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Photographic Timemachine

January 29, 2014

Photographic timemachine – what could I be possibly be talking about?  Any ideas? To make it even harder, here’s how the Guardian has described that mysterious thing“enlightenment and wonder”!

Believe it or not I’m talking about a website, that I’m sure you’ll fall in love with – Retronaut.com

What is it? According to its creators “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.”

I especially liked their Art and Design collection that took me back to the early 20th century, to Monet’s studio, to Victorian times and the curious headless photographs, that apparently were popular in early 18 hundreds… It’s history told in little bits, as every photo hides a unique story, and these stories are still waiting to be told.

Today some of the images might seem weird and could probably be attributed to the concept of cabinet of curiosities, but a few decades from now some of our photographs will probably fall under the same term.

Monet and his paintings (1910-1926) - image found on Retronaut

Monet and his paintings (1910-1926) – image found on Retronaut

Dog in a gas mask - image found on Retronaut

Dog in a gas mask – image found on Retronaut

Well, if you agree with Winston Churchill, who said that “the farther backward you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see”, you’ll certainly enjoy browsing images on Retronaut. 

1800s: Victorian headless photographs - image found on

1800s: Victorian headless photographs – image found on Retronaut

The founders of Retronaut say – “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.” So if you have an inquisitive mind, do have a look!

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. January 30, 2014 6:23 am

    wow…thank for sharing. what a treat! the dinosaur and cowboys pic is imblazoned in my brain!

    • February 2, 2014 10:19 am

      Really glad to hear you liked Retronaut – some of the photos are really strange… and we think that we are weird? It seems that people have always been very creative, it’s just that we don’t know much about the past “inventions”/ideas. K.

  2. January 30, 2014 4:45 pm

    enjoyed this post – and really appreciated the pics of Monet (and the link to check out more) – it is so nice to see the artist in his “world” and to how Monet looked next to his large masterpieces. but all the pics were great – 🙂

    • February 2, 2014 10:24 am

      Thank you for leaving a comment – it’s always nice to get some feedback. I also find it incredible that we can have a glimpse into a true artist’s world – I’ve seen some of Monet’s paintings, but could have never imagined what they looked like in his studio… K.

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