39 Striking Vintage Thanksgiving Photos From The Past Century

Vintage Photos | November 24, 2016

Written by Brian Gilmore

Every photo in this article is a snapshot of a time when everything was a little bit more simple, at least on the outside. A time that people can look back on fondly is rarely something that's taken lightly, and it's never too soon to look back on happy memories. These rare moments, old photographs of Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parades, pictures of early-to-mid-20th century city dwellers enjoying their holiday, and mementos of traditions long gone are a reminder to cherish the present, because in the end it's all going to be history. 


A rare photo of a young boy in Washington D.C. discovering his love of pumpkin pie, for starters, shows just the beginning of how much people have always loved Thanksgiving as a holiday. The 20th century showed such a huge change in what people saw this holiday as, that it's barely recognizable from where it started, but still has all the same heart, charm, and soul that it did back then. Here's what it looked like before most of you were born...

Tags: vintage thanksgiving photos

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Brian Gilmore


Brian Gilmore has been writing about and studying everything the Internet loves since 2006 and you've probably accidentally read something he's written before, and if you haven't, you're already reading this bio, so that's a good start. He's a culture junkie ranging from Internet culture, to world history, to listening to way more podcasts than the average human being ever should. He's obsessed with the social catalysts that have caused some of the biggest movements of the last few hundred years, including everything from their effect on the pop culture of the time, to where they end up ideologically. The idea that generations have a beginning and an end is fascinating to him, and the fact that their lasting effects at any given point of their evolution can steer the direction of the entire world lead to some interesting questions, and answers, about our current culture at any given time. He also loves retrofuturism, phobias, and the fact that every pop culture icon has at least a few photos of them that make you feel like you might know them. History isn't a collection of stories as much as it is humanity trying its hardest to maintain a grasp on lessons we've learned before as a species, and that is just way too interesting to not look into a few hours a week. Oh and he used to collect Pez dispensers.