28 Unedited Photos Captured From The Past
By | March 25, 2020
A 17-year-old Norma Jeane before she was known as Marilyn Monroe, 1943.
These rare photos reveal layers of the past anyone can appreciate. From ancient ruins and industries of old to former fads and modern icons. Collected here are interesting photographs you’ve probably never seen, but should. What better way to challenge our perceptions and explore the past, than with pictures? We discover new things about political figures, icons of popular culture, and can even gain insights into old practices and important historical events.
Here we have a 17-year-old Norma Jeane before she became known as the legendary Marilyn Monroe. Her life contrasted in so many ways…. she was rich and successful yet co-dependent (on the emotional front). She was highly insecure even though she was a beauty icon. Despite her seemingly outgoing nature, she was so shy growing up that she developed a stutter. She flaunted for cameras, but behind the scenes, she remained shy and deeply insecure her whole life. She never managed to fully get rid of her stutter either. Dictation lessons only helped her mask it for work.
2,000-year-old Roman theater in Libya.
Pictured here is the ancient Roman theater at Leptis Magna, Sabratha, located in Sabratha, Libya, on the Mediterranean coast. The site was originally a Phoenician trading-post but became part of the Roman Empire, and its monuments were built in the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD. Leptis Magna was once a prominent city in Roman Libya. The city fell to the Vandals in 439 and was re-incorporated into the Eastern Empire in 533. It fell to the Muslim invasion in c. 647 and was then abandoned.The ruins of Leptis Magna are along the coast where the Wadi Lebda meets the sea. This particular site as a whole is one of best preserved Roman ruins in the Mediterranean.
A 100-year-old Halloween photo. Wow!
Look at these little goblins! Forget the Avengers costumes, this vintage photo captures a time when kids really knew how to dress up and scare the hell out of you on Halloween. These kids definitely had the right idea! Samhain is supposed to be the one time when all the dead can return to earth and walk amongst the living. They’d stir up mischief, damage crops, and possibly drag innocents back to the underworld with them before morning light. So people would don masks and cloaks and strange hats to make themselves look like ghosts, ghouls, and witches in efforts to blend in with the things that go bump in the night.
3,000 men who helped build the 810 ft high Chase Manhattan Bank in New York, August 1964.
Check out this overwhelming photo of the 3,000 men who helped build the Chase Manhattan Bank in New York. Can you imagine being all the way up in the air, posed next to the window's edge of an unfinished building like this? Insane.
The Chase National Bank and The Manhattan Company merged back in 1955, thus creating The Chase Manhattan Bank. It wasn’t until 1964 when this bad boy, standing at 810 feet high was erected among all the other massive structures that make up New York City. This photo was taken towards the end of the construction.
3-Year-Old Robert De Niro With His 24-Year-Old Father Robert De Niro Sr., 1946
Check out little 3-Year-Old Robert De Niro! Even back then he had a little tough guy edge. Here he is with his father, Robert De Niro Senior who was 24-years old at the time. This little slugger grew up to be an iconic actor whose first film was Brian De Palma's The Wedding Party, which was shot in 1963 and released in 1969. This role helped secure his collaboration with Martin Scorsese, which is what really launched his career.
In 1973 he was small-time criminal Johnny Boy in Scorsese’s Mean Streets and by 1974 he landed a pivotal role of young Vito Corleone in Francis Ford Coppola's The Godfather Part II- which earned him his first Academy Award, for Best Supporting Actor.
A picture of loneliness. You are looking at the last male Northern White Rhino on earth.
Here is a photo of Sudan, he is the last male northern white rhino on the entire planet. Such a heartbreaking thought. He even looks sad, as if he knows his entire species will cease to exist if he doesn’t mate and produce more males soon. Efforts to mate him with one of two female northern white rhinos at Ol Pejeta Conservancy are underway, but so far all attempts have failed. The older he gets, the slimmer his chances get. He’s 42 and aside from him and his two lady friends, there are only two other female white rhinos in the world, both in zoos.
19th century shoe making.
Here’s a little random dose of 19th-century shoemaking for you. Until the 19th century, shoemaking was a traditional handicraft, but by the century's end, the process had been almost completely mechanized, with production occurring in large factories.
