28 Vintage Photos Reveal A Different Side To The Past
By | March 25, 2020
Meet Morocho, the Legendary Dogo Argentino that defeated a puma, and saved two little girls from an attack.
Photographs of the past give us a glimpse into the everyday lives of our ancestors. The human experience, for them, was vastly different than ours, yet they were convinced they were living in a marvelously modern era. The photos in this collection are a window into yesteryear and help us to understand the complexity of life in days-gone-by.
This hero dog named Morocho, a Dogo Argentino, is credited with saving the lives of two young girls. According to the story, a man was out doing some work when his two daughters, both under ten years old, asked if they could go on ahead to pick some figs. Morocho, the family dog, accompanied them. One girl started to climb the fig tree when she suddenly heard the sound of branches breaking. She looked up just as a huge puma jumped down on her from the upper branches. The animal’s giant paw struck the girl, sending her flying to the ground. The puma then lunged at the girl’s sister. It was mid-air when Morocho struck. The dog wrestled the puma to the ground and held it by its neck until the girls’ father arrived and killed it. One girl was unscathed and the other girl and the hero dog Morocho, were cut and bruised.
Pope Paul VI watching the Apollo 11 landing, July 20, 1969.
The whole world watched the Apollo 11 moon landing on July 20, 1969, including Pope Paul VI, who watched the televised landing from the Vatican. In a message to the three astronauts, the Pope referred to the men as the “conquerors of the moon, pale lamp of our nights and dreams.” He also told the three…Buzz Aldrin, Michael Collins, and Neil Armstrong…”Man has a natural urge to explore the unknown, to known the unknown; yet man also has a fear of the unknown. Your bravery has transcended fear, and through your intrepid adventure, man has taken another step toward knowing more of the universe.”
A look inside of a Bedchamber at Bran Castle, also known as Dracula's Castle.
Located in the border between Transylvania and Wallachia in Romania, Bram Castle is commonly known as Dracula’s Castle. It has long been linked to the notorious vampire legends, though it is not, as has been erroneously reported, the home of the famous vampire in Bram Stoker’s 1897 gothic novel, Dracula, the first literary work to launch the romantic vampire craze. This ornate bedchamber is quintessentially gothic and elegant, but probably wouldn’t be very inviting to a nocturnal vampire, even one as famous as Dracula. Vampires prefer to sleep in creepy coffins. Still, Bran Castle, now a museum and tourist attraction, has capitalized on its connection to the blood-thirsty literary count.
Russian peasants getting electricity for the first time in 1920.
A life-changing event worthy of a photo opp, this Russian peasant woman is getting electricity installed in her home for the first time. While rural farms and villages were slower to get electricity than bigger cities and urban areas, throughout the 1920s, more and more farms were wired for electricity. Electricity changed the face of farming. With electricity, farmers were no longer depended on the sunlight to do their chores. Food produced at the farm could stay fresh longer in refrigerators. Electric pumps could supply both the farmhouse and the barn with easy-access water and, soon, time-saving appliances and gadgets made rural life easier.
Since Einstein already had the reputation for being a bit bizarre, the photo just added to his rather peculiar charm.
For all his genius, Albert Einstein had a playful side, as this – the most popular photo of Einstein every taken – reveals. According to the story, photographers from around the country invaded a party being held for Einstein’s 72nd birthday on March 14, 1951. The humble, and somewhat shy, professor patiently stood for countless pictures, no doubt growing more impatient with each one. When Einstein was ready to leave the gathering, a UPI photographer named Arthur Sasse rushed Einstein’s car, begging for just one more photo. Annoyed, tired, and fed up with photographers, Einstein stuck out his tongue instead of smiling. This iconic image now adorned posters, t-shirts, coffee mugs, and screen savers.
Picking apples in St. Albans, Vermont, circa 1900
Apple picking season was a time of great celebration in the early 20th century. The whole family jumped in to help harvest the juicy fruits, pack them in barrels, and send them off to be sold by fruit vendors in the big cities. When a fruit vendor was selecting apples to sell, he naturally wanted to be able to give his customers the best apples available, so he would remove the lid of a barrel of apples and inspect the first apples he saw. Apple growers soon caught on to this. When they were harvesting their apples, they set aside the plumpest, juiciest, prettiest, roundest apples in their orchards. After a barrel was packed nearly full with regular apples, they topped off the barrel with these blemish-free apples, hoping to convince the buyer that the entire barrel contained the same quality of apples.
