Wednesday, January 21, 2015
Web Secret #346: Retronaut
The other day, as I was hugging her, I suddenly said: "Gee, your hair smells terrific." GYHST was a popular brand of 70's shampoo and conditioner geared towards teenagers. The products are probably toxic by today's standards, and may not have even smelled terrific, (if I can believe the eBay feedback - you can still buy vintage bottles of the stuff there.)
Anyway, I felt the immediate need to look up some of those hokey ads, and in the process, stumbled upon a fabulous website Retronaut.com. After cackling over the GYHST ads, I began an in depth exploration of retronaut.
As they explain on the site: "Retronaut is a photographic time machine. It is a digital collection of tens of thousands of pictures from across the past, all with one thing in common - each one has the power to warp your sense of time. Our team mines archives online and offline, unearthing pictures that seem not to belong to the time when they were created, that dissolve away the years like tarnish on a ring, that take our collective map of the past and tear tiny holes in it - holes through which we glimpse the real past lying underneath our map. These are pictures that show not so much the past as they show “now” – but another version of now."
The photos can be:
fascinating - 1771: Casting of Equestrian Statues
gruesome - c. 1875: Three women in the pillory, China
whimsical - 1909: Cat photographer
nostalgic - 1964: Sinclair Dinoland and NY Worlds Fair
Here is what the 70's looked like for some: May 1973: Young Americans
Once you're on the site, prepare for immediate addiction.