Retro Photos that Will Transport You Back in Time
By | February 27, 2023
Young Madonna had all the goods back before she was famous back in 1974
Celebrities are just ordinary people....except they are rich, famous, beautiful, and incredibly talented. Celebrities also take amazing photos, and we have photos of celebrities captured in their natural habitat. Not only that, but we also have photos of old timey wonders that you've never seen before.
Madonna Louise Ciccone has been the Queen of Pop - since her arrival on the scene back in the '80s. Surprisingly (or not), Madonna was raised by Catholic parents in the suburbs of Detroit. A pure product of Motor City, her dad worked as an engineer designer for Chrysler and General Motors. Early on, Madonna's dad inspired her to get into the arts, putting her in classical piano lessons and ballet classes. She was a straight-A student in high school and was even a member of the cheerleading squad. Madonna received a dance scholarship to the University of Michigan - but ended up dropping out in order to move to New York City to pursue her dream. And the rest is Madonna history!
1930's weight gain ad recommends beer
Oh how times have greatly changed. Back in the 1930s, society's perception of beauty was for women to have a few extra pounds on them. Thin women were looked as scrawny, weak, and nervous. Think of Olive Oil from Popeye. See what I mean? And the best way recommended to women for adding extra pounds was to drink lots of beer. According to this ad, that's what doctors prescribed for putting on an extra 5-15 lbs in just a few weeks. But then again, this was the same era where they also had ads with doctors recommending smoking. Though prescribing beer seems insane, hops, which are are found in beer, has been used in herbal medicine since before the 1500s.
Almost 1.5 million balloons were released simultaneously at The Cleveland Balloonfest in 1986
Sure this looks fun, but it didn't end well. On September 27th, 1986, 1.5 million helium-filled balloons were release in Cleveland as part of Balloonfest '86; a fundraising effort organized by the United Way. The purpose was to break the world record for the biggest simultaneous balloon launch. It was meant to be whimsical and fun, but ended up being a environmental disaster. The balloons got caught in a storm and drifted back down to earth. The airborne balloons also clouded the sky and caused a local airport to shut down a runway. I'm pretty darn sure someone got fired for coming up with this stunt - because with 1.5 million balloons, what possible could've gone wrong?
Air conditioned lawn mower from the 1950's
Why did this never catch on? The 1950s was a time for an optimistic view of a better tomorrow. And what could make suburban life better than a futuristic air conditioned lawn mower. On Oct. 14, 1957, the future of lawn mowing took a new turn with the addition of a beautiful air conditioned bubble; the rider could cut the lawn while looking like a creature in some sort of futuristic zoo while riding in a clear five foot sphere. Not only was this appliance air conditioned, but it also had an electrical generator that powered such life necessities as a radio telephone and a chilled drink dispenser.
Robin Williams, with his first wife, Valerie Velardi, on their wedding day (1978)
It must of been insane to be married to Robin Williams during the moment when he skyrocketed to fame back in the 70s. Valerie Velardi would know - and you should hear the stories she has to tell in the recently released documentary, Come Inside My Mind. The couple first met in 1976 when Williams was an unknown actor and comedian in San Francisco. The couple got married in 1978 and stayed together for 10 years before Velardi filed for divorce. The Mork and Mindy star wasn't really the most faithful of husbands.
"He loved women. Absolutely loved women. And I got it," Velardi said.
"The more I learn about people, the more I like my dog" -Mark Twain (1904) Twain had three dogs which he named "I Know", "You Know" and "Don't Know"
Twain, aka Samuel Clemens, had a great fondness for canines. In fact, dogs inspired his work. One of Twain’s rare attempts at poetry took on the subject of his recently deceased dog named Burns: “She lived a quiet harmless life in Hartford far from madding strife.”
Twain used dogs as his muse up until the end. Weeks before he died, Twain wrote about approaching heaven’s gate: “Leave your dog outside. Heaven goes by favor. If it went by merit, you would stay out and your dog would go in.”
This is not to say that Twain didn't like cats. He once wrote about felines: “The only creature in heaven or earth or anywhere that don’t have to obey somebody or other, including the angels.”
A party pooper picketing Spring break at Daytona Beach in the 1980s.
Spring break in Daytona Beach, during the 1980s, was a wild time. That's why it was almost essential to have someone inform college students of the day that they were sinners and heading to hell. Spring Break has always been know as a debauch right of passage. And Daytona Beach has always been Ground Zero for this seasonal hedonism. This annual event began back in the 1930s when schools and universities became to take an academic vacation period. The first documented excursion was in 1935, when a swimming coach at Colgate University brought his team to Ft. Lauderdale during spring break to train. And what is the natural thing students like to do when they are on break from school? The answer: PARTY!
