Unbelievable Photos of History You Haven't Seen Before - The Habitat
The Habitat
Share to PinterestUnbelievable Photos of History You Haven't Seen Before
Share to PinterestUnbelievable Photos of History You Haven't Seen Before

These historical photographs will intrigue and delight you. Take a stroll down before-modern-memory lane with us!


The First Photographed Wheelie - 1936

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The first wheelie was actually photographed in 1936 in Ohio. People once thought that this occurred in 1943 when some members from the U.S. Motorized Calvary executed the same stunt for photographers from Life Magazine. However, seven years prior to this happening, this wheelie was actually photographed and included in the book The American Legion in Cleveland.

Wheelies, also known as wheelstands, are actually very difficult stunts in a car and much more complicated than popping a wheelie when on a bicycle or a motorcycle.


Teary-Eyed Neil Armstrong After Walking on the Moon - 1969

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Taken by Buzz Aldrin on July 20, 1969, this photograph was taken just after Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the moon. When he stepped off of the Eagle, the lunar landing module, he was approximately 240,000 miles from Earth.

Apollo 11 left Kennedy Space Center on July 16 with Neil Armstrong, Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, Jr., and Michael Collins. After 76 hours, they entered the moon's orbit on July 19. On the following day, the Eagle, manned by Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, was released from Apollo 11. Less than three hours later, Armstrong spoke the famous words "The Eagle has landed." At 10:56 p.m., Armstrong had climbed down the ladder from the lunar module and took his first step on the moon, stating “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." The world watched as it was broadcast on television.


Baby Cages Back In 1920s

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When parents lived in the city but wanted to ensure that their babies received an ample amount of fresh air, a rather odd contraption became quite popular. Often referred to as baby cages or window cribs, these attachable window compartments fit into windows in a similar fashion to today's AC units.

Physicians at that time even suggested "airing" babies to build up their immune systems and tolerance to common colds. This idea came to light for the first time in Dr. Luther Emmett's book, The Care and Feeding of Children, which was published in 1884.


Concentration Camp Squabble – 1945

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Prisoners from the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp took their chance to beat a former "Kapo", who was a prisoner put in a leadership role, often overseeing forced labor and punishing other prisoners.

Kapos were created in an effort to minimize costs by requiring fewer SS personnel. They were spared the regular physical abuse and hard labor on the grounds that they performed satisfactorily for the SS guards and kept the prisoners in check. Needless to say, they weren’t too popular in the camp.


Weird Bicycle for Four in 1939

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In October of 1939, Charles Steinlauf showed off his invention in Chicago, Illinois. This two-story bicycle could transport Steinlauf's entire family. He would sit at the top of the bike, guiding its direction with the help of a large automobile wheel. His wife would sit below him on a platform, all while operating a sewing machine as she was in motion. The Steinlauf's son would help pedal in the back, while their daughter rode on the large handlebars in the front, with her feet on a metal platform.

When the bicycle was still, the legs of the sewing machine would keep the entire contraption from tipping over and crashing. This interesting mode of transportation was dubbed the "Goofybike". While it was never mass-produced or sold to the public, it was definitely a curiosity.


Construction of Disneyland

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What was originally thought to be a 16-acre family park across the street from Walt Disney Studios later became Disneyland.

Many bankers at the time refused to fund it, thinking it was likely to end in financial ruin. Walt Disney, however, didn't let this get to him. Confident in his vision, Walt managed to receive funding from ABC network. With the money he needed and a newfound 160-acre location in Anaheim, Walt was able to complete his dream. Disneyland opened for the first time on Sunday, July 17, 1955.


Prohibition Cow Shoes - 1922

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In 1922, prohibition was in full swing. Lasting all the way into the 1930s, prohibition banned alcohol, including its sales in public and private places, its production, transportation, and importation. During this time, moonshiners would incorporate all sorts of interesting tactics to avoid detection by the local authorities.

Most moonshine stills were hidden in fields or forests, so law enforcement personnel were always trying to follow footprints that could lead to something of interest. By devising "cow shoes", regular shoes with wooden pieces attached to the bottom so footprints resembled the hoofs of cows, moonshiners hoped to elude officers. These shoes and the idea behind them might remind history buffs of a similar idea born in the midst of WWII, when escaping people would try to fool the Germans by putting their shoes on backwards.


Fine For Wearing Short Bathing Suit - 1920

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How the times have changed. In the past, there were laws and fines associated that applied to all manner of things, including personal attire. However, the law that really seems to stand out is the old bathing suit law from the 1920s. Women's swimming attire could not be over six inches above the knee. You may wonder how often this rule was enforced, and quite unbelievably, law enforcement was often called out to the local beach to ensure that a bathing suit was of the designated length, arriving armed with a measuring tape. Fines were issued and, in the most extreme cases, arrests were even made for these infractions.

