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Archive for November, 2010

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Points rationing introduced

Posted in Anniversary, World War 2 on Saturday, 20 November 2010

picture, cartoon, feast, Norman Gnome

Feasts like the one above were no longer possible with the introduction of rationing. Illustration by Geoff Squire

1 December marks the anniversary of the introduction of points rationing in the UK in 1941.  Rationing of some foodstuffs had begun earlier with bacon, butter and sugar rationed from January 1940, followed later by meat, tea, jam, biscuits, breakfast cereals, cheese, eggs, milk and canned fruit. In 1941 the Ministry of Food introduced a points system and a ration book which contained coupons that were required to be handed over when food was bought.

Food rationing continued after the war, the last restrictions lifted in July 1954.

Many more pictures relating to all aspects of World War II can be found at the Look and Learn picture library.

Birth of Winston Churchill

Posted in Adventure, Anniversary, World War 2 on Friday, 19 November 2010

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Winston Churchill, who led Britain through some of its darkest hours. Illustration by Clive Uptton

30 November marks the anniversary of the birth of William Leonard Spencer Churchill in 1874. Born at Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, he was the son of  John Spencer Churchill, 7th Duke of Marlborough, and Lady Randolph Chuchill. Churchill had a distinguished military career, serving in India, the Sudan, the Second Boer War and on the Western Front during World War I. He was also a politician, holding posts in numerous governments, including Chancellor of the Exchequer during the inter-war Conservative government.

When the Second World War broke out, Churchill was appointed First Lord of the Admiralty. Following the resignation of Neville Chamberlain, he was appointed Prime Minister and led the country through some of its darkest hours. He was voted out in 1945, but served again in 1951-55, after which he retired. He died on 24 January 1965, aged 90.

More pictures featuring Winston Churchill can be found here. Many more illustrations relating to World War II can be seen at the Look and Learn picture library.

Crystal Palace destroyed

Posted in Anniversary, Architecture, History on Friday, 19 November 2010

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The original Crystal Palace as seen in 1851. Illustration by John Keay

30 November marks the anniversary of the destruction of the Crystal Palace in 1936.  The building, originally constructed to house the Great Exhibition of 1851, was moved to Sydenham Hill, Penge, where it stood from 1854. The building was so structurally changed during the rebuilding it could properly be considered a new building.

When fire broke out in the building, it was visible from eight counties and attracted 100,000 people who watched the blaze, which destroyed the building in only a few hours.

More pictures of the Crystal Palace can be found here. Many more amazing feats of architecture can be seen at the Look and Learn picture library.

Edison demonstrates the first phonograph

Posted in Anniversary, Communications, Music, Technology on Thursday, 18 November 2010

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Thomas Edison demonstrates the first phonograph in his laboratory. Illustration by Peter Jackson

29 November marks the anniversary of the demonstration of the first phonograph by Thomas Alva Edison in 1877. Edison had been working on a “talking machine” most of the year. A report in Scientific American relates how “In December 1877, a young man came into the office of the Scientific American, and placed before the editors a small, simple machine about which very few preliminary remarks were offered. The visitor without any ceremony whatever turned the crank, and to the astonishment of all present the machine said: ‘Good morning. How are you? How do you like the phonograph?’ The machine thus spoke for itself, and made known the fact that it was the phonograph.”

Many more pictures relating to science and invention can be found at the Look and Learn picture library.

Birth of Louisa May Alcott

Posted in Anniversary, Literature on Thursday, 18 November 2010

picture, a scene from Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

A scene from Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

29 November marks the anniversary of the birth of Louisa May Alcott in 1832. Born in Germantown, Pennsylvania, the daughter of educator Amos Bronson Alcott who founded an experimental school and lived for some time in a Utopian community. Louisa had various jobs, including teacher and seamstress, but made her name as a writer, her first book (a collection of stories) appearing in 1849.

After writing a number of novels as A. M. Barnard, she published her most famous work, Little Women, in 1868. The story of four sisters, the book was semi-autobiographical (Louisa was one of four sisters). In the novel, each of the four girls must overcome a character flaw (vanity, shyness, temper, selfishness) to achieve happiness.

Louisa wrote two sequels, Good Wives and Jo’s Boys, which completed the family saga.

More pictures relating to Louisa May Alcott can be found here. Many more illustrations featuring authors and their works can be found at the Look and Learn picture library.

