This iconic photograph shows the grounding of the SS Princess May steamship in August 1910 on Sentinel Island.
The Princess May was travelling at a speed of 10knots (19km/hour) when it smashed into the US coast and flew upwards out of the water and landed at a 23-degree angle on the rocks.
So amazing was this photograph that it was sold around the entirety of the west coast of America.
Cyclomer – The Amphibious Floating Bike From The 1930s
A human-powered amphibious cycle may still seem like something of the distant future – yet in the 1930s they had already been invented.
This photo shows a man in Paris riding the “Cyclomer” in 1932 – an amphibious push bike that could float due to the fact it had buoys as wheels and also attached to both the front and back.
It seems unlikely that any fashion-conscious person would be seen dead riding one of these though…
Audrey Hepburn – At The Shops In Beverly Hills With Her Pet Deer
British actress Audrey Hepburn was best known for her roles in films such as Roman Holiday, Breakfast at Tiffany’s and My Fair Lady – but she also loved taking her pet deer to the shops during her spare time.
In this picture Hepburn is out at the supermarket with Ip, her deer, and is seen reading the back of a packet of Honey Grahams as the deer looks on too.
Now that definitely isn’t something you see everyday…
USS West Mahomet – The Black-And-White “Camouflage” Ship
It may look like a boat owned by a devout Newcastle United fan – but this is actually the commonly used ship camouflage used during World War I.
Artist Norman Wilkinson is credited with having come up with the design – that consisted of unusual patterns of geometric shapes in contrasting colours – which became known as “dazzle camouflage” or “razzle dazzle”.
This style of camouflage was adopted by both the British Admiralty and the US Navy during the Great War – and the boat above is the USS West Mahomet – but controversy struck when Pablo Picasso claimed the cubist movement invented this style of painting.
The Giant Hand – Workers Help To Construct The Statue Of Liberty
The Statue of Liberty was constructed in several different stages in both Paris and the USA before it was dedicated to the American government by designer Frédéric Bartholdi in October 1886.
However, before it was transported across to what became known as Liberty Island in New York’s Harbour, the 46-metre statue was constructed in France.
In this photo, sheet-metal workers are seen hammering out part of the statue – while the huge left arm is seen cupping around in the background, like a scene from the BFG.
Pegasus? – The Sport Of “Horse Diving” Used To Be A Popular Pastime
A so-called “diving horse” was a popular attraction in the USA from the 1880s until the middle of the 20th Century – and basically involved a stallion jumping head-first into a pool of water, sometimes with people on their back.
William “Doc” Carver is credited with inventing the idea of getting the animals to jump from as high as 60-feet, supposedly thinking it up when his own horse was plummeted forward into water when part of a bridge across the Platte River in Nebraska collapsed in 1881.
Sonora Webster is the woman who can be seen on the back of the diving horse, and she ended up being blinded in 1931 when she fell into the water with her animal called Red Lips.
Thankfully, animal-welfare activists managed to convince the authorities to ban the sport in the aftermath of World War II.
The Unlikely Alliance – A Black Police Officer Helps Protect The KKK
Here is a black policeman standing in front of a Ku Klux Klan demonstration in Austin, Texas, in 1983.
Crowds were forcing their way towards the white-supremacist demonstrators when the police – including some of African-American origin – halted them.
Quite amazing to see a black man protect a racist group who want his civil rights taken away from him, isn’t it?
Driving On Water – LBJ And His Amphibious Car
The Amphicar Model 770 was the first amphibious car that was mass-produced for sale in the 1960s.
Perhaps the most-famous owner of this amphibious car was the 36th President of the United States, Lyndon B Johnson, who is pictured in the front-left driver’s seat in the photo above in 1965.
In fact, LBJ was known as being a practical joker and he was said to love frightening visitors to his Johnson City ranch in Texas by quickly driving downhill in his Amphicar and directly into the lake while pretending that the brakes had malfunctioned.
A witty President then, that’s for sure.
Leo The Movie Star Lion – MGM Opening Credits Created Using Live Big Cat
Everyone recognises the opening credits to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer’s (MGM’s) films as the roar of Leo the Lion.
Well, in this photo, a lion named Jackie – who served as the second (between 1928 and 1956) of the seven wild cats that have been used to date – is standing on two boxes while recording the roar for the MGM credits in 1924.
Neither the cameraman or the sound technician look nervous at all though, do they?
Salvador Dalí – Philippe Halsman Captures Incredible Photograph Of Flying Cats And Moving Water
Surrealist artist Salvador Dalí and American photographer Philippe Halsman began collaborating in 1941 – and one of their most famous works together is this 1948 picture named Dalí Atomicus.
Dealing with the idea of suspension, three cats, an easel, a stool, water from a bucket and Dalí himself are shown captured in mid-air.
Amazingly, this picture is not photoshopped or dubbed in any way – with Halsman claiming it took 28 attempts before he was finally satisfied and it could be published in LIFE magazine (although that version was touched up slightly).
A quite incredible piece of photography.
Spot The Odd One Out – Nazi Soldiers Pose For A Photo With A Man In A Bear Costume
A particularly strange photographic phenomenon emerged of Nazi soldiers following the end of World War II – the military appeared to love being pictured with people in bear costumes.
This is just one example of the Wehrmacht posing for a picture with a man dressed in an outfit – this time as a polar bear.
Why exactly the Nazis found bear costumes so amusing is not quite clear…
Pucker Up – Soviet Leader Leonid Brezhnev Welcomes East German Premier Erich Honecker With A Passionate Kiss
t’s not something normally associated with dictators, but former Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev did love to pucker up and give foreign diplomats – both male and female – a big peck on the lips as a greeting.
Possibly the most famous photo – that would later also be immortalised as a Berlin Wall mural – of Brezhnev shows him tongue-tied with East German leader Erich Honecker in 1979.
Now that really is a “loving embrace”, that’s for certain.
Armageddon? – A “Dirty Thunderstorm” Produces Lightning And A Volcanic Eruption Simultaneously
This striking, powerful and active photo depicts the “dirty thunderstorm” that occurred above Mount Rinjani in Lombok, Indonesia, in 1994.
A “dirty thunderstorm” is a rare weather phenomenon when lightning strikes through the ash plume produced by a volcanic eruption.
Few instances of this phenomenon have been recorded, although it has occurred in Chile above the Chaiten Volcano, above Alaska’s Mount Augustine volcano and also above Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull volcano.
Penny A Kid? – Children Are Put Up For Sale In Recession-Hit Chicago
The woman in the background of this photo is the distressed and embarrassed Lucille Chalifoux who, along with her husband Ray, decided to try and sell her four children.
Both jobless and facing eviction from their flat in Chicago, Illinois, the couple decided they had no option but to place their four young children (pictured on the steps) up for sale in August 1948.
Chicago was hit with a severe recession in the aftermath of World War II, and that is why the couple were willing to part with their offspring for cash.
How desperate a financial position must you be in to do that?
Derailed – Train Flies Off The Track And Through A Building At Montparnasse Terminus In France
This photo depicts the infamous Montparnasse derailment of October 1895 when the Granville-Paris Express train overran the buffer stop at the terminus and smashed through the wall, falling on to the Place de Rennes below.
The train became lodged between the top of the Gare Montparnasse terminus and the street below for several days, leading many people to take photographs of the scene.
Despite there being 131 passengers on board, amazingly there was only one death – a woman named Marie-Augustine Aguilard who had been standing getting a newspaper from a vendor on the street – and six injuries.
Although a horrendous accident, it certainly made for a brilliant photograph…