We may learn about the past through history books, but it’s always more exciting to get a glimpse into our past by looking at old photographs. Historical images allow you to travel back in time and see how things were way back when. We compiled a list of some of the most fascinating and inspiring photos taken in history. Enjoy!
Men dressing up as Santa Claus learn how to properly apply their makeup (1961)
There was a school known as Charles Howards’s Santa Claus School in New York where people would get the opportunity to learn how to transform themselves into Santa. For just 75 dollars, you could sign up for a five-day training course and if you passed, they would get a certificate that would allow them to work at local department stores.
Babies racing in the Diaper Derby competition sponsored by the National Institute of Diaper Services (1946)
Back in the 1940s, baby racing was a pretty popular sport believe it or not. The Diaper Derby would take place in New Jersey’s Palisades Park and babies didn’t need any special talent to be involved. The object of the game was for the babies to crawl to the finish line which was lined with an assortment of stuffed animals. Additionally, everyone won this race and babies could take home a stuffed animal. The winner would also get a $50 savings bond.
A magazine guesses what Michael Jackson might look like in 2000 (1985)
In 1985, this was Ebony Magazine’s prediction of what Michael Jackson would look like in 2000 and they were pretty inaccurate. He had suffered a skin condition known as vitiligo and also suffered from second and third-degree burns. It’s impossible to truly predict what someone will look like decades from now. From what we know now of what he actually looked like in 2000, this magazine did not predict correctly.
A U.S. Sgt eats a turkey leg on Thanksgiving (1944)
United States military Thanksgiving dinners were unlike anything we know today. During World War II, This is U.S. Sgt. Frank Shiborski and he can be seen taking a little break to enjoy a turkey leg on thanksgiving in 1944. While there were rations adn food shortages during this time, this soldier still managed to make the most of the holiday as best as he could.
Lipstick testing on a bald man (1950)
Believe it or not, lipstick dates back to about 5,000 years ago. Back then, lipstick was made by crushing gemstones with oils and waxes. Fast forward to the 1950a, and lipstick testing looked like this. Laboratories used to test lipsticks by using a group of volunteers who would all kiss a random bald man. They basically served as live mannequins when new lipstick products were being tested.
A woman attends the Great Flood memorial ceremony to honor four family members she lost during Hurricane Katrina
Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans really hard back in 2005. The majority of the city was underwater and about 1,833 people died. The woman in the photograph is Oblique Weaver who, unfortunately, lost four of her family members during the storm. She is seen kneeling at the levee wall that was breached in the storm but was later repaired a year after the hurricane hit.
Before Google Maps was created, there were navigation hotlines (1963)
Before there was Google, Alexa, or Siri, there were navigation hotlines. You couldn’t just pull out your phone to search for directions or get reports on the weather. This particular navigation hotline happens to be in the Netherlands where they had poles next to the road where there were telephones in case of emergencies. We can only imagine how frustrating and time-consuming this must have been. Thank goodness technology has advanced since then.
A priest praying over Titanic victims (1912)
This photograph is the rare side of the Titanic photos we aren’t used to seeing. Here we can see a priest by the name of Reverend Hind praying over the victims of the Titanic ship before they get buried at sea. The picture of a mass funeral was taken on one of the recovery boats. 166 out of 306 bodies were recovered by the Mackay Bennett ship and later buried.
Rescuers help a woman out of her flooding home during Hurricane Harvey
When Hurricane Harvey happened in Houston, many volunteers gathered either by boat or jet skis to help rescue survivors from rising floodwaters. The storm was unlike anything Texas had ever seen before with winds reaching 130 mph. While the hurricane was devastating, it showed us a lesson in humanity. People from all over came together to save strangers from their homes and bring them to shelter.
