It has been more than 200 years since the first photograph was developed. The field has gone through many changes over the years and it has even become possible to choose whatever image you’d like and send it to someone across the oceans in a matter of seconds! However, what you are about to see are historical images that were never shown in school. Prepare to experience some goosebumps as you go through this gallery!
Brunette Turned Blonde
We doubt we will ever forget about the French beauty Brigitte Bardot. The actress and model experienced the peak of her popularity in the ’50s and ’60s. She celebrated her 84th birthday this year! This photo shows her on a visit to Seville. We bet crowds hounded her to get a glimpse of her radiance.
Riding For Life
No, this is not someone who paid good money to experience excitement at the amusement park. It is actually a death row prisoner who has been made to test the rollercoaster. It was taken in 1958 and it gives us the creeps!
On The Johnny Carson Show
Johnny Carson enjoyed 30 years of talk show hosting and he is an icon in the entertainment industry. He interviewed many celebrities from various niches and everyone liked watching him until 1992. One of his most fascinating guests is Robyn Hilton. This American model and actress simply did not get the proper credit for her work on Blazing Saddles.
What A Champ
Meet Ham the Chimp, the first humanoid whoever made it to outer space. The brave chimp is a hero in his own right and we thank him for his efforts. Without him, it would have been impossible to send a person to space.
Jim Liberman received plenty of credit for his drag racing talent but let us not forget about Jungle Pam! She was the role model of any tomboy at the time. We adored the interesting outfits she wore to racing events and her style has aged beautifully!
What A Couple
Charles Bronson got married for the second time to Jill Ireland. They quickly made a name for themselves as a power couple. We love this photograph of the pair holding hands. What a gorgeous couple! Sadly, Bronson died in 2003 at the age of 81.
This is probably how Shrek would look like as a real person. Everyone, meet Maurice Tillet. The Russian-French professional wrestler has been called both the “French Angel” and “The World’s Ugliest Man”. He died at the ripe age of 50.
Time To Work Out
During the ’80s and ’90s, Jamie Lee Curtis was a highly successful actress. Not many people know that she started her own health and fitness program, however! The photo below shows her in the drama film Perfect. She might have stepped into her sixties now but she still looks great!
A Short Address
You can identify flight attendants easily since they are dressed in their wonderful uniforms. Here, you can see the Swedish flight attendant Brigitta Lindman inspecting a showgirl’s attire. In 1959, it was rumored that flight attendants would wear something similar!
Burst Of Joy
As any history nerd would now, prisoner exchanges are a long-running practice of getting back POWs. During the 1970s, the US government began “Operation Homecoming” in an attempt to retrieve US soldiers from the hands of the Viet Cong. This photograph is called “Burst of Joy” and shows Lt. Col Robert Stirm as he is reunited with his family after 6 years in captivity.
Babies In The Air
When the Vietnam War ended, there were hundreds of orphaned Vietnamese babies. On April 12th, 1975, the US government started “Operation Babylift”. The mission took babies from Vietnam to America before the babies were put up for adoption to citizens of Australia, Canada, France, and the United States.
This is the most chilling photo in the gallery so far! Two sisters were kidnapped by a native American tribe and had been given to the chief so that they could be his kids. Olive Ann Oatman basically grew up with them until word got out that they had a white girl in captivity. She was retrieved in exchange for horses and blankets! During her time with the Mohave, she was given a chin tattoo.
This was what a computer game convention looked like back in the day! It was actually the National Space Invaders Championship in 1980. There were 10,000 participants at the event. Be glad that we now have slimmer and more portable devices available.
This photo of heartthrob James Dean was snapped just a matter of hours before the fatal car accident. The dashing actor was photographed at a gas station in 1955.
Is this a real stingray or a fake one? Well, we cannot say for sure but we do know that it is incredibly eye-catching. The photograph was taken by A.L. Khan in 1935. If we find out this is true, you won’t find us anywhere near the beach for a long time.
The Great Depression rocked America during the ’20s and the ’30s. At the same time, the “Prohibition” was also in place. Back then, it was forbidden to buy or brew alcohol, though nothing would get between people and booze! This image was what happened after a police raid in Detroit.
Lincoln: Before And After
It is pretty inevitable for any sitting president to earn some grey hairs. A stressful time in office takes its tolls. This side-by-side comparison of Abraham Lincoln before and after the Civil War is all the proof we need.
Brave Stock Image
Honestly, we would stay far away from a nuclear bombing test site even if decades have passed. The photographer who took this shot was brave but he probably suffered some injuries!
The law regularly changes over time but that does not mean it is easy to adjust to new realities. Dorothy Counts became the first African-American to go to a white school after segregation was banned. However, she still left four days later, after experiencing bullying and intimidation.
This is Walter Leo. He underwent what is called the “skin flap” procedure and this was a way to treat battle wounds after the Great War.
It actually took a while before both sexes could participate in sports. Women were not allowed to participate in many activities, though they kept some things to themselves. This shows women’s rights activists boxing in private during the ’30s!
