Rare Historical Photos Capturing A Unique Moment In Time
Photographs often serve as a visual memory bank. They have emotional and sentimental significance. From the viewpoint of an artist, photography can depict the world in a new light with a fresh perspective. Other times, it can perfectly capture a pivotal memory or moment of historical significance.
Above all else, photographs help us record events for later review. They help connect the past to our present and future. We hope that the historical gallery we have prepared for you today will help you learn something new and feel more connected to history.
1. Annie Edson Taylor and Her Niagara Falls Journey
Annie Edson Taylor had planned to make a fortune via a one-of-a-kind PR stunt. She intended to take a barrel ride over Niagara Falls on her birthday (October 24, 1901). She had a watertight, cushioned barrel specially made for her. As a test, she sent a barrel over the falls with a cat inside. Much to her pleasure and the cat’s happiness, the feline survived the journey.
So, on that 24th day of October, the 63-year-old retired teacher got into the barrel with the help of her companions and secured the lid. She began her adventure just above the falls. After she journeyed down the waterfall, she was met by an awaiting boat. Thankfully, Annie Edson Taylor was discovered alive and well.
3. A Manually Operated Traffic Control Machine, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1922
Cars began getting into fender-benders shortly after the automobile was introduced into the streets. It became apparent immediately that laws and procedures were required to ensure that individuals did not drive their vehicles into other cars, people, or structures.
Motorists started using signals to know when to halt and when to continue through a junction. Before electric traffic signals, the only alternative was to have manual signals, such as the one seen in the photograph above. A traffic stop operator had to manually change the sign from “stop” to “go.”
4. A Man on Top of the Golden Gate Bridge During its Construction
Building the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco required a lot of bravery. There was an unspoken rule in the 1930s about high-steel bridge building projects like this one. Engineers should anticipate one employee incident for every $1 million spent. The $35 million Golden Gate Bridge, on the other hand, had a stellar safety record, with just 11 incidents.
At least 19 individuals are said to have been saved thanks to a huge net hanging underneath the construction site. The bridge employees’ survival rate is a marvel of forethought.
5. The Historic U.S. Route 50 (The loneliest road in America)
While looking at this photograph, it is easy to see why Route 50 is referred to as “The Loneliest Road in America.” From West Sacramento in California all the way to Ocean City in Maryland (a distance of about 3,073 miles), the roadway traverses vast swaths of barren, arid terrain.
When Life magazine published its July 1986 edition, the road was dubbed as “The Loneliest Road in America.” Since then, the name has gained popularity, and the state of Nevada has adopted it as a marketing slogan for the road. According to the publication, there are “no places of interest” along the path.
6. Women Delivering Water While Men Were Overseas
As the first global struggle was happening throughout Europe, women began to take up tasks that had previously been filled by males. This included anything from working in factories to transporting large blocks of ice to the front lines. The need for this kind of work existed even before refrigerators were widely available.
Delivery workers would transport huge blocks of ice around the country on carts and in motor vehicles. The ladies in this photograph delivered ice from their distributor to houses across Manhattan. Folks would use these ice blocks to cool down meals. As refrigerators and freezers grew more common, the company gradually went out of business.
7. Robert Wadlow's Height Compared to the Huge Shaquille O'Neal (7' 1")
You probably know who Big Shaq is. Yes, he is a huge basketball player. A wax replica of Robert Wadlow, which is on display in a museum, is seen in the photograph below. The real-life basketball star Shaquille O’Neal stands next to it to provide some perspective on how tall Robert Wadlow, the tallest man in the world, truly was.
With a height of 7’1”, O’Neal is not accustomed to looking up to anybody. However, it is clear from the photo that Shaq is almost two feet shorter than Wadlow at his highest point, which is almost 9 feet tall.
8. Yoda with His Sculptor, Stuart Freeborn
Everyone who watched Episode V fell in love with Yoda, the funny, little creature on Dagobah who also happens to be the most powerful Jedi in the galaxy. However, if the original version of Yoda had made it to the screen, the film may not have been as successful. The original plan for Yoda was to teach a costumed monkey to move around the set instead of using a puppet.
Several team members who worked on 2001: A Space Odyssey years before objected to the concept. Actors had to be recruited to represent the primates since they were tough to properly manage. The character we know and love today was created with the help of makeup artist, Stuart Freeborn. Freeborn made the model of Yoda based off himself and Ralph McQuarrie’s concept art.
9. Alice Eastwood Standing at a Rupture in 1906
The 1906 quake of San Francisco left a visible gap all along the San Andreas Fault line, which can still be seen today. Located between the North American Plate and the Pacific Plate, the San Andreas Fault is among the most known active faults on the planet. It was named so after the San Andreas Lake that was formed as a result of the fault, which was discovered in 1895 by geologist Andrew Lawson of the University of California, Berkeley.
After the 1906 quake, Professor Lawson established that the fault line ran down to the southern portion of California, which he named the “California Fault Line.” Immediately after this natural occurrence, the fault line could be clearly seen, as shown in this picture.
10. The Monowheel (Dynasphere) from the 1930s
This bizarre vehicle was based on a design by Leonardo da Vinci. The concept for this wheel, popularly known as a monowheel, was patented in 1930 by a British inventor called Dr. J. A. Purves, who based his design on Da Vinci’s drawing. Purves was so sure that his monowheel would be the next great thing in the automobile world that he even wrote an article about it in the journal “Popular Mechanics.”
The monowheel ran well, but it had a major weakness when it came to braking and accelerating. The design would cause the driver’s carriage to spin around the wheel, similar to when a hamster stops abruptly on a hamster wheel. It definitely had some design issues to fix!
12. Stylish Students at the Cambridge University (1926)
These elegant Cambridge gentlemen were members of a fraternity of academics who attended one of the world’s most renowned universities. Even though Cambridge students were very studious, it didn’t mean they didn’t know how to have a good time.
There was a secret organization on campus at the time called the “Alpine Society,” which only permitted members to join if they could get over the college’s gates at night. Can you imagine attempting to climb a fence in these trousers at any hour of the day? They must have been experts in gate climbing.
