June 11, 2009

10 awesome vintage related Flickr groups

It’s scarcely a secret that Flickr is one of my absolute most beloved websites in the universe. Long before I got my first digital camera and began uploading photos of my own last February, I’d been perusing its myriad of pages for a couple of years. To me Flickr is the stuff inspirational dreams are made of. From favourite photographers to the incredible results keywords can deliver, I am never bored or at a loss for creative muses when on this site.

On particularly fun way to find a bounty of images of a given subject is through Flickr groups. Being a rather eclectic soul (with more interests than you can shake a feather duster at), I’ve personally joined a ton (seriously, a ton) of them. While I cannot admit to staying abreast with the latest uploads on all of them, there are many favourites that I try to check on a frequent basis. Not too surprisingly, a good chunk of such frequently visited groups centre around a vintage related theme.

As such I thought it would be really fun to share a selection of Flickr groups – and a sampling of images from them – with you that never fail to deliver a wallop of vintage inspiration. The ten groups below are just the tip of the iceberg though, there are dozens – if not hundreds – of other groups all with a penchant for the past, just waiting for you to discover.

1930s and 1940s: Rich in everyday types of family snapshots (most of which are in black and white), this group also features some images of the era from Hollywood, magazines and popular culture.

{1. Happy Lipstick [739], 2. WWII -4, 3. 1936. Gimnáziumi kirándulás, 4. 1944. N.}

Vintage Illustration: As the name implies this group is devoted to the true art which is vintage illustration. Sporting over 2,000 members and more than 20,000 uploads to the group’s pool, this is often the first place I run to when I need a vintage ad or drawing.

{1. The winds of grace ..., 2. 1943 Parker Quink Ink (with Solv-x) Advertisement, 3. Pepsi - 19581122 Post, 4. Sunny Side 3}

Vintage hair: Loaded with more inspiration than you can shake a stick at, this lovely group is filled with photos and illustrations that have an emphasis on women’s hairstyles from days gone by, as well as lovely modern gals sporting vintage dos.

{1. Movie Classic Magazine cover, Myrna Loy, 2. Untitled, 3. HTMUSAMI_1948F002, 4. flapper2}

Vintage Clothing: This group is (primarily) for photos of modern folks decked out in vintage attire. Though you may have to wade through the group’s pool a little bit to find mid-century looks, but there are still plenty of these sorts of styles there to help inspire your own wardrobe.

{1. Playful, 2. Jacques Fath for Halpert 50s dress, 3. Kaila in her grandmother's dress., 4. The Girl Can't Help It.}

Vintage shoes: Whether its pumps, flats, oxfords or sandals, you’re sure to find oodles of beautiful and diverse vintage shoes among this group’s many photos.

{1. 1940's Kedettes, 2. 1940's shoes, 3. shoes, 4. 1950s chocolate brown nubuck pumps}

Vintage Pinup: Bursting with vintage pinup photos and illustrations, as well as shots of modern ladies in pinup styles, this group is a terrific spot for both eye-candy and inspiration.

{1. It's a Snap (Pretty Snappy. Snap Judgment), 1958 GIL ELVGREN, 2. IMG_5408.tea.L, 3. Modern day Pin up, 4. Josie Raven}

Fabulous Fifties Heaven (1950 – 1959): Celebrating all things fifties, this group teams with vintage advertisements, photos and illustrations that convey the wide-eyed optimism, suburban lifestyle and marvelous fashions that ruled the decade.

{1. Bell Telephone System Ad, 2. Armstrong Flooring Ad, 3. Family Circle - August 1955, 4. Coca Cola - 19581122 Post}

From Kitchen Past – The Vintage Kitchen: From Pyrex to aprons, turquoise hand mixer to ads for counter tops and furniture, this group is jam packed with a wonderful assortment of photos and illustrations relating to old school kitchens.

{1. Kitchen Curio, 2. 1950's Kitchen, 3. Vintage Sifter, 4. Glimpses of my kitchen}

Vintage Cookbooks: From timeless classics to recipes that should probably never have seen the light of day, amongst the many pages of this charming group’s pool you’ll find scads of vintage illustrations and photos pertaining to the culinary arts.

{1. Jack Benny Jell-O Pamphlet '30's:), 2. frontispiece, 3. Sunkist Recipes for Every Day, 4. Kellogg's All-Bran Ad}

Wedge Heels & Wartime – Forties in Print: Chronicling illustrations and advertisements from the twentieth century’s fourth decade, this group has more than 1,500 uploads to inspire and entertain you with (I’m especially fond of the amazing fashion styles one sees in such images).

