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28 Historical Photos of Dads Doing Dad Things

Getty Images
Getty Images

As you celebrate Dad today, take a look back at fathers through the years. All photos and captions via Getty Images. 

1. 1865: Two children enjoying an afternoon tea at home with their father.

2. 1865: A father and mother inspecting their daughter's appearance.

3. 1870: A Native American man and his son outside a Catholic church on a reservation.

4. 1895: Wearing a check knickerbocker suit with ribbed three-quarter socks and low-laced oxfords and holding a terrier pup a father sits arm-in -arm between his two daughters clad in stripes.

5. 1900: A Chinese father posing with his children.

6. 1905: A father addresses his children in the sitting room.

7. 1913: How a father amuses his children at Christmas.

8. 1919: A soldier, home after fighting in the Great War meets his newborn daughter for the first time.

9. 1920: Mr Austin, whose father was a clown before him, instructs his young son in the art of laughter-making before a performance at London's Crystal Palace Circus.

10. 1922: Walks for all on the beach at Clacton, Dad, dog and toddler included.

11. 1933: British racing driver Sir Malcolm Campbell (1885 - 1948) with his son Donald (1921 - 1967) standing by 'Bluebird', the car in which he set the land speed record.

12. 1923: Peggy Ingram and her father in action during a mixed doubles match at the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships.

13. 1924: RAF Squadron Leader Archibald Stuart-MacLaren holding his daughter Lilian from the cockpit of his Vickers Vulture amphibious biplane at Calshot aerodrome, Hampshire, 25th March 1924.

14. 1924: Off on holiday to the seaside with her dad.

15. 1925: A father and sons out boating on the lake at the German resort of Wannsee near Berlin.

16. 1925: American star of the silent screen Buster Keaton (1895 - 1966) sitting in the living room of his bungalow at MGM (Metro-Goldwyn-Meyer) studios, with his two sons Bob and Joe and his father Joe Keaton. The bungalow, named 'Keaton's Kennel' was built for him as a dressing room.

17. 1927: John Derek, the future actor and film director, at 15 months, sitting on his father's lap in a small goat-drawn cart, Los Angeles, California.

18. 1928: Jean Bongers (aged 12), winner of a children's hairstyle competition at White City, London, with her father, who styled her prizewinning hair.

19. 1932: 14-year-old schoolboy Charles Highfield of Coventry, who claims to be the strongest boy in Great Britain, supports the weight of his father on his neck.

20. 1932: Steeplejack Alfred Blackaby with his three sons Alfred, Victor and John, all of whom have embarked on the same career as their father. The climbing family are working on the church steeple in the ancient town of Thaxted, Essex.

21. 1936: A little girl takes great delight in drenching her dad with shockingly cold water from the garden hose as he sunbathes on a hot day.

22. 1937: Master Lyon Blackwell celebrates his first birthday with an outing to the swimming baths with his father, in London.

23. 1945: Passing the crowds outside Buckingham Palace on VE Day, a father takes his child on a tour of London's West End in unorthodox style.

24. 1950: A child sits on the running board of a fire engine pulling on a pair of firefighter's boots. He is assisted by his father, a captain of the New York City Fire Department.

25. 1950: A father smiles as he plays a game of checkers at home with one of his sons.

26. 1950: Tightrope walker Arthur Dressler leads his 15-month-old daughter Franziska along a rope, watched by Arthur's father Friedrik Dressler.

27. 1956: An observation window enables visiting fathers to look at their new-born offspring at the Maternity Ward of the North Shore Hospital in Sydney.

28. 1960: A father and son, both fire-eaters, at their daily practice together.

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Art
5 Things You Might Not Know About Ansel Adams

You probably know Ansel Adams—who was born on February 20, 1902—as the man who helped promote the National Park Service through his magnificent photographs. But there was a lot more to the shutterbug than his iconic, black-and-white vistas. Here are five lesser-known facts about the celebrated photographer.

1. AN EARTHQUAKE LED TO HIS DISTINCTIVE NOSE.

Adams was a four-year-old tot when the 1906 San Francisco earthquake struck his hometown. Although the boy managed to escape injury during the quake itself, an aftershock threw him face-first into a garden wall, breaking his nose. According to a 1979 interview with TIME, Adams said that doctors told his parents that it would be best to fix the nose when the boy matured. He joked, "But of course I never did mature, so I still have the nose." The nose became Adams' most striking physical feature. His buddy Cedric Wright liked to refer to Adams' honker as his "earthquake nose.