Men were also included in the laws connected with swimming attire. They were not allowed to go shirtless until 1939, and they would be immediately removed from a beach if seen attempting to take off their shirts.


Medical Therapy with Animals in 1956

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In the 50s, animals were introduced to the realm of medical therapy, with the hopes that they would assist in calming patients and providing an overall better state of mental health during treatment. In the early stages of the introduction of animals into the world of healthcare, they were often used as merely a decoration, similar to the calming effects of a water fountain or wind chimes. However, over time, the role of animals has greatly increased, backed by plenty of research and proven trials.

Today, animals are used extensively in medical treatments and therapies, especially dogs. Even though a bit more exotic, dolphin therapy is even being used in some instances. Dolphins are commonly assisting patients that are diagnosed with autism, Down syndrome, and cerebral palsy.


The Way Women Worked In 1918

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During the First World War, most able-bodied men in America had been sent off to fight in Europe. This meant that women stepped in to fill many of the roles previously carried out by men to keep society functioning as normally as it could.

This was a time before refrigeration and freezers were commonplace in homes and businesses, thus the ice trade was big business. Companies would create ice and transport it by wagons and carts to businesses as needed by "Ice men" (or rather women in this case). This business became almost non-existent once fridges and freezers found their way into just about every home and business.


NASA's Water Landing Rehearsal - 1966

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NASA did a lot of really interesting things to be sure that their pilots were ready for anything during their missions. The space program was very important at that time, not only for the rewards that could be reaped from important discoveries and landings in space, but because it also offered a wonderful sense of hope for Americans across the country. Therefore, NASA pulled out all stops in their efforts to ensure that the pilots could cope with any unexpected surprises, whether in space, on land, or on water.

The Apollo spacecrafts were designed for the impact of water landings when they arrived back on Earth. This meant that NASA employed all sorts of ways to prepare the pilots for these landings. Many preparations were conducted in the Gulf of Mexico, so that the pilots could learn to adequately deal with the ocean's conditions. However, other practices were even held in swimming pools, like at their hotel in Houston.


Picture Perfect

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Swimwear in 1952 had definitely come a long way from the days of length restrictions and law enforcement agents carrying tape measures when on duty near the beach. A lot of changes came during the war, when economic conditions assisted in passing legislatures to cut down on the amount of fabric required to be used in women's bathing suits. The fabric that was removed was the mid-section, which gave birth to the bikini right before the 1950s made their mark in fashion history.

A big change in swimwear came in the fabric. Previously, wool was used to knit bathing suits, but soon most of the big designers began weaving in elastic materials to make the suits more form-fitting, often producing that hour-glass shape that the era was so famous for. Many other styles stepped to center stage in the 50s, including ballooned bottoms and high-waisted ensembles in bright colors and fun patterns like polka dots and stripes.


No Equal Rights For Women

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It's no secret that it took the United States, along with the rest of the world, a long time to get on board to support women's rights. Often, women were not allowed to participate in activities that were deemed fit only for men. In other cases, women could often work right along with men, making a much lower wage for doing the exact same job.

Sporting events were a prime example of the exclusion of women, and when women occasionally found creative ways to dodge the rules, they were definitely not always met with open arms. Such was the case at the Boston Marathon in 1967. Although she wasn't the first woman to run in the race, Kathrine Switzer was the first woman to compete as a registered, numbered participant, allowing her to run and finish the Boston Marathon, even though she was met with opposition, some even physical, along the entire way.


Boxing Back in the Day

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Boxing is a sport that has always enthralled its fans. With today's top participants being celebrities in their own rights, glitzy fights in Las Vegas and top-watched pay-per-view bouts excite people all over the globe. With boxing's many rules and regulations, every measure is taken to ensure that the fights follow lists of safety precautions and are as civilized as possible.

That wasn't exactly the case in 1897. Make-shift rings could be constructed in a moment with a few crates and a length or two of rope. While the rounds were supposed to be timed, they could often go on until the time-keeper just decided to ring the bell, never wanting to interrupt any real action just to maintain the rules. Bare-knuckle boxing was also popular at the time. Needless to say, broken knuckles were often a side effect of this more extreme, yet more organic form of boxing.

Elton John Playing The Piano On His Private Jet – 1974

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/13/" width="1024" height="684" />Over his five-decade career, Elton John has worked on over 30 albums and sold 300+ million records, making him one of the best-selling music artists in the world! Not too shabby! On top of this, Elton has received so many awards and achievements that there's simply too many to list, though they include an OBE from the Queen of England and more than fifty top 40 hits, including nine which reached No. 1.

The picture above was taken aboard his private jet in 1974 whilst on tour in the U.S. Featured on the plane is this "piano bar" where Elton can play and entertain his guests and crew while enjoying a beverage or two!


