We know history through well documented stories, facts and pictures. Whether we realize it or not but we are often bombarded with historically significant information. Yet, we are far from knowing the real stories that occurred in the past.
The reason is- a good chunk of the captures have never made it to us! We have compiled some lesser known photos from the past that tell historic stories from a perspective we never knew about. So are you ready to step into this time capsule?
The Posture Queens, 1956
Presently, beauty pageants are focused on finding beauty with brains and that is fair enough. The participants are put through some tough tasks and tests and history is no different in this field except for one test that was conducted and had a separate title. This title was associated with Chiropractic as it had just begun to be a profession during the 1950s and 1960s.
This picture is straight out of a chiropractic convention held in Chicago in May of 1956. These three ladies had the best standing posture as reflected through their X-rays. The task involved standing on a pair of scales with one foot on each. Clearly, these trophy holders balanced themselves perfectly.
Epitome Of Strength, 1970
This is Saundra Brown, the first black woman on the Oakland police force who got official training in gun shooting. She served as a police officer for seven years from 1970 to 1977. This powerful history needs to find a spot in the textbooks too. This great moment carries importance in African-American history and for Officer Saundra Brown, this is a page in her book that would be remembered for a long time.
There was no stopping for this woman as she became the deputy district attorney of Alameda County after she received a J.D. at the University Of San Francisco School Of Law. Her achievements didn’t end there as she soon rose to the position of Senior Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.
Animals Seek Shelter, 1945
Everyone had to endure the worst during World War II and animals had to face all the consequences of the war too. Before the war displayed the destructive aspect, the animals were transferred to Europe. This image has captured the scene that existed during those years.
That animal made its way from the Berlin zoo to escape the terror. A German woman can be seen offering the creature a treat and it is heartwarming! As the Soviet troops entered Berlin in 1945, the people and animals had to flee from the panic and land at a safer place. This animal found its spot in a washroom.
Moonshiners In Action, 1926
During the 1920s, some rules regarding drinking were implemented by the US federal government. They aimed at urging people to give up the drinking habit. The rules and regulations put forward did not see much success leading to a firm decision of adding more quantity of methanol in alcohol. This step gave an opportunity to bootleggers as the demand suddenly increased and they expected a rise in their sales.
However, they could not escape the police checking. This photo is proof! The lumber truck is undergoing inspection as it carried alcohol that was hidden behind a stack of wood. The smugglers might have done it smartly but they can’t take off so easily when the rules are strict.
Hit By Snowstorm, 1966
This photo shows the effects of the snowstorm and how the snow just covered everything rising to an unexpected level. A destructive blizzard struck the United States and the east side of the Rockies in 1966 taking the lives of almost 200 people. Out of these, 31 just froze in the snow and died.
The temperature dropped to an unbelievable low and heavy snowfall just ruined the situation. Many people died in fire accidents during those days. They attempted to create some warmth at their homes but that fire took their lives.
Birthday In Iran, 1973
This picture is significant as it tells a different story about Iran and the women living there. This kind of set-up and outfit is not what we expect from the country presently. Let’s travel back to 1973 Iran and this is one example of what it looked like back then. A woman is celebrating her birthday in Tehran by cutting a cake wearing a beautiful dress.
If we consider the current rules, women are instructed to wear the hijab. The outfit worn here can lead to punishment as its illegal considering the current rules. Iran has witnessed a drastic change since then.
But First, Selfie, 1938
While selfies have become a crucial part of our generation, there was a time when they were non-existent. No one used the term “selfie” before 2002. However, Frank Sinatra, an iconic singer took one in 1938 and it’s a cool one!
So, we can’t take the credit for being the “inventors” of the selfie as they trended way before we were born. Sinatra was only 17 when he took this picture of himself in a mirror.
Green Symbol In The Making, 1970
The recycling logo that you encounter every day has a history associated with it too. It happened when the Container Corporation of America organized a design competition in 1970 to mark Earth Day on April 22. Gary Anderson, an engineering student went ahead to participate in it without any experience in graphic designing and came up with this symbol.
Anderson later revealed, “It didn’t take me long to come up with my design: a day or two. I almost hate to admit that now." But I’d already done a presentation on recycling waste water and I’d come up with a graphic that described the flow of water: from reservoirs through to consumption, so I already had arrows and arcs and angles in my mind.” We all know the popularity that his design gained over the years.