13. Dad and Daughter Ride Penny-Farthings in the 1930s
Penny-farthing bikes were already outdated when this picture was taken in the 1930s. The penny-farthing cycles were popular in the 1870s and 1880s until the advent of contemporary bicycle design. They were distinguished by their oversized front wheel and relatively small rear wheel. This type of bike gets its unusual name from British coinage.
Like the wheels on this bicycle, the penny is considerably bigger than the farthing. We can only presume that the father and daughter in this picture were having fun with an old-fashioned toy since the penny-farthing bike had been replaced by the conventional bicycle at the time this photograph was taken.
14. The Knock-up Profession of the 1920s
We now use alarm clocks or mobile phone alarms to get us up in the morning, but folks needed to be on time for work before these devices were created. Those who worked as “knocker-uppers” could be found in most major industrial cities. Knocker-uppers walked about with long sticks, knocking on bedroom windows to ensure that their clients’ workers got out of bed on time.
Knocker-uppers were paid a few pennies each week from their customers, with an additional monetary incentive if they remained at the window, persistently knocking until they were sure the person was up and ready to start their day.
15. Cowboys Enjoying a Saloon in Tascosa, Texas
It is quite uncommon to find an image like this one depicting cowboys enjoying themselves in a bar and playing cards. The one thing you’ll notice as soon as you see these cowboys is how different they appear from what you see on TV. The hats these guys are wearing aren’t super stylish, but rather they are tall hats that provide ventilation to keep their heads cool.
Additionally, all the riders are wearing chaps to protect their legs when horse riding. Although most people think that a cowboy should look like Clint Eastwood and Lee Van Cleef, this picture clearly depicts a typical cowboy.
16. Little Girl Hugs the Crufts Dog Show Champion in Birmingham, England, 1935
Bloodhounds, such as Leo, a six-time champion shown in this photograph, are often employed by helpful services to locate lost or missing individuals and other people of interest. Hounds are excellent for this job since they have an inherent drive for tracking and a keen sense for even small things.
Humans have been using hounds to find people since the Middle Ages. Hounds are believed to be descended from those dogs kept and raised in the Belgian Abbey of Saint-Hubert. In this 1935 photograph, Leo seems to be as lovable as he can be. He enjoys receiving embraces from his human friends.
17. European Royalty in London in 1910
Nine reigning monarchs were present during King Edward VII’s burial in 1910. Thankfully, someone saw this as a wonderful picture opportunity and collected the monarchs for this historical image, possibly the only photograph of all nine kings in existence. In the back row, from left to right: King Haakon VII of Norway, Tsar Ferdinand of Bulgaria, King Manuel II from Portugal and the Algarve, Kaiser Wilhelm II from Germany and Prussia, King George I from Greece, and King Albert I from Belgium.
In the front low, seated from left to right are King Alfonso XIII from Spain, King George V from the United Kingdom, and King Frederick VIII from Denmark.
18. Mark Twain, a Celebrated Novelist, Essayist, Lecturer, and Humorist (1909)
Samuel Langhorne Clemens grew up on the Mississippi River’s banks and spent his adolescence and early adulthood working on riverboats, where he wrote several of his novels. Even his pen name, Mark Twain, was derived from a riverside phrase that refers to a river depth of two fathoms or deeper. He even chose the Mississippi River as the setting for his most renowned literary masterpiece, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
Twain was a writer, essayist, lecturer, and humorist who was renowned for works such as The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, A Connecticut Yankee in King Authors’ Court, and The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County. He was also a comedian and speaker. Mark Twain was born in 1835, only a few months after the arrival of Halley’s Comet, and he was fond of joking that he had come in with the comet and would go out with it as well. His life ended in 1910, the day after the comet made its appearance.
19. The Art of Mayan Astronomy Seen in the Chichen Itza Kukulcan Temple
The ancient Mayan people were excellent astronomers with sophisticated techniques for estimating astronomical occurrences. They were sure to share their astronomy knowledge with their future generations. The Mayans were also great builders.
It was common for them to merge their interests in astronomy and building, as can be seen in the Chichen Itza Kukulcan Temple. When the sun’s rays illuminate the pyramid during the spring equinox, a huge serpent-like image is seen between the shadows. In this image, look towards the base of the temple to see the stone snake head lit by the sun with a body leading up the staircase.
20. The Oldest Harley-Davidson Built in 1903
Did you know that Harley-Davidson, America’s most famous motorcycle business, had its start in a shed in Wisconsin? Well, this was when William Harley and the Davidson brothers, Arthur and Walter, began manufacturing bikes in their spare time. When Harley-Davidson was founded, numerous motorcycle start-up businesses were emerging, but the quality and workmanship of the Harley-Davidson enabled it to thrive during a period in which many rivals had to close their doors.
The Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee is home to most of the firm’s bikes, including this one. This important bike happens to be the first motorbike the company manufactured in 1903 and remains on display to this day.
21. The Original Moulin Rouge in 1915
The Moulin Rouge, the capital’s first electrified structure, astonished Parisians when it opened in 1885. The design was created by Adolphe Léon Willette, who made the vivid electric-powered façade that would be permanently connected with Paris. This picture of the Moulin Rouge came to be just shortly before a historic blaze took down the building in 1915.
Today, the structure was restored and serves as a monument to its entertainment that has spanned more than 120 years. Over the decades. the Moulin Rouge has constantly evolved to keep up with the ever-changing entertainment industry. The Moulin Rouge has seen it all, from the cancan girls to cabaret to live music. The theater draws over 600,000 people every year due to its popularity.
22. Dolly Parton with Husband Carl Dean
Celebrity weddings nowadays may seem as if they were arranged by royalty, but the Queen of Country met her spouse the old-fashioned way—at the laundromat. Parton claims they met on their first day in Nashville in 1964, and they stayed in touch for the next two years while her career took off.
Carl, according to Parton, doesn’t even listen to her music. Instead, he prefers British rock bands. “Maybe that’s the reason why they get along so well.” She told Good Morning Britain in 2019 that her husband was into heavy rock and Led Zeppelin. Although she emphasized that he did not truly dislike it, he did not go out of his way to play her albums.
