An Early Shadow Of Love
Taking pictures today is easy. You pick up your smartphone, you point it at something and you push a button. If you don’t like the result, it’s simple enough to delete it and take the image again.
One of the things that makes this image memorable is that it wouldn’t have been easy to capture. It was taken in 1930, and back then not only were photographers shooting on to film or plate (so the quality of an image couldn’t be easily checked), but it took a long while to expose a photo, too.
So, this shadow kiss is quite an incredible achievement!
Kiss Mummy Or Kiss Me
The University of the South, “Sewanee” to its friends, is based in Tennessee. Today, it is one of the world’s best known liberal arts institutions. It is also considered to be one of the Top 100 colleges in America.
Back in 1940 when Sewanee was still building its formidable reputation, this photograph was taken.
What’s going on? Well, in the background is a mummy which would have been found in the Delta Tau Delta fraternity house back then. The couple is kissing because the girls were always told when they saw the mummy, they had to “kiss mummy or kiss me.”
A Couple Coming Ever Closer Together
Just to show that trick photography didn’t arrive on the scene at the same time as Adobe’s Photoshop software; here we have a very clever technique deployed to create a striking shot.
The couple is Deanna Durbin, who was a Canadian actress and singer of note at the time, and Edmond O’Brien, a well-respected actor. The scene in the shot is from their movie Tonight and Forever which was released in 1942.
How did they create this image? By exposing the film over and over again to capture a series of poses on a single shot. It’s very difficult to get this right even for experienced photographers.
Mrs. Martini And The Tiger Cub
This heart warming image was taken at the Bronx Zoo. Helen Martini’s husband was the lion keeper there and this was her first encounter with a tiger cub.
It wouldn’t be her last. Helen Martini would spend a lot of time in the future at the zoo because the couple lived so close. Then one night when they were short staffed, the zoo asked her to take care of a lion cub that had been rejected by its mother.
This led to an extraordinary moment a few years down the line when Helen Martini became the zoo’s first-ever female animal keeper.
The Dawn Of A New Era
This fabulously innocent image of a bygone age was taken in 1945. The year is significant; World War II ended in 1945 and ushered in a new era of hope.
In the following decades, America would rightly establish itself as the global power and as a bastion of democracy in the face of more sinister, alternative forms of government.
The little boy, dressed as Uncle Sam, embodies the hope and imagination of the nation as he plants a kiss on the cheek of a sweet little girl. The wonder of the occasion shines through in this memorable and adorable image for posterity.
A Glimpse Of Peggy Lee’s Homelife
Peggy Lee, who was born Norma Deloris Egstrom, was one of America’s all-time greats. She had a career that ran for over 60 years as a singer, songwriter, and actress.
Her first number one came in 1942 in the form of “Somebody Else Is Taking My Place” and soon she was selling millions of records. In fact, celebrity became overwhelming and she went into early retirement in 1947.
In 1948, when this picture of her kissing her daughter good night was taken, she re-emerged into the spotlight where she would stay until her death in 2002 at the age of 82.
The Best Things In Life Are Free
A Weimaraner dog is descended from a very specific royal breed which was used for hunting large wild animals. Packs of Weimaraners would be used to pull down bears, boars and deer so that human hunters could finish off their prey.
When the large game died out, the animals were deployed to hunt smaller game such as rabbits and foxes. They also became increasingly domesticated and began to be kept as pets. They are very vigorous animals and can be hard work to look after as they can suffer from separation anxiety if they are not with their owners all of the time.
This picture is of a little girl and Weimaraner puppy in 1950.
Mamouch Gets A Kiss From A Star
Norma Jean Speranza was known to the nation as Jill Corey. She was born in Avonmore, Pennsylvania in a mining community, but she would go on to become a star as a popular standards singer.
Her star went up fast and returned to earth nearly as quickly. Her big break came at 17 when she was signed to Columbia and then became the subject of a Life Magazine picture shoot on the same day. This photo, also from Life, is of her kissing her grandmother “Mamouch.”
Her career came to an end after she took a break to be with her husband. She said she had no idea how to get back into the limelight at that point and she gently disappeared from the public view forever.
Love Him Tender
This is a shot of the King of Rock ‘n Roll himself, Elvis Presley, delicately kissing a fan’s cheek at the backstage of a concert in 1956.
Take a moment to think about how today’s backstage scenes play out, and it’s quite amazing to think how controversial Elvis was in his day. This snap shows what a well-mannered gentleman he was, and just how much societal standards can change over the years.
However, there was no denying his popular appeal, as Steve Binder put it: “I’m straight as an arrow and I got to tell you, you stop, whether you’re male or female, to look at him. He was that good looking. And if you never knew he was a superstar, it wouldn’t make any difference; if he’d walked in the room, you’d know somebody special was in your presence.”
The Man Who Was Kissed An Awful Lot
The year is 1960 and suddenly it is discovered that male-pattern baldness is irresistible to every woman in the country and bald men everywhere find themselves covered in lipstick.
Actually, we’re joking. This is Richard Ramsey and far from being irresistible to women, this is him doing his job.
Yes, Richard’s job was to be kissed by a lot of women. Why? Because he worked for a company which manufactured cosmetics and he was helping to combat the rumor that the dyes in the company’s lipstick range were somehow poisonous or toxic.
Fortunately for Richard, they were harmless.
The Star Shows His Quality With A Polite Kiss
On the left, we have the “King of Cool” Terence Steven “Steve” McQueen. He was the ultimate anti-hero of the 1960s box office.