Katherine Switzer fought for women’s athletics and was the very first woman to run the Boston Marathon (1967)
This photo is truly groundbreaking. Back in 1967, women were not officially allowed to run, and she was attacked by a race official for participating in the race because he believed she tricked staffers about her gender. Despite this, she carried on and was the first woman to run with a bib number. What she did was very important in creating opportunities for women who followed after her, and she ran 50 years later in the 2017 Boston Marathon.
Mickey Mantle striking out circa 1965
Mickey Mantle, otherwise known as “The Mick,” was an American professional baseball player loved by many and was known for his incredible power and speed. Everyone knows that there’s no crying in baseball, but Mantle would sometimes cry after strikeouts. He would get upset and would sometimes fling his batting helmet, as he did here at Yankee Stadium after a lousy bat.
A Russian soldier playing a deserted piano in Chechnya, 1994
This photo was captured during the first Chechnyan war which occurred between 1994 and 1996. This image tells a story and brings up many emotions. This abandoned piano was played by a soldier in war-torn Chechnya, and the piano seems to be the only thing left in the town. It is almost as if whoever captured this image wanted to show how even soldiers at war can find moments of peace.
A man measuring women’s bathing suits to ensure they are long enough, otherwise they would be arrested (1920)
Wow, society has come a very long way since this photo was taken. Back then, women who showed up to the beach with bathing suits that were too short were either asked to leave the beach or to cover themselves up. If they would not comply with the rules, they would be fined. Suits were not allowed to be six inches over the knee. Can you imagine showing up with a bikini on this beach? Forget about it.
The winners of the Miss Correct Posture (1956)
We didn’t know this existed before seeing this photograph. We know beauty contests to be won by outward appearance, but these winners won based on the beauty of their X-rays dip[icting their standing posture. This particular beauty contest was held at the chiropractic convention in Chicago to better the chiropractic reputation because, at the time, it was a relatively new profession.
NASA scientists before PowerPoint was invented (1960)
Have you ever wondered what the world looked like before PowerPoint came out? Well, this image can give you a pretty good idea. Back in the day, the men working at NASA scientists made their calculations on a massive chalkboard with ladders to convey their knowledge in a more laborious way than we are used to today. Mathematical equations would have to be done by hand up until the computer was invented, which eventually would save scientists a lot of time.
Testing the bulletproof vest at only 10 feet away (1923)
WH Murphy and his assistant, who were both members of the Protective Garment Corporation of New York, were working on creating a lightweight vest that could be used by police forces. The assistant fired two .38 round slugs at Murphy from close range. Despite the frightening scenario, Murphy looks as calm as can be.
Men being introduced to Coca Cola for the first time in France (1950)
Look at the shock on these men’s faces. In the 1950s, Coca-Cola ran a marketing campaign for the people in France. This photo shows the genuine reaction of French men trying the soda for the very first time. It was already a popular drink in the United States but when it arrived in France, it was met with some opposition because the country didn’t want to be overhauled by American enterprises. But today, there is a Coca-Cola factory in France, expanding production.
Scientist Nikola Tesla casually sitting by his ‘firing transmitter’ in his laboratory (1899)
Ok, this is giving us ‘mad scientist’ vibes. Nikola Tesla was a prolific Serbian scientist who is known for an array of accomplishments in the field of electrical engineering. But one of his most popular accomplishments was the powerful bolts of the magnifying transmitter used for wireless transmission of electrical energy.
This photo of Albert Einstein’s office was taken just hours after he died (1955)
Although Einstein left his office very cluttered, he clearly knew how to work through his disorganization and was one of the most brilliant men of our lifetime. The iconic photo of his Princeton office shows a desk cluttered with notebooks, journals, a pipe, tobacco tin, as well as a blackboard behind his desk with numerous equations and formulas. It looks like a simple photo, but it is so much more than that. This photo captures Einstein’s imagination and intellect that changed the world forever.
This is the last lifeboat that came off the Titanic (1912)
We are used to seeing photos of the Titanic ship sailing on the water before its tragic accident back in 1912. But we were able to find this not-so-known photo of the last lifeboat evacuating the Titanic. We can’t even imagine the conditions survivors had to endure to get to safety. This photo was taken from the deck of the RMS Carpathia, the transatlantic steamship, whose crew members rescued 705 survivors from Titanic’s lifeboats.