Beautiful photo taken of The Twin Towers during construction in the 1970s.
On August 5, 1966, marks the groundbreaking for the construction of the World Trade Center. When the WTC twin towers were completed, the total costs to the Port Authority was $900 million. The first tenants started moving into the North Tower on December 15, 1970. The South Tower started accepting occupants on January 1972. It wasn't until 1979, when the World Trade Center was completely sold out. The Twin Towers were built on a site in Manhattan called, Radio Row. It was a warehouse district that consisted of several blocks of electronics stores - and was said to be the origin of the electronic component distribution business. Controversy erupted when this area was torn down to make way for the World Trade Center. And you know the rest about bad karma..
Ben Bowden shows off his prototype bicycle called the 'Bowden Spacelander' in 1946.
How many hipsters in Williamsburg would trade their curly mustaches for a bike like this? Benjamin Bowden created the prototype of the 'Bowden Spacelander' back in 1946. But strangely, it didn't go into production until 1960. Only 522 of these two-wheeled-beauties were manufactured. It sold for a retail price of $89.50 - in 1960 dollars. Today, a Bowden Spacelander in mint condition would cost you somewhere around the range of $15,000.
According to the Brooklyn Museum website:
"The Spacelander is a marvel of postwar biomorphic design. Its curving lines and amoeba-like voids represent the mutation of the prewar streamlined style into a new expression based on organic, rather than machine-made, forms."
Buffalo Bill looking stylish back in 1909
The name Buffalo Bill Cody goes hand-in-hand with myths about the old West. But did you know that this all-American hero was actually part Canadian? Yes, his father was born and raised near the city of Mississauga in Ontario - and Cody spent some time living there as a youth. Buffalo Bill became a Pony Express rider by the age of 14 and served on the Union side of the Civil War from 1863 to 1865. He also served as a civilian scout for the US Army during the Indian Wars and receive the Medal of Honor in 1872. As Buffalo Bill's legend began to spread he started performing in Buffalo Bill's Wild West. In 1883, the Wild West show began to tour not only in the U.S., but also in Britain and around Europe. I can easily see Jeff Bridges playing Buffalo Bill in the film adaptation.
Dalai Lama as a toddler (age 2 or 3)
His Holiness the Dalai Lama, or better yet, the 14th Dalai Lama, was born on 6 July 1935 to a farming and horse trading family in the small village of Taktser. In his autobiography, His Holiness writes: “During my early childhood, my family was one of twenty or so making a precarious living from the land there.” That's why he became self-described as a simple Buddhist monk. By the age of 6, His Holiness began his monastic education. His curriculum included logic, fine arts, Sanskrit grammar, and medicine; with the greatest emphasis on Buddhist philosophy. During the 1959 Tibetan uprising, he fled to India, where he currently lives as a refugee. In 1989, The 14th Dalai Lama received the Nobel Peace Prize.
Instructions on "How to Kiss a Girl" from 1911.
Apparently in 1911, men didn't know how to kiss women - so instructions such as these were very helpful. Yes, long before the days of the #MeToo movement, men were being taught such nuggets of wisdom as "Do not tell her your intentions," and "Do not ask permission to kiss her." This all seems odd, but the intent really was to sell gum - sold by the Common Sense Gum company. These tips for girl- kissing came along with a stick of gum. The main takeaway from the kissing tips was to take the girl by surprise. Yikes! Creepy!
John Cleese playing on the set of "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" film. (1975)
Ha! What a great shot. Monty Python and the Holy Grail is almost everyone's pick for top ten comedy films of all-time. Though it turned out to be a hilarious film, nearly all the members of the Monty Python comedy troupe have said that they had a miserable time while filming the project. It was shot in cold, rainy Scotland. Funny enough, Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon album was partly responsible for the 1975 movie getting made. The band was such fans of Monty Python that they used royalties from the album to fund the movie. In fact, Pink Floyd was such fans of their TV show, Monty Python's Flying Circus, they would halt recording sessions just to watch. Thank you Pink Floyd for helping a great comedy cause.
John F. Kennedy playing peek-a-boo with his baby Caroline, 1957.
Here's Caroline Kennedy. She went from growing up in the White House to serving as the United States Ambassador to Japan until 2017. When Caroline was three-years old, her dad, John F. Kennedy, was sworn in as President of the United States - thus the family moved into the White House. She was five days away from her sixth birthday when her father was assassinated in Dallas on November 22, 1963. The following year, Caroline moved with her mother and little brother to a penthouse on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. She went on to receive a J.D. degree from Columbia Law School.
