Reddit

15+ Historical Pics That Show A Different Side Of Life

Dan
Dan
June 23, 2020

Thanks to art and literature, we know what the world used to look like. But it wasn't until photography was invented that we were able to truly capture a singular moment in time.

Every pic here represents the split second that a flashbulb went off and immortalized a little part of history.

Arm day.

Reddit | celofanka

If you look at her face, you'll probably recognize her as Marilyn Monroe. Still, this 1952 photo shows the iconic actress in an unexpected role: that of a committed weightlifter.

My palms are sweaty.

Reddit | cadagricomiguel

This 1937 photo of workers on the Eiffel Tower shows us that the era of big, tall structures and the era of proper safety equipment haven't always overlapped.

All alone.

Reddit | jecinci

This evocative, haunting pic shows Arsenal goalkeeper Jack Kelsey during a particularly foggy match in 1954. The Welsh goalkeeper was one of the best in the world during the '50s.

Before the Wright brothers.

Reddit | Haxdawg

Believe it or not, human flight was a thing as far back as the Civil War. In 1862, President Lincoln can be seen at this demonstration of a hot-air balloon that was designed to be used in battle.

Desperate times.

Reddit | Urban2487

This photo gives us a glimpse of how people were feeling on October 29th, 1929 — better known as Black Tuesday. The stock market crash plunged the U.S. into the Great Depression, from which it wouldn't emerge for nearly a decade.

Calm before the storm.

Reddit | linglingjr

This photo of a German family outside of a Berlin movie theater in 1929 shows a rare glimpse of Germany at peace in between the world wars.

Quite the gathering.

Reddit | jecinci

For whatever reason, a photographer decided to assemble the tallest man in Europe, the fattest man in Europe, and the shortest man in Europe for a friendly game of cards back in 1913.

No safety equipment in sight.

Reddit | Basura_XXIV

Workers on the Brooklyn Bridge evidently gave zero effs about safety back when this photo was taken in 1914. The Manhattan skyline looming in the background would shoot skyward in the years to follow.

Fight for your right.

Reddit | Bad_Mad_Man

This photo, taken by Lynn Goldsmith, shows the Beastie Boys before they found their first mainstream success with License to Ill in 1986. This photo could be an album cover all by itself.

When the war is over.

Reddit | SpadoKln

The end of World War II stranded military equipment all around the world. This photo shows a shepherd in central Italy shortly after the conflict ceased.

Portrait of prosperity.

Reddit | dartmaster666

Business was good when this photo of the Dearborn Assembly Plant near Detroit was taken in 1965. In a decade, the oil crisis would change things forever, and soon American automakers were in a tailspin from which they'd never really recover.

Day at the beach.

Reddit | thirstypretzelmon

We're so used to seeing Stephen Hawking in a stuffy academic setting that it almost feels weird to see him enjoying a day at the beach.

Santa always delivers.

Reddit | vaish7848

While the Croatian War of Independence was raging all around them, these kids still got to celebrate Christmas — even though Santa had to carry a rifle.

I'll never be this cool.

Reddit | Albertenshtain22

This guy's casually smoking a cigarette and wearing a suit while a motorized surfboard carries him around. Surf culture would be extremely weird today if it had followed his lead.

Now that's a gun.

Reddit | tsar_nicolay

This is what's known as a punt gun, one of the biggest personal weapons ever made. It was so effective at duck hunting that it's now illegal in many parts of the world.

Clash of cultures.

Reddit | Genies_In_A_Bottle

This group of Japanese samurai traveled to the Great Sphinx of Giza for this 1863 photograph. They would have been a rare sight — not only was it a long journey, but Japan was an isolationist country at the time.

I couldn't play that.

Reddit | GenKaYY

It looks like an early, hopelessly complex computer, but it's actually an early, hopelessly complex Moog synthesizer. The man standing next to it is renowned composer Hans Zimmer.

It's like radio with pictures.

Reddit | robslondon

It's hard to imagine how mindblowing the first television sets would have been. This 1936 snapshot from Waterloo Station on the London Underground shows just how transfixed commuters were by the spectacle.