This is the very first photograph taken…ever (1826-1827)
Although it might not look like much, and maybe it’s really blurry, but this photo holds a lot of significance. This unremarkable-looking photo was captured by French photographer, Joseph Nicéphore Niépce. It shows the view from a window in a Burgandy, France estate, and this particular photo happens to be the oldest surviving permanent photo to ever exist. It’s pretty incredible how far photography has come since this photograph was taken.
Brave men at work high in the sky as they paint the Eiffel Tower without any security measures (1924)
This is not an easy task, and being 324 meters tall, we can’t imagine the bravery needed to paint this monument. It almost doesn’t look real Interestingly enough, the Eiffel tower gets repainted revert 7 years. It’s remarkable to know that these men were part of constructing one of the world’s most iconic landmarks.
Neil Armstrong right after the monumental moon landing
The 1969 moonwalk was one of the most important moments in history. Popular images circle the web including Armstrong on the moon with the American flag. But one not-so-known photo is this image showing Armstrong in the module right after he made history. His face says it all. You can see the pure amazement, shock, joy, and every possible emotion in one photo. He was a pioneer and continues to inspire us today.
This photo shows a human chess match being played in Leningrad, Russia (1924)
It is known that chess is a popular game played in Russia. But in 1924, a very odd-looking version of the game was taking place on the Palace Square in St. Petersberg. That day, the FIDE World Chess Federation was created. This photo captured a huge chessboard with each piece being represented by real people. Red Army soldiers represented the white pieces while the Red Fleet represented the black pieces.
A cafe owner came up with an interesting solution to help commuters get to work during a flood in Paris (1924)
When there is heavy rainfall, life doesn’t stop, which is especially evident in this photo taken during a Paris flood. A kind and creative cafe owner decided to help Parisians out by providing his cafe chairs as stepping stones to get through the streets on their way to work. What this cafe owner did is a pure act of charity and we need to see more of these kinds of pictures. We hope these commuters got to their destination dry despite the water-filled roads.
The morning after Sweden switched traffic direction from the left side of the road to the right (1967)
This is just pure chaos. The switch was not easy for the Swedish people. It only makes sense that there’s a lot of confusion when the whole country now needs to drive on the opposite side of the road than they’re used to. It’s not something they are familiar with, and it resulted in this photo. This day in September of 1967 was when traffic direction was changed. It was known as ‘Dagen H’ or ‘H Day’, which is short for Högertrafikomläggningen, meaning Right-Hand Traffic Diversion.
This photo shows a proud Annette Kellerman, who promoted women’s right to wear fitted bathing suits. She was later arrested for indecency
Annette Kellerman was a woman of many talents. She happened to be a professional Australian swimmer, film actress, as well as a writer. She was also a pioneer for women and was one of the very first women to wear a one-piece bathing suit on Revere beach in 1907. It exposed her legs, causing a big scandal to break out, but it’s what made her famous. She inspired other women to follow in her footsteps and led the way to the modern-day bathing suit.
The fearless painters of the Brooklyn Bridge (1914)
This famous photo of the Brooklyn Bridge painters on suspenders was taken more than 100 years ago. It was captured by a city employee, Eugene de Salignac at the beginning of the 20th century 31 years after the bridge first opened. It was a planned photograph, as seen by the very relaxed poses of the men in the air. It’s a fantastic picture, and just imagine what it would look like in color. This picture really takes you back in time.
Costumed characters pictured at the Disneyland Employee Cafeteria (1961)
A photo with all your favorite Disney characters? Seems too good to be true. Halloween is already behind us, but this photo depicts the Disneyland staff dressed as iconic characters. It is not clear if the shot is staged or not, but the smiles might be authentic. Interestingly enough, a year after this photo was shot. Disney came out with a new section in the Disney employee manual, explaining how to perform an “honest smile,” including “Don’t take yourself so seriously.”