Mackinac Bridge, which connects Michigan's Upper and Lower Peninsula, under construction in 1957
Talk about one hell of a long bridge. Yes, we're talking 26,372 feet long. The Mackinac Bridge spans the Straits of Mackinac to connect Michigan's Upper and Lower Peninsulas. The bridge, also referred to as "Big Mac" and "Mighty Mac" - was open in 1957 and designed by engineer David B. Steinman. At the time, the bridge was known as the "world's longest suspension bridge between anchorages", which brought comparisons to San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge. Japan surpassed the Mackinac Bridge when, in 1998, they completed the Akashi Kaikyō Bridge - which is 6,532 ft. Still the Mackinac Bridge is a mighty darn long bridge.
Menu from the Titanic, 1912.
This is creepy. Not only is this the menu from the Titanic, but it's the menu for the Titanic - on the day it started sinking. (It went down on April 14th-April 15th, 1912.) As the unsinkable ship sunk, passengers were not only in a panic, but they also had a belly full of stewed figs and rice, smoked herring and jacket potatoes, and plum pudding.
When Titanic began to sink, over a thousand passengers and crew were on board. The disaster shocked the world - partly due to the lack of lifeboats available. Almost all the passengers who jumped from the Titanic either drowned or died within minutes due to the temperature of the icy cold water. We've seen it happen to Leonardo DiCaprio in the James Cameron movie, Titanic.
Need to concentrate? Don't worry, here's the solution!
On first glance, my thoughts are: what the hell is this!? Why did this never catch on? The Isolator is a helmet that was created in 1925 to help workers concentrate and keep focused. I'm not exactly sure how that would work, being having a large helmet on your head would be...very distracting. It was invented by Hugo Gernsback, who was an editor of Science and Invention magazine, member of The American Physical Society, and one of the early pioneers of science fiction. How The Isolator works is, when you wear the helmet, oxygen is piped in and the wearer's vision is limited to a tiny horizontal slit. Again, it's hard to believe that this never caught on...
Passing through a giant sequoia tree at Yosemite Park, 1879.
Some of the largest living things on the planet are found in California's Yosemite National Park. Yes, we're talking the giant sequoias in Yosemite Park. The giant trees were on this earth long before we got here - and will be here (hopefully) long after we're gone. The sequoias can live to be 3,000 years old and can grow to be 300 feet high and 100 feet in circumference. Seeing them in person makes you feel like you're in a Lord of the Rings movie. These trees need to say thanks to President Abraham Lincoln. He signed the Yosemite Land Grant bill on June 30, 1864. This bill set a precedent for the preservation of the our country's wilderness.
Popular Atari games from the 1980's
Atari had its heyday between 1972 and 1984. It's the company that brought the world the first video game hit: Pong. This was back in 1972. Atari released Home Pong in 1977, which was the first of several Pong-based video game consoles. (Yes, you needed more than one.) What really put them on the map was introducing their first home computer back in 1979 - with the the Atari 400 and 800. This brought video games from the arcade into the home. (Did that catch on at all?)
Space Invaders was released in 1980 for the Atari 2600. The game, now, might seem as fun now as watching a screen saver. But back in the day, Space Invaders was on the forefront of video game mania. And it had a great soundtrack.
Queen Elizabeth served in the Women’s Auxiliary Territorial Service during World War II
It's hard to think of Queen Elizabeth as young. But at one time she was. And that time was during World War II. In 1944, the then Princess Elizabeth was 18-years old. Other Royals have served in the military, such as Prince Harry and William. Princess Elizabeth advocated for herself to serve in the British military in the same way that other young Brits would have to during the time of war. Once the Princess joined up, she learned such rigors as passing a military driving test, learning to read maps, and working on repairing engines. Might sound like the future Queen was roughing it, but at night she would sleep at Windsor Castle, rather than in the camp with her fellow female ATS members.
Rod Stewart in his 1970's kitchen
Students taking part in a nuclear attack drill in the 1950's
At the height of the Cold War, with the threat of a nuclear war looming, American schoolkids were being taught to "duck and cover" - as part of drill in case the bomb was dropped on the United States. This photo was taken in 1951 - and is very amusing/naive/scary to think that this exercise would somehow save lives if Russia dropped a nuclear bomb on their city. The sad truth is, a nuclear firebomb would rip through their classroom. Fun little films, with catchy songs and animated turtles were produced to show kids how to properly duck and cover during a surprise nuclear attack. This was life during the Atomic Age.
Teens talking on the corner in NYC, 1948.