{1. True Story October 1941, 2. koala-paca 1944, 3. Modern Beauty Shop - March 1944, 4. Harper's Bazaar 1942}

{To visit an individual image, click on the corresponding link below each collage.}

Putting together these mosaics and scanning through a bevy of amazing vintage images has kicked started my Thursday off the cheeriest of notes! To keep that sort of happy feeling going, I’m always looking for new places to source inspiration from and would love to know what some of your favourite vintage related Flickr groups are.


  1. Jessica,

    Thank you so much for this post-my favorite so far!! I never knew you had a flickr photostream, either! Are you a photographer on the side? My goodness your pictures are beautiful! Your cat is too cute for words-what a doll!

    thank you, thank you, thank you!

  2. what a marvelous post! ima come back to this when i have more time to peruse :)

  3. What fabulous groups! Is it bad for me to admit that I've uploaded pics to Flickr for family to see but haven't investigated any further? lol I will now! :P

  4. Thanks for compiling this!!! I'll be back again and again to get the deets on how to access more amazing visuals (esp. 1940s ones). V. handy!

  5. wow those are wonderful collages! great work on those and thanks for sharing
    there are so many great groups on flickr for any and all interests it really is such an additice passtime!

  6. oh dear! hours of my life are about to be spent pouring over all of these images!

  7. Those all look fantastic. Thanks for sharing them with us. Have a great weekend. Cheers!

  8. Thank you for posting these links, it has made me seriously consider joining flicr myself! More time spent in front of the computer, oh my... :)

  9. Hi lovely dear, thank you each very much for your wonderful comments!

    @ MissRedLips, *blush* you're too kind, sweetie, thank you! I'm so delighted you enjoyed this post so much - it was an absolute joy to put together. (Thank you for your lovely words about Stella and my photography! I'm quite a novice shooter, but since I got my camera last February it's become my favourite hobbies - and just this past week I've started getting into stock photography, which is truly an exciting new venture, so we'll see where that leads!)

    @ Maggi, I'm more than a little addicted to Flickr, both as a place to store my own photos and to admire the incredible work of others. I'm sure you'll become hooked too the further you dig into its depth ;D

    @ Poke Salad Annie, thank you very much, my dear!

    @LandGirlontheHomeFront, my absolute pleasure! Thank you for the lovely comment.

    @ Elena-lu, thank you very much, honey! It truly is an addictive pastime, yet it's one that I never feel is a "waste of time", because it fills me with such inspiration and joy.

    @ Calivintage, :D I hope you had a stellar time perusing these vintage groups!

    @ Keith, thank you very much - I loved creating this post and might do a follow up of ten (or another number) more vintage Flickr groups sometime in the future.

    @ Kitten, you're very welcome. You absolutely should, it's so much fun! I found that the more I became involved with Flickr, the more I scaled back other online pastimes that provided me with far less satisfaction that hanging out on Flickr does, so in the end my online time stayed about the same, but I found myself enjoying it oodles more.

    Many thanks again, everyone, I hope you all have a fantastic week!
    ♥ Jessica

  10. A few other vintage flickr groups to check out are:
    Golden Age of Advertising: 1950s - 1970s (637 members)
    mid-century illustrated (1,909 members)
    Vintage Advertising (3,518 members)
    Vintage Childrens Books (2,990 members)
    Vintage Christmas: 1945-1970 (1,623 members)
    vintage goodies (674 members)

  11. Hi Jon, thank you very much for your comment! Those are definitely some more awesome groups! I belong to many of them and have certainly checked them all out for inspiration before. If/when I write a similar post like this again in the future, I will likely mention some of those terrific links.

    Many thanks again & have a stellar day,

  12. Vintage looks are just really great to see even the beauty of it rocks.

  13. Wow! I stumbled onto this post from a google image search... your links yielded a lot more of what I was looking for! And some stuff that I wasn't looking for but gladly perused for HOURS. I had to share with my friends, so I linked to this post on my blog. I thought I would let you know and thank you! So, Thank you! Glad I found your blog :D
    You can find the post here: http://oddtonic.wordpress.com/2010/12/28/links-to-vintage-awesome-ness/

  14. hy there...i wonder is it ok for me to put your blog link on my blog post?
    i guess its gonna be inspirational...