It's a good thing texting wasn't around with that rotary dial, 1964
When we say “mobile phones,” we bet you didn’t think about a car phone with a rotary dial and a spiral cord? We’ve come a long way, baby! In 1964, General Electric introduced their Simultaneous Duplex Mobile Telephone that was marketed as a huge improvement over the current Mobile Telephone Service. Its main selling point…the Simultaneous Duplex Mobile Telephone allowed user to connect with their party directly, instead of having to place the call through a phone operator, as they would have to do with the Mobile Telephone Service phone. While the ad claims the caller can place and receive calls from anywhere in the world, that might have been a stretch. Since there were no cello phone towers yet, the wireless system acted much like a CB radio.
Christopher Walken at 10 years old, 1953.
He hasn’t changed a bit! The “Pulp Fiction” actor actually got his start as a child actor in the 1950s and 1960s. He appeared as an extra in several television shows before landing a reoccurring role as the narrator on the 1953 TV series “The Wonderful John Acton” from which this promo photo was used. For this role, he was credited as Ronnie Walken. Who knew that precocious ten-year old would go on to appear in more than 100 TV shows and movies, including “The Deer Hunter,” “Annie Hall,” “Catch Me If You Can,” “Batman Returns,” and “A View to a Kill.”
Unscripted, everyday life of the 1950s, New York
This group of women in 1950s New York has something in common with the guests at the recent royal wedding between Prince Harry and the American actress, Meghan Markle. What is that commonality? The fascinator! A fascinator is a headwear accessory item that is not quite a hat and not quite a headband. It is small, less cumbersome, and often sits perched on one side of the head. The fascinator, while popular in the 1950s as this photo suggests, enjoyed a comeback, thanks in part to Harry and Meghan’s request that female guests to their wedding wear hats or fascinators.
Woman in bathing suit standing balancing surfing on a surfboard, 1967
The native Polynesian people of Hawaii and other islands were accomplished surfers for hundreds of years, but the sport remained unknown to most of the world until 1885, when three Hawaiian princes, all in their teens, took a break for their boarding school studies to hang ten in Santa Cruz, California. Other beachgoers where enthralled. Throughout the 1900s, surfing grew in popularity up and down the Cali coast with people like George Freeth and Henry E. Huntington creating interest with their own surf antics. The 1959 film, “Gidget”, starring Sandra Dee, James Darren, and Cliff Robertson, helped to inspire girls to take up the sport of surfing, maybe even this young lady.
Roller skating on the streets of Berlin, 1910
Believe it or not, modern roller skates made their debut in a Berlin ballet performance in 1818. They were patented the next year by a Frenchman named M. Petitbled but it took another fifty some years before roller skating became a popular recreational activity. Indoor roller rinks popped up across the United States and Europe, but boys and girls like the ones shown here still enjoyed roller skating in the streets. These children are enjoying an afternoon of roller skating in 1910, not knowing that in just four short years, their country would be plunged into a terrible war…the war to end all wars.
A Soldier feeding a tiny kitten in Korean War, 1952
The sanctity of life is precious to humans, even in the throes of war. We seem to have a soft spot of innocent, helpless baby animals in our hearts that motivate us to do what we can to save a tiny animal in need. Here we see a Western soldier in the trenches during the Korean Conflict who is taking a break from the war to spoon-feed a newborn kitten. The tiny kitty probably has no idea it had the misfortune of being born in the middle of a war. All it knows is that this kindly soldier is a perfect surrogate mom, providing life-giving milk, albeit from a dropper.
A watch found in the Hiroshima rubble is stopped at 815 am, the exact time of the 1945 atomic bomb detonation.
When the United States, with the consent of the United Kingdom, dropped the first nuclear bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, time stopped for the estimated 70,000 to 80,000 people who were instantly killed. This watch is a literal representation of the very moment when so many lives were lost…its hands stopped at the exact time the Enola Gay released the bomb, nicknamed Little Boy, on the unsuspecting city. A few days later, on August 9, a second nuclear bomb, called Fat Man, was dropped on the Japanese city of Nagasaki. In all, both bombings killed an estimated 129,000 people.
Alfred Hitchcock serves tea to Grace Kelly on the set of 'Dial M for Murder', 1954.
A break between scenes means tea time for Alfred Hitchcock and Grace Kelly. The acclaimed movie director displayed his gentlemanly qualities by serving the starlet a steaming hot cup of tea between takes of the 1954 mystery flick, “Dial M for Murder”. The very next year, the Hollywood sweetheart met Prince Rainier of Monaco at the Cannes Film Festival and began a romance that would cumulate with the popular actress becoming the Prince’s bride…a true American princess. As for Hitchcock, the English director and master of suspense, ended his film career with five Academy Award nominations for Best Director, two Golden Globe Awards, eight Laurel Awards, and countless other awards.