The real Winnie the Pooh and Christopher Robin Circa 1927
This photo is too cute for words. It’s amazing how much Pooh and the other animals had so much character that made people fall in love with them. Christopher Robin was the inspiration behind his father’s Winnie the Pooh storybooks, and Pooh bear was named after a female black bear that Christopher and his father visited in the London Zoo. Christopher was thrown into the spotlight at a young age, and actually wasn’t too fond of them and found them burdening.
The Beatles perform for 18 people at the Aldershot Club a year and a half before mega-stardom (1961)
Before the fame, the screaming fans, and tours all over the world, The Beatles were trying to make their way to the top. They weren’t always a one-hit-wonder. Before they were superstars, they were playing a gig for 18 people as shown in this photo. It was the first time they were playing in the south of England, and it may have been nearly an empty room but it just goes to show that you should never give up, no matter the circumstances.
This young man is testing out the first football helmet (1912)
In the sport of football, the only defense mechanism against head injury is the helmet. Unlike the full-proof helmets used by players today, the original football helmet looked more like a padded cap. It’s still unknown who invented the helmet, but back in 1896, George “Rose” Barclay, the halfback for Lafayette College, started using straps and earpieces to help protect his ears. by the 1900s, there was hardened leather, but this still wasn’t sufficient protection.
This is what job hunting looked like in the 1930s
Today, many people complain about how hard it is to find a job. But this photograph proves it was a lot harden than that in today’s modern world. This man persevered despite the difficulty and advertised himself on the street during the Great Depression. It was very hard during this time to find work, and we hope he was able to land the job he wanted.
A photo depicting working life in New York in the 1930’s when hats were very much in fashion
This aerial shot is beautiful. Out of this whole crowd of New Yorkers, it’s hard to spot one unhatted head. This bird’s eye view photograph was captured by Margaret Bourke-White. Hats and overcoats acted as a sort of uniform for both men and women. There was something so classy about this look, and we kind of wish this look would come back into fashion. Maybe one day it will, after all, fashion does repeat itself.
This pilot restarted a stalled propeller by hand in mid-air (1960s)
We aren’t sure about you, but we would not be as brave as this soul. Imagine getting out of a plane mid-flight. It sounds absolutely terrifying. But this man did what he needed to do. We don’t recommend trying this at home. This was actually an air show stunt performed by Merle Larson, and unknown to onlookers, there is another pilot, Gladys Davis, flying the plane from the back seat.
A mourner at the mass funeral for the victims of the Ethiopian Airlines plane crash (2019)
Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 was scheduled to fly to Kenya from Ethiopia, however, the pilots accidentally left the engines on full takeoff power, causing excess pressure on the stabilizer. The plane went down only six minutes after takeoff, killing all 157 passengers on board. There were more than 30 nationalities on board, including Kenyans, Canadians, Ethiopians, Chinese, Americans, Italians, French, British, Egyptians, Indian, and Slovakians.
The Hukou Waterfall, the second largest waterfall in China, enters flood season (2021)
The Hukou Waterfall is the largest waterfall on the Yellow River in the Shanxi Province of China. Due to heavy rainfall in the summer, flood season arrives, causing tourists to gather to witness these breathtaking views. Additionally, the water here is yellow because of the sediments in the Yellow River and is claimed to be the only yellow waterfall in the world.
The last known photograph of the now extinct Tasmanian tiger taken at Beaumaris zoo (1933)
This Tasmanian tiger is also known as the Thylacine, and this is the last photo we have to prove its existence. This nocturnal marsupial native to the Australian mainland looks like a combination of a wolf and a zebra. While its rawr makes it appear fierce, they were in fact timid animals. It’s believed that they no longer exist because of the over-hunting done by humans.