23. An Ottoman Supply Abandoned in the Desert
T.E. Lawrence, better known as Lawrence of Arabia, was a fascinating personality to emerge from the early 1900s. Lawrence’s extensive understanding of tactics served him well throughout his years spent working with his people.
He helped them in methodically taking down Turkish advances. He and his forces focused their efforts on Turkey’s Hejaz Railway in order to prevent food and supplies from being sent across the region. All the trains that Lawrence and his crew took over are still sitting in the middle of the desert.
24. Jacqueline and John F. Kennedy
During the decade that Jacqueline and John F. Kennedy were married, they had to deal with various challenges from politics to affairs. Although JFK’s most well-known side relationship was with the blonde beauty, Marilyn Monroe, she was just one of many women.
However, while Jackie was allegedly informed about these transgressions, she did not approach them in a confrontational manner. Instead, she was certain that he would always come back to her side at the end of it all.
25. Costumed Entertainers Riding Horses in a 1920s Halloween Event
In the 1920s, people dressed up for Halloween in elaborate costumes, much as they do now. They even dressed up their horses. As eerie as these figures seem, it’s likely that they were part of a parade or perhaps a carnival, so there’s nothing particularly eerie about them.
That being said, if these costumed skeletons were just riding about in their full regalia in the middle of the night, that would be a whole other story altogether. Is it appropriate to bring this style back? This may be the perfect costume if you have horses at your disposal.
26. The Ridiculously Cheap Gas Prices of 1939
Imagine pulling up to the petrol station and using some spare coins on the counter to fill up your entire tank. That was how life was in 1939. Obviously, due to inflation, that’s not how things play out now. In 1939, 16 cents was equivalent to $3.10 in current money, which is still reasonable, particularly if you live in an area where gasoline consumes a significant portion of your income.
As inflation continued to rise throughout the twentieth century, gas prices increased dramatically. By the 1970s, Americans were having difficulty not using gas in their daily lives, something that must have been difficult to comprehend for this gas station employee back in the 1930s.
27. Marilyn Monroe Entertaining Thousands of Soldiers (1954)
Following her marriage to New York Yankees baseball player, Joe DiMaggio in California in January 1954, Marilyn Monroe and her new husband headed to Japan for their honeymoon. While there, DiMaggio had to attend some baseball clinics, and while doing so, he had to take a commercial flight to Korea. Monroe used this time to amuse the U.S. personnel stationed there.
After Monroe’s solo journey, she had more confidence in herself. After she had all that experience traveling by herself, she felt successful. Due to the 10 performances she did in four days, she was convinced that she overcame her stage trouble and felt like she could do it all.
28. Funny Reaction of Yakini, a Baby Gorilla in the Melbourne Zoo
Take a look at this photo of Yakini responding to a stethoscope if you need any more evidence that humans are comparable to apes. We’ve all been there. The doctor uses their cold stethoscope, and it’s as if you’ve been transported to Antarctica in a matter of seconds.
Yakini, who was born in 1999 and grew up in the spotlight while living at Melbourne’s Werribee Open Range Zoo, is now the group’s leader. According to his caretaker, Kat Thompson, as Yakini grew older, it was only inevitable that he would challenge his father for the role of the group leader. The situation lasted many months, but it was a delicate one—more of a confrontation of wills than of brawn. It’s wonderful to watch the natural circle of life.
29. Comedy Duo Laurel and Hardy
With an insane number of short and feature films under their belts, Laurel and Hardy were some of the most popular comedic duos of the early twentieth century. The duo’s last film performance was in 1951, but by 1954, the men’s careers were all but gone. Hardy had a heart condition that year and dropped 150 pounds as a result. He was also dealing with other illnesses.
Hardy had a series of strokes a year after this picture was taken, leaving him in a coma until his last day in August of 1957. Stan Laurel gave an interview about their connection a week after his companion left us, and he spoke fondly of his buddy.
30. The Steam Line KJ Henderson Motorcycle of 1930
It looks like a bike a superhero would ride, doesn’t it? The bike seems like it would be a lot of fun to ride, but the 1930 Henderson Model KJ Streamline was very unsuitable and difficult to operate. This conventional motorcycle looked very similar to Triumph’s and Indian’s versions that were manufactured in the early 1900s.
That, of course, was due to these bikes being simpler to handle and cheaper to manufacture. However, looking at this bike, one may admire the refined Art Deco style. During the early stages of development, the bike’s curved panels were shaped in the same manner as the Chrysler Airflow.
32. Antonio La Cava and His Famous "Il Bibliomotocarro"
It may be difficult to find a decent book if you don’t live in a big city, which is why individuals like Antonio La Cava are so inspirational. Since 2003, this retired teacher has driven his “Il Bibliomotocarro” throughout southern Italy, delivering books to youngsters and adults alike. He plays an instrument to announce his arrival, and then he allows everyone in the vicinity to look through his books.
When La Cava was asked why he does so, he said that reading should be enjoyable rather than a chore. Reading indifference often begins in schools where it is taught but not accompanied by affection, and La Cava wanted to flip the script.
33. Model Goldie Jamison Conklin of the Seneca Native Tribe
Conklin grew up on the Allegany Reserve in South Western New York where she was a Seneca Native American tribe member. However, these photographs of the gorgeous young lady led her from being a kid on a reservation to a full-time model.
This photograph of Conklin was taken as part of the Cattaraugus Cutlery Company of Little Valley, New York’s marketing campaign for their “Indian Brand” blades. Here she is depicted dressed in traditional headdresses and costumes for the occasion. However, there isn’t much known about Conklin other than the fact that she lived a relatively long life.
34. Winter in London (1950s)
England is not renowned for having excellent weather. Even when it is not raining and cloudy, it is usually snowing outside. However, no amount of unpleasant weather can deter the hardy Londoners from getting their work done.
From the photograph, the gentleman is crossing the snow-covered Westminster Bridge, which spans across the Thames River in the center of London. An iconic London double-decker bus has just gone by, and in the distance, people can see the renowned clock tower known as Big Ben keeping watch over them.