Babe Ruth is truly the OG. Did you know that he struck out a total of 1,330 times, more than any other player in history! Not only that, but he is also the best home-run hitter with 714 to his name! This 1934 photograph shows him hitting his 700th.
The Giant Of Illinois
We want you to think of the tallest person you know and double their height. At that point, they might have a chance of beating Robert Wadlow at a height contest! He isn’t called “The Alton Giant” for nothing.
Martin Luther King Jr. came out of his house, as usual, one morning in April 1960. However, he was greeted by a burnt cross planted by the notorious KKK. Luckily, he was not deterred by the racist treat.
This is such a terrible photo, though these weren’t human victims. In 1930, a fire broke out in the Madame Tussaud’s London Wax Museum. These were the “survivors” of the tragedy.
This pair of revolutionaries helped take former Cuban President Batista out of the government. It shows them chatting and fishing. We love it!
Taken in 1948, this is a photograph of the lovely Elizabeth Taylor at the age of 17! She looks lovely as she reads the love letters written by Glenn Davis, her boyfriend.
Looking Out The Window
Well, not everyone can watch a nuclear bomb go off from the comfort of their bedroom window. Taken in Las Vegas, this mother and son duo had been watching a nuclear missile test 75 kilometers away from their home.
It used to be a lot harder to take photos. These days, it is possible to take hundreds of photos and choose the best ones at the end of the day. Before, the camera was only used during the most important occasions. You are looking at the first team photo ever taken!
You can make a fertilizer out of the ends and bits of vegetables and fruits. It is also possible to use bison skulls, apparently! It’s not very practical but people must have been desperate for abundant harvest back in the 1870s.
The human race has been successful in many aspects of life. One such way is the domestication of wild animals. All throughout the ages, people have tamed wild beasts and then taken them for labor, beauty and novelty. However, looking at this image, we think that the choice of a hippopotamus might have been taking it too far.
A Big Byte
It’s hardly realistic to imagine that Microsoft CEO Bill Gates is sitting on top of a pile of files. The reason for this photograph is too show just how much data could be stored inside a CD – compact disc. This was way back when the CD was actually impressive. With today’s technology, micro USBs and other means of storing data far outdo this disc.
The year is 1936, and the Olympic Games are in full swing in the Nazi Empire of Germany. Despite clear signs of antisemitism and waves of talks to boycott the Games, many countries sent their athletes to compete. This shot taken from the “Hindenburg Zeppelin” – a German airship – shows the Berlin stadium alive with spectators.
The year following the Olympic Games in Nazi Germany, the celebrated “Hindenburg Zeppelin” came crashing down in a spectacular fashion. The airship was supposed to touch down safely in the United States, but after a combination of static electricity and faulty fuel pipes, the ship burst into flames, claiming the lives of 36 people.
King Of The Waves
You’re looking at the “King of the Waves”. His real name was Buzzy Trent, and this is him posing for the camera in 1955. The shot was taken in Hawaii where he proudly stands with his uniquely-designed surfboard, nicknamed “The Gun”. Trent learned the art of body surfing as a kid, and took up actual surfing when he was just 12 years old.
Between 1929 and 1939, the United States went through a very trying financial crisis. It would eventually be the Second World War that would turn the tide on the period appropriately called, The Great Depression. This photo shows the people coming out to celebrate in 1938 during the Mardi Gras festival. Even at their lowest, the people could pick themselves up for something celebratory.
Another trying time for the American people was the period known as Prohibition. The sale and consumption of alcohol was banned to all American citizens. There were illegal breweries that still produced beer to sell to the masses on the black market. This tower of barrels is ready to be burned after their confiscation by police.
Cuban Missile Crisis
The 1960’s were perhaps one of the most frightening times during the Cold War. Communism was up against the West and threats were becoming more and more severe. Vietnam was a war zone, Cuba was a time bomb, and Laos was deemed a threat in the works. When Russia placed missiles on the island of Cuba only a short stretch from Florida, the U.S. took no chances and deployed Hawk anti-aircraft missiles on the beaches of Florida.
Don’t Look Back
While at first glance this looks like the set of a movie with an enormous budget, it’s far from that. This 1991 photograph shows the massive explosion of Mt. Pinatubo in the Philippines. Not only is this volcano erupting smoldering lava, but it’s spewing toxic smoke and ash that could kill anyone within its reach.
Picnic On A Sphinx
My how the times have changed since the 1850’s. Nowadays it is impossible to reach the Sphinx in Egypt as these visitors have in the picture. This mythical creature possess the head of a human being, the body of a lion and sometimes the wings of a bird. To many people’s surprise, the sphinx creature didn’t just appear in Egypt; there were other locations in Asia too.
It might look like the photoshoot of a fancy dress-up party from the 21st Century, but it isn’t. These German women are wearing their very fancy outfits for a photographer in the 1910’s. This image actually became quite widespread after it was developed. Some might even say this was the first photograph to truly “go viral”.