Chance Vought’s "Naval Aircraft” In The Pacific During World War II

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The Second World War saw fighting worldwide and the tiny islands of the Pacific weren't excluded. In taking the fight to the Japanese, the U.S. army required air bases throughout the Pacific. In the picture above, natives of one of these commandeered islands investigate these strange machines called "planes" which gave the seemingly superhuman ability of flight. The Vought F4U Corsair was wideley used during and after the war and became the longest production run of any piston-engined fighter in US history.


Albert Einstein’s Office At Princeton Cluttered With Books And Journals

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Albert Einstein’s office desk was photographed on the day of his death, April 18, 1955. It's a wonder that the world's most famous physicist was able to make any of the discoveries that he did in the mess that was his office.

Einstein is known for his development of the general theory of relativity, one of the two pillars of modern physics. However, you'll know him best by the famous equation E = mc2. Einstein also laid much of the foundation of what we know about light and gravity to this day.


Manhattan, New York in 1908

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This is a picture of Manhattan, New York City back then in 1908. You do not see these scenes anymore as you see in this black and white picture; though the city is still as amazing. These "skyscrapers" of the time would now be dwarfed by the 100+ story whoppers New York has today. The steamboats were replaced with tankers, ferries, and pleasure-craft.


New York World's Fair, Railroad Pageant - 1939

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44 million people came together at the Railroad pageant at New York World’s Fair to catch glimpse of a possible future. The latest and greatest in locomotives were exhibited at the fair, similar to the airshows of today.

Back in 1939, traveling by rail was still the most common method of travel. Remember this was a good 20 to 30 years before passenger airlines were commonplace or even affordable!


Swimming Performance at Billy Rose Aquacade

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Swimmers in Billy Rose Arcade “Aquacade” presenting a spectacular synchronized swimming performance at the Marine Amphitheater. In 1939 it was moved to the World's Fair and soon became the most successful production of the fair. This spectacular 10,000 seat amphitheater had a huge pool and stage which could be hidden by a lighted curtain of water. No red curtains here!


Would You Like Fries With That?

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The original Ronald McDonald in 1963 was like something from a cheap horror movie! This was taken from the very first McDonald's TV commercial. Times have definitely changed since their humble beginnings, and not only with Ronald McDonald's makeup! The fast-food chain sells a whopping 75 hamburgers every second and feeds more than 68 million people per day! That's almost 1% of the world's population!


Shopping Therapy with Pet

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Audrey Hepburn is shown here checking out the cookie selection at her local grocery store with her loving pet deer, Ip, in Beverly Hills, CA in 1958, while filming Green Mansions, in which Audrey played 'Rima', a woman living in the Venezuelan jungle.

Her character was very connected to nature and a fawn follows her throughout the movie. The animal trainer suggested Audrey take home the little fawn to get used to being so close to each other for so long. Her love for the deer was so deep that she ended up keeping it as a pet after the end of filming.


Circus Acts – 1924

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This image is from the original Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus of Freaks. Things were a lot different back in 1924, when acts were based primarily on those individuals who had deformities that were sensationalized for profit.

The circus still travels the United States to this day, though with much more acceptable content for the modern era.


Blackfoot Indian Chief Being Recorded – 1916

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We all know that the relations between the Native Americans and those of European descent in the United States have not always been calm. That makes this shot of a Blackfoot Indian chief stepped into the Smithsonian to be recorded speaking about his people in his native tongue quite striking. As one of the last to have grown up with a truly Native American upbringing, the chief spoke with the Smithsonian to help document the language and culture of the Blackfoot people lest they be lost to the ages.


Captain Robert Scott in an Iceberg

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Captain Robert Falcon Scott was an officer in the British Royal Navy who led two expeditions to the Antarctic regions between 1901-1904 and 1910-1913 in an attempt to be the first to reach the South Pole. On their return, they faced over 800 miles of treacherous hiking through -40F blizzard conditions. Scott and the remaining explorers are thought to have died on March 29th, 1912, during the return trip.


NASA Water Training – 1967

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Neil Armstrong may look like he’s just going for a swim, even though he’s in full space attire. The Apollo spacecraft was designed to return to Earth by landing in the ocean which meant that a large part of their pre-spaceflight training involved their full kit and model spacecraft in swimming pools. This was one of the most dangerous missions of all time and if the United States hoped to beat Russia in a race to land on the Moon then they couldn't afford to fail. This meant some pretty intensive training beforehand!


Painting The Brooklyn Bridge, 1914

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Some dapper-looking painters suspended on The Brooklyn Bridge cables in 1914, long before work safety was even thought of!

Brooklyn Bridge is one of the oldest bridges of its type in the United States. Construction began in 1869 and was completed in 1883. The classic bridge spans the East River and connects Brooklyn with Manhattan. Over 120,000 vehicles use it every day. The bridge was listed as a Nation History Landmark in 1964 and has become quite the icon of New York City.