Women In Medicine, 1885
This photo stands as a symbol of women’s power and strength. We might want to look back at this shot taken on October 10, 1885, of three genius women at the Woman’s Medical College of Philadelphia and remember that they are capable of achieving great heights. Another aspect of this photo is the diversity it depicts. These women belong to three different countries - India, Japan, and Syria and are dressed up in their traditional outfits.
All of them came to study medicine and become doctors despite the boundaries set for them. It wasn’t easy for women to step out of the four walls of their house but these women broke the stereotypes and landed in a new country to gain knowledge and earn respect!
A Private Celeb Couple, 1966
This good-looking couple has set an example for people who are in love and are looking forward to getting married to their partners. Dolly Parton and Carl Dean share a beautiful relationship and not many are aware of their love story. They have managed to keep it out of all the glitz and lights of the industry. Here, in this “unexplored” picture, they can be seen smiling and posing for the camera after they got married in a secret ceremony in 1966.
Dolly revealed in an interview, “I always joke and laugh when people ask me whats the key to my long marriage and lasting love. I always say 'Stay gone!' and there’s a lot of truth to that. I travel a lot, but we really enjoy each other when we’re together and the little things we do.”
5 MB Storage, 1956
This huge box is not any big machine or computer that is being transported from one place to another with the strength of over 4 people involved. It’s a hard drive with a storage of 5 megabytes. That amount of storage and such enormous size of the hard drive!
This storage was leased for $3,000 a month by the company that is equivalent to $30,000 today. In contrast to this, we can carry more than 32 gigabytes on our phones daily. While 5 MB of IBM storage could only hold around 6 photos, that would not be quite helpful in the present generation of unlimited selfies at one time.
A Private Jazz Concert, 1961
This photo is iconic in every way as the people and the place in the picture carry significance! Louis Armstrong is pictured with his wife, Lucille in 1961 at the Great Sphinx of Giza. She is fortunate to see her husband perform for her at one of the most amazing places in the world.
Armstrong made a big name for himself during the 1920s and became one of the greatest jazz musicians. He continued to be a star till the 1960s and “Satchmo” is still alive in our hearts. That picture from the exclusive concert for his wife is just bringing back his tunes!
Freedom On Sugar, 1953
People had to face a ration on sugar, eggs, and milk at the onset of World War II. When this rationing ended, candy stores earned unbelievably huge and the sales rose by an amount of £100 million ($278.5 million). Here you see kids (and even adults) attacking a candy store.
This happened in 1953 when sugar rationing ended in England. Of course, people craved some candy and when they finally got unlimited access to it, they had to run and grab the opportunity. These kids had to buy candy or two that day!
The Face Of War, 1941
Salvador Dali, a 20th-century surrealist painter can be seen deeply engaged in his painting here. This painting is called “The Face of War” and this picture was taken in 1941. The artwork of this creative artist always had an eccentric touch that sometimes, got a little too dark for the people viewing it. Some of his work includes the melting clocks in “The Persistence of Memory” and “The Elephants”.
This artist had many tags thrown at him like being called a psychedelic or hallucinogenic drug user just because his paintings had an element that picked up something grave. He had an answer to all those comments, “I don’t do drugs, I am drugs.” His paintings are now valued and kept in museums and the Museum of Modern Art in New York is one of them.
Bride Amidst “The Blitz”, 1940
The bombings in London in 1940 were given the name “The Blitz” and the destruction it caused is clearly visible in the picture. This is just one side of the whole devastation that occurred during the two months of terror. The bride smiles brightly as she exits her home in London to get married on November 4, 1940.
Despite all the wreck and ravage, she is all set to walk down the aisle in a white dress and take the vows. The bridesmaid is also pictured in the scene as she wishes her friend a beautiful married life. Amidst all the chaos, this photo reminds us of the positivity that love carries.
Meal Before Fame, 1986
“Context and memory play powerful roles in all the truly great meals in one's life.” Anthony Bourdain, celebrity chef and author believed this and he stuck to it throughout his life. This picture was taken in his New York apartment in 1986 way before he rose to fame for his culinary skills. We bet that the fish dish turned out to be delicious! He is considered to be one of the most talented chefs out there.
His works include a book titled “Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly (2000)” and a show called Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations and The Layover. He achieved quite a lot throughout his career.