An iron executioner's mask, European, c. 1500-1700.
Medieval executioner was not a glamorous profession. It was a gruesome and difficult job, as you could image. On top of that, there was a stigma attached to the job. Often, merchants refused to sell to executioners and fathers would not allow their daughters to marry the sons of executioners. To protect their identities and ensure their continued good standing in the community, executioners in many parts of medieval Europe donned masks to keep their anonymity intact. While executioners were often depicted wearing a dark hood, but masks made of cloth, leather, and iron were just as common used, like the mask shown here.
Book of Wizards -- a magic book, used by wizards of the Toba Batak tribe, North Sumatra, Indonesia, date unknown.
Step aside, Harry Potter! Move over, Hermione! This Book of Wizards won’t be found on any library shelf at Hogwarts. It is a sacred tome of the Batak Toba people of North Sumatra in Indonesia. The Batak Toba culture, according to anthropologists, is unique and quite ancient. In the ancient Batak culture, priests called datuk incorporated wizardry and the supernatural into traditional healing. The datuk would consult a pustaha or a book of divination, to find the appropriate incantations, healing remedies, songs, or magical spells for the occasion. The pustaha were handwritten books crafted from wood and bark and bound accordion-style. The style of writing, known as poda, is an ancient form of shorthand. Even wizards in antiquity had to jot their notes quickly.
Bruce Lee with his master Ip Man, 1960s.
If you thought Bruce Lee had all the right moves, you should see his teacher! The famed Chinese martial artists and master teacher of Wing Chun, Ip Man was the most celebrated martial arts master of his day. Born in 1893 in Guangdong, Ip Man devoted his life to the study and mastery of the Wing Chun style of Chinese Kung Fu which focused on close range combat. Ip Man trained many others in the ways of Kung Fu, many of who became masters themselves. Perhaps his most famous student and protégé was Bruce Lee, the American actor of Hong Kong descent who used his impressive Kung Fu moves in numerous Hollywood films, including “Fists of Fury” and “Enter the Dragon.”
Courtenay Place, Wellington New Zealand, 1927.
Courtenay Place, the main street that runs through the Courtenay Quarter of Wellington, New Zealand, is still as bustling today as it was in 1927. Many of the buildings along this route dated back to the early 1900s when the area became a boon for English businesses. Today, Courtenay Place is popular as an arts, entertainment, and nightlife hot spot, and many of the buildings from the 1920s, that originally held banks, butcher shops, and general stores, have been converted into trendy restaurants and hip bars and chic stores. Visitors here can enjoy round-the-clock entertainment, as well as shopping, dining, or just relaxing in one of the many upscale hotels that have been build to meet the tourism demand.
Fragment of the Bayeux Tapestry with the first known depiction of Halley's Comet. England 11th century.
Now housed in the Musee de la Tapisserie de Bayeux in Normandy, France, The Bayeux Tapestry is a 230-foot long, ornately embroidered tapestry that dates back to the 11th century. The tapestry depicts about fifty scenes and tells the story of the events leading up to the Norman Conquest all the way to the end of the Battle of Hastings. Although much can be gleaned from all of the scenes shown on the Bayeux Tapestry, one scene, shown here, might be the first time Europeans recorded the passage of Halley’s Comet. Named for Edmund Halley, this comet is a frequent visitor to Earth, making reappearances about every 75 years. It appeared in the sky in 1066, the same year as the Battle of Hastings, and was such an important event that the tapestry embroiderers included it.
Henry VIII's tonlet armour, made for the Field of the Cloth of Gold tournament, England 1520.
Who doesn’t love the age of knights in shining armor and chivalry and joust? Sadly, the 1500s were not as romantic as the stories would have us believe, but it really was a time of great pomp and circumstance, with elaborate ceremonies and great tournaments. England’s King Henry VIII was set to meet with the French king, Francis I, at the Field of the Cloth of Gold in 1520 for a friendly tournament. The event became an opportunity for one-upsmanship, with both kings striving to present the most impressive display. When the tournament rules were set, King Henry’s previous suit of armor was deemed unfit to wear, so a team of metal workers labored for three months to construct this new armor for their king.
Jim Thorpe, a Native American from Oklahoma was representing the U.S. in track and field. On the morning of one of his competition, his shoes were stolen and he found a pair in the trash.
