Culture

Historical Photos You Have To See To Believe

Did you know that the oldest surviving photograph dates back to around 1826-1827? You can barely make out the dark view from Nicéphore Niépce’s window in Le Gras, proving we have come a long way since printing photos on pewter sheets. However, the history of photography can be traced back a lot further than that famous French view. Several different technologies were combined to create photography, some spanning back to the time of Euclid and Aristotle in the 4th and 5th Centuries BCE. These two both described a pinhole camera from that time, with mathematician Anthemius of Tralles also using some form of camera obscura in the 6th Century too. It’s odd to think that the technology for cameras has been around for so long, yet it took until around 1816 for the first camera to be made by Nicéphore Niépce.

The history of the photograph is an intriguing one, with many people trying to refine the process that Nicéphore Niépce created over the years. When the inventor died in 1833, his partner Louis Daguerre continued to try his hand at mastering the photography process. It was in 1837 that Louis managed to invent the first real, practical photographic process named the daguerreotype. This became the first commercially viable process and led to other inventors experimenting and refining what Louis Daguerre had created. It wasn’t until much later, in around 1885, that camera film was invented. George Eastman is often hailed as being the modernizer of cameras and photography technology, creating products for the mass-market by around 1900. And so, the photos we know and take today, were born.

Nowadays, people are obsessed with taking photos of everything around them; living life through a lens, some might say. The rise in smartphone cameras has certainly helped us all become mini photographers – and also selfie lovers! However, throughout history (when taking photos was much harder and more expensive), not everyone could take a photograph. The cameras were bulky, difficult to move around, and took quite a lot longer to get the perfect snap. Photos were only really taken to commemorate special events or to capture incredible moments in history. Some of the most famous photographs in the world have stood the test of time, being used to study specific moments in history and life-changing events. Some of these pictures have even inspired people to become photographers themselves, in awe of how the camera can capture such beautiful or horrifying moments such as the ones we are about to show you as follows.

World’s First Selfie

Almost two hundred years before “selfie” became a commonly used term, photographer Robert Cornelius took what was probably the first selfie in history, in 1839. Did you know that the selfie was already a thing of the past? Hundreds of years passed before the term “selfie” became a universal term. Robert Cornelius attempted to take the first perfect self-portrait outside of his family’s store. Unfortunately, it came out fuzzy and off-centered.

World’s First Selfie

Civil Rights Activist

This is the photo of Joan Trumpauer Mulholland, a civil rights activist and Freedom Fighter from Arlington, Virginia. From an early age, she sought out ways to help in the Civil Rights movement, despite a very racist upbringing. Mulholland took part in. protests, sit-ins, and even spent time in prison for her support of blacks. She was also the first White person to integrate Tougaloo College in Jackson, Mississippi, where she joined the Delta Sigma Theta sorority.

Civil Rights Activist

Not Just For Men

This is a photo of the gorgeous 1969 Shelby GT500 Fastback “Playboy Pink” Mustang Convertible. Since 1964, Playboy would let out an annual “Playmate Of The Year Cars” edition of its magazine. Pictured here is playmate Connie Kreski. Although this car looks pretty in pink, it would be foolish to challenge her to a race, as it comes equipped with a 428 Cobra Jet V-8 under its hood. That’s a whole lot of girl power right there.

1969 Shelby GT500 Fastback Not Just For Men

Marilyn Monroe WWII

Before she became 50’s pop idol, Marilyn Monroe, she was known as Norma Jeane Dougherty, and she was born in Los Angeles and raised between foster homes and orphanages. In 1944, she decided to help serve her country in World War II by working in a factory assembling drones. The factory where she worked was in Van Nuys, California. The program was eventually shut down when newer technology replaced the guidance system of the drones.

Marilyn Monroe WWII

Young Bill and Hillary

They were both nominated and elected as presidents. Before the 3 presidential elections, and before spending years inside the office and more than a political scandal, Bill and Hillary were living as an ordinary young couple. This was a photo of this couple taken back in the 70s. It looked like they were living just a very simple and happy life at university, far from problems and issues that they are facing right now.

Young Bill and Hillary

Lace ‘Em Up

Who says women didn’t get to fight until recent years. These women in Sweden conducted a boxing class on a rooftop in the 1930s. Maybe the world wasn’t as strict with gender roles as we were taught to believe.

Lace ‘Em Up

Tearful Reunion

Public execution was a common practice in the United States. However, it eventually ended, and in this photo, you will see that the very last public execution in the country was attended by thousands of people standing there, witnessing the event. This was taken in 1936. Public execution became quite popular in the old days. It was a typical practice in the US. But, it ended in the long run and a photo can make you see that the ultimate public execution done in the United States was participated and attended by thousands of people who stood nearby the stage to see what will happen.

Tearful Reunion

The Days of Print Catalogs

It is a photo of women who assembled the Sears Roebuck catalogs taken in 1942. Can you imagine yourself working in this kind of setting? This is too far from what we have today, but if you have your friends beside you and all of you are working together, being in this kind of situation will be okay.

The Days of Print Catalogs

Expensive Furniture

This picture was taken in 1850, showing people who lounged on the huge Sphinx of Giza in Egypt. What the huge furniture was this. This photo made a lot of people wishing that they can be where this furniture is located and be able to do just like what these people were doing.

Sphinx of Giza in Egypt

Seeds of Revolution

Che Guevara and Fidel Castro talked prior the overthrowing of the famous dictator from Cuba, Fulgencio Batista. This is among the most significant historical pictures collected and kept through generations. This will always be one of the best things to discuss when it comes to history.