Thanking The Animals, 1918
The history textbooks are filled with the photos showing the effects of World War I and the destruction following it. Not only humans but animals too had to bear the consequences. So many innocent creatures including donkeys, mules, and horses lost their lives and it’s heartbreaking.
The soldiers decided to get together for dedication to their sacrifice. You probably missed the picture depicting the tribute paid by American soldiers to those animals in 1913. This photo is revealing that instance where the troops stood together to form a shape resembling a horse’s head and it couldn’t be better.
The Empire State Building, 1941
In 1941, the Empire State Building attracted many people to New York City as it was the only building that stood taller than the other structures around. There were no skyscrapers other than this one during those days, hence, leading to all the attention towards this.
This photo is bringing out a different side of the Empire State Building that we missed as more and more skyscrapers were built over the years and covered the entire city. When this was the only skyscraper to exist In New York, people traveled from far to have a look at this high-rise building.
A Fashion Statement, 1960s
This photo has captured a clear contrast in what fashion meant to women in the 1960s. A group of nuns standing close to a stylish woman shows the varied sense of fashion that existed. The nuns seem quite impressed by the fashionista as revealed by their smiles. No heavy opinions or judgments were being thrown for dressing a certain way in those times.
The outfit of that woman is quite different from the traditional gowns worn by the nuns. They are reflecting simplicity while that lady has her style on point with perfect accessories. One thing that’s similar is the elegance and confidence!
Connecting With Family, 1970s
There were no mobile phones in the 1970s, the devices that make it extremely convenient to get updates on your family and friends in the present times. This is a 1970s night scene from a women's dormitory who are queueing to make a call to their family and friends. The communal phone was surrounded by many people at one time as there was no other source of connecting with your loved ones when living far from home.
This is how the women waited near the phone to just have one conversation back home. The smiles reflect the happiness of finally being able to hear their family.
Two Popular Faces, 1931
Here’s a lesser-known fact – Charlie Chaplin and Albert Einstein admired each other’s work and always wanted to have a “fan moment”. Their wish was fulfilled in January of 1931 when they ran into each other at the City of Lights premiere. Einstein had once expressed his desire to meet Chaplin one day revealing that he was the only celebrity that he wished to see in person.
Einstein told Chaplin, “What I most admire about your art, is your universality. You don’t say a word, yet the world understands you!” Chaplin responded with another wonderful complement to Einstein, “It’s true, but your fame is even greater: the world admires you, when nobody understands what you say.”
Freddie Mercury’s Feline Friend, 1988
There are not many photos of celebrities from the past with their pets and so, when we spot one, it gives us much-needed insight into the life of famous personalities of that era. For instance, this picture from 1988 of Freddie Mercury with his cat, Tiffany gives a refreshing view of history.
The singer of the rock band “Queen” is nailing that look and pose. Tiffany’s expression is all of us when someone clicks our picture without taking permission. This photo is enough for telling tales of “pet love” among the stars.
Sight-Seeing In Cairo, 1920s
Cairo is one of the most popular tourist spots in the world presently but things were different in the 1920s. The Sahara Desert has views that are stunning and this picture depicts the beautiful sunset that has mesmerized a group of tourists there.
The top of the Pyramid of Cheops looks so peaceful in this photograph but again, this is almost 100 years old and such serenity is hard to find now. This is a rare capture and it will be cherished for a long time.
Home For Jewish Refugees, 1946
This picture is full of emotions as the survivors of World War II caught the first glimpse of the Statue of Liberty in 1946 on arriving in the United States. World War II displaced many people and the refugees needed a place to go. That’s when the United States opened doors for the Jewish refugees and all those who got through the Holocaust.
The country gave them a chance to begin a new journey. The statue welcomed them with the words, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free!”
Competitive NASA Scientists, 1961
This picture was published in “Life” magazine in 1961 to give a hint of what the NASA’s Race for Space looked like at that time. The blackboard was huge to fit in all the lengthy calculations revolving around spacecraft trajectories. Hence, the ladders!
The computers have replaced the massive chalkboards now. This photo is not revealing any “voila” moments as the scientists would never want their successful computations to go public especially when there’s a competition.
Seine’s Threat, 1924
When the water levels of river Seine rose to threatening levels in 1924, such scenes came to existence. The roads were flooded with cold water leading to the people having trouble crossing streets. As the situation worsened, the residents around decided to take action to ease the conveyance from one side of the road to another.
