Unearthed Photos Offer A Fresh Perspective On Moments In History
By Sophia Maddox | September 4, 2023
David Bowie and Iman at their wedding, June 6th 1992, Florence, Italy
Ever wonder what life was really like in the past? The history books do a good job of telling us about important events and people, but they often don’t give us details about the everyday lives of people and the mind-blowing things that people did in the past. This collection of unique images from our past illustrates the ordinary and the extraordinary.
David Bowie and Iman's love story was nothing short of a modern-day fairytale. Their journey together began in 1990 when they crossed paths in Los Angeles, and from that moment on, their connection was undeniable. Two years later, on June 6th, 1992, in the romantic setting of Florence, Italy, they exchanged vows and embarked on a lifelong journey together. Their union was a fusion of not only two beautiful souls but also two incredibly talented and creative minds. Bowie, the iconic rock star, and Iman, the legendary supermodel, formed a bond that transcended fame and fortune, rooted in a deep and genuine affection for one another. Together, they navigated the highs and lows of life, showcasing a love that served as an inspiration to many, proving that even in the world of music and fashion, true love can endure and flourish. David Bowie and Iman's love story will forever remain a testament to the enduring power of love and partnership.
The Veiled Virgin by Italian sculptor Giovanni Strazza
Giovanni Strazza’s bust of the Virgin Mary is a beautifully exquisite example of an artistic technique that was popular in the mid-1850s in which marble was carved to look like a transparent veil is draped over the bust. Several of Strazza’s contemporaries also carved veiled statues, including Raffaelle Monti and Pietro Rossi. So masterful was Strazza at this technique that he actually carved several veil busts, but this one, most likely carved in the 1850s, is his most well-known. Strazza’s Veiled Virgin was once housed in Rome, but it was sent to Newfoundland, Canada, in 1856, where it remains under the watchful eye of the Presentation Sisters Convent at the Roman Catholic Cathedral in St. John’s.
A coal miners child in grade school in Kentucky. (1946)
In a one-room school house in Kentucky, the sons and daughters of the area’s coal miners studied hard to earn an education even though most of the young boys, like this one seen here, assumed they would follow in their fathers’ footsteps and work in the coal mines themselves. Within a generation of this photo being taken, however, many mines had closed and the number of miners had drastically declined, as other forms of fuel became more widely available. The next generation of Kentucky children had to look elsewhere for steady employment and they watched the populations of their coal mining towns dwindle. A way of life was changing.
A policeman enjoying the company of a few flappers from the roaring 1920s.
The 1920s was an interesting time or transition. We see the modernization of everyday life occurring at a rapid pace. Nowhere was this more evident than in the behavior of young ladies. Calling themselves Flappers, the young women of the twenties bucked tradition and long-held rules and took control of their own lives. They cut their hair into short bobs, drank, smoked, worn shorter skirts, listened to jazz music, applied makeup and drove cars. Shocking behavior at the time! Even more shocking was the flirtatious Flappers who adopted a looser, more casual attitude about sex. Yes, the twenties Flappers were more independent and confident.
A wooden sarcophagus rises from the sand in Abydos after thousands of years of being buried. Egypt
One of ancient Egypt’s oldest cities, Abydos is home to one of the most significant architectural sites in the area. The city once had several important temples, including the memorial temple of Seti I. On the walls of this temple is a chronological list of the majority of Egypt’s pharaohs beginning with Menes and continuing until Ramesses I, the father of Seti I. Abydos also has the Umm el-Qa’ab, a royal burial city, or necropolis, with tombs of several early pharaohs. Today, archaeologists believe that there is much more to the site than what has presently been discovered and that vast ruins of a great temple and other important structures lay buried in the sand beneath the modern day city.
Azure blue indoor pool at Hearst castle.
When construction began on the Hearst Castle in 1919, the goal was to create a home for newspaper millionaire, William Randolph Hearst, and his family that was a testament to the mogul’s wealth and prestige. Following Hearst’s death in 1951, the home became a California State Park so now visitors to the San Simeon area can tour the building and marvel at the richness and opulence of one of America’s most successful millionaires. The home had an indoor and an outdoor pool. The indoor pool shown here was called the Roman Pool and was the site of extravagant parties with Hollywood guests.