Believe it or not, "teenager" wasn't even a word until the late 1940s. Before then, these youngsters were simply referred to as "young humans." The 40s ushered in the youth movement with the advent of the Zoot suit, bobby socks, soda shops, and the music of Frank Sinatra. During this era - the world jumped on board to cater to this newly termed "teenager." Fashion designers, authors, filmmakers and manufacturers started catering to the needs of teenagers. In 1944, "Seventeen Magazine" hit the stands and gave teen girls advice about makeup, fashion and tips for dealing with parents. The result was that teen culture became its own thing - which still stand to this day.
The enchanting doorway at St Edward's Parish Church in the Cotswold, flanked by yew trees. (Stow on the Wold, Gloucestershire)
This photo looks very J.R.R, Tolkien-ish. St Edward's Parish Church stands on the site of the original Saxon church, which was made of wood. The location here is Cotswold - which is in a rural area in south central England. St Edward's Parish Church has a mixture of architectural styles because of the numerous additions and renovations over the centuries. One style, apparently, involved a large tree. Parts of the church date back as far as the 11th to the 14th century. The towers and clerestory were built in the 15th century. In more modern times, the 2002 funeral of the Who's bass player, John Entwistle, took place at this church.
William Harley and Arthur Davidson on their bikes, 1914.
If these old-timey hipsters only knew the impact their motorbikes would have on our modern culture. Arthur Davidson and William Harley were childhood friends in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In 1903, they designed their first motorbike. Their efforts would change the face of motorized history - in the same way the Wright Brothers would change air travel. With a stroke of inspiration, they started working on the idea of a motorized bike without pedals. Davidson was credited with the slogan, "Take the Work out of Bicycling." Along with his buddy, Harley the two worked tirelessly in a 10 x 15 foot shed to build their beloved motorized Frankenstein. Needless to say, they kept tinkering with the idea. And apparently, it caught on big time...
Sally Field in the late 1960s.
Sally Field is one of those actresses who’s taken the audience though the best decades. While the nature of her work has changed, and she’s flitted between television and film, she’s always got a confidence and grace that lets her fans know that she’s in charge. Whether she’s a flying nun, or a Southern California goofball, her work is always effortless and fun.
In the ‘60s Field starred in shows like Gidget and The Flying Nun, however she felt that she was being typecast with these kinds of roles. Rather than moan about it, she studied at the Actor’s Studio and chased interesting roles throughout the ‘70s and ‘80s. Because of this, we really, really like her.
Leonard Nimoy posing in front of his '64 Buick Riviera.
When you look back at the cast of the original Star Trek it’s clear that in spite of Kirk’s bravado or the irascibility of Bones, that Spock was the coolest member of the crew. The same goes for Leonard Nimoy, a guy who managed to turn a couple of pointy ears and strange eyebrows into more than an odd fashion choice.
Nimoy was the backbone of Star Trek throughout the show’s criminally underwatched three seasons, and according to his autobiography he was always working on something new even when he was stuck on set. Even though Leonard Nimoy beamed away from Earth for the last time, his memory will always live long and prosper.
Janis Joplin in the studio, 1967.
In the late ‘60s Janis Joplin was a hit of the San Francisco psychedelic rock scene. Her bluesy vocals made her one of the most exciting singers of the era, and she could most usually be seen jamming with Big Brother and the Holding Company. Even though Joplin was shot in the arm for the band, their first album wasn’t an instant success and the band became road dogs for much of ’68.
However prior to that, Joplin’s time in the studio with the group amounted to her arrangement of standards that the band would perform, and creating intense vocals that would go on to inspire a generation of blues-rock singers.
The late, great comedian John Candy in 1972.
Before he was one of the most prominent comedic performers of the ‘80s and ‘90s, John Candy was just a young man studying at McMaster University in Ontario Canada. At the young age of 22 Candy was already appearing in small roles on film and television in Canada, although it would another four years before he received his big break in 1976 with SCTV.
Candy’s early roles were as a weatherman on a Canadian children’s show called Cucumber, and as “Richie” in Dr. Simon Locke. Its in these roles that Candy learned how to become a part of team, strengthening the production from the inside out
This photo pretty much sums up what was rad if you were a teenage boy in 1985
Everything about this photo, from the rad pink bike to the ‘80s era converse, and the short shorts let you know that this kid was the coolest around. How many of you remember tooling around on your BMX during summer break, the wind blowing through your mullet as you slurped down soda on your way to the arcade? The only thing this kid is missing is a Walkman with some seriously rockin’ tunes.
Bikes like these were a must have in the ‘80s, and the more garish the color the cooler they were. What color was your bike? Did you and your friends mix and match? Or was there one that everyone in your crew adhered to?
