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Random Happenings: 120-Year-Old Surf Photo Could Have Been Taken Today

Board-holding technique remains unchanged; Life in Hawaii, not so much

Back in the 1890s, Herbert Smith, an English guy from Manchester, sailed to Hawaii just as the place was being overrun and overthrown by the United States. He hung out for awhile, snapping photos and writing about what he saw. A treasure trove of his work was recently found, and soon you’ll be able to purchase some of the oldest-known photos of life in Hawaii at the end of the 19th-century, including an incredible shot of surfers leaving the water, holding their boards the exact same way you do--nose tilted up, nonchalant grip on the rails. Even the same slighly hunched-over posture we assume today. Everything and nothing has changed.

Should you be financially and aesthetically-inclined, the photos will be auctioned for many thousands of dollars by Bonhams, in London, on March 1st.

OG outrigger.

There’s probably a Marriott where this house once stood.