37 Weirdly Beautiful Old-School Science and Tech Photos

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During its four-decade run, from the late 1930s to early 1970s, as one of the world’s premier weekly magazines, LIFE covered an utterly dizzying array of people and events. Best-known, of course, for its photographs and articles on World War II, the Space Race, the Vietnam War, Camelot, pop-culture icons like Marilyn Monroe and Sinatra and other major issues and world figures, from the very first LIFE also opened its pages to coverage of science and technology.

Staff photographers like Fritz Goro, Andreas Feininger, Yale Joel, J.R. Eyerman and others were justly celebrated for finding new and creative ways to illustrate the often-esoteric breakthroughs — and the scientists and engineers — transforming the world in the middle part of the last century. Often the magazine’s treatment of these issues and people was unreservedly admiring; at other times, LIFE cast a more skeptical eye on new developments, inventions and areas of research. But no matter how wry or laudatory its voice, the magazine’s ability to bring seemingly “unphotographable” concepts to light always helped to further the conversation around everything from space travel and atomic energy to the minuscule workings of human cells.

Here, LIFE.com presents a selection of photographs by some of history’s most innovative photographers — pictures that encompass the bizarre, heady and often beautiful worlds of science and technology as seen in the pages of LIFE.

Here are some of these photographs:

Handful of microelectronic parts.The Light Trail Of A HelicopterLaser ExperimentLife like models for use in science and1270526.jpgWorkmen stand beside gigantic pipe segments during construction of Montana's Fort Peck Dam in 1936

Read more: 37 Weirdly Beautiful Science and Tech Photos From LIFE Magazine | LIFE.com http://life.time.com/culture/37-weirdly-beautiful-science-and-tech-photos-from-life-magazine/#ixzz33y8EV0Qx

10 Iconic LIFE Magazine Covers

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These covers provide as strong and as varied a sampling as one is likely to find of 10 pictures that capture the very best of LIFE through the years.

LIFE magazine, November 23, 1936. (Debut issue.)

LIFE with JFK

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November 2013 marks the half century of one of the most epochal event of the last century – Assassination of President John F Kennedy. Here are some more stories on JFK in LIFE.

LIFE With JFK: Classic Portraits of a Political Superstar, 1947-1963

Classic Portraits of a Political Superstar, 1947-1963

The Kennedy-Nixon Debates: When TV Changed the Game

The Kennedy-Nixon Debates

JFK on the Campaign Trail, 1960: Photos of a President in the Making

A  President in the Making
JFK in Texas: Photos From Before and After the Killing of a President

JFK in Texas

JFK’s Assassination: Portrait of an Era When Newspapers Mattered

Portrait of an Era When Newspapers Mattered

JFK’s Assassination, Frame by Frame: Key Stills From the Zapruder Film

Key Frame by Frame Stills From the Zapruder Film
Beyond Zapruder: Photos By Nine Witnesses to History, Nov. 22, 1963

LIFE With Sophia Loren: Rare and Classic Portraits of a Film Legend

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“Powerful, enduring relationships can sometimes develop between a photographer and his or her subjects. Such was most definitely the case with LIFE’s Alfred Eisenstaedt and the luminous Italian movie star Sophia Loren. Over the course of their decades-long friendship, Eisenstaedt would take countless pictures of the Oscar-winning legend — most of which never made it into the pages of LIFE magazine (and many of which were never intended for the magazine).

Loren appeared on LIFE’s cover seven times through the 1950s and ’60s.”

 

Here are some of these great shots:

Sophia Loren, Italy, 1961.Not published in LIFE. Sophia Loren, Italy, 1961.Sophia Loren, 1962.Sophia Loren impishly peering over the top of a newspaperSophia Loren, 1964

Read more: http://life.time.com/icons/sophia-loren-rare-and-classic-photos-of-a-film-legend/#ixzz2gXbMAxPs

JFK AND JACKIE’S WEDDING, 1953 – LIFE

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“Long before the heady, rock star-like run for the White House, before “Ich bin ein Berliner,” before the Cuban Missile Crisis, the pillbox hats, Marilyn’s “Happy birthday, Mr. President,” Camelot and the limo drive through Dallas, John and Jackie Kennedy were a young newlywed couple much like any other newlywed couple — with one notable difference: by the time of their wedding they were, in a sense, already superstars.

