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28 Historical Photos of Dads Doing Dad Things

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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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Ralph Heimans/Buckingham Palace/PA Wire via Getty Images
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Pop Culture
The Cult of Prince Philip
Ralph Heimans/Buckingham Palace/PA Wire via Getty Images
Ralph Heimans/Buckingham Palace/PA Wire via Getty Images

For seven decades, Prince Philip has been one of the more colorful figures in Britain's Royal Family, prone to jarring remarks and quips about women, the deaf, and overweight children.

"You're too fat to be an astronaut," he once told a boy sharing his dream of space travel.

British media who delighted in quoting him are still lamenting the 96-year-old's recent retirement from public duties. But the people of the Pacific Island nation of Vanuatu are likely to be optimistic he'll now have the time to join them: They worship him as a god and have based a religion on him.

Followers of the Prince Philip Movement, which started in the 1960s, believe that the prince was born to fulfill an ancient prophecy: that the son of an ancient mountain spirit would one day take the form of a pale-skinned man, travel abroad, marry a powerful lady, and eventually return to the island. When villagers saw the prince’s portrait, they felt the spirit in it, and when he visited Vanuatu in 1974, they were convinced.

Chief Jack Naiva, a respected warrior in the culture, greeted the royal yacht and caught sight of Philip on board. "I saw him standing on the deck in his white uniform," Naiva once said. "I knew then that he was the true messiah."

True believers assign large world movements to the machinations of Philip. They once claimed his powers had enabled a black man to become president of the United States and that his "magic" had assisted in helping locate Osama bin Laden. The community has corresponded with Buckingham Palace and even sent Philip a nal-nal, a traditional club for killing pigs, as a token of its appreciation. In return, he sent a portrait in which he’s holding the gift.

Sikor Natuan, the son of the local chief, holds two official portraits of Britain's Prince Philip in front of the chief's hut in the remote village of Yaohnanen on Tanna in Vanuatu.
TORSTEN BLACKWOOD/AFP/Getty Images

The picture is now part of a shrine set up in Yaohnanen in Vanuatu that includes other photos and a Union flag. In May 2017, shortly after the Prince announced his retirement, a cyclone threatened the island—and its shrine. But according to Matthew Baylis, an author who has lived with the tribe, the natives didn't see this so much as a cause for concern as they did a harbinger of the prince's arrival so he can bask in their worship.

To date, Prince Philip has not announced any plans to relocate.

A version of this story ran in a 2012 issue of Mental Floss magazine.

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History
The Secret World War II History Hidden in London's Fences

In South London, the remains of the UK’s World War II history are visible in an unlikely place—one that you might pass by regularly and never take a second look at. In a significant number of housing estates, the fences around the perimeter are actually upcycled medical stretchers from the war, as the design podcast 99% Invisible reports.

During the Blitz of 1940 and 1941, the UK’s Air Raid Precautions department worked to protect civilians from the bombings. The organization built 60,000 steel stretchers to carry injured people during attacks. The metal structures were designed to be easy to disinfect in case of a gas attack, but that design ended up making them perfect for reuse after the war.

Many London housing developments at the time had to remove their fences so that the metal could be used in the war effort, and once the war was over, they were looking to replace them. The London County Council came up with a solution that would benefit everyone: They repurposed the excess stretchers that the city no longer needed into residential railings.

You can tell a stretcher railing from a regular fence because of the curves in the poles at the top and bottom of the fence. They’re hand-holds, designed to make it easier to carry it.

Unfortunately, decades of being exposed to the elements have left some of these historic artifacts in poor shape, and some housing estates have removed them due to high levels of degradation. The Stretcher Railing Society is currently working to preserve these heritage pieces of London infrastructure.

As of right now, though, there are plenty of stretchers you can still find on the streets. If you're in the London area, this handy Google map shows where you can find the historic fencing.

[h/t 99% Invisible]

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