Beautiful Art Nouveau Leaf Lamp
It is too bad that the design style known as art nouveau enjoyed a relatively short life span. The nature-inspired curves, with leaves, flowers, and plants, were at the peak of its popularity between 1890 and 1910. One of the unique aspects of art nouveau was that it could be applied to any medium. Today, we see art nouveau influences in furniture, architecture, jewelry, lamps, glass wear, textiles, paintings, and graphic design. The art nouveau movement was a free-spirited response to the overly-formal academic art style that preceded it. By 1910, however, a new style of art, art deco, replaced art nouveau.
Blarney Castle, Ireland.
This medieval Irish castle, built around 1446, is home to the famous Blarney Stone. Although most of the castle is in ruins, visitors can still tour several of the rooms. The Blarney Stone, also called the Stone of Eloquence, is located at the top of the castle. According to legend, if you kiss the Blarney Stone, you are granted the give of gab and the ability to persuade and entertain with your speech. But to kiss the Blarney Stone, you have to hang upside down over a steep cliff face and pucker up. If heights aren’t your thing, you could check out the poison garden on the castle grounds to see the opium, ricin, wolfsbane, cannabis, and mandrake that grow there.
Bridesmaids in England , 1920. 3 They certainly didnt skimp on the bouquets, did they!
These 1920s bridesmaid are dainty and fresh, even as they handle their enormous bouquets. But it is not the comically large bouquets that make this image unique. It is that the bridesmaids all appear to be young women. A tradition at British weddings is to have young children serve as the bridal attendants, including the bridesmaids and groomsmen. The whimsical innocence of the children adds a freshness to British weddings. Who can forget how adorable the young Prince George and his sister, Princess Charlotte, were at the last royal wedding, the ceremony that united Prince Harry with the American actress, Meghan Markle.
Man’s best friend or a little boy’s best buddy? Every little boy wants a puppy to call his own and this young lad has found the perfect companion in this tiny terrier. Terriers and other small breed dogs were fast becoming popular pets, especially for city dwellers. After all, it is easier to keep a small dog in a city apartment. Like a responsible dog owner, this little boy has taken his pup out for a walk along the city sidewalks, stopping to take a quick break on the steps of a neighboring apartment building.
Cast of Star Wars chillin in a bar, 1977.
They look so young! Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford were photographed relaxing at a bar in 1977during the filming of “Star Wars”. The blockbuster mega-hit, directed by George Lucas, helped to turn Hamill, Fisher, and Ford’s characters, Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, and Han Solo, into household names. The film launched a movie dynasty that is still going strong today, forty years later. “Star Wars” is an important part of our pop culture. Do you think that these three actors knew how big and influential the film would be, back when this photo was snapped?
Colossal statues of Ramses II 19th Dynasty at the entrance to Luxor Temple, Egypt.
Twin stone sentries guard the entrance to the Luxor Temple, near the ancient Egyptian city of Thebes. Carved from a single block of sandstone, these seated guards are joined by four more guards, all in the standing position. The seated guards are the only ones that remain largely intact, however. The entrance is known as the first pylon and is credited to Ramesses II. Ramesses is also said to have built the pink granite obelisk that towers more than 80-feet. It is a grand and majestic entrance into the ancient and sacred temple that was an important place for many of Egypt’s pharaohs.
Do you miss flipping through albums in a records store
Does this photo make you nostalgic for the old record stores? During vinyl records’ heyday, most decent sized communities had at least one record store, maybe more. Patrons could thumb through the stacks of records looking for their favorite band’s newest release or admiring the cool graphic art on the front and back covers of the albums. The albums would be divided by genre then arranged alphabetically, so it was easy to find what you were looking for, even amid all these records. Most record stores even had turn tables set up with headphones so customers could take a listen to the album before they bought it.
Hippie Dad walking with his daughter in Amsterdam, 1968.
The young adults of the 1960s and 1970s…the hippies…were all about rebellion. They wanted nothing to do with the rules and conventions that they had growing up and the societal expectation that their parents adhered to. Instead, the hippies were all about peace, love, and freedom. Not surprisingly, when hippies became parents themselves, they chose to parent their children in a much different way. Many hippie parents refused to spank their children, advocated for fewer rules, and more independence. This hippie dad, out for a stroll with his daughter, is allowing her to learn about the world around her.
Josephine Miller the Gettysburg battlefield girl. The battle lasted from Jul 1, 1863 Jul 3, 1863. Her farm was in the middle of the battle but refused to leave when the soldiers told her to. She used to bake bread for the soldiers.
