The International Institute of Social History is the largest documentation and research centre in the world in the field of social history. Since it was established in 1935, the institute has focused its efforts on collecting, retaining and making available the heritage of social movements worldwide. The institute is independent and trustworthy, and is thus a natural repository for the cultural heritage of the workersâ€™ movement and other emancipatory groups and movements that are often under threat. The research department of the institute focuses on the history of labour relations and organizes international projects in this field. The collection (archives, library and audiovisual materials) occupies approximately 50 km of shelf space. The IISH is an institute of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences ('Koninklijke Nederlandse Akademie van Wetenschappen'(KNAW)).
IISG regularly posts selections of material on Flickr, often in line with current news, such as a vintage collections of posters railing against the introduction/use/expansion of nuclear power (aka the sentiment now doing the rounds with regards to Japan).
IISG's Flickr collection may not be vast, but it serves its purpose; making invaluable documentation available to the public & trigger interest to make use of its online catalogue and/or visit the institute. The latter is now on my bucket list. ;)
Let me share a few examples from a collection of photo sets, all taken by (the late) award winning photo journalist & co-founder of World Press Photo Ben van Meerendonk.
I picked the post-war era, roughly from 1946 to 1955, particularly interesting because the German occupiers had confiscated most of the people's bikes & with the rebuilding progress came the rise of the automobile. These sets give great insight in the everyday urban environment, in which you can easily spot the problems that would lay ahead.
The first photo set in question is 'Jobs'. From it I picked the ones in which the job related to bicycles, visa versa & otherwise.
Left: Man working at the bicycle parking shed is suffering from the cold, February 20th 1948, Amsterdam. Right: Fireman with hose nozzle on a bicycle, at the Blue Bridge over the Amstel River, July 1947.Plastic bicycle by inventor Keijzer, Eerste Jan Steenstraat, November 19th 1952.Left: Woman receives a citation for cycling without working lights, Nieuwe Nieuwstraat, Amsterdam, November 21st 1952. Right: Police check for bicycle light, Amsterdam, 1946.Left: Traffic 'action', the police checks 'slow traffic'. On the left a knife sharpener. Vijzelstraat, Amsterdam, March 1948. Right: Police checks 'slow traffic', Vijzelstraat corner of Herengracht, Amsterdam, March 1948.Left: Nurse with bicycle, Amsterdam, September 27th 1951. Right: American girls assemble bicycles, Amsterdam, July 1st 1953.Left: Peasant woman with milk buckets on yoke on her bicycle, Walcheren, Zeeland, 1946. Right: Milkman with cargo bike full of milk bottles, Amsterdam, September 24th 1953.
A random selection from different sets with people on bicycles, in traffic & other captured moments:
Left: Traffic exam for scouts, Oosterparkstraat, corner of Linnaeusstraat, October 22nd 1949. Right: Muntplein, September 23rd 1958.Traffic on Haarlemmerstraat, Amsterdam, November 5 1947.Traffic chaos on Muntplein, Amsterdam, September 23rd 1958.Demonstration by pawnbrokers and merchants, March 21st 1951.Left: Spuistraat, October 13th 1950. Right: Racing car, October 1st 1950.Start of the election bicycle parade for the Communist Party Netherlands (CPN) youth, from Waterlooplein, Amsterdam, July 1 1948.Intersection Paleisstraat / Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal, Amsterdam, June 30th 1947.An English cab overtakes a postal worker on a cargo bike, Jan Luijkenstraat, Amsterdam, November 27th 1952.Protest on the street against exhibition 'Greek Photos', Museum Fodor on Keizersgracht, December 29th 1948.Woman on bicycle carrying her child on her back, Juni 29th 1953.Little boy is riding his mini racing bike, guided by his father, Sarphatistraat, Amsterdam, July 13 1949.The little elephant Murugan practices for the upcoming official parade (June 4th 1955), Weesperstraat, April 20th 1955.
I'll try and make this is an ongoing series. It only requires some research ;).
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