Friday, January 23, 2009

A lot can happen in 100 years

The start of a new year is always a time of reminiscing about the past. Here at 100 Years in America, I often broaden my focus more widely to include the past one-hundred years: how the world has changed and how my family's lives have changed within that world. Last year I found a newly-published non-fiction title that provided an interesting visual look at many changes that the world has seen over the past century.

Earth Then & Now: Amazing Images of our Changing World by Fred Pearce is a collection of images from various places throughout the globe. The appeal of the book is the fact that each image of a place as it looks today is paired with a companion photograph taken sometime back in the past one-hundred years. Pearce has chosen striking images that speak for themselves and, as he says, "are worth a thousand words". They include:

  • Mostar's bridge in Bosnia-Herzegovina (of specific personal interest to me since I visited and crossed the bridge only a few years before it was damaged during the war)
  • New York without the Twin Towers (I have memories of standing on the roof of my great-uncle's townhouse and seeing the beautiful view of New York City)
  • Skye Bridge of Scotland (another place I've visited and enjoyed)
  • Zermatt, Switzerland 1900 vs. today (a part of the world that has a special place in my heart)
  • Panama Canal
  • Seattle's "Hooverville" of 1937 vs. today
  • Hong Kong: a barren Chinese Island in 1880 vs. today
  • San Francisco 1906 vs. today
  • Sao Paulo, Brazil 1902 vs. today
  • Nepal kathmandu
  • Vancouver
  • South Dakota dust bowl vs. good farmland today
  • Zugspitze, Bavaria 1925 vs. today
  • Many more...
There are 300 before and after photographs within this book. It is a wonderful look at our world and its changes over the past one-hundred years.

If you like the idea of "past and present" photographs, you might also enjoy images of Legrad, Croatia's Holy Trinity Catholic Church in my article Međimurje: Meeting place of rivers and cultures and also past and present photos of the home my great-grandfather built at "The waves' rippling song": South Beach, Staten Island.

1 comment:

  1. I just found your blog and I LOVE it! It is very well done. While I do not have any family in NYC, my husband is from Brooklyn and his German gg grandfather immigrated to "Kleine Deutschland" (Lower East Side--Little Germany) in 1853. I know what you mean about finding "before and after" photos. I bought the book, New York: Then and Now, by Annette Witheridge so that I could envision how it might have been when Frederick Christmann immigrated. I look forward to reading your other posts!


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