Josephine Miller was an unmarried, 23-year old woman, who was living with her grandparents, Peter and Susan Rogers, when Civil War fighting started right in their front yard. Susan fled to safety but Peter wanted to stay to guard the family’s home. Union officers encouraged Josephine to leave with her grandmother, but the young woman had just put a batch of bread in the oven and didn’t want to leave it. When the bread was done, she offered it to the troops. They devoured it heartily so she stayed to bake another batch. She ended up staying for the duration of the battle, supplying the soldiers with bread and medical care.
Money recovered from the Titanic.
When the Titanic sank after striking an iceberg on April 15, 1912, it took nearly everything to the ocean floor with it. That included more than 1,500 passengers and crew, priceless works or art, expensive bottles of wine and champagne, precious jewelry, and wads and wads of money. This photograph shows a few of the bills collected from the wreckage site of the great ocean liner. Included in this collection are bills from England, the United States, France, and Germany.
Reunions following WWII
As a joyful older couple looks on, this World War II soldier is reunited with his sweetheart after returning from war. Happy reunions like this one were common, but not everyone with a loved one overseas got to experience this joy. Of the estimated 16 million American soldiers who served in World War II, about 416,800 were killed. This means there were way too many families who didn’t get to see a son or father or brother return from war, and way too many sweethearts who never got that ‘welcome home’ kiss.
A cinema in New York City showing the Bela Lugosi film 'Return of The Vampire', 1943
Return of the Vampire, released in 1944 and starring Bela Lugosi, was a haunting cinematic experience that captivated audiences during the 1940s. In an era where going to the movies was a cherished communal event, this film brought a unique thrill to the silver screen. Audiences gathered in ornate, dimly lit theaters, often dressed in their finest attire, to witness Lugosi's mesmerizing portrayal of a vampire.
The film not only offered a spine-tingling narrative but also showcased the allure of black-and-white cinematography, adding to its eerie ambiance. For those fortunate enough to experience Return of the Vampire in its original cinematic glory, it was a thrilling escape from the tumultuous backdrop of World War II.
Roman wooden furniture buried under ash of Vesuvius in 79 CE. Object found in Herculaneum.
When Mount Vesuvius erupted on August 24, in the year 79 AD, it destroyed the city of Herculaneum along with Pompeii. Herculaneum was a wealthier town than Pompeii and located a bit further away from the volcano. When the eruption occurred, Herculaneum was hit with pyroclastic flows, toxic, super-heated gas mixed with ash. The pyroclastic material completely covered Herculaneum and protected wooden objects, like this piece of furniture, from being burned in the fires that would come. In fact, archaeologists unearthed numerous examples of organic material, like wood, clothe, and thatch that were preserved in the rubble.
Royal throne from Tomb of Tutankhamun KV62, Valley of the Kings, Luxor Now at the Egyptian Museum, Cairo.
When Howard Carter discovered the intact tomb of Egypt’s King Tutankhamen in 1922, one of the most magnificent items in the burial chamber was the Golden Throne of Tutankhamen. The throne is overlaid with gold and silver sheets and encrusted with colored glass and semi-precious stones. Visitors to the Egyptian Museum in Cairo can see the royal throne first hand and marvel at the boy pharaoh who ruled over ancient Egypt from 1332 to 1323 BC.
So quaint. England, 1935.
There is something magically quaint about old English cottages. The abundance of flowers, whimsical gables, and winding paths give English cottages a fairytale quality that is simply hard to resist. While most cottages are smaller homes set in a rural location, English cottages are especially cozy and lovely. Many have thatched roofs and cobblestone walkways that recall a bygone era. This one is so peaceful that we just want to sit inside and enjoy a cup of tea.
Spiš Castle, Slovakia, one of the largest castles in Central Europe.
At 445,906 square feet, the Spis Castle in Slovakia is one of Europe’s largest castles. It was built in the 12th century on top of the ruins of an older castle. The original part of the structure was built in the Romanesque style but a Romanesque-Gothic basilica was added at the end of the 13th century. More additions were added to the castle after a fire destroyed much of it in the 15th century. The new additions included a Gothic chapel and an completely renovated upper castle that became a suitable home for the Zapalya family. Another fire, possibly from a lightning strike, burned that castle in 1780, and the residents abandoned the building. It is now a preserved site.
Stevie Wonder visiting a childrens school for the blind in London, United Kingdom, 1970.