35. Robin Williams and His Fans Outside a Shelter in Boston (1988)
When Robin Williams wasn’t onstage or in front of the camera, he was giving back to those who didn’t have nearly as much as he had. Aside from his role as one of the presenters of Comic Relief, a program that raised millions of dollars for those in need, Williams volunteered his own time to help individuals who were homeless. Mayor Ray Flynn said that anytime Robin was in town, he could always be counted on to come down and spend time with those who were less fortunate.
As reported by CBS, Flynn said Williams went to both the Long Island Shelter and a shelter for homeless people in Boston, in order to get them off the wintery streets. He goes on to add that he was always “phenomenal.” Williams was constantly entertaining the groups within the shelter as well as the staff.
37. Colorized Photo of the Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna (1887)
Elizabeth Feodorovna was a royal from the Victorian and Edwardian eras. In 1884, she married Sergei, a son of Alexander II, who was born on November 1, 1864. She relocated to St. Petersburg in 1891 and converted to Russian Orthodoxy at that time. After Sergei met his end in 1905, Elizabeth stopped eating meat, sold her possessions, and started a convent to help the sick and aged of Moscow. She gained no political favor because of this.
In 1918, she was captured on Lenin’s orders and banished to Perm before being relocated to Yekaterinburg and then Alapayevsk. She was then taken to an abandoned iron mine, blindfolded, and marched to the bottom, where she took her last breath.
38. The Changing Size of the Donut Hole
For all those who have ever wondered how the size of a donut hole has changed over time, surprisingly this data was documented as seen in the historic image below. Within 21 years, the hole in the center of a donut went from 1 ½ inches to ⅜ inches in diameter.
While having a diagram of this information is a bit peculiar, none of us will probably complain about this decrease in size as less donut hole means more donut. It is quite likely that the 1927 donut shape was truly meant for dunking in a beverage; thus it has a larger donut hole for people to hold and dunk their donuts easier.
39. The Voice Actors Behind the “Peanuts” Characters
This unique image taken in the 1960s depicts the cast of the “Peanuts” running their lines in a recording studio. The creator of the popular comic strip, Charles Schultz, thought it was very important for his youthful characters to be brought to life by actual child voices.
All the characters were cast with children who were around the same age as what their ages were in the comics. Cathy Steinberg who played Charlie Brown’s younger sister Sally was just 4 years old when she was hired for the role.
40. 1940s Princess Elizabeth at the Age of 14
While Queen Elizabeth II has been Queen of England for 70 years, there was a time when she was only a princess. Here we see a rare photo of the well-known princess at the young age of just 14 years old.
As a teenager, Princess Elizabeth would stage pantomimes around Christmas time in which the proceeds would go to purchasing yarn for uniforms per the Queen’s Wool Fund. The princess appeared on her first radio broadcast in 1940 for BBC’s Children’s Hour in which she addressed a child audience after blitzkrieg.
41. The 1930s Version of LinkedIn
Today, finding a job can be as simple as searching for positions on Google, LinkedIn, Indeed, and other helpful job sites. In this historic photo, we see a gentleman attempting to promote his experiences with a sign attached to him during the time of economic uncertainty in the 1930s.
October 1929 was rough on the stock market and American economy. This man represents the millions of Americans who were directly affected by the economic issues at the time and ended up out of work for months to come.
43. George Bernard Shaw Outside his “Sun Efficient” Writing Hut
Shaw composed the play for which he was most known while residing in “Shaw Corner” in the Hertfordshire community of Ayot St. Lawrence. Even though he had a study in his house with a Remington typewriter, Shaw did much of his writing in the shed he called “London” at the foot of his yard. Aside from its intriguing name, Shaw’s writing hut was built uniquely. It was designed to be movable, so Shaw could position his window to the sun for as long as possible to work in natural light.
Mr. Shaw, according to an article in the 1932 Modern Mechanix magazine, had a plan to have the light shining on him at all times as he worked. On his property, he created a tiny hut on a turntable. When the morning sun changed, he just pressed his shoulder against the side of the hut, causing the hut to rotate and the relaxing rays to shine through at the proper angle through his window. Mr. Shaw’s idea to keep the light shining on him was a basic health precaution rather than an outlandish idea.
44. John Lennon with a Soda in 1964
It was common knowledge that former Beatle John Lennon was a heavy user from the late 1960s until his last days in 1980. This photo of Lennon with a Coca-Cola bottle is a humorous innuendo.
As a matter of fact, there were rumors that Lennon was planning on having cosmetic surgery to fix a septum that had been damaged by his usage, but that never materialized. It wasn’t only Lennon who was known for his usage. Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac was another musician in the industry with this nefarious problem.
45. Young Anna Nicole Smith and Her Aged Husband J. Howard (an Oil Tycoon)
Their oddity goes without saying. When she met her future husband, an 86-year-old millionaire, Anna Nicole Smith was youthful and attractive. Anna attempted to dismiss the reports of gold-digging as the pair insisted that they were in love. However, their marriage was short-lived.
Anna’s spouse lived until August 4, 1995, and her portion of the late husband’s wealth became embroiled in a long court dispute. Not so long after her husband left us, Anna Nicole Smith was reunited with him. She lost her life in her hotel room in Hollywood, Florida in 2007.
46. Mata Hari, the Dutch Dancer in the 1910s
Mata Hari was the stage name of the Dutch woman Margaretha Geertruida MacLeod. Mata Hari was a Dutch dancer, and her beauty will go down in history. Many women have tried to imitate her unique look for years to follow.
Aside from her dancing, Mata Hari is also believed to have been involved in espionage. Although she admitted to the French she worked as a German spy, no records can confirm nor deny her involvement.
47. Frank Lentini, the Three-legged Man
In 1889, Frank Lentini was born in Italy with three legs and four feet. This genetic rarity is known as being born with a parasitic twin which is when twins begin to develop during a pregnancy but do not separate.
Due to his rare appearance, Frank Lentini began a career as a sideshow entertainer under the name “The Great Lentini.” He would go on to perform with the Ringling Brothers Circus as well as Barnum and Bailey.
48. A Rendering of the Neanderthals
This historic image is a rendering of what Neanderthals may have looked like according to the excavated material and other data found around 1920 by the Field Museum of Natural History.
