Now Online: 2.2 Million Images from the Early Days of Photography

Rijksmuseum // Public Domain
Rijksmuseum // Public Domain

We know how it is. You want lots and lots of olde-tymey pictures of men with big mustaches and ladies in absurd hats, but you just don’t know where to go. Fret no more, friends: Europeana Photography has got them all.

The archive has just launched an expansive library of downloadable images from the first century of photography, including shots from legends like Julia Margaret Cameron, Eadweard Muybridge, and Louis Daguerre.

Black and white photo of a woman in a hat and dark dress.
Rijksmuseum // Public Domain

The Europeana project and PHOTOCONSORTIUM collected scanned photographs and documents from museums, archives, and libraries in 34 different European countries. Curated sets include stereoscopes, cyanotypes, and cartes de visite, with more special exhibitions to come.

A black and white photo of passengers on an old-fashioned bus.
Rijksmuseum // Public Domain

The database is searchable, downloadable, and shareable, and many of the images are in the public domain. So get clicking, because those 19th-century memes aren’t going to make themselves.

Rare, Early Portraits of Jim Morrison and The Doors Are Headed to Auction

Jim Morrison of The Doors photographed in 1968.
Jim Morrison of The Doors photographed in 1968.
Michael Montfort, Swann Auction Galleries

The Doors left a bluesy mark on rock ’n’ roll music that lasted long after the tragic death of frontman Jim Morrison at age 27. But because the band only existed for about six years—in a pre-smartphone era, no less—there isn’t a ton of behind-the-scenes content to tell the story of Morrison’s bright, albeit brief, career.

Come February 25, nine rare photos of Morrison from The Doors’ first European tour in 1968 will end up in the hands of one fortunate fan. Swann Auction Galleries is selling them as part of their “Classic and Contemporary Photographs” auction, which also includes portraits of early Hollywood stars like Joan Crawford, John Barrymore, and Veronica Lake.

The black and white photographs of Morrison were taken by German-born photojournalist Michael Montfort when the band performed in Frankfurt, Germany that September, and they manage to capture the strangely hazy, somewhat intense nature of the legendary lead singer. In one, Morrison looks right into the camera while leaning against a church pulpit; in another, he lies on the stage clutching the microphone with his back turned to the audience; in yet another, a sweat-drenched Morrison holds a leather jacket in one hand and makes a peace sign with the other.

jim morrison of the doors lying onstage
The Doors' Jim Morrison takes a break onstage during a Frankfurt concert in September 1968.
Michael Montfort, Swann Auction Galleries

The Doors played early hits like “Light My Fire” and “Break on Through (To the Other Side)” to raucous, devoted crowds across Europe, but the tour wasn’t without its calamities, due largely to Morrison’s substance abuse. After leaving Frankfurt, the band stopped to perform a show in Amsterdam, where a drug-addled Morrison collapsed on stage during Jefferson Airplane’s opening set. He was immediately taken to a hospital, and keyboard player Ray Manzarek stepped in as lead singer that night. Morrison finished the tour, but his drug addiction would continue to plague him until he died of a (suspected) overdose in Paris in 1971.

jim morrison the doors backstage photo
A messy-haired Morrison flashes a peace sign in 1968.
Michael Montfort, Swann Auction Galleries

The collection of nine photos is expected to fetch between $1500 and $2500, and you can place a bid here.

[h/t Swann Auction Galleries]

Book Your Flight: Canada’s International Hair Freezing Competition Is Here

If you're looking to instantly transform your hairstyle, head to Takhini Hot Pools in Canada's Yukon Territory. The natural hot springs there make it possible to bathe outdoors in extreme freezing weather, resulting in some impressive 'dos when people get their hair wet and let it harden. As Smithsonian reports, the practice has become so popular that there's now an annual event to see who can freeze their hair into the most impressive shapes. Photos of 2020's contestants have already started pouring into HairFreezingContest.com, and the competition looks fierce.

The first International Hair Freezing Contest took place in February 2011 as a spin-off of the local Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous. After competing in winter sporting events all day, athletes from the rendezvous would head to Takhini to take a mineral bath in one of the pools fed by the area's natural hot spring. The manager at the time turned the relaxation session into another competition when he asked bathers to sculpt their wet hair into frozen works of art. Whoever ended up with the best selfie won the contest.

What began as a fun activity among a small group of people has grown into a major competition. Each winter, people from around the world visit the hot pools hoping to take part. The Hair Freezing Contest is unique in that it doesn't take place over a set stretch of dates. Rather, guests compete whenever it's cold enough outside to achieve the desired hairstyling effects, e.g. when it's -4°F or colder. Throughout winter, competitors can sign a form proving they were really there, and if it's cold enough to shape their hair in the pools, they can snap a selfie and submit their work to Takhini. Categories include Best Male Photo, Best Female Photo, Most Creative Photo, and Best Group Photo. Contestants are eligible to win $2000, complimentary soaks, and free passes to Takhini's new facility when it opens in autumn.

For those worried about their hair falling out, the business promises that hair freezing isn't harmful, and dipping your head into the pool quickly thaws it back to normal.

Selfies will be accepted through March 8, 2020, with official voting on the winners taking place on March 15. To see some hairstyles in the running to win this year's contest, check out the photos below.

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