A young boy watching television for the very first time in an appliance store window (1948)
We would also have the very same expression if we saw television for the very first time. The look of awe and shock on his face says it all. He looks so impressed by the new invention of the time, his mouth dropped. Maybe this little boy didn’t have a television set at home, so walking by this appliance store window would stop him in his tracks. We love this picture because it shows the hold that this medium had on people at the time. It’s not so different today either.
Lumberjack’s appreciating their work in the early 1900s
This photo almost seems like an older version of Where’s Waldo where you have to spot the lumberjacks in the sea of tree logs. They blend so effortlessly in the picture, it’s hard to spot all of them at once. Being a lumberjack is no easy task, and these men put themselves at risk every day. Nonetheless, they are proud of their hard work, especially the man in the middle with his hands on his hips who clearly knows his worth and isn’t afraid to show it.
Gary Anderson’s recycling logo design for a contest circa 1970
It’s hard to think of a time that the recycling symbol didn’t exist, but ever since its creation, it’s definitely been reused many times. Gary Anderson was only 23 years old when he came up with the idea. With just a few lines, he produced the logo showing how important it is to reuse our resources. He mentioned that it didn’t take him long to come up with the design, possibly a day or two. So simple yet so effective.
Frank Sinatra takes the first ‘bathroom selfie’ (1938)
We all know Frank Sinatra to be the king of cool. There isn’t any better way to describe it. He was a heartthrob talent that people couldn’t get enough of. But besides being one of the coolest and greatest artists of his time, Sinatra apparently had a love for selfies. Over the years he was alive, he took many selfies, including in his bathroom. Was he the one that started this trend that continues today? He just looks
Actress Bobby Gledhill confidently walking past a group of nuns (1968)
We love this photo. This photograph was snapped by an unknown government photographer while working on an assignment. It perfectly captures contrast in the best way. The nuns smile at Bobby as she walks past them with such joyous looks on their faces. The different style choices right next to the other make this such a classic photograph.
This bride-to-be was saved from falling outside a seven-story window
This woman was hanging outside a window ledge in China after her fiance broke up with her. It is still unclear whether this was the day of her wedding or during the nuptial planning. Thankfully, this 22-year-old was saved when a local community officer grabbed her shoulders to help pull her back inside. There was also a man below who grabbed her feet below. They eventually pulled her back to safety.
American soldiers paying tribute to the horses and mules that died in WW1 (1918)
What an incredible and powerful photograph. These American soldiers aligned themselves in a horse formation to pay their respects to fallen horses of World War I. It was important to do this because the horses were often the forgotten veterans. Horses have been used in warfare for thousands of years and they deserve to be remembered as well. The people in the image did just that and found a unique way to appreciate and remember the horses’ contributions.
IBM sending the heavy five-megabyte hard drive (1956)
This very large box contains a 5MB IBM hard drive, which is around 6 images worth. This photo proves just how far we have come. Today, our iPhones and laptops are so light and thin, we can easily pick them up with our hands. But the very first hard drives as seen in this photo were a lot heavier and took up way much more space. About four men had to help move this hard drive onto a truck.
The brilliant Albert Einstein teaching a class at Lincoln University (1946)
Imagine being able to sit in a class being taught by none other than Albert Einstein. These students were probably soaking up every word of his. Einstein, who discovered the theory of relativity, visited the university to accept an honorary degree as well as speak to students during a class visit. class taught by Einstein is one you don’t forget. It would be interesting to know where some of these students ended up and what careers they took on.
Young children rushing inside a candy shop the day sweet rationing ended in England (1953)
On this day, kids were emptying their piggy banks and rushing straight to the closest candy store to get their hands on their favorite candies. This photo closely resembles what the Unites States looks like on Black Friday, with customers rushing into stores to get their hands on the best deals. When WWII started, certain foods such as sweets had been rationed. But the day the ration ended, children along with adults joined in the sugar madness.
