poem. Ostensibly given on Valentine’s Day, the caricature and poem is about the “type” that the recipient belongs to—spinster, floozy, dude, scholar, etc. They enjoyed popularity from the 1840s to the 1940s. These cynical, sarcastic, often mean-spirited greeting cards were first produced in America as early as the 1840s. Cheaply made, vinegar valentines were usually printed on one side of a single sheet of paper and cost only a penny.
The unflattering cards reportedly created a stir throughout all social levels, sometimes provoking fisticuffs and arguments. Ironically, the receiver, not the sender, was responsible for the cost of postage up until the 1840s. A person in those days paid for the privilege of being insulted by an often anonymous “admirer.” Millions of vinegar valentines, with verses that insulted a person’s looks, intelligence, or occupation, were sold between the 19th and 20th centuries.
Continue reading Vinegar Valentines – unflattering Valentine’s Day cards from anonymous haters
No matter what they are, they’re outstanding, funny and bizarre.
Continue reading Vintage SCI-FI photography