Once upon a time, shoes were made by hand and one at a time. Here’s a glimpse intro traditional handicraft shoemaking, when attention to detail reigned supreme and it was all about quality and not quantity, real craftsmanship. Shoemakers generally used leather, wood, and plant material, and often consisted of multiple parts for better durability of the sole. They used more than 15 different techniques of making shoes.
140-year-old mom, with 5-day old son.
There's just so much cuteness here. Teeny tiny baby turtle sitting on the head of his wise mama. This mama tortoise is one of the members of the most ancient group of reptiles alive. Typically, they can live to be over 150-years old. In fact, an Aldabra giant tortoise named Adwaita just may have the record at the longest living of its kind- at an estimated 255 years. These calm creatures are generally reclusive and are shielded from predators by their shell… which may have quite a bit to do with the longevity. Perhaps we should all take on the zen approach of the tortoise.
200-year-old unopened Champagne bottle found in Baltic Sea shipwreck.
Talk about aged to perfection. This bottle of bubbly was discovered at the bottom of the sea in the wreckage of a ship that sank just under 200 years ago. In 2010, a group of divers plunged into in the Baltic Sea and happened upon a treasure trove of champagne (among other things) in a sunken trade schooner just off the coast of Finland.
A 168 bottles of French champagne that had aged in near perfect conditions for decades was brought up to the surface. Before the local government claimed the bottles, a team of very lucky scientists led by Professor Philippe Jeandet got to sample some of the goods.
1858 Exhibition of the Photographic Society of London featuring old photographs and cameras on display
Here is a photo of the 1858 Exhibition of the Photographic Society of London featuring old photographs and cameras on display
The exhibition was the first to take place in that part of the museum and it was the first time any museum had exhibited photographs at all. It consisting of 1009 photographs and included approximately 250 contributions from its French counterpart, the Société française de photographie.
The whole thing was organized by the Photographic Society of London. It was the Museum's official staff photographer, Charles Thurston Thompson who captured this photo of the densely packed display back in 1858. Thus creating the earliest known photograph of the earliest known photographic exhibition held in a museum.
1900 Soldiers (in order) Britain - USA - Australia - India - Germany - France - Austria - Italy - Japan
Pictured here are troops of the Eight-Nation Alliance back in 1900 (Russia excepted). From left to right: Britain, United States, Australia, India, Germany, France, Austria-Hungary, Italy, Japan. The Eight-Nation Alliance was an international military coalition that was devised in response to the Boxer Rebellion in China. The eight nations were Japan, Russia, Britain, France, the United States, Germany, Italy, and Austria-Hungary.
The international legations in Beijing were under siege by Boxer rebels for the Qing government in the Summer of 1900. So, in the name of “humanitarian intervention”, the coalition dispatched their armed forces in defense of their respective nations' citizens.
A Chapel in a Treehouse Built in 1669 and Still Being Used Today
Check out this awesome chapel treehouse! This old oak tree, located in a small village in France holds two chapels inside and is still being used today! This particular Quercus is said to be France's oldest standing tree and its strongest after having survived thousands of years worth of ravaging wars and storms.
In fact, a lightning fire hollowed out the center of the tree back in the late 1600s and it was interpreted as a sign from above, deemed holy, and turned into a place of worship. The Chêne Chapelle (Oak Chapel) and its hidden nooks devoted to prayer, still attracts countless visitors to this very day.
A Berlin boy selling lemonade with a portable lemonade dispenser, 1931.
Here’s a photo from 1931 of a Berlin boy selling lemonade with a portable lemonade dispenser. Not what you’d expect from the 1930s, far more innovative than the kids with stationary stands that dominated the 50s (and today). Not that you won’t see these awesome dispensers around nowadays because you will.... just not usually on the backs of local entrepreneurial youth full of lemonade. Popular brands like Fanta, Nestea, and Red Bull (to name a few) are notorious for strapping their reps to larger, more modern versions of these packs and sending them out to clubs, concerts, and sporting events.
Albert Einstein holding an Albert Einstein puppet, 1931.