Some have called him the greatest athlete who ever lived. Athletic prowess is one thing, but it was Jim Thorpe’s ability to adapt to any situation and his determination to overcome discrimination that makes him a true champion. A Native American from Oklahoma, Thorpe was often the target of discrimination and racism. Still, he was chosen to represent the United States in the 1912 Summer Olympics in Stockholm, Sweden. Just before he was set to race, someone stole his shoes. No biggie. Thorpe dug through the trash and found two mismatched shoes to wear. One shoe was too big, so he put on a few extra socks on that foot until it fit. He went on to win two Gold Medals with those dumpster shoes, proving just how great an athlete he really was.
Just a little peek, 1937.
Like these boys, students in 1937 were required to practice their penmanship and an emphasis was placed on learning beautiful, cursive handwriting. Much has changed in 1937. Today, at least 41 states do not include cursive handwriting in the state’s core curriculum, following the new Common Core academic requirements. Sure, we now live in a digital age and people type or text most of their messages, but legible handwriting is still important. Some states are fighting to save cursive writing, with state legislation pending in Idaho, South Carolina, and Indiana, to name a few, that would re-introduce cursive writing in classrooms, just like it was in 1937.
Kiss me papa.
Some dog breeds are just built for cold weather, making them ideal work and companion dogs for people living in regions where winter can be especially brutal. Huskies, like this one, are native to northern regions and have been used by the indigenous people for pulling heavy sleds across the frozen ground. Likewise, St. Bernard dogs, like this little puppy in this pic, are also foul weather dogs that were used to rescue travelers stranded at the Great St. Bernard Pass on the Swiss-Italian border. Perhaps this photo shows the passing of the torch from an older dog to a young pup that will eventually take his place. Good boy!
Scarab Bangle, reign of Tutankhamun. Egypt, 1332–1323.
Scarab beetles (Ateuchus sacer) were a common motif in Egyptian jewelry, such as these bangle bracelets found in the tomb of King Tut. The scarab was a symbol of the sun god because the insect could always be seen rolling a ball of dung across the ground, much like the sun god rolled the sun across the sky. In nature, the scarab is all black but Egyptian artists used brightly-colored gemstones to replicate the beetle in jewelry. Unusually, the scarab jewelry found in King Tut’s tomb was realistically crafted using black resin. The color was saved for accenting the scarabs.
This is made of stone. Sidi Saiyyed Mosque detail, India 1573.
Incredible! This intricately carved latticework window, known as a jalis, and nine other similar ones, was carved from stone by expert craftsmen in 1573. All ten stone windows adorn the Sidi Saiyyed Mosque, located in Gujarat, Indian. The mosque was built by Sidi Saiyyid for Bilal Jhajar Khan, the general of the last Sultan, Shams-ud-Din Muzaffar Shah III. This jalis depicting the tree of life, with intertwining and curving branches and limbs, has become the informal symbol of the city of Ahmedabad. Tourists flock to the mosque every year to admire the beautifully carved marble jalis that have remained intact since the 1500s.
VIP tea party.
Not a popular in the United States as in England, the tea party is a formal, fancy event held late in the afternoon every day, and features a light snack along with tea. The food and drink is served on fine china with silver tableware and linen table clothes. Guests dressed in their fanciest attire. Although tea parties have fallen out of style for adults, little girls have, for decades, hosted their own diminutive version of the fancy afternoon tea party, with Teddy bear guests, as a way to mimic adult life in their play. These adorable little girls are dressed in their Sunday best as they enjoy their afternoon tea.
Woman and her dog in her one room house, Texas, 1938.
When the Dust Bowl struck the American heartland in the 1930s, severely damaging the agricultural lands of the Prairie states from the Canadian border down to Texas, thousands of people were forced off their farms. The Dust Bowl occurred as the United States was suffering through a great economic depression that began with the 1929 crash of the stock market, and the ecological disaster of the Dust Bowl made the situation worse. The best many people could do was to seek the cheapest housing they could. This tough Texan woman and her dog have all they own…and all they need…in a one-room home in 1938.
Woman with her Triumph Spitfire (probably), circa mid-1970s.
Talk about a British invasion! The Triumph Spitfire, a small, two-seat, British sports car, was a hot little ride during the 1960s and 1970s. The spunky little car was first introduced at the 1962 London Motor Show and was offered as a hardtop or a convertible. Several versions of the Spitfire, designed by the Italian Giovanni Michelotti, were produced starting with the Mark 1 which rolled off the assembly lines in 1962 and ending with the Spitfire 1500 which ceased production in 1980. Cute, flirty, and sporty, the Triumph Spitfire was an iconic car of the 1960s and 1970s because they were well-built and fun to drive.