Jacqueline Bouvier in gorgeous Battenburg wedding dress with her husband Sen. John Kennedy as they stand in front of church after wedding ceremonyThe pair had appeared on the cover of LIFE magazine mere months before their wedding, in July 1953, perched on the sloping deck of a sailboat off of Cape Cod, both of them smiling, windblown, emphatically New England-y, beside the cheeky headline, “Senator Kennedy Goes a-Courting.” They were both from prominent, monied, influential families, and they were frequently, together and apart, featured in what are still occasionally called the “society pages” of major newspapers.

When they married in Rhode Island on September 12, 1953, it was national news. LIFE magazine sent photographer Lisa Larsen, then in her late 20s, to cover the highly pub

Bride and bridegroom finally sit down to lunch..

licized event. Her photos from the occasion offer not only a solid before-and-after record of the nuptials, but a surprisingly intimate chronicle of one of the most high-profile American weddings of the 20th century. Here, on the 60th anniversary of John and Jackie Kennedy’s wedding, LIFE.com presents a gallery of the very best of Lisa Larsen’s many pictures from that day.

For its part, LIFE magazine reported on the scene in an article in its September 28, 1963, issue titled, “The Senator Weds”:

The marriage of Washington’s best-looking young senator to Washington’s prettiest inquiring photographer took place in Newport R.I. this month and their wedding turned out to be the most impressive the old society stronghold had seen in 30 years. As John F. Kennedy took Jacqueline Bouvier as his bride, 600 diplomats, senators, social figures crowded into St. Mary’s Church to hear the Archbishop of Boston perform the rites sand read a special blessing from the pope. Outside, 2,000 society fans, some come to Newport by chartered bus, cheered the guests and the newlyweds as they left the church. There were 900 guests at the reception and it took Senator and Mrs. Kennedy two hours to shake their hands. The whole affair, said one enthusiastic guest, was “just like a coronation.”

Courtesy;

PHOTOS: JFK AND JACKIE’S WEDDING, 1953

The Pursuit of Happiness – Seen Through a Great Photographer’s Lens

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English: Logo of LIFE magazine.

English: Logo of LIFE magazine. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One phrase associated with the Declaration of Independence, meanwhile — “the pursuit of happiness’ — has long been something of a sticking point in any discussion of what our unalienable rights really are. Here, on the heels of TIME magazine’s special summer double-issue organized around that very theme, LIFE.com recalls a feature from LIFE magazine almost exactly 65 years ago, when the editors convened a round table of heavy thinkers to tackle the slippery question: What does the “pursuit of happiness” actually mean?

Read more: http://life.time.com/culture/the-pursuit-of-happiness-seen-through-a-great-photographers-lens/#ixzz2XrB355JR

 

Alfred Eisensteadt—LIFE Magazine

 

[MORE: See Jeffrey Kluger's TIME.com feature, "The Happiness of Pursuit."]

National Running Day: Portraits of Speed, Grace and Power – A Picture Story from LIFE

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For millions of people all over the world, running is such a natural, enjoyable and even somewhat addictive form of exercise that it can be jarring to encounter photos that remind us just how weird it is. After all, if walking is a form of “controlled falling,” as one well-known description has it, then running can perhaps be characterized as an endless series of narrowly averted catastrophes. Bipedal hominids strolling casually around their environment is evolution in action; hominids jogging for miles at a time, or sprinting at breath-taking speeds for hundreds of yards, is something else entirely.

People run for any number of reasons. They run for their health. They run because they want to push their own physical limits. They run because they’re neurotic. They run because working out at a gym is too confining, too smelly, too boring. They run because it makes them happy (or because it makes them forget, for a while, that they’re sad). They run because their friends run, and the sense of camaraderie one gets when running with a group of kindred spirits is one of life’s simple, abiding pleasures. They run to cheat death.

Whatever the reasons, on National Running Day LIFE.com offers photos by a pioneer of stroboscopic photography, Gjon Mili, that neatly illustrate the melding of grace and power one applauds — but rarely ever really examines — in the very best runners. Granted, most of these pictures are of speed rather than distance runners, but the elemental beauty, the smooth flowing movement of the enterprise pertains to virtually all types of running.

(There are, however, differences in the temperaments of different types of runners. For exmaple, as Ian Holm’s character, the trainer Sam Mussabini, points out in Chariots of Fire, sprinting is a sport “tailor-made for neurotics.”)

Read more: http://life.time.com/sports-culture/national-running-day-photos-of-speed-grace-and-power/#ixzz2VgwLoRFn

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