It’s hard to decide if this photo is cute or creepy… here we have Albert Einstein holding an Albert Einstein puppet, back in 1931. Apparently, Einstein had the pleasure of seeing the puppet version of himself perform at a theater called Teatro Torito and was thoroughly amused by the whole thing. He allegedly pulled out some paper, crumpled it up, and stuffed it into the puppet’s shirt and in German said that 'The puppet wasn’t fat enough!' He had a good laugh, fattened his puppet double up, and posed in this photograph which Yale Puppeteer Harry Burnett would always treasure.
1920 never looked so magical.
This magical photograph was taken by Italian Photographer, Domenico Riccardo Peretti Griva back in 1920. He was one of the leading exponents of the Italian pictorial movement in the period between 1920 and 1950.
His main focus was nature and producing intimate portraits like this one, which serves as both. He was also quite fond of the bromolian technique and he would manually retouch his photos, accentuating the blurry and the contrast. Which helped create the dreamy feeling he managed to portray in this photograph here.
1935 train workshop, the Pacific train engine.
Here is an old black and white photograph from 1935, of a vintage steam train engine. This was taken in train workshop. Steam locomotives were first developed in Great Britain during the early 19th century and used for railway transport until the middle of the 20th century. This type of locomotive produces its pulling power through a steam engine (hence the name) and are fueled by burning combustible material – usually coal, wood, or oil. The steam then moves the reciprocating pistons connected to the main wheels. Then tada! It’s a chugga chugga choo choo!
Abraham Lincoln's mischievous son Tad.
Thomas "Tad" Lincoln III was the fourth and youngest son of Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln.
His father decided to nickname him "Tad" because he had a large head and was "as wiggly as a tadpole" when he was a baby.
Tad was a handful, to say the least. He didn’t attend school and had free run of the White House, during his father’s presidency. Tad would interrupt presidential meetings all the time, he'd bring in animals, and even charged visitors to see his father.
When news of his father’s assassination reached him, Tad was inconsolable. He was in another theater at the time and ran through it screaming, "They killed Papa! They killed Papa!"
Later he reportedly said: “Pa is dead. I can hardly believe that I shall never see him again. I must learn to take care of myself now. Yes, Pa is dead, and I am only Tad Lincoln now, little Tad, like other little boys. I am not a president's son now. I won't have many presents anymore. Well, I will try and be a good boy, and will hope to go someday to Pa and brother Willie, in Heaven.”
Sadly he died young, joining his Pa and brother at the age of 18 on July 15, 1871.
A 92-year-old man making a 71st Anniversary card for his 93-year-old wife.
A Reddit user named Weaksquare submitted this last year, on April 13, 2017. Since then, it’s been making its way around the Internet restoring people’s faith in that good old-fashioned “til death do us part” kind of love. It features the poster’s 92-year old grandfather making a card for his 93-year old wife for their 71st wedding anniversary.
The legendary Ziegfeld Follies of the 1920s.
Just one of many photos taken by Alfred Cheney Johnston of the Ziegfeld Follies. The Ziegfeld Follies were a series of elaborate Broadway productions known for featuring the most beautiful chorus girls in the world. Florenz “Flo” Ziegfeld was the man behind it all and many consider an early version of a modern day model and talent scout.
A look at 1920s fashion.
The 1920s is the decade in which fashion entered the modern era. After WW1 ended, a collective sigh of relief in the form of relaxed social customs and an abundance of optimism was released. The stock market began to boom, women began entering the workforce in record numbers, and the nationwide prohibition on alcohol was widely ignored. There was a revolution and as always, fashion followed suit. The term “Flapper” was given to women of this time because the clothing they wore was loose. Gone were the days of constrictive corsets. Women abandoned restricting fashions and began to dress for comfort (such as short skirts or trousers).
1916 U.S.S. Franklin, used as a training ship.
Here’s a photo from 1916 of the USS Franklin. She served as a training ship and is one of five military vessels of the same name. Oh, and it also shares its name with a fictional starship featured in the film Star Trek Beyond (2016).
According to Donald Canney in "The Old Steam Navy" Vol. 1, the Franklin was built in 1853 and launched in 1864. She was the last traditional frigate with broadside guns on two decks and was active from 1867 to 1877. Then she served as a receiving ship at the Naval Training Station near Norfolk, Virginia, and it also housed some shops that served the whole station.
She was sold in October 1915.