On the right, we have Natalie Wood, one of America’s best-loved actresses who shot to fame at the age of eight in Miracle on 34th Street.
They are pictured here being introduced for the first time as they discuss their new film project, Love with the Proper Stranger. The film would be considered something of a classic thanks to their on-screen rapport, and it might have been this moment of politeness that sparked that relationship.
Breaking The Rules At College
There may be no greater sign of the changes in what is considered “acceptable” in society than this photograph. This shows two adults kissing at the University of Michigan.
Today, no one would bat an eyelid at such a display between two people clearly in love. Back then, this was grounds for expulsion from the university.
Not only was kissing forbidden on the premises, but there was a school rule that required both members of a couple to have their feet on the ground whenever they sat with each other, too. It’s quite amazing to think that this would have been nothing out of the normal back then, either.
Sheena Queen Of The Jungle Puckers Up
The television series Sheena, Queen of the Jungle will always be best remembered for its scantily-clad star, Irish McCalla.
She won the role when she was “discovered’ on a beach in California while she was throwing a spear by a Nassour Studios executive. She says of her time on the show, “I couldn’t act but I could swing through the trees.”
This shot was a publicity still for the show and has Irish kissing a chimpanzee co-star. After Sheena, Irish went on to become a notable artist, though she still made a decent living playing Sheena at autograph conventions.
A Kiss Of Congratulations And Love
Josephine Baker was an incredible woman. She was born in St Louis, Missouri in 1906 and grew up in incredible poverty. Then she learned to dance and sing and she won attention on Broadway.
This attention won her passage to Europe, and she became one of the continent’s biggest stars and earned a great deal of money.
That’s not what makes her amazing though; what makes her amazing is the fact that she fought in the French Resistance in World War II and then returned to the U.S. in the 1960s to become a leading figure in the civil rights movement.
In this image, Josephine is in happier times and has just finished performing on stage. Her husband is kissing her in congratulations.
Yogi Berra Definitely Not Striking Out
Lawrence Peter “Yogi” Berra was easily the greatest baseball star of his time, and perhaps even of all time, though we don’t want to start any fights, here. His record of 18 All Star positions and 10 World Series championships as a player have still not been beaten.
In this picture, he is seen getting a kiss from wife Carmen Short before departing for a game. The couple was a genuine success story and spent 65 happy years together before Carmen passed away in 2014. They had three sons together and lived the majority of their lives in Montclair, New Jersey. They moved, shortly before Carmen’s death, into an assisted living facility.
A Towering Love Affair
Every couple wants their big day to be memorable, right? However, it can be challenging working out how to make your wedding stand out compared to your friends’ and families’ weddings.
This couple, Marshall Jacobs and his new bride Yolanda, decided that the way to go about it was to tower over all the other couples in the land.
So they had their wedding photograph at the top of a flagpole as they shared the most passionate and thrilling kiss of their married lives. We imagine that their pulses were raised due to something other than vertigo that day, don’t you?
VJ Day Passion In Times Square
World War II was a long-protracted conflict, and even after the allies had defeated Hitler and the German Nazis, the war continued to grind on in the Pacific where the Japanese showed no sign of surrendering.
It would be the deployment of the first-ever nuclear weapons used in conflict at Hiroshima and Nagasaki that finally brought peace to the world.
Here we have an American sailor enjoying some time with a nurse in Times Square as they all waited eagerly for the news that victory over Japan had been declared and that the troops would be coming home at last.
The War Starts With A Kiss For One Young Man
This image sends shivers down the spine. There’s so much hope, love, and passion in it. This couple is gathered together at Penn Station in New York and are sharing one last moment before he ships off to serve his country in World War II.
More than 400,000 Americans died fighting to preserve the right to life and liberty in Europe, Africa, and the Pacific.
We do not know if the young man in this image returned to his love or not. All we know is that so many did not. We are grateful for them to have had this moment in time.
Marilyn Hare Is Mobbed By Kisses
If you’d been around in 1942 when this snap was captured, then you would probably know who the lady on the receiving end of all this attention was.
Her name was Marilyn Hare, and she was both a singer and an actress in her day. LIFE Magazine ran this image with the caption, “Surrounded by her work, Marilyn [Hare] collects repayment in kind while throngs wait to manifest their gratitude. A graduate of Flushing High School, Long Island, N.Y., Marilyn is now under contract to Republic Pictures. She can cook, too.”
That tells you a bit about how much times have changed since.
Measuring The Emotional Power Of A Kiss
This couple’s passion was measured by a machine. The machine in question is a polygraph. Yes, a lie detector.
The lie detector, theoretically, works by measuring an increase in heart rate, blood pressure, and skin conductivity when someone is telling lies. Scientists figured that as these were common reactions to the eroticism of a kiss, would it be possible to measure the emotional content of a kiss when a couple was wired to a polygraph?
The answer, of course, is that you can’t, but it’s an interesting idea that would have been fun to examine, particularly for the couple in this photo.
Now That’s Teamwork
Many had to say goodbye to their loved ones during the 1950s, not knowing if they would ever return from the war. In this iconic photo taken in 1950, two smiling men help their friend lean out of a train window to kiss his lover one last time before shipping off to war.
We do not know if the young man and woman in this image were ever reunited. After all, this was early in the Korean War, so there is a chance he didn’t make it back. All we know is that many Americans did not return, but at least we have this sweet moment frozen in time.