2. HE ALMOST BECAME A PIANIST.

Adams was an energetic, inattentive student, and that trait coupled with a possible case of dyslexia earned him the heave-ho from private schools. It was clear, however, that he was a sharp boy—when motivated.

When Adams was just 12 years old, he taught himself to play the piano and read music, and he quickly showed a great aptitude for it. For nearly a dozen years, Adams focused intensely on his piano training. He was still playful—he would end performances by jumping up and sitting on his piano—but he took his musical education seriously. Adams ultimately devoted over a decade to his study, but he eventually came to the realization that his hands simply weren't big enough for him to become a professional concert pianist. He decided to leave the keys for the camera after meeting photographer Paul Strand, much to his family's dismay.

3. HE HELPED CREATE A NATIONAL PARK.

If you've ever enjoyed Kings Canyon National Park in California, tip your cap to Adams. In the 1930s Adams took a series of photographs that eventually became the book Sierra Nevada: The John Muir Trail. When Adams sent a copy to Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes, the cabinet member showed it to Franklin Roosevelt. The photographs so delighted FDR that he wouldn't give the book back to Ickes. Adams sent Ickes a replacement copy, and FDR kept his with him in the White House.

After a few years, Ickes, Adams, and the Sierra Club successfully convinced Roosevelt to make Kings Canyon a national park in 1940. Roosevelt's designation specifically provided that the park be left totally undeveloped and roadless, so the only way FDR himself would ever experience it was through Adams' lenses.

4. HE WELCOMED COMMERCIAL ASSIGNMENTS.

While many of his contemporary fine art photographers shunned commercial assignments as crass or materialistic, Adams went out of his way to find paying gigs. If a company needed a camera for hire, Adams would generally show up, and as a result, he had some unlikely clients. According to The Ansel Adams Gallery, he snapped shots for everyone from IBM to AT&T to women's colleges to a dried fruit company. All of this commercial print work dismayed Adams's mentor Alfred Stieglitz and even worried Adams when he couldn't find time to work on his own projects. It did, however, keep the lights on.

5. HE AND GEORGIA O'KEEFFE WERE FRIENDS.

Adams and legendary painter O'Keeffe were pals and occasional traveling buddies who found common ground despite their very different artistic approaches. They met through their mutual friend/mentor Stieglitz—who eventually became O'Keeffe's husband—and became friends who traveled throughout the Southwest together during the 1930s. O'Keeffe would paint while Adams took photographs.

These journeys together led to some of the artists' best-known work, like Adams' portrait of O'Keeffe and a wrangler named Orville Cox, and while both artists revered nature and the American Southwest, Adams considered O'Keeffe the master when it came to capturing the area. 

“The Southwest is O’Keeffe’s land,” he wrote. “No one else has extracted from it such a style and color, or has revealed the essential forms so beautifully as she has in her paintings.”

The two remained close throughout their lives. Adams would visit O'Keeffe's ranch, and the two wrote to each other until Adams' death in 1984.

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presidents
George Washington’s Incredible Hair Routine

America's Founding Fathers had some truly defining locks, but we tend to think of those well-coiffed white curls—with their black ribbon hair ties and perfectly-managed frizz—as being wigs. Not so in the case of the main man himself, George Washington.

As Robert Krulwich reported at National Geographic, a 2010 biography on our first president—Washington: A Life, by Ron Chernow—reveals that the man “never wore a wig.” In fact, his signature style was simply the result of an elaborately constructed coiffure that far surpasses most morning hair routines, and even some “fancy” hair routines.

The style Washington was sporting was actually a tough look for his day. In the late 18th century, such a hairdo would have been worn by military men.

While the hair itself was all real, the color was not. Washington’s true hue was a reddish brown color, which he powdered in a fashion that’s truly delightful to imagine. George would (likely) don a powdering robe, dip a puff made of silk strips into his powder of choice (there are a few options for what he might have used), bend his head over, and shake the puff out over his scalp in a big cloud.

To achieve the actual ‘do, Washington kept his hair long and would then pull it back into a tight braid or simply tie it at the back. This helped to showcase the forehead, which was very in vogue at the time. On occasion, he—or an attendant—would bunch the slack into a black silk bag at the nape of the neck, perhaps to help protect his clothing from the powder. Then he would fluff the hair on each side of his head to make “wings” and secure the look with pomade or good old natural oils.

To get a better sense of the play-by-play, check out the awesome illustrations by Wendy MacNaughton that accompany Krulwich’s post.

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