A pair of intricately cut shoes that were found on a bog body from over 2,300 years ago.
This pair of intricately cut shoes were actually found on a bog body from over 2,300 years ago. They belonged to a German man from Damendorf, who died back in 300 BCE. His body was discovered back in 1900 in the See Moor at the village Damendorf in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. Now, it’s well known that bogs do wonders in preservation, just look at the condition of these shoes… but in this case, only the man’s hair, skin, nails, along with a few clothing items (a leather belt, shoes, and a pair of breeches) were preserved. The weight of the peat in the bog actually flattened the man’s body.
A professional “rat catcher” showing off his kill.
Here's a shot of a professional “rat catcher” showing off his kill. Once upon a time, rat catchers would scour the sewers of Europe in search of vermin because they received money for each rat they killed (1904).
These rat-catchers were the early form of professional form of pest control and were actually incredibly important to public health. Keeping the rat population under control was widely practiced throughout Europe in order to help prevent the spread of diseases, most notoriously the Black Plague. These pest control efforts also helped prevent damage and contamination to food supplies.
A tool of daily life in 1935.
Check out this vintage stove from the 1930s. It looks nothing like the stoves of today…. It’s amazing to see how much has changed since 1935. It’s actually pretty dramatic in fact, not just the technological advancements either. Even the simplest things couldn’t be more different. The average cost of a new house in 1935 was only around $3,450.00 and to rent one was only $22 a month!
A loaf of bread was 8 cents and a pound of Hamburger was only 11 cents. Can you even imagine getting out of the grocery store without spending at least 40 bucks? Gas was only 10 cents a gallon back then and you could get a whole brand new car for around $625!
An early dating site.
What did eligible bachelors of the 1800s do when they were looking for a very special lady to make their own? Why they put up a sign of course! Why not advertise your bride search, like this cheery looking bunch of single woodsmen in Montana, did back in 1901?
Believe it or not, men used to come up with all kinds of ways to snag a wife and start a family back then. They even wrote to distant relatives and friends asking for “good woman” recommendations. But more often than not, they would simply post these marriage advertisements in newspapers or on their windows. If a woman were interested, she’d reply to the ad and poof! The two would connect.
Combination axe and pistol, taken as a war trophy by Sweden from Denmark. mid 17th century.
Check out this intense hybrid weaponry! The pistol axe or pistol sword is exactly what it sounds like, a gun with a blade attached. This particular piece is a Flintlock pistol axe. Flintlock pistols were one of the most commonly used firearms by the pirates in the eighteenth century. It contained a flint stone and when triggered by a hammer, the flint produced the spark which then ignited the gunpowder. So, not really an ideal weapon in combat, since they were only good for a single shot before needing to be manually reloaded… this is where the axe came in handy.
In combat, generally, these weapons were used for a single shot, since the method of reloading was very slow and it was not usually time to recharge. Therefore the fighters after shooting were forced to draw their sabers or swords or to use the axe of the pistol if they could not recharge it in time.
Corsets and guns. Enough said. Tag a woman not to be messed with, 1889.
Corsets and guns. Enough said. This photo can be found on the cover of the book: Frontier Grit: The Unlikely True Stories of Daring Pioneer Women, by Marianne Monson. In its pages you’ll find the stories of twelve women who "heard the call" to settle the west and who came from all points of the globe to begin their journey: the East Coast, Europe, and as far away as New Zealand.
It’s described as being full of unimaginable hardships, these gripping mini-dramas surround strong, good-hearted women who proved capable of extraordinary things as crusaders for social justice and women's rights.
Double-barreled wheellock pistol (49.2 cm, 2,5 kg, cal. of each barrel 11.7 mm) made for Emperor Charles V, Germany 1540.
Now isn't this a fine piece of craftsmanship? This double-barreled Wheellock Pistol was crafted in Munich Germany for Emperor Charles V (who reigned 1519–56). The Gunsmith was Peter Peck, a maker of both guns and watches. This particular piece was one of the earliest pistols. While the pistol contains two locks, they are combined into one mechanism and provide the barrels with a separate ignition. In addition to the inscription PLVS VLTRA (More Beyond), the craftsman beautifully decorated the piece with his dynastic and personal emblems: the double-headed eagle and the pillars of Hercules.