In recent studies, up to 3 percent of a modern human’s genetic code may be linked to that of a neanderthal. The neanderthal DNA may affect certain traits we have such as being a night owl, moodiness, as well as loneliness.
49. Creative Photography Techniques in Poland, 1946
This is quite the take on fake-it-til-you-make-it. What do you do when your hometown falls into disrepair due to historic events? You pretend everything is normal and beautiful using a backdrop.
The ruins here sat to remind the Polish what they had endured and lost. They ultimately lost a total of 84% of buildings and 72% of homes. Knowing what a huge undertaking a rebuild would be, some chose unique ways to move on with life once more.
50. Winnebago/Ho-Chunk Family, 1880
Once known as the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska, the Ho-Chunk Native Americans were actually settled around an area that is now part of Wisconsin. Jean Nicolet, a French explorer known for his finds around Lake Michigan, was the first to come into contact with the tribe.
Here is a family photograph of a proud Ho-Chunk family before the turn of the century. Unlike most of the other tribes, the Ho-Chunk built a life and community in one spot. They lived in igloo-shaped homes that were more conducive to the harsh weather of the north. Preferred crops for the tribe included tobacco, beans, and squash. Nowadays, there are only about 10,000 tribe members left.
51. Nikola Tesla, 1888
Holder of 112 patents in the U.S. alone, Nikola Tesla was a brilliant mind who once worked under another famed inventor, Thomas Edison. Originally from Croatia, Tesla immigrated to bustling New York in the early 1880s.
With a laboratory like this, it seems like Tesla had infinite ideas to experiment. Here he’s depicted taking notes after some interesting tests. Tesla was ahead of his time, as were his inventions, but that helped propel technology forward as power began spreading to homes and businesses alike.
52. The Beatles vs. Their Sons
Bands that move a generation are few and far between. One of the most well known of the 20th century were The Beatles. Having the most #1 successes of all time with 20, The Beatles are also some of the most recognized musicians to date.
This is a comparison of each Beatle on the right with their sons on the left. Not only do these sons favor their widely known fathers, they also inherited the music gene and all have worked in the industry.
53. Walking Library, 1930
One common thread that binds together people from all walks of life is the need to be entertained. Whether it be catching a movie, listening to music, or even a quiet evening at home with a good book.
Enter the walking library of London. Long before audiobook apps, digital libraries, or streaming services, there were mobile libraries. For a mere 2¢ a week, you could rent a book from one of those back shelves. Hopefully this young woman also received tips because the strain that must put on her back, with heels, could not have been pleasant.
54. Girls In Windows, 1960
New York is about 400 years old. Needless to say, both the city and state have undergone some huge changes over the centuries. With technology advancing daily, it’s no wonder that people get emotional about watching their neighborhoods evolve.
Photographer Ormond Gigli felt saddened by the ever-changing times and wanted to make a memory. He noticed the brownstone across the street was going to be taken down. In the spur of the moment, he had an idea to remove frames from each window and have a lady stand in each one. The next day, arrangements were made and models arrived in their own clothes to give life to this vacant building one last time.
55. Coney Island Rotor Ride, 1952
There’s nothing like meeting up your friends on a nice summer day for games and funnel cake. The most memorable place to do that in New York is the famous Coney Island, even back in the 50s.
One of the more popular rides can be seen here in action. The Rotor used the strength of gravity and centripetal force to spin eager carnival goers up against the wall. The ride was closed in the late 50s due to safety concerns. However, a more patron-friendly version still exists in traveling carnivals today.
56. Nurse Agatha Christie, 1915
Being part of the global effort was something everyone believed in during the early 1900s. Future novelist Agatha Christie was no exception in wanting to play her part during the world’s stage of disorganization and uncertainty.
Agatha Christie was a nurse during this time and was stationed on the site of a large event in Torquay, England. Her time in service included taking care of patients and cleaning up after surgeries. After having dealt with some of the more vivid side of the global event, it’s not surprising that twisted stories of mystery would become her forte.
57. The Skyline of Paris in 1890
Paris is one of the most recognizable cities in the world. This is in large part due to one of the most famous structures sitting in the skyline, the Eiffel Tower.
Built in 1887, this photograph was taken when the landmark was still new. However, that wasn’t the only new architecture in the city. The period known as Belle Epoque, starting in the late 1800s through the start of the 1900s, saw an increase in new construction that would continue to change its profile into the remarkable city that it is today.
58. Eltz Castle, Wierschem, Germany
Some of the most notable things to see in modern Europe would be castles. Relics left over mostly from the Middle Ages, the medieval castles add allure and curiosity to the landscape.
The Eltz Castle, nestled in the forest in Wierschem, Germany, has housed 33 generations of the same family for nearly a millennium. The estate was established in the 9th century, but it wasn’t until 1470 that construction started on what you see here. Each family member who inherits the castle has added a special addition. Even though it is a private residence, the castle is open for visitors, who will pay about 10 euros per ticket.
59. Union Members Resting in 1863
It’s been over 150 years since America’s civil disagreement. After all this time, it can be a challenge to remember sometimes that these people were neighbors who were on a side determined by geography.
This casual moment is more of what many expected when they set off to join the forces. When the conflict started, most young men believed it would be over in a few weeks. Four years and 600k lost lives later, the event had much longer lasting implications.
60. Wayne Gretzky, 1977
Most 16-year-olds are studying and hanging out with friends. Wayne Gretzky was busy increasing his prior hockey record for the minor league team he played for.
Gretzky was already talented enough to play with men twice his age. While performing on the ice like a pro for the Greyhounds, Wayne had to live away from home. This challenge paid off as he’s considered the greatest hockey player of the 20th century.
61. Rare Bonnie and Clyde Photo from 1933
Two of the most infamous people in America during the 1930s, Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow captivated the nation with their multi-state heist spree that started in 1932 and continued until 1934. Bonnie was a mere 19 when she first joined up with the already notorious Clyde.
In this ultra rare image, you can get a glimpse of the couple looking casual and in love. Unfortunately, the serenity shown here was short-lived. The two were finally discovered by authorities on a rural road in Louisiana where they met an untimely end.