The Woodstock Music and Art Fair – August 15-18 1969

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Woodstock was one of the first massive music and art festivals in the world. It began as a paid event on Max Yasgur's farm in Bethel, New York, but soon drew such crowds that the fences were torn down, and it became a free concert to the public.

Over 500,000 people attended the festival over the course of 3 days, watching such acts as Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Joe Cocker, and The Who.


Disneyland Employee Cafeteria, 1961

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The backstage cafeteria at Disney, where the actors and artists used to chill and have fun during their breaks.

This wasn't so long after Disneyland first opened, in 1955! How many of these characters can you name? Actors were allowed a complimentary meal from the cafeteria each day.


First Underground Train Journey from Edgware Road Station - 1862

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This is the Edgware Road Station, London, and the first-ever underground train journey in 1862.

Now known as the "London Underground" or "The Tube", the network has since expanded to 11 separate lines, 270 stations, and over 250 miles of track! In the 2015-16 season, the lines collectively handled about 4.8 million passengers a day; that's about 1.34 billion passengers over the year!


A Lovely Frame to Treasure Forever

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A beautiful photo frame gifted to George Turner in 1876. It shows the pictures of George and his gorgeous wife Elizabeth. Not much is known about George, though it is believed that he and his wife were from Scotland and must have been in the middle-upper class to have had photographs taken, a costly practice at the time.


Punt Guns Banned in 1860

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The punt gun, a firearm of unusual size, was used mainly for duck hunting. Punt guns were usually custom-designed and often required being mounted in a boat as it was too difficult for any one person to carry or aim them.

It was used for commercial purposes and it wasn't uncommon for a single shot to kill over 50 waterfowl. As a result, they were banned in the 1860s due to depleting the bird population.


Dust Bowl at Stratford, Texas- 1935

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Severe drought along with extensive farming caused the Dust Bowl in Stratford, Texas on April 14, 1935. Many scenes from the movie Interstellar were inspired by these events. Known as Black Sunday, this storm came after just a brief respite of weeks of dust storms and destroyed over 5 million acres of wheat.


Vintage Library in 1928

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After several studies were completed on how to lift the spirits of those who were sick and recovering from an illness or an accident, making sure that the patients were entertained and had a way to pass the time kept coming up at the top of the list. It didn't take long for the Los Angeles Public Library to devise a program to deliver books to patients across the city.

In 1928, the Los Angeles Public Library devised a program to ensure that even residents that were sick and in the hospital could still check out books from their library to read while they were immobile. What appears to be a bookcase with wheels was used to transport books to several locations throughout the city.


Helmet Testing - 1912

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We've come a long way in terms of sports and safety. In fact, it wasn't even commonplace to wear helmets during a football game and little was known about concussions or the long-term effects of such things back in the day. Here a man proves the quality and protection of the helmet by running into a wall!


Sunshine for Submariners -1942

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At HMS Forth, they ensured that the Royal Navy Submariners, who rarely saw any real sunlight, got a healthy dose through these artificial rays, to keep up their Vitamin D and get a bit of color. Just don't tell the guys at Jersey Shore or this will become the next GTL!


Elephant-mounted machine gun, 1914

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A soldier with an elephant-mounted gun during the First World War (1914- 1918).

Though historically elephants have been widely used in war, this was likely a publicity stunt for the folks back home. With the machine gun right by the elephant's ears, it would undoubtedly react badly once firing began!


Extinct Tasmanian Tiger

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The Thylacine, also referred to as Tasmanian Tiger, this species is sadly now extinct. It had a striped lower back and was native to Australia, Tasmania, and New Guinea. Large bounties for their pelts have been blamed for their extinction.


Transcontinental Railroad of Nevada in 1868

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A Native American man takes a look at the newly completed transcontinental railroad of Nevada in 1868. This vital railroad provided a much-needed connection between the East coast railway network coming as far West as Nebraska and Iowa with the secluded but essential San Francisco.

Understandably, the Native Americans didn't appreciate the encroachment into their remaining territories.


Beatles Walking the Other Way

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At first glimpse, this might seem like a familiar photo. But here, the gang walking back in an opposite direction of their iconic album cover.

It's not contested that The Beatles were a massively successful and influential band and they have the stats to back it up. Being the best-selling band in history, it's estimated that the group sold over 600 million records worldwide. They also had more number-one albums and sold more singles in the UK than any other act in history. Impressive!


Start of Google

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Aptly nicknamed "The Lucky Building", this building in Silicon Valley has been home to some of the most successful startups ever. Google, Paypal, Danger, Logitech, and Foursquare all had their start here. The owner negotiated equity in the companies as part of the rent payment — a wise move given the success of these!


Assembly Line of Porsche at Stuttgart in 1960s

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The amazing photograph of Porsche’s Stuttgart Factory and the assembly line of Porsches in there. It was taken in late 1960s.

