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Can you name the cities from these pre-WW2 photographs?
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Cities by Pre-'40s Skyline Quiz
Created Jun 28, 2010 in
Featured Oct 7, 2010
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Jun 29th, 2010 at 03:38 GMT
Feedback would be much appreciated. I tried to mix in the easy and the hard, but I fear that when I reduced the size of the photos to fit them on the screen a few of the harder ones may have been reduced to essentially being Rorschach tests. Perhaps not- I'm often a bad judge of these things.
Jun 29th, 2010 at 04:12 GMT
I think the size is a bit of a problem. Some of them (like Havana) are too small to really offer any kind of clue. On the flip side, it is also possible to guess the majority of them by thinking of the major cities of the prewar period (or of the present for that matter). You might want to force answering in order in an attempt to balance this out.
Jun 29th, 2010 at 04:13 GMT
@guydiborneo- I'm going to try to find a replacement for the Havana photo (and perhaps Beijing as well) and will switch to forcing answers in order.
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Jun 29th, 2010 at 04:21 GMT
You cant tell from photos, some are pretty random, plus its way too easy just to guess random cities too
Jun 29th, 2010 at 04:54 GMT
Ok- Several images have been replaced, several have been recropped to highlight the important parts and the entire things has been made larger. I don't have the Rorschach feeling anymore. Hopefully this is much more enjoyable!
Jun 29th, 2010 at 05:57 GMT
it's fun, but those pictures are tiny.
Jun 29th, 2010 at 06:21 GMT
I still think those pictures are still way to obscure for some of the cities. For the one in Toronto, all you see is a hindenburg airship and a few buildings along water. Somewhere in Germany perhaps? No...Canada? Wow. And I'm from Toronto, and never would have guessed this in a million years. Same with Havana, Dublin, Boston, and even San Fran...pictures way too obsure.
Jun 29th, 2010 at 09:33 GMT
I'm amazed how much the Cairo Citadel looks like Hagia Sophia from the picture.
Jun 29th, 2010 at 11:37 GMT
@dlte- I had the same reaction about Cairo when I first saw it. @KingKonstantine- I agree about Toronto and am looking for a replacement for that shot. Havana, Dublin and San Fran are not easy, but there are subtle clues to each in the pictures. I'm trying to find the balance between difficult and impossible on some of these. Thanks for the feedback everyone!
Jun 29th, 2010 at 11:53 GMT
The Boston picture has been replaced to focus more on Faneuil Hall. I'd love to hear suggestions about pre-1940s landmarks in Toronto or Dublin that would make those more enjoyable. At the moment the shot of Toronto is the entire 1920s skyline from Lake Erie.
Jun 29th, 2010 at 13:12 GMT
I love this quiz! Very nicely done. In response to concerns about the Havana picture, I would actually take it out and replace it with someplace that has greater global importance today. It's a neat picture, but I was able to get it by looking at the Spanish writing on the sign, not the skyline. I would have liked to have seen an Indian city, like Mumbai or Kolkata, since the population there has grown so rapidly since the 1940's. Sao Paulo or Mexico City would have been interesting, too.
Jun 29th, 2010 at 13:22 GMT
Thanks, ef232623. All of the comments here have been extremely helpful. The average correct right now is about 7. The average correct on the two modern skyline quizzes published months ago was 7 and 2, so this apparently isn't exponentially harder. The San Fran photo is following the great fire of 1906. I had hoped that Dublin was recognizable from the square, statute and tiny little Irish flag in the top corner. I thought perhaps the rickshaw would give Beijing away. Are those things actually helpful?
Jun 29th, 2010 at 17:41 GMT
Toronto is not on Lake Erie. Otherwise, nice quiz.
Jun 29th, 2010 at 18:55 GMT
Seeing Toronto from Lake Erie would be quite a feat. Please delete Erie and insert "Ontario."
Jun 30th, 2010 at 05:09 GMT
i'm surprised how few people got dublin (nelson's pillar?! come on!), frisco, and beijing. excellent quiz. sad to not see philly on here though.
Jun 30th, 2010 at 12:04 GMT
@Riko- I spent about an hour trying to find a good depression-era photo of Philly that included something recognizable (Independence Hall, perhaps?) but wasn't able to. Frisco looks like any bombed-out city in WW2 but these are all pre-WW2 photos so I hoped that would trigger people to think natural disaster instead.
Jul 2nd, 2010 at 14:25 GMT
Thanks unidentifiedkiwi, for making this an editor's choice! I'm still not entirely satisfied with Havana, Tokyo and Los Angeles and am open to suggestions of cities that have some icon or recognizable building that would identify them in this era. In particular for Los Angeles, I'm curious if residents of that area could suggest a particular building or part of town that would, perhaps, be more recognizable than the one I have here. Thanks for the help, everyone!