62. Madison Square Garden, 1966
If you ask a native New Yorker, they would likely speak highly of Madison Square Garden. This venue has hosted a wide variety of musical guests, sports teams, and even theater productions. Over the years, it has come to be one of the most talked about venues in the US.
Madison Square Garden took three builds to finally get it right. Constructing an oval-shaped venue was the most unique design of the times, giving every attendee an unobstructed view of the stage.
63. Hazel Ying Lee, 1932
In the 1910s, Americans were part of the British flying service. In the 1940s, we flew our own planes. Even though the United States Air Force was not created until after the second global conflict, that didn’t keep us from having outstanding pilots during that time.
WASP, Women AirForce Service Pilots, started during the 1940s. Hazel Ying Lee was a standout even in this historic group of women as she was the first Chinese-American woman to obtain a pilot’s license. Hazel Lee took flying lessons and discovered her love for it at 20. By the time she was 30, America was part of the overseas effort and Lee joined. Unfortunately, this hero didn’t live long enough to see the global situation end. Hazel met her end when her plane had a mishap during landing in November 1944.
64. Walt Disney with His Cat and Mouse, 1931
Just as The Beatles transformed a generation with music, Walt Disney transformed a generation with cartoons and animations. He created one of the most iconic and enduring characters of all time, Mickey Mouse.
Here you can see Walt introducing the new fan favorite to his cat. The cat, like all cats, was unimpressed. However, everyone else was quite taken by the peppy cartoon. The rest is history.
65. The Sundance Kid, 1901
Another infamous historical figure comes in the form of a Wild West outlaw, the Sundance Kid. Known for his antics with Butch Cassidy and the Wild Bunch, the Sundance Kid lived quite the adventure.
Before leaving for South America to escape the Pinkertons, Harry “The Sundance Kid” Longabaugh and his wife, Etta Place, made sure to get their likeness captured. He either lived up until seven years after a bank robbery went wrong or he snuck back into the States under a fake name.
66. Delivery Receipt from 1943
Even if you don’t have personal experience with birth and delivery, you likely know about the often astronomical costs that align with labor in the US. If not, how does $10,000 sound? That’s just an average price tag, not including complications.
This receipt above depicts the cost of a delivery from 1943 being less than $30. Perhaps you’re thinking that with inflation it might make more sense, but that’s still only around $460 today. Who needs health care when you can invent a time machine, right?
67. The Real Ewoks, 1982
When it comes to the Sci-Fi genre, Star Wars is a lightsaber beyond the rest. When the original trilogy began in 1977, the world had no idea what was about to walk out of that starship. A galaxy far away comes with a new cast of characters that are both human and not so human.
Ewoks are some of the most enjoyable characters in the series, which probably has a lot to do with the fact that they look and move like teddy bears. The original Ewok actors, seen here, spent twelve-hour days in these thick costumes for the sake of cinematic glory.
68. Time Operator in Chicago in 1928
There are many jobs that sound boring, but this position might actually take the cake! Back in the 1920s, a new service was started to keep people up to date with the times. The goal was for all citizens to say with confidence, that they’ll never be late again!
Here you can see one of the time operators in Chicago doing her diligence to announce the time every 15 seconds. Pretty soon, recordings took over and eventually the service was phased out. Surprisingly, it lasted as long as 2007!
69. Salvador Dali, 1941
Sometimes you have a bad feeling you can’t shake. Other times, premonitions can come out through creative endeavors such as through art, at least that was how gifted Spanish artist Salvador Dali saw it.
This art piece came to life while the surrealist lived for a short time in California. The tension during this time was often used as a template for design by Dali. This piece represents a desert wasteland with a hovering face. The multitude of smaller faces within the face is meant to stand for the unending number of souls lost during the conflicts at this time.
70. Muhammad Ali, 1954
In 1954, television programmers had no idea what they were doing when they put a 12-year-old Muhammad Ali on a show called, “Tomorrow’s Champions.”
At the time, going by his birth name Cassius Clay, this 12-year-old would go on to become ranked as one of the best heavyweight boxers of all time. He’s also regarded as one of the most celebrated figures in sports of the 20th century.
71. The Rare White Raven
Quoth the raven, “Nevermore.” At least that’s what you’d be thinking if you were to ask him about his cousin, the white raven. When you think of rare birds, these are near the top of the list.
This white-feathered, blue-eyed bird’s appearance is due to a loss of pigmentation. Another way they stand out is by occasionally mating with crows. Professional Mike Yip has been photographing these rare creatures from Vancouver Island.
72. The Wall of Sound, 1974
Elsewhere in the 60s and 70s, the most notable rock bands were forming. Live sound wasn’t exactly the kind of quality we have today. This caused a sound jumble that was not appreciated by bands anywhere, and one decided to take action.
Seen here, Jerry Garcia and his headlining band didn’t want you to just hear rock, they wanted you to feel it, too. Thus, the “Wall of Sound” was born. In total, the system was over three stories tall, 100 feet wide, and weighed in at 70 tons. Hundreds of separate equipment pieces, such as speakers and amps, were part of this monument to rock.
73. Kids Using a Mimeograph Machine in 1960
There is no greater piece of difficult office equipment than a printer. In offices everywhere, the printer mocks and messes up documents, much to the chagrin of irritated workers. Even though the digital printer is annoying, it still offers a much easier way to get copies than in the past.
That brings us to the mimeograph. Invented in 1886, it was one of only a few ways to get an exact replica of a document. Here students are going through the several step process. Using a wax, mulberry paper stencil, the mimeograph covered paper with ink to create as close to a perfect copy as you could get in the 60s.
74. Disney Imagineers Working on an Animatronic
This photo may seem quite provocative, making you do a double-take, but it is not what you may have thought at first glance. While many viewers at first may see this as some sort of strange surgery being performed, it actually is a photo of two engineers working on an animatronic for Disneyland.
This animatronic in particular is for the beloved ride Pirates of the Caribbean. It is quite incredible to witness the behind-the-scenes process of Disneyland imagineers who were truly ahead of their times when it came to using advanced technology for entertainment purposes. The backside of this figure here looks so real and is a testament to the talent of these engineers and creatives.