The modern-day factory still has many workers on the lines, though there are a lot more robots involved. Sales have been on the rise for the past 20 years or so. Last year, Porsche sold over 54,000 cars in North America alone!


Headquarters of Benito Mussolini - 1934

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This photograph shows the headquarters of Mussolini's Italian Fascist Party, Italy in 1934. The building in question is the Palazzo Braschi in Rome.

The building didn't normally look like this. The giant face and SI SI (meaning "Yes Yes" in Italian), was propaganda for the Fascist party during the 1934 elections. The entire country was fascist-run, but the vote was held to select specific candidates for the political party.


Mercury Train in Chicago, 1936

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In 1936, the railroad introduced Mercury’s engine in New York Central to lure passengers back to rails. This futuristic-looking train was built as a means to increase passenger traffic in the midwest. After the massive recession during the early 1930s, passenger traffic had declined dramatically. The Mercury train was built as the "Train of Tomorrow", and was extremely successful in its goal to bring the public back to the rails.


Louis Armstrong Playing Trumpet In Front Of Sphinx, Egypt -1961

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The great Louis Armstrong visited Egypt in 1961 with his wife, Lucille as a cultural ambassador. Here, he performs for her in front of the Sphinx. Not your everyday concert location! If she didn't love him before, she sure would after this! Something you'd never forget.


Kings in One Frame -1910

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A rare photograph of nine kings sharing the same picture in Windsor Castle. The picture was taken on 20th May, 1910 for the funeral of King Edward VII of Great Britain. It was one of the largest gatherings of European royalty ever to take place. In the coming years, King Manuel II of Portugal (third from the left, back row) would lose his throne, and many others would lose theirs due to the First World War.


Russian Peasant's First Time With Electricity - 1920

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The moment Russian peasants got electricity in 1920. This photograph was taken by Arkady Shaikhet. Due to the sheer massiveness and harsh terrain of Russia, providing electricity to the public was extremely difficult. Some settlements still live like this today.


Guys night out

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This is the oldest known photograph of men drinking beer. Not quite the pint glasses we know and love today — they were enjoying 'ale flutes', drinking glasses of the 19th century. This photo was taken in Edinburgh, 1844. Little did they know, they were making history!


King Tiger - WW2 tank in October 1944

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One of the world’s heaviest WW2 tanks, King Tiger was among the last gambles of Hitler. The successor to the Tiger I, the tank combined the latter's thick armor with a massive anti-tank cannon. Even U.S. tanks specifically built for destroying enemy tanks could were no match for this beast.


Bill and Hillary Playing Volleyball in 1975

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Young Bill Clinton and Hillary Rodham enjoying the game of volleyball at Yale Law School of Connecticut in 1975. They met in the Yale library during Bill's first year of law school, Hillary's second. They spent their first date at the university's art museum. Hillary tells it as "love at first sight".


Construction of Berlin Wall - 1961

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When the Berlin Wall was still in the construction phase during 1961. The barrier divided Berlin from 1961 until its famous destruction in 1990. It included guard towers placed along large concrete walls, housing armed guards who would shoot any deserters attempting to flee to the west.


Spray Tan Vending Machine - 1949

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A woman can be seen using a spray tanning machine. Popular in the 1940's — you can't blame The Jersey Shore for this trend! The machines were popular on the east coast as a means to top up your tan on those cold and cloudy Eastern days!


s day at the beach

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This is how the lifeguards dressed in the 1920s. Due to public indecency laws of the time, all men's bathing suits had to be one piece and not go too far above the knee. It wasn't until 1937 that men were allowed to go topless in public!


Space Chimp lives -1961

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Known as Ham The Chimp, this chimpanzee was the first hominid to be successfully launched to space, as part of America's space program. The chimp poses for a picture after the journey in 1961. Ham was originally named "No. 65" before his flight. This was because officials didn't want the increased bad press of a "named" chimpanzee if he were to die during the expedition.


Bowling Alley Pinsetters - 1909 in New Jersey

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An iconic image of a job that no longer exists. In the early 1900s, young boys were employed to set pins after each round in bowling. The job paid pennies and was, of course, replaced by automated machines and the advent of child labor laws.


’s Mobile Booking Cage

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A police officer transporting a prisoner on his Harley-Davidson. These were the mobile booking cages, back in the 1920s. Used to transport criminals, you can imagine how many of these scenarios ended badly, though it's quite the ingenious design!


Beauty Pageant Winners 1922

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There was a time when the standards of beauty were so, so different. In this picture, you can see two beauty pageant winners from 1922. Many girls coveted the Miss America crown, even back then. The outfits have changed quite a lot, though.


Dutch anti-aircraft motorcycle in action

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This photograph was taken during the German invasion in May, 1940. You can see the Dutch anti-aircraft motorcycle. Unfortunately it was no match and the coutnry was soon overrun. This type of weaponry hadn't been updated since the First World War.