Who remembers the super strong redheaded little girl and her adventures, Pippi Longstocking? A Swedish TV series
In 1969 one of the strangest, yet somehow endearing television shows premiered on Swedish television. Pippi Longstocking is very Scandinavian, but somehow the wild and weird world of this red headed girl with super strength translated to worldwide audiences. A lot of that had to do with the portrayal of the character by Inger Nilsson
Nilsson was able to translate the character’s madcap sensibilities to an audience that didn’t speak Swedish, and even when she was dubbed her body language really did most of the work. If you haven’t seen the show in a while, it’s a real weird trip.
Debbie Harry in 1968.
Born in Miami, Florida in 1945, Debbie Harry was adopted at three months old and moved to Hawthorne, New Jersey. In the mid-60s she studied art at Centenary College in Hackettstown, New Jersey before moving to New York to begin her career as a singer. Her first singing gig was as a back up singer for The Wind in the Willows, a folk group who released an album on Capital Records.
This photo is definitely from Harry’s time in The Wind in the Willows, and she’d yet to adopt her signature bleached blonde look. It’s interesting to imagine what a folkie Blondie would have been like.
14 year-old David Jones (Bowie) in 1961.
David Bowie has always looked like David Bowie, even before he was blowing out minds as an outer space rockstar or a thin white duke. The young space oddity was born in Brixton, but he moved with his family to Bromley at a young age and began performing in music and movement classes at the Burnt Ash Junior School.
However his only love wasn’t dance, and he qucikly began learning to play piano, bass, and baritone saxophone. He’d use all of these talents in his following career, although the saxophone would play the most prominent role on many of his albums.
Marilyn Monroe Gets Ready To Go On The Air, 1952
To go from working in a factory to being one of the biggest stars on the planet has to take some getting used to. In 1952 Monroe was still figuring out how to be a star, and she hadn’t even reached the peak of her career yet. At the time she was appearing in films for RKO and MGM, with her most prominent role being that of Angela in The Asphalt Jungle.
At the same time, Monroe was also keen to appear on the radio. She regularly appeared on a show hosted by Dean Martin & Jerry Lewis where she played a ditzy version of herself while hamming it up with members of the Rat Pack.
Ann-Margret consults with costume designer Don Feld about her wardrobe in the movie, "Viva Las Vegas" 1963.
Can we get a round of applause for the style of the early ‘60s? Black jeans and sweaters are truly always so cool. According to director George Sidney, Viva Las Vegas had to be rushed into production, and because of that there wasn’t a script. However, he knew that he had Elvis and he had Ann-Margret, so he and writer Sally Benson took 11 days to write the movie. Sidney claimed:
Originally it was something about an Arabian or something... But we turned it around and we wrote the script in about eleven days... We changed the whole thing and decided to do it in Las Vegas.
Tommy Lee and Heather Locklear in 1985, Prior To Their Marriage
When these two bright young stars met they were both at the top of their game and in their early 20s. Tommy Lee was at the height of his career with Mötley Crüe. The band had just released “Theatre of Pain,” an album that cemented the band as the flag-bearers of hair metal, and Locklear was starring in Dynasty, one of the premiere prime time sitcoms of the day.
According to the rock star it was love at first sight between these two. Lee and Locklear tied the knot on May 10, 1986, a year after they first met. At the time Lee said, “I think we'll be the coolest grandma and grandpa in the world.” The couple divorced in 1993.
Tom Cruise and Sean Penn on the set of “Taps” (1981)
Taps, the military drama set at the Bunker Hill Military Academy isn’t just a timeless coming of age film, but it’s an introduction to some of the most famous actors of the late 20th century. Not only does the film feature Tom Cruise and Sean Penn - each of them on their way to becoming some of the biggest stars on the planet - but it also features one Mr. Giancarlo Esposito, although you most likely know him as Gus from Breaking Bad.
Initially, Cruise was only meant to play a background actor, however his role was beefed up during rehearsals by the director who enjoyed the way the actor handled himself around the rest of the cast.
A very 'kool' KISS costume at the Halloween parade in West Village, New York. (1978)
Whoa, this is one cool kid. By 1977 the band that rock and rolled all night and partied every day managed to rock so hard that they were suddenly a four quadrant band - they appealed to everyone. While long haired heavy metalers were into the band’s riffs, kids glommed onto the theatrical aspects of the band. They loved the makeup, the fire breathing, and crazy characters.
Halloween 1978 was full of looks like this, with kids doing their best Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley impressions while they went on the hunt for candy through their neighborhoods. Hopefully this kid had a few friends so he could fill out the rest of the band!