75. Race Organizers Try to Prevent Woman from Running in the Boston Marathon
Kathrine Switzer wasn’t going to be stopped. As the daughter of a major in the United States, failure was never an option. While studying at Syracuse University, a coach once told her that a “fragile woman” could never run in the Boston Marathon. This only encouraged her further. Undeterred, she trained in secret and entered the race in 1967.
Rather than simply letting her run, officials reacted negatively and even tried to pull her from the race. Fortunately, Kathrine Switzer was running alongside her boyfriend, who helped fend off those around her. She finished the competition in just over four hours.
76. Investigating "Louie Louie" by The Kingsmen
“Louie Louie” was originally released by Richard Berry in 1957. However, it was The Kingsmen’s version in 1963 that stirred up controversy. It also launched an 18-month investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Parents and politicians alike feared that the indecipherable, incoherent lyrics were actually laced with indecent material. The Federal Bureau of Investigation listened to the song normally then in reverse. They even followed the band on tour, hoping to determine what was actually being said. Some states and radio stations even banned the song. Turns out, all this publicity only added to its hype.
77. Benjamin Franklin Pens His Daily Routine
Turns out Ben Franklin had a to-do list too. The Founding Father has authored countless famous works. Many of which are ingrained in the American tradition. Yet it’s his daily routine, recorded in 1726, that provides unique insight into the mind of a genius.
Written when he was just 20 years old, the daily routine featured several surprising revelations. Not only does he appear to have slept only six hours a night, but Benjamin Franklin also seemed much more focused on examining and reflecting on his life than he was on inventing or other works.
78. Chuck Norris Enlists in the U.S. Air Force
Before appearing on screen, Chuck Norris got his kicks in the U.S. Air Force. Literally. After enlisting in 1958, Carlos Ray Norris discovered his love for martial arts while stationed in South Korea. He has earned black belts in Tang Soo Do, Brazilian jiu jitsu, and judo.
After leaving the service, Chuck Norris would go on to win many martial arts championships and discover his own martial arts discipline, known as Chun Kuk Do.
79. The Tin Man Joins the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
Balloons and floats drifting along Central Park are iconic parts of the pageantry around this annual tradition. Yet, it wasn’t always this elaborate. When the first annual Thanksgiving parade was introduced, it was a much simpler event.
It actually began in Newark, New Jersey, where employees would march down the streets in colorful costumes. After it was moved to Macy’s in New York City, it evolved to the big, extravagant fanfare we know today. Depicted here in 1939 is the Tin Man float, followed by the Wicked Witch of the West.
80. The Three Stooges Pose for 'Three Little Beers'
Filmed in 1935, Three Little Beers represented a departure for the slapstick comedy team. Of the 190 shorts produced between 1934 and 1959, the group rarely left the sound stage. Yet, this film took place outdoors.
This movie finds the Stooges working as delivery men for a beer company. Once they discover their company is hosting a golf tournament with cash prizes, the Stooges hit the links to improve their game. As you can imagine, hijinks ensue.
82. Fred Astaire Dances Up in the Air
Widely considered the greatest dancer in the history of film, Fred Astaire could make any routine seem effortless. But, in reality, he was a relentless worker. The star would notoriously film any dance sequence repeatedly until it was perfect. Often, this meant 30 to 40 takes.
And his work ethic translated onto the screen. It’s a major reason his stage and film career spanned a remarkable 76 years. Although he was great with a partner, his best work usually came when he was allowed to improvise.
83. George H. Bush Leaves Letter for Bill Clinton on Inauguration Day
As is tradition, the outgoing leader pens a note for the newly-elected President. However, this one from 1993 is especially meaningful. The two former U.S. officials and political rivals shared an unlikely friendship that spanned decades.
After George H. Bush’s final breath, Bill Clinton professed his gratitude for the friendship that they had formed. Specifically, he appreciated “the kindness” displayed to him and his family.
84. Concert Goers Hitch a Ride to Summer Jam
Woodstock gets a lot of press as the fabled festival of peace and love. But, Summer Jam at Watkins Glen, NY in 1973 drew even more fans. The concert brought nearly 600,000 people. Even more impressive, tickets sold out instantly.
Yet, the tiny village in central New York wasn’t equipped to handle this huge influx of people. Stores quickly ran out of food and mail delivery was suspended. Fans were still treated to a once-in-a-lifetime show that went off without a hitch.
85. Muhammad Ali Displays His Winnings
Flying like a butterfly certainly pays off. The boxing legend definitely has come a long way from the 12-year-old boy featured earlier on this list. On his way to becoming the greatest of all time, Muhammad Ali earned a lot of belts and even more piles of cash.
When posing for this photo, he told the Sports Illustrated reporter that he was the greatest for another reason too. Unlike other boxers of his era, Muhammad Ali attributed his notoriety to his ability to “throw the jive.” He continued, saying that he was “a boxer who can throw the jive better than anybody you will probably ever meet anywhere.”
86. Valeska Suratt Poses for a Picture
Throughout the 1920s, most silent film stars dressed in the flapper girl style. But Valeska Suratt was different. She was one of the first mainstream stars to rock the “goth” look. Known then as “vamps,” she was famous for her unique tousled hair and smeared makeup. Vogue even named her “one of the best dressed women on the stage.”
Although Valeska Suratt got her start doing vaudeville in Chicago, she later signed with Fox and appeared in 11 silent films. Unfortunately, due to the 1937 vault blaze at the studio’s film-storage facility, all of her work is now lost.
87. Mickey Mouse Consoles Kermit in a Cartoon
Jim Henson touched us all. Whether it was Sesame Street, The Muppets, or some of his later work, Jim Henson had a place in almost everyone’s childhood. Yet he influenced an entire generation of creators too. That’s why, in 1990, after Henson met his end, the Disney company honored Jim Henson with this cartoon. It was sent directly to his former company.
Known for always wanting to have fun, Jim Henson had strict requirements for his funeral. Among them, no one was to wear black. The service also featured a song medley performed by Big Bird.