Newspaper selling during the Civil War - 1863

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In the civil war era, newspapers were quite the dominant medium of communication. In this picture, a newspaper vendor is seen selling at a Union camp in Virginia in 1863. You can imagine how easily propaganda could spread via these channels. This was a time long before telephones.


Soldier playing billiards - 1915

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This is an amazing picture from 1915, where a soldier who had lost both his legs in WWI is seen playing a game of billiards. As tragic as it seems, the amputations saved the lives of thousands of soldiers during the time. Prosthetic limbs were just making it into popular use.


Times Square, New York City - 1911

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How beautiful Times Square, New York looked, even back in 1911. Still quite the place to be, though immensely different to today — none of the massive billboards or in your face LEDs! You can see the oil lamps lighting some of the first motorized taxi cabs of the time.


Cigarette vending machine - 1931

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Already lit cigarettes were sold for a penny in England in 1931. These machines were banned later on, understandably. Cigarettes were thought to be good for the health at the time and families would commonly smoke inside around children. Some would even allow the children a few puffs "for their health"! Regardless, the machine was ahead of its time and quite the feat of ingenuity.


Nixon goes to China

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President Nixon puzzled by some food or maybe learning to use chopsticks. Nixon went to China in 1972, and it became quite the groundbreaking event. The trip marked the beginning of a thaw between the Chinese and Americans. With China being communist, the U.S refused to acknowledge its legitimacy as a country.


San Francisco fire and earthquake in 1906

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This picture was taken on April 18, 1906 by Arnold Genthe when a devastating earthquake destroyed the San Francisco city. This also resulted in fire across the gulf regions and the west coast of America. The earthquake was a magnitude 7.8 and rated "Extreme" intensity. Over 3000 people died and 80% of the city was destroyed, making it the greatest loss of life from any natural disaster in California's history to this day.


War Ends! - 1945

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War Ends! exclaimed papers across the United States at the close of WWII in 1945. This man joyously reads the paper while celebrating with a stiff drink. Across the country, celebrations broke out at the announcement.


Saipan Operations - 1944

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Navy photographers captured a Japanese plane being shot down in 1944 while the Battle of Saipan was going on. The battle took place from June 15 to July 9, 1944. Fifteen battleships were included and fired 165,000 shells on the island before commencing the invasion with 8000 marines. In a counter-attack, the Japanese high command sent a large force against the American ships, resulting in the battle of the Philippine Sea. It was a disaster for the Japanese Navy, which lost 3 aircraft carriers and hundreds of planes.


Diphtheria treatment - 1937

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A young child being treated in an iron lung at the Harvard University in 1937 for diphtheria. In 2013, 4700 cases of diphtheria were reported, down from nearly 100,000 in 1980. The death rates are dramatically down today, though this iron lung was one of the only chances of survival in the 1930s. A vaccination has since been developed and is mandatory in many countries.


Liberty’s head – 1886

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As the Statue of Liberty was being assembled, it became a pretty big deal to sneak around and try to gain photo opportunities during various stages. However, having a photo with the head was by far the most popular. It was originally built to honor the United States' centennial of independence and friendship with France. Bedloe Island was selected as the site for the statue. Although small, it was visible to every ship entering New York and considered the "Gateway to America."


Child laborers - 1880

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The picture was taken by Lewis Hine, who was a chief investigator and advocate for the National Child Labor Committee. Whilst investigating various mines, farms, canneries, and sweatshops, Hine took over 5000 photographs of children at work, sometimes for 12 hours a day. Less troubling than many of his pictures, here 3 boys sell newspapers while smoking.


Mississippi steamer boats - 1907

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An amazing re-colored photograph of passenger steamer boats of Mississippi. This was long since the abolishment of slavery, though you can still see all the labor done by African-Americans. No slavery didn't necessarily mean equal rights! Regardless, it's amazing to see such a photo in color.


NASA's massive chalkboards

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Before there was PowerPoint, iPads, and all the other electronic devices that we don't know how we'd live without, people found all sorts of ways to solve all of life's problems and blaze trails leading toward new and exciting adventures. NASA would use these gigantic chalkboards, so tall that ladders were needed to climb to the top to finish equations, draw diagrams, jot down calculations, and write codes that eventually changed the world.


Construction of Manhattan Bridge - 1909

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This photograph was taken while the Manhattan Bridge was still in the construction phase. The bridge's construction began in 1901, and it was opened to public in 1909, with its remaining construction ongoing until 1912. The bridge was built in a way that both cars and trains could use it. Today, nearly 80,000 vehicles and more than 320,000 people use the bridge each day.