Eddie Van Halen And Michael Jackson Chill In The Studio While Recording "Beat It"
Michael Jackson knew he had a hit on his hands with “Beat It.” How could he not? At that point everything he touched turned to gold (or platinum), but he needed something to take the song to the next level. He wanted a solo by the greatest living guitar player, Eddie Van Halen. The guitarist was riding high at the time with a string of hit albums, and he performed the solo for free but he had a few terms.
Van Halen insisted that he would never be credited for the solo because he didn’t want other members of Van Halen to find out, he didn’t need to be paid because it was a favor (all he wanted was a case of beer), he asked for Michael to “teach him how to dance.” What a rad dude.
Lovely Lea Thompson as 'Lorraine Baines' in "Back to the Future" -1985.
Lea Thompson is truly one of the only actresses who can pull off the classic ‘50s teeny bopper look as well as the harried style of a mother in the ‘80s, and a casino queen in an alternate future (not to mention her Wild West counterpart). She was initially hired for Back to the Future because she had chemistry with Eric Stoltz (the original Marty McFly), but after he was removed from the cast they kept her on.
Thompson had her fair share of trials while working on the film, however they were mostly makeup based. It took her three and a half hours every day to apply her old age makeup for the beginning of the film.
ZZ Top hanging out by the ice machine, 1970.
Before they were cruising through MTV in the Eliminator, ZZ Top were just a trio of Texas boys who were trying to find their sound. The band was formed in 1969 by Billy Gibbons, but the final line up wasn’t solidified until early 1970 when drummer Frank Beard and bassist Dusty Hill joined him in Houston. That year they immediately threw themselves into performing and signed with London Records. They played everywhere they could in order to tighten up, and since they’re still together you can say it paid off. Guitarist Billy Gibbons explained how that informed the recording of their first record:
We had been together for about six months and were knocking around the bar scene, playing all the usual funky joints. We took the studio on as an extension of the stage show. The basics were all of us playing together in one room, but we didn't want to turn our backs on contemporary recording techniques. To give our sound as much presence and support as possible, we became a little more than a three piece with the advantages of overdubbing. It was the natural kind of support – some rhythm guitar parts, a little bit of texture. That was about it.
A young daredevil performing a stunt on his bike in 1972
Now this is a seriously cool kid. In the ‘70s everyone wanted to be a dare devil, and that meant getting all your friends together to build ramps, act as props, and participate as at the audience. There’s something special about this picture in particular. Not only does the little Evel Knievel have his very own fan club, but it looks like his dad - or someone’s dad - is watching from the stoop.
This is one of those photos that shows the best part of growing up in the 1970s, an era when you had to go outside and make your own fun, even if that fun was a little dangerous.
A brunette Elizabeth Montgomery, 1961
Before she was twiddling her nose on Bewitched and making trouble for her husband, Elizabeth Montgomery was doing everything she could to be a successful actress. She worked on the stage throughout the ‘50s, and in the ‘60s she transitioned to taking guest spots on television shows. She appeared on everything from The Twilight Zone, to Burke’s Law, and even Boris Karloff’s Thriller.
However the work that garnered her the most praise was her performance as Rusty Heller, the nightclub performer on an episode of The Untouchables. This role nabbed her an Emmy nomination and showed producers that she had something special.
Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford take a break while filming, 1977.
Filmed on location in Tunisia and at Elstree Studios in Hertfordshire, the young cast of A New Hope bonded over jet setting around the world while portraying space pirates and intergalactic queens. At the time they had no idea that they were filming one of the most game changing films ever committed to celluloid, and you can see the youthful nativity on their faces.
Speaking with The Guardian, Mark Hamill says that during the filming of A New Hope he had a crush on Fisher but only acted it on his feelings once:
Carrie and I were attracted to one another, but I knew from previous jobs that it would have been a bad idea [to get involved with someone on set]. But Carrie and I found pretexts. I remember one time – I’m sure alcohol was involved – we were talking about kissing techniques. I said: ‘Well, I think I’m a fairly good kisser. I like to let the women come to me rather than be aggressive.’ And she said: ‘What do you mean?’ Well, next thing you know we’re making out like teenagers!
Jeff Bridges and Jessica Lange in the remake of the movie "King Kong" -1976.
Before he was The Dude and before she was on American Horror Story, they were both on the run from the biggest ape in cinema history in the 1976 remake of King Kong. At the time of her casting, Lange had never been in a film or done any acting at all. She was actually a fashion model in New York but producer Dino De Laurentiis saw something in her and went with his gut.
Even though people were concerned about the way Kong’s suit looked, and the constant bickering between the film’s director and the producers, the film went onto be a huge hit. King Kong tripled its budget and went on to tie with Logan’s Run for Best Visual Effects at the Academy Awards in 1977.
