Retronaut : The Photographic Time Machine, Hardback

Retronaut : The Photographic Time Machine Hardback

3.5 out of 5 (1 rating)


Strap on your goggles and prepare to time travel with Retronaut to the past as you've never seen it.

A space suit for dogs. Munchkins enjoying a cigarette break on the set of The Wizard of Oz.

Ku Klux Klan members taking a spin on a ferris wheel.

These images, and thousands more, make up the captivating world of the Retronaut, the Internet's most popular destination for vintage photography.

In the words of Retronaut founder and chief curator, Chris Wild, the past is as exciting as a visit to a foreign country.

Here, Wild has selected more than 400 of the best photographs from the site's most visited eras and themes, mashing up Victoriana with vintage advertising from the 60s and 70s with amazing inventions like pants for cows and breast wasershers for women.


  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 352 pages, 353 colour and black and white photographs
  • Publisher: National Geographic Society
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Individual photographers
  • ISBN: 9781426213830



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This is a collection of photographs, paintings, and maps which aspires to sweep the viewer into a total immersion into another time. That's a big ask, and to me, this goal was rarely achieved. Which is not to say that the photographs (for me, the paintings and maps should have been dropped) are not very striking most of the time. They have been selected to provide great variety, but major concentrations include celebrities in their early days, droll street scenes, now-common products in their infancy, and consumer and military gadgetry which never caught on. The effects can be whimsical (a team of zebras drawing a carriage), incongruous (Kim Jong-Il riding the bumper cars), or eerily mundane (the Clintons at college). The author's brief ruminations on the nature of time are worthwhile; for once the text doesn't detract from a photography book.