The three great leaders meet

Posted in Anniversary, World War 2 on Wednesday, 17 November 2010

picture, Joseph Stalin, Winston Churchill, Franklin D Roosevelt

Stalin, Churchill and Roosevelt meet in Teheran in 1943. Illustration by F Stocks May

28 November marks the anniversary of a historic meeting of three great world leaders during the darkest days of World War II. The meeting of the three Allied leaders, Joseph Stalin, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill, was held at the Soviet Embassy in Tehran, Iran. The meeting, codenamed Eureka, was held to discuss strategy for ending the war, chiefly to open up a second front in Western Europe.

As he suffered a fear of flying, this was the one occasion that Stalin is known to have flown.

Many more pictures relating to the Second World War can be found at the Look and Learn picture library.

Lady Astor is voted into Parliament

Posted in Anniversary, History on Wednesday, 17 November 2010

picture, Lady Astor, Viscountess Astor, Parliament, House of Commons, Lloyd George, Arthur Balfour

Lady Astor takes her place in the House of Commons. Illustration by John Keay

29 November marks the anniversary of the voting of a woman to take her seat in Parliament for the first time. Lady Nancy Astor was the wife of Waldorf, 2nd Viscount Astor, who had sat in the House of Commons until his father’s death, which automatically gave him a place in the House of Lords and forfeited his seat in the Commons. Lady Aastor stood at the by-election to replace him as MP for Plymouth Sutton and took her seat on 1 December 1919.

Only one woman had previously been elected: Constance Markiewicz had been voted into Parliament at Dublin St Patrick’s in 1918 but, as a member of Sinn Fein, she refused to take her seat. Countess Markiewicz was, however, the first woman to hold a cabinet position (Minister of Labour of the Irish Republic, 1919-22).

Many more pictures relating to all aspects of Parliament and Government through the ages can be found at the Look and Learn picture library.

William Shakespeare marries

Posted in Anniversary, Literature on Tuesday, 16 November 2010

picture, William Shakespeare, Anne Hathaway, Hathaway's Cottage

Anne and William Shakespeare at Hathway’s Cottage, now a major tourist attraction. Illustration by Harry Green

27 November marks the anniversary of the marriage of William Shakespeare and Anne Hathaway in 1582. Little is known about Mrs. Shakespeare. She was born around 1555 or ’56 in Shottery, Warwickshire, a village not far from Stratford-upon-Avon, and grew up in a farmhouse. Anne, already pregnant when the couple were wed, had three children (Susanna, and twins Hamnet and Judith). It has often been inferred that William’s departure from Stratford to work in London was a sign of a shotgun wedding and that he disliked his wife; however, this seems not to be the case as Shakespeare made time to return to his wife each year and, when he retired from writing, moved back to Straford to live with her. She died in 1623, aged 67, outliving her husband by seven years.

Many more pictures relating to the life and plays of William Shakespeare can be found at the Look and Learn picture library.

Man reaches Mars

Posted in Aerospace, Anniversary, Space on Tuesday, 16 November 2010

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Landing a probe on Mars… fate had other plans for Mars 2. Illustration by Wilf Hardy

27 November marks the anniversary of the first, albeit unsuccessful, landing of a man-made object on Mars. The Mars 2 probe was launched by Russia on 19 May 1971 and was inserted into orbit six months later. After a few hours, the spacecraft released a lander which was intended to touch down gently, but the parachute failed to deploy and the lander crashed onto the surface. The mission, however, was not wholly unsuccessful as the orbiter continued to photograph the surface of the planet and, along with photographs from the later Mars 3 mission, helped create the first relief map of Mars, showing mountains as high as 22 km, and information about the Martian atmosphere.

Many more pictures relating to space exploration can be found at the Look and Learn picture library.

Concorde makes her final flight

Posted in Aerospace, Anniversary, Transport, Travel on Monday, 15 November 2010

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The distinctive shape of the Concorde makes it an iconic aircraft. Illustration by John Keay

26 November marks the anniversary of the final flight of Concorde over Bristol in 2003. The Aérospatiale-BAC Concorde was an Anglo-French co-production, designed and developed in the 1960s. The iconic aircraft – of which only 20 were made – first flew in 1969 and began scheduled flights in January 1976. Concordes remained in service for 27 years.

The distinctive look of the plane, with its double-delta shaped wings, was designed to maximise speed (it could fly at twice the speed of sound) and the drooping nose a feature required during takeoff, landing and taxiing to allow the pilot maximum visibility.

Many more pictures featuring aircraft from across the ages can be found at the Look and Learn picture library.