Tilda Swinton slept more than 6 hours in a glass box at MoMA for a surprise performance called “The Maybe”
British actress Tilda Swinton is not lying down from fatigue, it’s for her art. Tilda is famous for many things, and now she can add being a part of an art exhibit to the list. You can find her sleeping on a white mattress inside a glass box. It was an art exhibit that took place in various spots in the museum. The performance lasted the entire day that the museum was opened. The cool thing about this is that there’s no schedule for her appearance.
Men listening to music on Vinyl in individual listening booths in the 1950s
Whenever you want to discover new music today, you can easily hop onto Spotify or Apple Music and listen with your headphones. But back in the 50s, things were a little different. Stores had sound-isolating booths where excited customers could listen to new music without needing to put on a pair of headphones. Vinyl is making a comeback today, and who knows, maybe stores like this will open up again. There is no question we would be first in line.
A photo capturing performers practicing their acts for a variety show (1938)
We love this photo. You can tell they are dancers by the dance shoes they’re wearing. Back in those times, air conditioning wasn’t great, so practicing on the roof was a way better option than in a hot theatre. This photo was shot on top of the Ball Building, Paramount lot, Hollywood and it was captured at the best possible moment. Whether it was staged or purely candid, it’s an iconic photo nonetheless.
A young woman managed to cross the border between East and West Berlin (1955)
The East Germans were trying to prevent this young woman from crossing over the line. Once she crossed, there was nothing the East German soldiers could do at that point. The aftermath of her escape resulted in a face-off between the West Berlin policemen and the East German soldiers. The young girl was very lucky to have made it over.
This photo shows the instant refugees realized they had been liberated (1945)
What a powerful photo. It was taken in April of 1945 by Major Clarence Benjamin. It portrays a train of Jewish prisoners that had luckily been intercepted by allied forces. The looks on their faces say it all. It is the moment they realized that the train, which carried 2,500 Jews, would not be going to a concentration camp. They are walking to their liberation with elated joy.
The young skateboard pioneer, Tony Hawk, and his father before he was famous (1987)
Tony Hawk is easily one of the main pioneers of skateboarding. He developed his skills at an early age and became a pro skater at only 14-years-old. From the mid 80’s and on, he was the world’s premier skateboarder. With all the money that he received from his accomplishments in the sport, he was able to buy his first house while in his senior year of high school.
The first same-sex couple legally married in New York City
This photograph emits so much joy. Connie Kopelov and Phyllis Siegal made history by becoming the very first gay couple to get legally married in New York City. They offer each other a warm embrace after the ceremony at the Manhattan City Clerk’s office in 2011. They had been partners for 23 years when they were married and look happier than ever.
A young girl in the United Kingdom wearing two artificial legs (1890)
Believe it or not, these artificial legs were some of the very first modern kinds of artificial prosthetics created. These prosthetics were manufactured by a shoemaker James Gillingham. He first began making artificial limbs after a local man lost his arm while firing a cannon. His work was very impressive considering the time. But we have certainly come a long way since.
This D-Day photo shows U.S. soldiers storming the beaches of Normandy (1944)
During World War II, U.S. troops stormed the beaches of Normandy. The invasion was a combined naval, air, and land attack on Nazi-occupied France, and was the largest land and water invasion in all of history. There were about 13,000 aircraft and 5,000 ships that participated in this operation. This photo depicts the true bravery of these troops as they labor through German gunfire.
A utility worker giving mouth-to-mouth to a co-worker after being shocked by power lines (1967)
This powerful photo is known as ‘The Kiss of Life,” and shows J.D. Thompson giving mouth-to-mouth to his co-worker, Randall G. Champion after getting shocked by electrical wires. It left him unconscious and Thomspson struggled to save his friend’s life. This particular photograph was so famous, it got published in newspapers across the world.
A 97-year-old woman sheds tears of joy as she finally receives her high school diploma
This is just beautiful. This is Margaret Thome Bekema and back in 1936, she never got the chance to graduate from Grand Rapids Catholic Central High. Instead, she had to take care of her family since her mom got sick with cancer. Fast forward a few years, and she finally received her honorary diploma at the age of 97. Additionally, she got her graduation cap and a school letter.