March For Beer
The people could not face the restrictions the American government had put on them during the time of Prohibition. Banning the population from selling, distributing and drinking alcohol was doomed from the get-go. Here demonstrators make their voices heard as they march for the thing they want most. Beer.
The Right Fight
Even with all the odds against her, Joan Trumpauer Mulholland fought for the rights of people of color in the United States. This mugshot shows the face of a young woman who was later sentenced to death because of her involvement in fighting for civil rights and racial integration. Despite the original verdict, she was acquitted.
It’s quite impressive to see a team working so well together to produce a finished product. Taken in 1942, these women can be seen arranging a mass of “Sears Roebuck” catalogs. When you actually think about it, these women would easily be replaced nowadays by machinery.
Most of us are familiar with the famous photograph taken of the construction workers eating their lunch on the 69th floor of the Chrysler Building in New York. However, many people have not seen the photograph of the photographer who took that famous shot. This is Charles Ebbets, and clearly he has little to fear.
All That Sax
Despite racial segregation and tension at an all-time high in the United States, music seems to have been unaffected. At the Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles, Big Jay McNeely plays the saxophone for a grunt of teenagers in 1953. It’s as if you could feel the music through the photograph taken by Robert Willoughby.
Psycho director, Alfred Hitchcock was full of life and personality. This photograph is evidence of that. He was attending the Cannes Film Festival in France back in 1972 and he chose to pose in a most peculiar manner for the camera. Wearing a suit, on a bicycle, making an unrecognizable hand gesture and still posing.
Although there have been conflicting accounts of the story this image tells, it’s still a stunning image. A farmer twists his body around to see an airplane heading for the ground. The pilot seems to narrowly escape the impending disaster by ejecting from the plummeting aircraft.
At the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis, President John F. Kennedy found himself being summoned to numerous war room meetings. The Russians had missiles in Cuba faced the U.S.A., and the U.S. had missiles in Turkey. Eventually both sides would back down and a nuclear war would be off the table… for then.
Hitler’s Many Faces
Even though we’re all familiar with the told fate of dictator Adolf Hitler, there are many who have doubts about his demise. Conspiracy theories still run wild as the possibilities for his whereabouts after the war seem to extend endlessly. A team of American experts put together this collage of what Hitler may have looked like had he changed his appearance.
With the constant threat of bombing raids being held over the heads of the British citizens, caution was all they could exercise. After the horrors of the First World War, the parties in the new war were taking no risks. Adult and children alike were equipped with gas masks, and even strollers were altered to accommodate the new threats.
The First Ever Selfie
Despite what some of your favorite celebrities might have led you to believe, the first ever “selfie” was taken years before smartphones were a thing. The photograph you’re looking at was taken in 1839 by a young chemist, lamp manufacturer… and of course, amateur photographer.
One Last Picture
When you realize what this photograph is truly showing, it can bring a tear to your eye. The Beatles pose for a beautiful picture together, but it would be the very last picture they ever took together. The date of the picture is August 22nd, 1969. While this image might be a last, their music still very much lives on.
The Second World War was truly one of the most disastrous periods in all of human history. With millions of people killed during the war that raged on for six years, it seemed like it would never end. This German soldier finds that the grief of war had followed him all the way back home where he discovered that he had lost both his wife and children while he was out fighting the enemy.
At first glance this might seem like a messy teacher’s desk, but in reality it is the desk of the brilliant Albert Einstein. The theoretical physicist died in April 1955 at the age of 76 years old. This photograph was taken the day of his death, and it provides us with a minor insight into his extraordinary mind.
The Queen And The Queen
In October 1956, America’s own version of a queen, Marilyn Monroe, met with the Queen of England, Queen Elizabeth. It was the first time that the two influential women met one-another, and the exchange was spectated by many. A little under ten years later, Marilyn Monroe would be found after she allegedly overdosed on drugs.
Men Don’t Cry
You have to be innovative in difficult situations, and that’s exactly what these Allies soldiers were. The gas masks that they are wearing are designed for gas warfare, but that doesn’t mean they didn’t serve a different purpose too. As they peeled onions, they found a creative way to hold back their tears.
The King’s Mugshot
It might not have been his proudest moment, but Elvis Presley still managed to look good in this 1970 mugshot. The truth is that the King of Rock and Roll actually asked police officers in Denver to take this shot of him. Perhaps it was because of this that he was allowed to still wear his sunglasses during the shoot.
President Clinton And President Kennedy
You might need to do a double-take for this one. You’re looking at a young Bill Clinton shaking the hand of President John F. Kennedy. We all probably wonder if JFK had an inclination that he was meeting the future president of the United States. Their presidencies would be 30 years apart.
Before The Spillover
Without any knowledge of the Clinton/Lewinsky scandal, this picture would appear to be as normal as daylight. President Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky had a scandalous affair that would eventually bring the president to his impeachment. Even though he at first denied the allegations, he eventually apologized for his actions.