Blind since shortly after his birth, American singer, musician, songwriter, and music producer, Stevie Wonder is considered a musical genius, despite his disability. Stevie is one of the most successful and awarded performers in music history, earning 25 Grammy Awards and more than 30 top ten hits. He has struck it big with hits like, “Superstition,” I Just Called to Say I Love You,” “Sir Duke”, and “You Are the Sunshine of my Life.” Stevie is an inspiration to anyone facing challenges and disabilities, which is why he enjoys meeting young children with vision impairments, like these two boys.
The last night aboard the Titanic before she struck the iceberg
This photograph was taken the night before the Titanic struck and iceberg and sank in 1912, killing more than 1,600 people. The ship, on its maiden voyage, was considered the most elegant and opulent ocean liner on the sea. For first class passengers, the experience was meant to be one of extreme luxury and obvious displays of wealth, prestige, and power. All that wealth, however, couldn’t save the doomed passengers from the icy waters of the North Atlantic and the overloaded lifeboats…a fate that awaited this group just hours after this image was snapped.
The last photo of the man in black, Johnny Cash.
This was the last photograph taken of Johnny Cash, the Man in Black. The singer, songwriter, and musician died on September 12, 2003, from complication from diabetes. The musical icon was best known as a country music artist, though his tunes crossed genres into rock, folk, gospel, and blues. In fact, his crossover hits earned Cass a place in the Country Music, Rock and Roll, and Gospel Music halls of fame. This signature song, “Folsom Prison Blues” and his habit of wearing all black on stage made him seem like a serious, introspective performer, but he was known to be a rebellious rocker as well.
The Long Room of the Old Library, Trinity College Dublin.
Trinity College Library’s Long Room is an impressive receptacle of 200,000 of the college’s oldest and most significant books. Construction on the room began in 1712 and wasn’t finished until 1732. The room was expanded in the 1850s because Trinity College was granted permission to get a free copy of every book printed in Ireland and England to house in its vast library. The formidable room has a collection of marble busts of great writers and philosophers lining the perimeter. In the Long Room, you will find one of the last remaining copies of the 1916 Proclamation of the Irish Republic, as well as the Book of Kells.
The neo-gothic St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City, as seen from Rockefeller Center.
Amid the hustle and bustle of the New York City sidewalks and nestled among the modern skyscrapers, is Saint Patrick’s Cathedral. Located on Fifth Avenue at 51st Street in midtown Manhattan, the cathedral is the seat of the Catholic Archdiocese of New York and a well-known landmark. The cornerstone for the cathedral was laid on August 15, 1858 and construction was completed in 1878. Over the years, the building has been renovated and expanded. In 1976, it was declared a National Historic Landmark. It remains an active church and visitors can go there for mass.
The western staircase leading to the roof of The Temple of the Goddess Hathor, Egypt, 380 BC.
This staircase, that appears to be melting in the desert heat, lead to the roof of the Temple of the Goddess Hathor, also known as the Temple of Tentyra. The temple and the surrounding temple complex, dating to 380 BC, is one of the best preserved temple complexes in Egypt. It appears that the structures here were maintained and added on to up until the Roman times. In fact, the carvings of Cleopatra and her son, Ptolemy, who was fathered by Julius Caesar, give us a great example of Ptolemaic Egyptian Art
These baby cages were used to ensure that children get enough sunlight and fresh air when living in an apartment building, ca. 1937
These frightening baby cages were suspended high above city sidewalks in large metropolitan areas in the 1930s. Physicians were reporting that children needed exposure to sunlight and fresh air in order to grow properly and that was difficult to achieve while living in big city apartments. The solution was these dangerous-looking baby cages that were fixed to an open window and gave an infant an opportunity to be outdoors without having to leave the apartment. We do not know if any baby cages failed and crashed to the street below. Let's hope none.
Two corvettes 54 years apart. Time is a beautiful thing.
A classic American sportscar, the Chevy Corvette has enjoyed a longevity not common in automobiles. The first Corvette, a convertible, was introduced at the GM Motorama, a concept show, in 1953. Build for speed and performance, the Corvette was initially built in Michigan and Missouri, but the production moved to Bowling Green, Kentucky, where is it still being produced. Through the years, the Corvette has won numerous awards, most recently the North American Car of the Year in 2014. It has been honored by Automotive Magazine, Car and Driver, Motor Trends, Hot Rod Magazine, and the Society of Automotive Engineers.