88. Man With a Tail
A man with a tail is captured in this undated photograph. This rare congenital anomaly usually begins to appear after birth or in early childhood. This reportedly causes issues with sitting, wearing clothes, and physical activities.
In some cultures, having a tail is considered a symbol of status and prestige. Mostly though, people who have tails have been documented as feeling fear and shame.
89. A Mental Hospital in the Early 20th Century
Mental patients were not treated with the respect and dignity we expect in the 21st century, and this photo marks a darker time.
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, it was a commonly held view that mental illness was something bodily and tied up in the nervous system, which meant treatment was very different than what we see today.
90. The Woman with a Furry Face
Alice Elizabeth Doherty was alive from 1887 to 1933. Her face was completely covered in fur from the time she was a small child. She was born in Minneapolis and is the only known person in the United States with hypertrichosis lanuginosa.
Alice was exhibited by her parents as a sideshow attraction from the time she was two years old. Later on in life, her mother commercialized her daughter to Professor Weller’s One-Man Band.
91. A Child Gave Birth to a Child
A five-year-old girl named Linda Medina gave birth to a six-pound baby boy, becoming the youngest mother in the world. The identity of the father was never revealed, though her own father was taken into custody based on suspicions he might have caused the pregnancy.
He was later released as there was a lack of evidence. Her son grew up healthy, though he passed away at 40 due to bone marrow disease.
92. The Mobile Jail Cage
Harley Davidson created a mobile booking cage back in the 1920s. Officers were able to detain and imprison unlawful citizens and then shuttle them around as they went.
The motorcycle was called the “Black Maria.” We have to wonder what the officer and the culprit discussed as they rode about town.
93. Aretha Franklin at Her First Recording Session, August 1960
On August 1, 1960, Detroit native Aretha Franklin entered New York City’s Columbia Record Studio. At 18, her voice was still a marvel to behold.
Aretha recorded with Ray Bryant Combo. The album was called Take a Look, and the recording cluster was called Runnin’ Out of Fools.
94. The Ohio Bigfoot Girl
A woman named Fannie Mills (aka the “Ohio Bigfoot Girl”) was cursed with an ailment called Milroy Disease which caused her feet and legs to become oversized and engorged.
Fannie went on to get married and have a son, who tragically did not survive. By the time Fannie passed away in 1899, her feet had gotten to be 17 inches long. She was 39 years old.
95. Princess Diana Being Photographed by Her Son
This 1989 photo was taken by none other than seven-year-old Prince William, the son of the late Diana, Princess of Wales. Princess Diana was the first wife of Charles, Prince of Wales.
Diana passed away tragically in a car incident after being aggressively pursued by paparazzis on a night out in Paris on August 31st, 1997. At the time, she was 36 years old.
96. Robin Williams and Whoopi Goldberg Making a Difference
The late Robin Williams and fellow comedian Whoopi Goldberg testified before a Senate hearing committee. The famous duo was there to advocate for the Homelessness Prevention and Revitalization Act of 1990.
They testified on May 9, 1990. Robin Williams said that, “Putting a Band-Aid on a very gaping wound” is not enough.
97. Young Lucille Ball
This historic photo is of Lucille Ball in 1928, at age 17. Lucille was born in August 1911 and went on to become one of America’s most iconic actresses, comedians, and producers.
Ball was nominated for 13 Primetime Emmy Awards, of which she won five. She has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Lucille Ball breathed her last breath at age 77 in Los Angeles in 1989.
98. The Majestic Blackfoot People
This photo was taken in 1910 by photographer Roland Reed. Reed titled the image “The Eagle” which was taken in the Blackfoot peoples ancestral home.
Today, no more Blackfoot people occupy their ancestral land, as it is now called Glacier National Park and is a protected land for nature.
99. Two Boys Sneak a Kiss
Seen here, two boys sneak a kiss in a photo booth in 1953. At this time, a male in a relationship with another male was taboo. It was only during the 1950s that organizations began to pop up, demanding respect and equal rights.
Stonewall Inn in 1969 was seen as the pinnacle of the Gay Rights Movement. However, the 1950s laid much of the groundwork for steps towards equality.
100. Immigrants Arrive at Ellis Island, New York
This photo of an immigrating Italian family was taken by photographer and sociologist, Lewis Hine.
Many wives and their children arrived via a long sail from their homeland after their husband had already arrived and tried to make a life for themselves before making arrangements for their families to follow.
102. A Rest in the Jungle
Since much of the grueling Vietnam conflict took place in the thick of the jungle, soldiers often had to stop and rest.
It is a calm moment in an era of unrest and uncertainty, which is well represented by the thick brush surrounding the men.
103. Space Chimp is a Space Champ
On November 29th, 1961, Ham the chimp became the first chimpanzee to orbit planet earth. He was placed on NASA’s Mercury-Atlas 5 mission and sent skyward.
NASA was relatively new at this time and felt that sending a chimp into space first was the better course of action before sending a human astronaut. Ham returned safely and the rest is well, history.
104. Putin in Berlin
Before Vladimir Putin became the tyrannical president of Russia, he was an agent for the infamous KGB. He spent five years in Dresden, East Germany.
Putin was quite the young agent, being recruited by his superiors at the age of 33. At the time he was already married to his now ex-wife, and had his first daughter.
105. Barack Obama Plays with His Grandfather
Future 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama joyfully sits atop his grandfather’s shoulders in this photo.
President Obama would go on to be the first Black president of America, leading the charge for Black Americans behind him.
106. French Jewish People Being Transported in the 1940s
During the atrocities of the second global conflict, many French Jewish people were sent to concentration camps. France was responsible for the deportation of tens of thousands of Jews during this era.
From 1942 to 1944 around 76,000 French Jews had been deported to concentration camps.
107. Irish McCalla, the Beauty
Irish McCalla has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1722 Vine Street. She left a big impact on American culture due to her rebellious nature.
Irish was important due to her cultural effect on girls growing up in the fifties, as her character Sheena did not conform to fifties cultural norms.
This photo is said to have been taken at a school for witchcraft in New Orleans.
Legend has it that the women would do spells and practice conscious levitation. This is likely a cleverly manipulated photo. Cool nonetheless.