Titanic leaving port - 1912

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The day the Titanic left the port in 1912, one of the last pictures ever taken of the vessel. The famous passenger liner tragically sank in the North Atlantic Ocean in the early morning of April 15, 1912, after colliding with an iceberg. There were 2224 passengers and crew on board and over 1500 (exact number unknown) died. Thomas Andrews, the ship's architect, was among those who died in the disaster. The Titanic, built in Belfast, was the largest ship afloat at the time.


Titanic boarding pass - 1912

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A real boarding pass of the R.M.S Titanic. The price of tickets for the vessel ranged from $4,350 for a first-class parlor suite to $40 for a third-class passage. A century later in 2012, that equates to about $50,000 to $460. Other services on the ship cost extra. 1 schilling would get you a rental of a swimsuit and use of the pool. About $3.12 would get you a telegram sent back home (maximum of 10 words).


The first computer

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The ENIAC – the first computer — in the production phase. It could solve "a large class of numerical problems", though it was originally designed and used to calculate artillery firing tables for the United States Army. It cost about $487,000 to build (Around $6,816,000 in 2016). What might take a human 20 hours to calculate took ENIAC about 30 seconds.


5-10 Walton's Store

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Five and Dime Store of Sam Walton is now the Walmart Visitor Centre in Bentonville, Arkansas. In 1950, Sam Walton purchased the store and opened Walton's 5 & 10, the very first Walmart. This was the beginning of the massive expansion of Walmart, which would leave his family up there with the richest of the world. By 1990, the company would do $32 billion in sales and by 2005 those sales had increased to a whopping $312.4 billion.


The Lohner-Porsche Mixte Hybrid 1901

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Much ahead of its time, the first hybrid Porsche was developed by Ferdinand Porsche in 1901. If you asked someone today what the first hybrid automobile was, they would likely say the Toyota Prius. Little do they know, Porsche built this beauty decades earlier! If only they had become more popular at the time, global warming might not be such an issue.


First female tattoo artist

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This is the first popular female tattoo artist, Maud Wagner of the United States, in 1907. Born in Kansas, Maud was a circus performer and, while traveling, met her husband who described himself as "the most artistically marked-up man in America". She exchanged a romantic date with him for a lesson in tattooing. They soon married and had a daughter who started tattooing at the age of 9 and became an artist herself.


First interracial marriage - 1889

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Frederick Douglas married Helen Pitts in the late 1880s, much to the dismay of people of both ethnicities. After escaping slavery in Maryland, Frederick became a statesman and national leader of the abolitionist movement in Massachusetts and New York. A firm believer in the equality of all peoples, Douglas ended up marrying Helen Pitts (another advocate for abolition) a few years after his 1st wife died.


The first McDonald’s 1948

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A great old photo of the first McDonald’s, which opened back in October 1948. The food joint had a humble beginning. It was started by brothers Dick and Maurice McDonald in San Bernadino, California. McDonald's today has over 420,000 employees and does over $25 billion in sales. They can be found in 118 countries around the world and have 36,615 restaurants.


The first Subway food joint

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Fred DeLuca, who made a humble beginning with the opening of a sandwich store, started Subway in 1965. Fred borrowed $1000 from a friend to start his dream restaurant "Pete's Super Submarines". They were renamed to Subway in 1968. In 2010, Subway became the largest fast-food chain worldwide, with 33,749 restaurants, 1012 more than McDonald's. Remarkably, the first Subway outside the U.S. was in Bahrain in 1984, with the first in the United Kingdom opened in 1996.


Tea party - 1960

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John F. Kennedy having a tea party with his daughter Caroline in 1960. Being president is one of the most stressful and busy jobs one can have, though reports suggest Kennedy always tried to find time for his daughters.


Oldest surviving aerial shot of Boston taken from 2,000 feet

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First and oldest surviving aerial shot in the world, taken of Boston circa 1860 from a hot air balloon, by James Wallace Black. The photo is now in the hands of the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art. The first successful hot air balloon flight took place in 1783. The first photograph was taken in 1826. James combined the two to take this wonderful photo.


Star Trek crew in front of space shuttle

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The creator and crew of Star Trek stand in front of Enterprise, the first space shuttle. This picture was taken in 1976, and features members of NASA standing alongside the actors. The Enterprise was named as such after a letter-writing campaign in the 1970s from Star Trek fans. There have been countless head nods to Star Trek from the various astronauts who have made it to space for real.


Gas-free baby stroller – 1938

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During WWII, citizens, especially throughout Europe, weren’t taking any chances where their children were concerned. Still not wanting to miss that noonday stroll, this contraption was invented to be sure that no toxic fumes such as the deadly chlorine gas were breathed in by the infant.


Macabre advertisement -1944

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In Papua, New Guinea, taking the new anti-malaria drug, Atabrine, was serious business. With so many to-the-point advertisements floating around during WWII, the promotional team for this important medication wasted no time in spreading the word about just how important it was not to skip a dose.