Jul 3rd, 2010 at 01:01 GMT
The Los Angeles picture has been replaced with something much more... Los Angelesy. I was going to replace Tokyo, but Toronto had the lowest correct percentage, so Tokyo stays and Toronto has been replaced. Questions, comments and concerns are welcome.
Jul 3rd, 2010 at 07:58 GMT
Good quiz, perhaps to confuse them how about an Australian or New Zealand city and even a South American one like Buenos Aires or Santiago or Lima
Jul 4th, 2010 at 13:26 GMT
Love this quiz. Agree with comments about photo size and resolution, which is a challenge. Great stuff, though. I think you're right to pair this down to the best possible choices...and then use the next-best to make another version. :)
Jul 5th, 2010 at 07:45 GMT
@dlte: Think about it, I'm an Istanbul native and I thought it was Hagia Sophia! The tower in the foreground kinda was giving away that it wasn't Istanbul, but I entered Istanbul until I saw its real pic.
Jul 6th, 2010 at 21:03 GMT
The pictures really are too small. I spotted the rickshaw and communist banner so got Peking (after trying Shanghai) and Havana, but Madrid and Dublin were random guesses (next set of guesses would have been Amsterdam). Suggestions from me would be Rio, Cape Town, Sydney or possibly even Nuremburg (you can nick a still from Riefenstahl).
Jul 6th, 2010 at 21:23 GMT
Thanks, squiffy, I'll check those out. I was specifically hoping that the rickshaw would give away Peking.
Jul 8th, 2010 at 05:16 GMT
Still tinkering to try to get this one just right and greatly appreciate the feedback and suggestions from everyone- this has truly become a collaborative effort. I've removed Tokyo and Havana (the Havana one was never a skyline anyway) and replaced then with Rio and Sydney- great suggestions from Squiffy. Frankly, I forgot that the Christo Redemptor was built in the 1930s. I also replaced the picture of San Fran with one of the city in ruins and on fire in 1906. I honestly didn't know that there were pictures of people watching the fire, but clearly there are.
Aug 14th, 2010 at 02:00 GMT
Cool quiz! I can't believe I missed San Fran, I just got back from there and probably saw that exact photograph.
Sep 7th, 2010 at 18:19 GMT
I got 12. I think you've balanced it out a lot from what the comments indicate it used to be. And the ruins pic helped me get San Fran.
Game published: Oct 7th, 2010 at 04:04 GMT
Oct 7th, 2010 at 04:10 GMT
This may not be the best quiz I've ever contributed to Sporcle, but it's my favorite because of the process involved. The quiz as published looks very little like the one I contributed back in June. But if you look back at the archived comments you'll see that Sporclers everywhere were incredibly helpful in making improvements and modifications to the quiz to make it better. This was truly a group effort and is an example of what the user contributed section is all about. Thank you, fellow Sporclers, for helping me improve on the original idea. I hope you all enjoy the end result.
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Oct 7th, 2010 at 04:13 GMT
@Hejman: what is a sporcle?
Oct 7th, 2010 at 04:29 GMT
@awiz- I have no idea what a sporcle is, you'll have to ask the site creator about that one. A 'sporcler' though is someone who sporcles, who engages in sporcling. In other words, someone taking a quiz on this website. Anyway, my point was just to say thank you to everyone who provided great feedback on this one, as it was much appreciated.
Oct 7th, 2010 at 04:42 GMT
I stared and stared at the Chicago one trying to figure out where I knew that building from until I remembered that I worked right next to it.... Wow, sometimes I ever embarrass myself! lol... Great quiz for real!!!
Oct 7th, 2010 at 04:46 GMT
the modern picture of athens is my computer's desktop background, taken from the EXACT same perspective atop the parthenon overlooking the city, and of course i missed athens. SMH
Oct 7th, 2010 at 05:02 GMT
I really liked this quiz because there were some smaller world cities (Boston, Dublin) as well as the usual New York, Paris, Rome, etc.
Oct 7th, 2010 at 05:52 GMT
Thank you, Hejman!
Oct 7th, 2010 at 06:00 GMT
extremely well done. great formatting.
Oct 7th, 2010 at 06:21 GMT
I swore Dublin's picture was of an Eastern European city, until I spotted the tiny black-and-white tricolour in the corner! I definitely was inducing a lot of eyestrain on this quiz poring over them photos, haha. Good mix of cities!
Oct 7th, 2010 at 10:23 GMT
great concept for a quiz..even though I only got 3 out of 20.
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Oct 7th, 2010 at 10:35 GMT
Good to know Pre-WW2 San Francisco was on fire, now its just flamers
Oct 7th, 2010 at 11:45 GMT
Would be fun to include one or two WW-2 destroyed cities, Rotterdam or Dresden for example.
Oct 7th, 2010 at 11:46 GMT
1940s Los Angeles looks like a Tim Burton film.
Oct 7th, 2010 at 12:57 GMT
why does philadelphia never get any love in any of these quizzess?
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