Seeds of Revolution

Desk of a Genius

Everyone knows who Albert Einstein was. He is so busy with science that his table is always filled with stuff and was quite messy. The messy and chaotic desk photo was taken following his death in 1955, providing a seldom glimpse on the work setting of a real genius.

Desk of a Genius

Bill, Monica, and a Photobomb

Bill Clinton was not just known as a president of the United States, but his name also dragged him to shame. He used to have an affair with another woman working inside his good office. Bill Clinton & Monica Lewinsky pose for the photo before the public learned his affair that hit the airwaves months after. Likewise, the man within the background might have unwittingly designed the photobomb.

Bill Clinton & Monica Lewinsky

Many Faces of Hitler

At the end of World War II, the US government was concerned about finding Adolf Hitler, whom they believed would try to disguise himself to slip away unseen. Here are some photos they put out of what Hitler could potentially look like, using a number of physical changes and disguises.

Many Faces of Hitler

End of an Era

The Fab Four made the heartbreaking decision to break up their band in 1969. This is believed to be the last photo ever taken of The Beatles together as a group.

The Beatles

Waste of Beer

This image shows bootlegging gone wrong, as a covert alcohol operation’s beer spills out into the Detroit street during Prohibition.

Waste of Beer

Off With His Head

A Soviet soldier took a very special souvenir in the aftermath of World War II – the head of Hitler himself. Well, the head of a statue, but still.

A Soviet soldier took a very special souvenir in the aftermath of World War II

Jazz Trance

Blues artist Big Jay McNeely entertains the crowd in Los Angeles in 1953. The crowd is absolutely enthralled with him.

Jazz Trance

Changing the World

During the 1950s, Jim Crow laws were still very much at large, and segregation of Blacks and Whites was the norm. Everything from restaurants, to shops, to water fountains were segregated by color. This is a photo of Dorothy Counts. At the age of 15, in 1957, she became one of the first 4 Black students to be enrolled in an all-White school. It’s no surprise that she faced a lot of harassment going to school each day, but it’s because of students like her that integration was able to begin.

Changing the World

Stress of the Job

Much has been made of how much older presidents look after their terms are over. This is nothing new, as you can see by the change in Abraham Lincoln after just four years in office.

the change in Abraham Lincoln after just four years in office

Dude Looks Like a Lady

If you’ve ever been to New Orleans during Mardi Gras, you’ll know that a crazier street party has never existed anywhere else. But did you know that it’s been just as crazy since its beginning? Here’s a group of men cross dressing during the 1938 Mardi Gras festival.

Dude Looks Like a Lady

Tragic Return

This poor soldier got home from World War II only to find out that his family had died in the war. The result is one of the most impactful historical photos ever.

Tragic Return

Multi-purpose Gas Masks

Gas masks aren’t only for breathing clean air during a gas leak or a chemical attack. This pair of smart soldiers figured out that their gas masks could also be used to avoid crying while peeling onions.

as masks could also be used to avoid crying while peeling onions

First Pro Gamers

The first National Space Invaders Championship in 1980 was a precursor to modern e-sports. Over 10,000 participants competed.

First Pro Gamers

The Beauty Pageant Winners

If you think of beauty pageant winners today, you will probably think of gorgeous fine lady with crown on their head, waving stunningly and confidently before the crowd. But apparently, the beauty pageant standards were quite different back then. This photo was taken in 1922.

The Beauty Pageant Winners In 1922

The Lone Man

This photo was taken at the German Army vessel’s launch in 1936 in a ceremony attended by Adolph Hitler. In this photo, a lone man was standing with his arms crossed while hundreds of others women and men around him held their arms up in allegiance and salute to the Nazi Party, as well as its leader Adolf Hitler.

The Lone Man

The Kiss of Life

This is actually a very moving photo that was taken in 1967. It was known as the “Kiss of Life” photo because a utility worker was trying to save his co-workers life. The utility worker was giving his colleague mouth-to-mouth after contacting a high voltage wire. We didn’t know, however, whether this man survived or not.

The Kiss of Life

The Right Bathing Suit Length

Back in the day, you could not just go to the beach flaunting your body, no matter how gorgeous it is. In this photo, you will see a beach official measuring bathing suits to ensure that they are not too short. This photo was taken in 1920.

The Right Bathing Suit Length

The Isolator

With the help of an Isolator, the author at work was able to concentrate in his private study. An Isolator was a helmet to help the wearer focus, limiting their vision, rendering them deaf and pumping them with oxygen. In this photo, taken in 1925, the worker was able to concentrate on his/her study.

The Isolator

Dining with Alligators

Everyone knows how dangerous alligators can be, so no one often dare go near them. However, in this photo taken at The California Alligator Farm in Los Angeles, three women were happily dining with a bunch of alligators. This photo was taken in 1920.

Dining with Alligators

A Man and Huge Lumber Stacks

These huge stacks of lumber that were drying in Seattle in 1919 were pretty amazing, isn’t it? However, you wouldn’t really get the right picture by just looking at the photo. Take a look at the man standing in the picture to know how huge these stacks are!

A Man and Huge Lumber Stacks

Medical Bears

If you’re suffering from rheumatism and looking for an affordable home remedy in Romania, you might find yourself lying under a big bear sitting on you. Taken in Romania in 1946, this is one of the common home remedies for healing rheumatism in the place.

Medical Bears

The Eruption

Taken in May 18, 1980, the eruption of the Mount St. Helens’ north face triggered the largest landslide in recorded history. A total of fifty-seven people lost their lives. This photo was taken eleven miles northeast at Bear meadow by Gary Rosenquist.

The Eruption