Clint Eastwood taking a break on the set of "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly" 1966.
The trilogy of films that ends with The Good, The Bad, The Ugly is arguably one of the greatest series of westerns to ever grace the big screen, and a lot of that is thanks to Clint Eastwood. In his role as the Man with No Name, Eastwood embodies a kind of cynicism that was omnipresent in the late ‘60s.
Even though this is one of the break out films of Eastwood’s early career, he still had to be convinced to appear in the movie. Before filming the movie, director Sergio Leone traveled to California to offer the actor the role, but Eastwood would only film for $250,000 and a 10 percent stake in the film’s North American earnings. Considering that the movie made $25 million at the box office, that’s a lot of bread.
Bombshell Marilyn Monroe Draped In A Sweater
Even though her time in the spotlight was brief - she was only super famous for about nine or ten years - Monroe made an indelible mark on Hollywood. Not only did she bring in a wave of beautiful blondes who all had a breathy voice and a bubbly onscreen personality, but she also became one of the first mega stars who was splashed across newspapers.
There had been tabloid stars before Monroe, but her popularity was an entirely new breed. For Monroe this was a nightmare. She simply wanted to be taken seriously as an actress. She trained at the Strasberg institute and found truth in her work, but by 1963 she passed away due to an overdose.
1970 wrought iron VW Beetle.
Now this is the grooviest thing we’ve seen in a long time. The wrought iron VW bug is one of those pieces of history that could really only exist in the ‘60s and ‘70s, when folks were able to use their imaginations to playfully change the way their favorite products looked and functioned. While you wouldn’t want to drive this car in the rain, it’s perfect for a spring day.
The wrought iron VW Bug was initially designed as a sign for a car shop and it was built by a blacksmith who modeled the design from an actual VW Beetle. After the bones were built, the blacksmith then filled in the skeleton with an array of metal swirls. It’s truly a groovy sight.
Grace Slick and Janis Joplin, 1967.
Even though they were the queen bees of the San Francisco psychedelic rock scene, Grace Slick and Janis Joplin were rare photographed together. And it’s believed that the few photos of them hanging out were actually taken by Jim Marshall. According to the photographer:
That morning I went over to Grace's house and then had to pick up Janis. Janis wasn't in the mood to do any pictures that day, but I begged her and she came along. Everyone always thought there was a huge rivalry between Janis and Grace, but they were dear friends. This is the only time they were photographed together, and by the end of the session, we were all getting pretty silly and clowning around.
Vincent Price and Alice Cooper up to no good in 1978.
Even though it might seem weird for these two to be hanging out, with Price being a B-Movie star and Cooper being a shock rock menace, they’re actually very similar. Both were committed to putting on a show for their fans, and they were each obsessed with living a macabre life to match their dual creative output.
Price worked with Cooper on the 1975 track “The Black Widow” where the star added a monologue to the track. As different as these two stars were, it turns out that they were just a couple of spooky peas in a pod. And by pod we mean coffin.
Linda Ronstadt Preparing To Roar At The Wisconsin Music Festival, 1970s
Linda Ronstadt is one of those artists who’s done more, sang more, and achieved more than you’ve ever thought possible. And she’s done it all while so many other artists have fallen by the wayside. She’s been rocking since the late ‘60s when she and the Stone Poneys scored a big hit with “Different Drum,” a song that’s definitely stuck in your head right now.
In 1970 Ronstadt was just going solo. At the time she was being touted as a new kind of country singer, and her backing band included members of another band that was a “new kind of country,” The Eagles.
Leonard Nimoy, George Takei, DeForest Kelley and James Doohan at the first space shuttle showing in 1976.
When NASA rolled out their Enterprise shuttle in 1976 they did so with the blessing of some of the most famous crew members of the ship’s namesake. Nimoy, Takei, Kelley, and Doohan were joined by Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry at the unveiling of this shuttle. This isn’t the only time that the Star Trek crew showed up for NASA.
According to the government outfit’s website, these fine fellows showed up to plenty of NASA special events and they even lent a hand when it came time to do a little promotion for the agency. They're boldly promoting where no one has promoted before.
Sophia Loren even makes a green wig look amazing in 1969.
By 1969 Sofia Loren had already been a star on the international stage for close to two decades. She first made waves in 1951 as a minor character in the Italian film Era lui... sì! sì! Throughout the early ‘50s she continued turning heads in small roles, but her international breakout came in 1953’s Aida and the following year’s The Gold of Naples.
Over a decade later Loren was sitting on the top of the Hollywood A-list. She had an Academy Award for her role in Two Women and she was the recipient of a million dollar payday. Going into the ‘70s she was ready to make the decade hers.
