18. A game of human chess in Leningrad, 1924
Chess was immensely popular in the Soviet Union – in fact, it even became a national pastime. Bolstered by its favor among the Bolshevik leaders, including Lenin, a Soviet School of Chess was founded after the Second World War. Practicing chess as a sport rather than an art, its members went on to win all manner of international tournaments.
17. A London bookshop in the aftermath of an air raid, 1940
While there’s a chance this particular photograph may have been posed deliberately, it’s still highly revealing of life during wartime. Indeed, the juxtaposition of the boy reading among the ruins and rubble speaks to the struggles of a citizenry attempting to live normally through what were undoubtedly abnormal times. And the icing on the cake? He’s reading The History of London.
16. Bread being delivered during the Irish Civil War, 1920s
Nowadays, “handmade” goods are considered artisan, but back in the early 20th century, the reverse was true. Indeed, as this photo proves, “machine made bread” was something worth advertising, because it meant buying it at a store rather than making it at home. Thus, being able to afford manufactured goods was the sign of a well-off household.