Presidential nominee Adlai Stevenson was pictured with a hole in his shoe, and later used the hole in his campaign as a symbol for his hard work (1952)
Adlai Stevenson was on a political tour while campaigning for president. He was born into a wealthy family and was criticized for being out of touch with ordinary Americans. This photo, taken by William Gallagher, changed that narrative. Once it was published in LIFE magazine, this candid finding became somewhat of a national obsession.
The fall of the Berlin Wall was a monumental moment in the history of modern Europe (1989)
November 9, 1989, is a day that many people will never forget. It was the day that the Berlin Wall fell down, marking the fall of the Iron Curtain. Before this event took place, about half a million people came together to protest in East Berlin. The wall that was dividing communist East Germany from West Germany for 30 years finally came to a fall. What escalated its fall was the political reforms within the Soviet bloc, which began German reunification.
A heart surgeon after a successful, but very long 23-hour heart transplant (1987)
The man in this photo is Dr. Zbigniew Religa after performing a strenuous 23-hour heart transplant in Poland. He is seen looking over at his patients vitals, while his colleague can be seen asleep in the corner. At the time, the surgery was considered impossible, but Dr. Religa took his chances. He proved that you can make the impossible possible, and became a pioneer for heart transplantation.
The Vietnam draft lottery: each capsule contained a day of the year on it that picked draftees by their date of birth (1969)
This is not the lottery we would want to be chosen from. 1969 was the first year that the United States had its first draft lottery. During the Vietnam men, young men would be picked involuntarily and drafted into military service. But with the draft lottery, men were given a random number between 1 and 366 which corresponded to their birth date. The lower numbers were the ones called first.
The original Michelin Man circa 1910
No, this is not a fluffy marshmallow. This is the original Michelin man, the official mascot of the Michelin tire company. The puffy man is believed to be advertising’s oldest trademark. It’s a 120-year-old character and is one of the most identifiable brand ambassadors today. His white body is actually historically correct because, before 1912, tires were either grey-white or a light translucent beige color.
The original Hollywood(land) sign before it was shortened to what we know today circa 1923
The American landmark in California looked a bit different back than what we are used to seeing. Harry Chandler, a Los Angelos Times publisher invested in real estate development known as Hollywoodland, which is when 45-foot-high white letters were put up. But once the Great Depression hit, the real estate development collapsed, and maintenance of the sign stopped. In 1949, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce removed the last four letters but reinstated the rest.
A woman sitting elegantly in front of an electric hairdryer in the 1920s
Want to make it look like the wind is effortlessly blowing through your hair? Well, sit in front of a 1920s hair dryer machine. The original hairdryer was invented in the 19th century and is believed to come from France. Alexander F. Godefroy was the first person to have the industrial-sized hairdryer in his salon, and about 30 years later, the handheld dryer was introduced. This woman meant it when she asked for a blowout.
The opening ceremony of the summer Olympics held in Moscow, Russia (1980)
There is so much talent in just one photograph. We aren’t quite sure how this formation is even possible, but a lot of practice had to go into this. The main attraction of the Olympic games is usually the sporting events, but we think the opening ceremony deserves just as much recognition. It’s incredible what people can do when they come together.
Surviving members of the Intrepid’s crew pay their respects at a burial at sea ceremony for officers and men killed during the kamikaze attack (1944)
Back on November 26, 1944, the surviving members of the USS Intrepid (CV-11) crew performed a burial at sea ceremony for the 69 men who lost their lives when the carrier was hit by Japanese bombs during operations in the Phillippines the day before.
Hurricane Ian, a massive category 4 storm in Fort Myers, Florida (2022)
Hurricane Ian soared through Fort Myers, Florida in September 2022. Over 2.5 million people were ordered to evacuate and seek alternative shelter. Strong winds of 241 kilometers per hour swept through the city causing massive floods to homes.
