HomeHistory17 Historical Pictures Showing the Past in a New Light

17 Historical Pictures Showing the Past in a New Light

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Many historical photographs can be found in old books, newspapers, and even online, where you can view most of the photographs you want. However, the majority of the famous historical images that we frequently view focus on the remarkable events that happened, so we rarely have the opportunity to observe everyday life in the past. However, the historical images in this collection will give you a few glimpses of historical scenes that you might not typically see or hear.

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Therefore, scroll down to see the images and be sure to share your favorites.

#1. The earliest known depiction of a human being, from 1833

Wikipedia Commons

The image depicts a daguerreotype taken by Louis Daguerre in the spring of 1838 from his window of the Boulevard du Temple in Paris. We can only make out a shoe cleaner and his customer in the image, though there may have been many more.

#2. A white woman with an Indian tattoo on her face, 1863

Wikipedia Commons

Olive Oatman’s parents, who died in 1859 when she was just 14 years old, are depicted in the photo. Indians kidnapped the girl, who was later sold into Mohave slavery. The young woman was eventually able to return to American society after living in the tribe for five years. Because they created Olive’s tattoos, which they themselves wore, perhaps the Mohave treated Olive as an equal rather than as a slave.

3. The 1886 image of the first known obscene gesture

Wikipedia Commons

Baseball player Charles Radbourn appeared to have been wronged by the photographer. He pointed his middle finger in the direction of the camera, making it the first offensive gesture to be recorded on camera.

#4. Schoolchildren following a snowball fight, 1893


The Princeton students appeared like this following a seemingly harmless snowball fight. They could easily be mistaken for freshly returned combatants from a war or swarming bee victims.

#5. A sculptor assists a veteran in 1917 in hiding the effects of injuries.


At the start of the 20th century, plastic surgery was still in its infancy, but there was an alternative: masks that replaced missing facial features. Even though it couldn’t restore the face to how it had been before, Anna Coleman Ladd was one of these experts in the field, and it was a blessing for many people who had given up on their appearance.

#6. The tallest person ever measured by medical observers, circa 1930


The “Alton Giant,” Robert Pershing Wadlow, who stood at 272 cm (8′ 11″) tall and weighed 199 kg, is still the tallest person in recorded history (439 lb). Sadly, he passed away in 1940 at the age of 22.

#7. 1936: A German worker declines to give the NAZI salute by raising his hand.

Wikipedia Commons

August Landmesser, who is pictured, expressed his displeasure with the Third Reich’s policy by refusing to wed Irma Eckler, a Jewish woman. Irma was later transferred to a concentration camp, where she died, and August joined a prison unit before going missing.

#8. A fighter plane’s fuel tank with beer in it, 1944


Do not believe that beer has ever been used as fuel. Naturally, the beer wasn’t a fuel source. It was delivered in this manner to British troops engaged in combat in Normandy during World War II. And instead of mounting weapons on the fighters, barrels were attached before they began pouring beer into the fuel tanks.

#9. A 1945 photo of the future Queen Elizabeth II serving in the military

East News

The future Queen of England worked as an ambulance driver and mechanic for the Women’s Auxiliary Territorial Service during World War II. She can be seen in the photo holding a clock that her coworkers gave her.

#10. Returning American soldiers, 1945


American soldiers were safely transported to New York by the dreadnought Queen Elizabeth after the military operation in Western Europe was over.

#11. Jayne Mansfield and Sophia Lauren, 1957

Pierre Tourigny

Sophia Loren herself described the circumstances as follows: “Paramount had thrown me a party. There was the entire theater. The final person to arrive, Jayne Mansfield, then enters. She was aware of everyone’s presence. My eyes are where? I’m gazing at her nipples out of fear that they’re going to land on my plate.

#12: The world’s thinnest waisted woman in 1959


The woman with the thinnest waist in the photo is Ethel Granger, who is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records. She made the decision to drastically alter herself in order to please her husband, William. As a result, she was forced to wear corsets throughout the day and night, as well as high heels and pretentious piercings, for which Ethel’s husband personally used a silver needle to pierce her nose. The woman’s waist shrank over time from a natural 62 cm (24.4′′) to 33 cm (13′′).

#13 The Beatles crossing Abbey Road the other way in 1969


Most of us are familiar with the image of the renowned “Abbey Road” cover. However, other images of the group were also captured there. By the way, the white Volkswagen Beetle that ended up inadvertently in the picture was sold at auction for £2,530 in 1986.

14. “Uncle Sam’s prototype,” circa 1970

War History Online

A common image is of Uncle Sam sternly watching from campaign posters. But one of his prototype Walter Botts can be seen in this picture.

15. A family photo taken in 1972 on the Moon’s surface

Wikipedia Commons

Astronaut Charles Duke, a Lunar Module Pilot on the Apollo 16 mission, left this photograph on the moon’s surface. On the moon’s surface, the photo depicts Charles, his wife Dorothy, and their sons Thomas and Charles Jr.

#16. Prior to the Islamic Revolution of 1979, Iranian pop artists

Wikipedia Common

Many Iranians’ lives were changed by the Islamic Revolution of 1979. Prior to that, a large portion of Iranians resembled Europeans or Americans: they wore chic clothing, women didn’t cover their hair, and they didn’t even think twice about showing up on the beach in bikinis.

17. In 1993, Kurt Cobain strums a guitar in his head.


On September 2, 1993, during the MTV Music Awards ceremony, Lenny Kravitz took this picture, which he posted on Instagram. Kurt, who was watching from behind the scenes, “accompanied” Lenny on an imaginary guitar while he sang his hit song “Are You Gonna Go My Way.”



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