Opening the sarcophagus of King Tutankhamun - Feb 1924

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In this picture, Howard Carter is seen opening the King Tutankhamun’s sarcophagus. The tomb had laid for over 3,000 years. A series of mysterious deaths of some of those who excavated Tutankhamun's tomb have been populary attributed to the curse of the pharoahs, cast upon any person who disturbed a mummy and giving them bad luck, sickness, or even death.


Confidence in your product: testing a bulletproof vest in 1923

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A fearless man standing and testing out a newly invented bulletproof vest. Whilst testing, the assistant took two consecutive shots to the chest, with witnesses claiming that he "didn't bat an eye". This was one of the first of its kind and led to an entire industry around the life-saving armor. Nowadays, its rare a soldier or police officer goes out without some kind of protection stemming from this research.


Girl In Artificial Legs-1890

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Prosthetic legs supporting a girl back in 1890. It's remarkable how far science has come over the past few hundred years. These trickily built and uncomfortable handmade prosthetics are impressive but a far cry from today's which are often custom-fitted and 3D-printed to fit perfectly to their owner. Some even allow movement of false fingers and feet!


The Great Depression of the 1930s

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In order to support their survival, a family auctioned its four children. This happened during the Great Depression, in 1939. With nowhere to turn, a jobless coal truck driver and his wife decided to sell their four children as a means to guarantee their survival. A hard choice to make for any person!


When Sweden switched driving lanes - 1967

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This is what happened on the day Sweden switched its driving side from left to the right, in 1967. City buses were retrofitted to have doors on both sides. During the changeover, only 157 minor accidents were reported. In fact, it only took 6 weeks for the accident rates and insurance claims to go back to their 'normal' levels.


Knocker-Up in 19th Century

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Another job from a bygone era - a time before alarm clocks or mobile phones, one could pay a "knocker-upper" who would come with a long pole and tap on your bedroom window until you woke up at the appropriate time. The role became popular during the industrial era and to as late as the 1950s. The job was typically done by elderly men who were no longer able to work the more physical jobs that they used to.


Bear lapping up a bowl of honey

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A waitress offering a bowl of honey to a baby bear in her café in 1950. The location of this cafe or who the waitress is is unknown. The bear looks to be some sort of pet, with a collar around its neck. Happily enjoying some honey out of the bowl, quite a sight to see! It's likely he was from a local circus visiting town.


Miss Atomic Bomb Winner -1950

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Winning moment of the Miss Atomic Bomb pageant in 1950. Miss Atomic pageants were held in the US during the Atomic Age, mainly in Las Vegas to help promote its two major attractions: nuclear bombs and showgirls. The band "The Killers" named a song after the pageant.


Afghan women in 1950

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Pre-Taliban era, where women can be seen casually dressed and using a public library in 1950. Astonishingly, Afghanistan was very like the West after 33 years of war. A Soviet invasion followed by Taliban rule saw the country change to what it is today.


House party - 1950

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A colored picture of a house party in 1950. House parties were popular among the wealthy back in the 1950s. Men and women would get done up with fancy dresses and suits — quite the fashionable affair! Here, some young girls look to be getting ready for a highschool prom or school dance.


Pele and Bobby Moore after World Cup 1970

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Pele and British Captain Bobby Moore greeting each other and trading shirts after the World Cup in 1970. The competition had been marred by racism but this picture heartwarmingly goes against all that. A great shot of good sportsmanship. Brazil ended up winning the match.


The Hindenburg caught fire on May 6, 1937.

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One of the most infamous disasters in history – the Hindenburg caught fire on May 6, 1937. The tragic event occurred when the German passenger airship caught fire as it attempted to dock with its mooring mast in New Jersey. Of the 97 people on board, there were 35 fatalities, along with one worker on the ground. The event killed the public confidence in passenger travel via airship.


The Grand Duchess Anastasia smoking

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Tsar Nicholas II gives permission to his daughter, the Grand Duchess Anastasia, to smoke. Nicholas was the last emperor of Russia, who ruled from November 1894 until being forced into abdication in March 1917. He was known as "Nicholas the Bloody" by his political enemies due to his execution of political opponents. His reign saw the fall of the Russian Empire from one of the true great powers of the world, to economic collapse.


Taking pictures on the beach - 1912

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A Kodak moment on the beach in Atlantic City in 1912. Note the interesting swimsuits of the time! This was long before men were even allowed to be topless, which came in in 1937. Known for its casinos, boardwalk, and beach, Atlantic City is still going strong to this day. Fun fact: the city is largely influential in the street names of the American version of the board game Monopoly.


Iconic Marilyn Monroe image - 1955

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Marilyn Monroe’s iconic dress blowing up scene on the subway gate in NYC. You can still find this famous subway grate to this day, on the southwest corner of Lexington Avenue and 52nd street. The scene was a publicity stunt orchestrated by the 20th Century Fox's marketing department.