An airline ad featuring a delicious meal from the 1960s.
What’s the deal with airplane food? Why don’t we have the luxury of munching on some fresh fruit and tasty cheese the way these travelers were in the 1960s? Many planes in the ‘60s had menus that you’d be hard pressed to find in some today’s best restaurants. Not only was making food for an airline seen as a huge success for chefs, but flying was a luxury, and people expected a meal for their trip.
Many of the best in flight meals made the plane feel like a party in they sky, and even though people weren’t cutting loose, the meals made it feel like a fancy dance was going to break out at any moment.
Jayne Mansfield standing beside "Miss Hollywood" in 1957
After the success of Marilyn Monroe, Hollywood wanted to capitalize on her popularity so the studios brought in every blonde bombshell that they could. Jayne Mansfield knew that her time in the spotlight was limited so she made the most of it. She starred in Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? and The Sheriff of Fractured Jaw.
Mansfield went onto host a successful nightclub act after he star waned in the 1960s. However, her life was cut short by an auto accident in 1967 while she and her family were on their way to an engagement in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Who remembers wearing bodysuits in the 1970s?
In the ‘70s disco was on the airwaves, roller skates were on our feet and bodysuits were strapped to our bodies. While these leotards were initially a must have for working out, they quickly became an athleisure staple for women across America. There were bodysuits for every kind of person, whether you liked a classic black or a cool floral print.
Even though these one piece outfits seem simple, they were a major fashion statement, with women wearing them everywhere, especially on the dance floor. By the mid-‘70s clothing creators Danskin and Capezio started making one pieces specifically for going out and getting down in the club.
Cast of "The Witches of Eastwick" 1987.
When it came time to adapt The Witches of Eastwick from John Updike’s novel it seemed like everything was going to go smoothly, that couldn’t have been further from the truth. Not only was Cher put through the wringer for her age, but director George Miller was constantly fighting with the producers over the budget. Miller eventually quit the production twice over issues with the studio. He told The Hollywood Reporter:
There was some of the producers were very chaotic in their thinking. And, if it wasn't for Jack Nicholson — it kind of got crazy. There was no purpose to [things]. The first mistake I made was, I sat down at a production meeting and they said, like we always do in these production meetings, ‘OK, where can we cut the budget?’ And I said, ‘Oh, I don't need a trailer,’ because I'm never in the trailer. I'm either with the actors or I'm on the set. Back in Australia, we'd done the Mad Max movies. I never had a trailer, because we're out there, just into something. Now that would make sense. I had always been one of the producers on the film. But that was code to them that, ‘Oh, this guy's negotiable on everything.’
Tom Hanks, 1980.
Before he was the world’s favorite dad, a Biblical detective, and the greatest host of Saturday Night Live to ever tread the boards, Tom Hanks was just a struggling actor trying to make it through the day. After studying theater throughout the ‘70s, Hanks got his first roles in at the end of the decade, but in 1980 things really started to take off for him in a big way.
In 1980 his feature He Know’s You’re Alone was released, and he starred in the television movie Mazes and Monsters, both have gone onto be cult classics and interesting starts in the career of a man who would become one of our most beloved performers.
Barbara Eden in the '70s.
Throughout the ‘60s Barbra Eden played Jeannie, the magical main character of the delightful sitcom I Dream of Jeannie. However at the end of the decade she was at a crossroads. The first few years of the ‘70s were spent filming unaired pilots and working on drama which weren’t her forty, but in 1974 she established her own production company and began creating shows and movies just for her.
In 1978 she starred in Harper Valley PTA, based on the song of the same name. In the movie Eden played Stella Johnson, a makeup saleswoman who takes on the snobbish members of her daughter’s PTA board. The film was so successful that it spawned a hit TV show, putting Eden back on top.
Black Sabbath backstage at Cobo Hall in Detroit, Michigan. (1976)
The “Technical Ecstasy” Tour was the next to last tour that Black Sabbath would undertake with Ozzy Osbourne, and on November 26, 1976 the band absolutely rocked Detroit. With a set list that covered all of their albums to that point, the band was in tip top shape even if they were in the middle of an internal struggle with Osbourne.
While recording “Technical Ecstasy” Osbourne was already thinking about leaving the group. He wrote in his autobiography:
I'd even had a T-shirt made with 'Blizzard of Ozz' written on the front. Meanwhile, in the studio, Tony (Iommi) was always saying, 'We've gotta sound like Foreigner', or 'We've gotta sound like Queen.' But I thought it was strange that the bands we'd once influenced were now influencing us.