54 Chilling Images With Unknown Stories From History

By Sophia Maddox | December 12, 2023

A man browsing for books in Cincinnati's old main library. The library was demolished in 1955.

When you look back at history there are moments that you can’t help but feel like you’ve lived. Big, sweeping, epic moments that are etched in stone. But even more fascinating are the stories that exist between the bullet points. These jaw-dropping photos that tell the unknown stories are sure to amaze. Click ahead with fervor and plow through pictures and anecdotes about everything from World War II to Madonna, and even the early years of Walt Disney.

That’s not all we have. There are eye-opening looks at Mother Nature, natural disasters, and indigenous people that you’d never see in your normal life. Keep some eye drops handy because there’s a lot to learn and photos that will astound you. Onward! 

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Source: Pinterest

From 1875 to 1955 one of the most beautiful structures ever created stood in Cincinnati, the old Public library. It had cast iron book alcoves, spiral staircases, checker marble floors, and an honest to goodness skylight - it’s exactly the kind of place a bookworm would want to cozy up and read until closing time. You could probably even find a place to hide so you could stay overnight. 

Unfortunately, the funeral bells of time came for the old main. In 1955 Cincinnati constructed a newer building (boo!) a few blocks away and unceremoniously demolished this classic building, completely undoing a beautiful piece of literary history. 

A group of young shoe shiners gather around a Civil War veteran to hear his tales in Pennsylvania, 1935.

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Source: Reddit

Gone are the days of the shoe shine. When you could walk down the street and find any young man with a box and a rag who could make your shoes look as good as new. In the 1930s, boot blacks were in most urban areas, and at that time there was also a confluence of the old world meeting with the new world. Holdovers from the 19th century were still hanging out and telling stories about the last half of the 1800s.

It must have been an amazing time for a young boy to be earning a wage as a boot black. Not only were stories of the old world afoot, but the world was changing at a major rate.