This is when they came up with the chair queue. People brought chairs from the neighborhood and created this bridge. It was a very thoughtful step indeed to deal with the floods.
Overloaded Phone Booth, 1950s
All sorts of challenges exist on the internet and the weirdest ones go viral. The bottle cap challenge is just one example. Several videos with thousands of views are keeping us entertained in the present. This wasn’t the case in the 1950s as things were just done for fun without any intention of going “viral”. This photo from those times is a phone booth challenge with the originality intact.
This group of teenagers managed to fit in the tiny phone booth and the satisfaction of completing the game can be seen on their faces. It would have taken them a lot of time to accomplish this task with so many to squeeze in the tiny space. Nevertheless, it is fun when everyone wants to be involved!
A Roaring Backdrop, 1989
The cyclone of 1989 caused destruction as the intensity was quite high. Even though, people needed to stay safe during the unpredictable weather conditions, this woman shared the frame with a tornado. The photos showing the aftermath of the cyclone are common on the internet but this daring stunt during those scary times is rare.
The vigor of the cyclone can be imagined with the way her hair is blowing. We hope the person behind the camera warned her about the approaching horror in time.
A Part Of Titanic, 1910
Titanic had the world’s biggest anchor during that time and we can only imagine the time and manpower that would have made its construction possible. The anchor came all the way from Noah Hingley and Son in 1910 and the owners placed an order for 603 meters of chain from Hingley's Anchor Works.
This photo is explaining how the making of the anchor chain began. Link by link, the makers made a solid chain that would match up to the size of the enormous vessel.
Awestruck By TV, 1948
The latest technology has always something unexpected in store for us and this boy’s reaction to witnessing a television for the first time is all of us when we find that there’s another new app to ease our lives. This moment was captured in 1948 when televisions were not placed in everyone’s living rooms.
This little boy is amazed at those black and white moving objects and humans on the screen. That expression is telling us the impact of TV on people and how the creation surprised everyone.
Susan Kare’s Habitat, 1984
Here’s one of the most talented graphic designers, Susan Kare who creatively added life to a computer with her designing skills. She is rightly given the title of the “woman who gave the Macintosh a smile”. This shot is taken in her office as she relaxes after putting her skill at work for a long time. She has contributed to Apple and Microsoft with some innovative ideas to enhance a computer including creating fonts, images, and icons.
This creative director of NeXT expressed about her work being appreciated, “It’s fun to read that, before there was social media, countless people spent hours with Microsoft Windows Solitaire using the cards I designed.”
Brooklyn Supreme, 1930s
A horse weighing 16 times an average human is expected to have a few fans. Brooklyn Supreme is the star here as this red roan Belgian stallion weighed 3,197 pounds and measure six and a half feet. Whether this horse is the largest one to exist is a moot point but its enormous size made it popular.
Its owners Charles Grant Good and Ralph M. Fogleman entered a partnership with Good and exhibited this horse around the US charging ten cents from the “viewers”.
Treat For Polar Bears, 1950
Travel back to the 1950s and instead of remembering all the war panic that existed, let us focus on this adorable picture where troops can be seen feeding polar bears. The Soviet soldiers traveled to high altitudes of the Arctic Ocean and had their stations there. They stayed in those harsh conditions with no trace of mankind.
So, they made friends with polar bears and treated them well. Polar bears seem excited to have a bite to eat from those troops who are equally happy to give the friendly creatures some snacks.
Exploring An Outfit, 1944
The Scottish soldiers wore a kilt as a part of their uniform and their outfit seems to grab some attention. This Italian woman is curious to know what all those pleats are about. This picture was captured in 1944 after the liberation of Rome. This news of liberation led to an exciting environment with celebrations around the city.
When Hitler passed the orders regarding the military forces to leave Rome, people headed to the streets to throw flowers on vehicles on the roads. The celebratory photos might be common, but this picture depicting a keen interest in a soldier’s dress is rare.
Mowing With Comfort, 1950s
This spaceship-like thing is an invention from the 1950s. Here’s a lawnmower that has every comfort available. Even lawnmowers can be luxurious! This lawnmower’s design got published in a magazine with all its features highlighted including a proper air conditioning system installed inside.
The people seemed to spend a lot of time and money on such inventions in the past and it all points towards the comfortable life they wished to lead.