The USS Franklin was the most heavily damaged aircraft carrier to survive an attack during WWII
The USS Franklin fleet carrier was designed to hold 2170 crew members. In March of 1945, the USS Franklin was hit by a bomb from a Japanese airplane, and almost 800 crew members were lost. However, the ship wouldn’t sink and she was fully repaired in New York. This carrier took the biggest hit out of all the carriers that survived World War II.
Maud Steven Wagner was the first female tattoo artist in America and shaped tattoo history (1907)
What a badass. Maud began giving tattoos at the very young age of 9 and is one of the very last tattoo artists known to work by hand, which is seriously impressive. She had decided to run away from home and join the circus, where she did contortionist acts. She later met her husband, Gus Wagner who was covered in tattoos. She went on a date with him under one condition, that he would give her tattoo lessons. We think they paid off.
Aerial Shot of crowds that reached over 400,000 people at the first Woodstock concert (1969)
Have you ever thought about what it would feel like to be a part of the first Woodstock concert? This photograph should give you a pretty good idea. There were so many people that showed up for the music festival, it’s hard to wrap your head around. It doesn’t even look like a crowd from this view, but possibly a large carpet, or crops. Although it would have been cool to experience this at the time, we’re happy we didn’t have to maneuver our way out of there.
The seal on Tutankamen’s tomb was still intact before being broken in 1922
The seal on Tutankamen’s tomb was untouched for 3,245 years and was discovered by British archeologist Howard Carter. The seal was in fact to King Tut’s fifth shrine. He was buried in four stone coffins which were kept inside five different shrines. Once he made it inside the tomb, he found loads of treasure, including statues, gold jewelry, Tutankhamun’s mummy, and much more.
A cave found inside an iceberg during the British Antarctic Expedition (1911)
This is pretty cool. This photo is exceptional and looks like it can be a cover to a fantasy book. The British Terra Nova Expedition was between 1910 and 1913 and was led by Captain Robert Falcon Scott with a crew of four other men. One goal of this scientific expedition was to make it to the South Pole. Unfortunately, all five men perished on their way home.
A courageous man takes a chance on life by carving an eye on Mount Rushmore in the 1930s
The carving of the famous Mount Rushmore was done by a team of more than 400 men. Believe it or not, no one died during the building of this iconic monument. Men went to great lengths to construct the world’s largest mountain carving. It’s nothing short of impressive. Their hard work paid off and Mount Rushmore gets about 3 million visitors each year.
A child plays with toy grenades in 1962
This photo, titled Exasperated Boy with Toy Hand Grenade, was shot by Diane Arbus in Central Park in the early 60s. Now on display at the Museum of Modern Art, the photo is iconic for setting the themes of play, war, childhood, and aguish in conflict with each other. The subject of the photo, Colin Wood, notes disliking being Arbus’s subject as a teenager but has since grown an appreciation for the photo.
Lewis Payne, one of the conspirators in Abe Lincoln’s assassination
Lewis Powell (also known as Lewis Payne) was a conspirator involved in the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln in 1865. He was a Confederate soldier during the American Civil War, and after the war, he joined a group of Southern sympathizers who plotted to kidnap Lincoln in order to exchange him for Confederate prisoners of war. However, the plan was never executed, and after Lincoln’s assassination, Powell attempted to assassinate Secretary of State William Seward. He was captured, tried, and eventually hanged for his crimes. This photo is likely from the time he spent confined on U.S.S. Saugus.
Tires go flying as a race car crashes at the Grand Prix
Formula One Championships are known as the most prestigious racing events in the world. It takes years of training and a high level of skill to compete in these races, and this photo shows exactly why. Driving any car means taking your life into your own hands, but racing at top speeds in a Formula One race car can be exceptionally dangerous. Zooming at such a high velocity means that if you’re not burning rubber, you might just be sending it flying through the air.